My name is Piotr Lewkowski, I have been sharing my experiences as an intern at POW MMA here in Chicago. I am a senior at UIC - in the Department of Kinesiology. One of the many benefits of going to UIC is their relationship with excellent local businesses throughout Chicago. UIC is continuing to become progressive and when I found out that POW MMA in the West Loop was one of their accredited internship sites – I jumped on it. MMA has grown so much in popularity since I started at UIC. I have discovered that since beginning about 8 weeks ago, my goals with training at POW are the same as so many other students there. I want to learn and be part of a martial arts program that trains my body in so many different ways. I have no desire to build a fight career – but I love the fact that I get to experience all the combat sports safely and that there is a true premeditated programming component to learning the sport and how it is done. Here is recap of my last week of training as a newcomer to mixed martial arts.
Bye-bye elbow pain! This past week was absolutely marvelous—an entire week without any discomfort! The old me would jump right back into the lifts and classes that were making my elbow hurt. The new me, however, is a bit more cautious. The new me realized that I’m not young anymore, that I have to be more careful with injuries and that I don’t recover as quickly as I used to. But then again the old me never did mixed martial arts or strength/power weightlifting. Touché.
Currently I’m using something called the counterforce brace or tennis elbow strap. Basically it’s a neoprene strap that wraps around the forearm as close to the elbow as possible, relieving the pressure on the various tendons in the area. I find that it does do what it sets out to do because I feel less discomfort during classes (by less I mean none at all).
My punching and kicking technique is improving by leaps and bounds; at least that’s how it seems to me. Kicking was probably the most awkward thing to learn, probably because I’ve never actually done anything with my legs other than run. What helped coordinate my legs and hips to kick the most was Krav Maga. During class, we were taught to snap the leg by first raising the thigh and then kicking rather than combining the two in one simultaneous movement.