Date: Mar 11th 2014 11:39a.m.
Contributed by: erwj2

Let it be known: mixed martial arts (MMA) is not for the faint hearted. We managed to pass out during training and get some seriously bruised knees from just one two-hour class—but apparently this means we have a true fighter’s spirit.

It can’t be sugarcoated, this class was tough. Hence why a free class is offered before anyone signs up. The lessons take place every weekday from 7-9pm, Saturdays 6-8pm. Ten lessons go for RMB2,000, and you can choose which class times suit you.  If you turn up late to this class you will be punished. We breezed in three minutes late ... 30 squats later we realized the lesson was no joke, and we would never be late again.

The three coaches, Q, Araz and Ricky started us off with an intense warm up of running around the gym while punching, jumping and squatting (we weren’t even allowed to get water without permission, otherwise more squats).

We were then taught the technique of how to do knee kicks and were partnered up, with one person defending and the other attacking. Most newbies found defense intimidating, having a guy kicking at our stomachs. Later, I realized my partner had been particularly nervous with me attacking, fearing I would aim too low by accident. This fear, however, was irrational: the coaches were there to stress safety above all else. They wouldn’t let any of us start until they were certain we knew how to protect ourselves. If one of us did anything unsafe they would explain what we were doing wrong. If anyone did it a second time, they were made to do the dreaded squats.

But then came the most challenging bit of the class: fitness. We were made to do 15 burpees, 15 sit-ups ...


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