Tag Archives: self defence

Boxing and Kickboxing – Not what I expected

So you must ALL be aware by now of the cat attack I suffered…. (If not, wake up!!! Where have you been – Catch up HERE).

Whilst in hospital I shared a ward with some very interesting people. Inventors, photographers, programmers, war veterans and a martial arts chap…

I’ve kept in contact with a few of these people – and I have plenty of time for them, for although my cat bite was a serious thing (although kind of amusing), I count myself as very lucky to what other people were in with. Lots of respect to them.

One particular person has had a real major effect on my life. I was never the most sporty of people, mainly due to a knee cap break whilst at school that was fashionably diagnosed at the time as “growing pains”. It stopped my running, swimming, and sports interest in general. 15 years later and an X-ray showed a 15 year old badly healed knee cap.

Add to this my dodgy lungs (of which my January flu pushed over the edge and left me with asthma) plus joint issues, and you start to see I was never exactly at the peak of physical fitness.

Top it all with a back that put me out of work for 3 months and then that cat bite (which has left ongoing issues – including a sporadically weak wrist and potential to land me in hospital again with reinfection even years later), and you start to get a pretty good mental image of where I WAS….

I took up Nordic walking, running, mountain biking to try and help, and to a point it did. I lost a lot of weight, but the general fitness wasn’t improving as much as I liked… then I ended up in hospital opposite John Devaney of Southern Martial Arts.

He told me that he was setting up a boxing exercise class, so would I be interested. I blame either the painkillers I was on, or the hospital food… or more likely the fact of John being a very inspirational man (a snapped leg caused by weakness from chemo from cancer treatment… and he’s still someone who you would really want on your side in a dodgy situation) – but whatever it was, I agreed to go.

Lets face it… he was STARTING a boxing fitness class… I would be in a class as a newbie with a load of other newbies… What could go wrong?

The boxing fitness class was pretty much started for all the SMA martial arts people to improve their fitness levels… So yeah, I turned up and pretty much everyone knew everyone else, and they were all fit. Bugger….

It wasn’t easy… In fact I didn’t think I’d make it past the warm up… but I did. Everyone there made it a great experience, and John is a top notch instructor. I felt the benefits within a few days… so turned up again a week later… and have not looked back.

Then he suggested I join the Kickboxing class he runs. I said no, as I had some pretty valid reasons (in my head)… but then found myself in his kickboxing class and realising how useful it was for me – both physically and mentally. Encouragement from John and other class members got me there – and are keeping me their. Thanks to them all!

The kickboxing is really helping with co-ordination, general fitness and flexibility. After my back went I lost a lot of what (bad) flexibility I had – but SMA kickboxing has totally changed that. I even managed to briefly get my chin to my knees on an assisted stretch at the last session – and my splits are getting a whole lot lower than I ever could do them when I was younger… and I’m 37 now!

Intense energy sessions and press ups still cause me grief due to the lung and wrist problems, but it’s getting better. You can go at your own pace, but you are pushed to better yourself. Lets face it – there’s no point doing something if you are only going to go at it half heartedly.

You get out what you put in.

You can contact Southern Martial Arts at:

8 Union Road,

Tel: 01252 821 417

e-mail: johnd@southern-martial-arts.co.uk

Facebook: Southern Martial Arts

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