Hello dear readers,
I received some exciting news yesterday! My kickboxing club may soon offer classes in Mixed Martial Arts, including Jiu Jitsu. Best of all, the class will be open to both male and female students.
Although some female fighters are making their mark, MMA is one of the last bastions of masculinity in many clubs. I used to love watching MMA fights because a wide variety of techniques from many martial arts were utilized. However, this quickly changed. Today, MMA is synonymous with grappling, since most of the top fighters employ grappling techniques. Some blame the Gracie family for this. I don't know enough about the history of MMA to venture into that argument--all I know is it made the fights less exciting to watch.
My first kickboxing club offered MMA 'classes', which consisted of a bunch of grunting, sweating men in a corner executing moves that looked somewhat obscene. They wore very little in the way of clothing, and none of the dojo's women expressed an interest in joining the pile.
I'm not sure how my male colleagues felt about grappling with me. To their credit, they handled it with more maturity than I did. I couldn't stop giggling when I had to lie back, looking at the ceiling, while my friend Steve shoved his crotch across my face in order to get into a hold. When we exchanged stories afterwards, we discovered that we both knew our instructor was wearing a protective cup because it clicked against our teeth. There's an unexpected intimacy in grappling.
|Friend Steve. Credit: Dan Harper|
I've never forgotten my MMA experience, and I regretted that I let my discomfort scare me off. That's why I'm so excited about KWest's potential foray into the field. If the classes go ahead as promised, they will consist of Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and boxing. The instructor is a pro MMA fighter who has trained at Team Couture, has a degree in kinesiology, and fought many pro fights in North America.
I hope these classes become a reality! MMA may be dominated by men, but it's time more women got in the game.
Have you ever taken MMA? What are your thoughts on it? Guys, would the prospect of grappling with a women bother you?