When I realized I had been successful with my weight loss, I knew that the hardest part of the entire endeavor was ahead of me. Losing weight is very hard, but I think that maintenance is even more difficult. I lost weight walking and running, but I knew that I’d need to mix up my exercise choices so that I’d stay interested and off the sofa. While reading an exercise magazine one day, I saw an article discussing Capoeira – a dance form incorporating martial arts elements, originating in Brazil as a system of physical discipline and movement. Having taken years of ballet in the past, I was intrigued. So I looked online, found a studio near me that taught it, and went for a trial class.
And, somehow, I wound up becoming a lover of the martial arts. Currently, I’m belted in both Capoeira and Muay Thai. I never thought that I’d be a martial artist, but, as a woman, I think it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Martial arts help a woman develop self-confidence and assertiveness, two characteristics that go a long way toward keeping her safe as she goes about her daily life.
The classes that I take are some of the most physically demanding that I’ve ever experienced, and pushing my body to the absolute brink (and beyond!) has helped me to see that I’m so much stronger than I ever thought possible. I’ve developed self-confidence as I mastered the ladder of skills required to move to the next belt rank. Sparring against men twice my size scares me to death, but I can make it through and I’ve learned valuable skills that I can take out in the world to help stay safe. I leave each class physically and mentally exhausted, thrilled and pumped at the same time.
There are many different forms of martial arts – karate, aikido, muay thai, judo, and kung fu are just a few. If you are looking for a way to ramp your exercise up to the next level and challenge yourself more than you thought possible, why not look for a gym that offers a trial class? I think you’ll be surprised and delighted at what you will find!
May 23rd, 2009