My martial arts journey started in 2018 when I joined an introduction to kickboxing fitness class. I was bored of going to the gym and I really wanted to challenge myself. I quickly developed a love for kickboxing and started training at X Martial Arts in Acomb as a full-time member.
Kickboxing combines the precision and skill of martial arts with a high energy competitive element. It is great for fitness and I particularly enjoy the challenge of learning and developing new skills.
I train with the club three or four times per week if I can. I treasure the hour that I get to myself as it requires all of my focus which means that I can’t think about the pressures of work and raising a two-year-old. It is also fun to take out some of life’s frustrations on the pads!
The guidance from the instructors and other team members at X Martial Arts is incredible. Most of the instructors have competed at the World Championships so we are learning from the very best!
I train at X Martial Arts in a mixed age and ability class which means that we all get to learn from each other. The classes are a mixture of fitness, technique drills and sparring. We work with partners or on the bags and every class is different.
Like other martial arts, kickboxing involves a grading system which enables me to learn and progress. I achieved my first four belts (red, yellow, orange and green) before taking a break when I had my daughter Bonnie, who recently celebrated her second birthday.
I returned to the club in January 2020 and then lockdown happened shortly after. The club adapted and we were able to continue training via Zoom and in the studio when safe to do so. With lockdown restrictions easing we are now back to training in the studio and have resumed contact sparring. I was nervous about participating in sparring again after so long but the instructors have ensured that we are eased back into it and my confidence is returning. Once restrictions have been fully lifted competitions can resume.
Since returning I have achieved a further three belts (blue, purple and brown) and I have my brown-black belt grading in July. The next belt will then be red black which can take another six months or longer to achieve. Following that it is black belt, which is my ultimate goal. You have to be invited to take your black belt grading and it is a requirement to participate in at least one competition.
Martial arts has been great for building my confidence, learning self-defence, keeping fit and pushing myself. I look forward to continuing my journey and to one day adding the black belt to my collection.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.