Kickboxing at Ronin Athletics

Those of you who have been following my fitness and training journey know that I recently joined Ronin Athletics for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Up until this point my involvement with the academy has been solely on the Gracie Jiu Jitsu side. However, in an effort to also work my striking and gain the added benefit of burning even more calories, I am taking a trial of the kickboxing classes this week.

They have kickboxing classes several days a week, but for my purposes I am looking at adding two of those classes. With my current schedule this is the only option that I have, but it turns out that for the time being it might be more than enough.

So there are kickboxing classes on two of the days that I usually take jujitsu. That being said it makes sense to do the two classes back to back. It also makes the commute to the city more worthwhile. I am no stranger to multiple classes a day, I have taught up to four fitness classes back to back before. However, I was in much better condition when I did this.

After speaking with the academy’s business manager, Jasper, we agreed that this week is a trial run to see how my body responds and to see if this schedule is sustainable. It makes no sense to sign up for a program if my body can’t handle it.

I would be going from 3 jujitsu classes to four jujitsu classes and 2 kickboxing classes. Mathematically speaking that is about a 100% increase in training time at the Academy, with 2 of those classes being a completely different art and working off of entirely different conditioning channels on the same day.

So how do I feel after my first day of multiple classes? Well, in a nutshell, I do not remember the last time that I felt as physically exhausted and drained as I did after training that day. My body felt like it was hit by a sledgehammer.

My toes hurt, my shoulder hurt, my back hurt, my neck hurt, my wrists hurt, my forearm hurt, my butt cheeks hurt, nearly all of the muscles in my body hurt! I could barely hold my arms up by the end of the kickboxing class. Then after that we went and did a headlock jujitsu class. For those of you who don’t know, for me that is one of the harder training days in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Those headlock and guillotine days are tough.

It’s pretty funny, towards the end of class when we were doing our final drills, there was just one person huffing and puffing that could be heard above all the others. Yes, that person was me, I was sucking wind like you can imagine. In order to move my body, I had to dig deep and push myself really hard. And for me, that means grunting. One lady turned around and laughed seeing how wrecked I was towards the end of class. It reminded me of how much I struggled when I did the harder yoga classes.

By the time I was to return for the next day’s class I still felt physically tired and achy, but I was ok. I wasn’t entirely recovered, but I was not feeling as sore as I did the night before. Let’s also remember that I am a 44 year old man and my body does not recover the way that it used to when I was younger. Let’s also remember that I have herniated and bulging discs in my neck and back. Let’s also remember that I am training with a torn ligament on my shoulder, wrists that stop bending back years ago, a recurring ankle injury, knee pain from a deformed bone that sticks out, duck feet also due to deformity, and aside from those legit injuries, the wear and tear of years abusing my body, a lack of flexibility, 30 pounds above the weight I was this time 2 years ago and a self destructive depressive history.

Given those factors, I am proud of myself for even trying to undertake such a rigorous training schedule. I’m proud of myself for surviving the class and making it in to training not only the next day, but I taught Zumba the day after that, and I gave them a hell of class! And today I’m ready to hit the mats again! I’m proud of myself for trying to learn more and a better version of me.

In addition to all that extra training, I am still teaching some Zumba classes, trying to incorporate some steady state cardio days and implement some weightlifting and stretching days. All this while I am eating very clean, fasting and restricting my calories. All these factors would make for a very challenging training schedule, even for a younger guy. For an older and injured guy, ouch! But hey, you only live once so you may as well go hard and do the things that you love while you still can.

As challenging as this kickboxing addition was, it was a great training day and I loved it. As a side note, holding those pads for my training partner hurt like hell on my arms and shoulders. Especially during the kicks, I didn’t like that one bit, but it is part of the game. I do look forward to the day when my body has adapted to this training regiment and it feels slightly easier to me. I know this will take some time but I am here for it, half the battle is just showing up!