Rolling around on the floor with a sweaty man sitting on top of me, then changing partners so I had a different sweaty man locked between my legs was not the usual way I spend my Monday nights but it is going to be a regular activity for me now. Last Monday I had my first taste of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), starting with a 1.5 hour session of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) at Dominance MMA in Richmond.
I walked into the massive space, laid out with crash mats and a dedicated boxing area on one side. It is deceptively small from the outside shopfront and I don’t know why but for some reason I was not expecting to be confronted with about 80 sweaty men in singlets and Gi (uniform for BJJ). I should have picked up on the chick at the front desk’s excitement about more girls getting into MMA that I was one of five girls at DMMA – and only two others were there at the time.
So I asked the group “ok, who wanted to partner with the girl” and a lovely guy offered to partner up with me. It could have been awkward given the intimate nature of the moves (something I inappropriately got the giggles about when watching the pairs of manly men grappling on the floor) but I managed to use humour and a feeble reassurance “don’t worry, you won’t hurt me … if you do I promise not to cry” to diffuse any potential weirdness.
MMA is something I’ve had some insight into – a friend of mine recently came second in the national titles – and seems to be the kind of practiced and calculated but spontaneous rough and tumble I’ve been looking for. It is a mix of BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai and Boxing with classes scheduled through the week at my new local ‘hang-out’.
DMMA offers a free trial class and recommend starting with grappling (BJJ is in this category). We went through some drills – one where you lie on your side and use your feet to leverage your hip off the ground and bum back so you can move forward (it makes sense when you do it!) – and learned some holds. One was an arm lock is where you can potentially break someone’s arm and the other was a move where a person is on top of you and you wrap your legs around their neck, limiting their movement (and comfort).
Next Monday I’m trying the boxing, something I’ve bought a mouthguard for. I think the biggest challenge will be learning how to use my size and fitness level to my advantage because some of the men there are three times my size and weight. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Book in for your free trial session and see what you think!