It's been a busy old week this week. So far I have had a class every night.
Monday - krav maga
Tuesday - krav maga
Wednesday - kickboxing
Thursday - chi kung and kung fu
Friday - ?? decisions decisions
Wednesday - kickboxing
This is a new offering from the Combat Ready gym where I do my krav maga. I've been keen to do either kickboxing or Thai boxing for a while now, partly for the fitness aspect and partly to build on my existing combat skills.
I'm really glad I went! It ended up being a really good class. There was an excellent turnout, with a healthy mix of new starts and existing students. My usual Monday night krav partner turned up, so we paired up and thumped some pads. We did also seem to have a combined mental age of about 10 during the class, and did an awful lot of laughing. We still worked hard though, we just had fun doing it.
Sadly I can't go next Wednesday as I'm off to a talk.
Thursday - chi kung & kung fu
I really like these classes. They're very small classes which really enhances the learning experience for me. There's also a very positive vibe about them, which means that I really look forward to training. The teacher seems quite young, but he has terrific patience with his students. In this particular style the emphasis is on becoming more skillful through training the basics in real depth and progressing slowly. Each week we start with the fundamentals of footwork and stances, strikes and defences. Each time we work on becoming more skillful at these and each time we add just a little bit more.
I do love the poetic Chinese names for each movement where a turning / roundhouse kick becomes Naughty Monkey Strikes Tree.
So far I have found that these classes offer a nice balance to the pragmatism and dynamism of the other classes I do. I love the pragmatism and utility of krav maga and I suspect that it will remain my default combat 'mindset' should I ever be attacked. There is however an art and philosophy to the kung fu that is quite appealing to me.
I definitely prefer the kung fu to the kuk sool I tried a while back. I just couldn't get engaged with that at all, and I think it was possibly because everything was done with such a degree of speed and complexity that I found it became quite stressful for me. I certainly don't intend that as a criticism of either the art or of the instructor (who is excellent) - it just didn't work out for me in terms of the way I prefer to learn. I certainly enjoyed the very physical challenges of the training - it appealed in the same way that the krav does - but I can be quite slow to pick up new and complex motor skills, especially if I feel pressured to do so. I do like to be challenged and pushed both physically and mentally but I found that I just wasn't a good fit for kuk sool. It was a shame, as there were a lot of really good people in the class.
My martial arts journey has certainly been an interesting one so far!