The people of Chicago are progressive and forward thinking, yet welcoming to visitors and in tune with family values. We sometimes get a bad wrap, that we are not trend-setters or cutting edge like our east and west coast metro-cousins. I have begun to feature cool Chicago peeps that train in MMA; which is all the rage in the fitness industry. Mixed martial arts is more than just what you see on SPIKE TV’s The Ultimate Fighter reality show. The fighters featured on those shows do not present the most sophisticated persona, but their knuckle head behavior has not turned some of Chicago’s most diverse citizens to experiencing the benefits of MMA training and how it can your change your life.
Jen has been training for 2 years. She came to find herself in a room with sweaty, mitt punching, feet flying city folks after watching the Human Weapon series on the National Geographic channel. After Krav Maga was featured she knew she wanted to transition from running to something more. “I was a fan of the UFC before training, but I felt that when I was in sales skills like I saw on the show would be helpful when I am in bad neighborhoods carrying drugs,” reveals Jen.
Do your co-workers know you train in the combat sports? “Some of them have found out. It is funny when they find out. I had a cardiologist that was simply shocked. But it quickly turned to intrigue.”
Does training in MMA/Combat Sports make for good water cooler conversation? “It does, I am just not a cooler often because I would move from place to place. But my friends love to hear about it.”
What is your favorite thing about training? “The sweat is intense. I am drenched each time I work out. I love all of it, the ground fighting is not my favorite, but I am glad that I learn it when I have to it. I feel at least I have a fighting chance on the street [she says giggling].”
Do you spar/ have you sparred? “Yes, I have boxed several times. I mix up the sparring every once in a while. I was surprised when I have done it that it can be done safely.”
Sarah is a take life by the horns kind of gal. She is an exception to most people that begin MMA training as an adult. She came with 4 Golden Gloves Boxing tournaments under her belt as a younger woman and even a championship. After taking about 10 years off of boxing, she decided to evolve her training to kickboxing and krav maga.
Do your co-workers know you train in the combat sports? “Actually more people know now that I do martial arts than when I trained for even the National Golden Gloves. It is good that they know, it goes well with riding bikes (smirking).”
Does training in MMA/Combat Sports make for good water cooler conversation? “It is a great ice breaker, especially if a bog fight is coming up or when you see people wearing the Affliction tees, you can always drop a fact here nad there about MMA.”
What is your favorite thing about training? “All of it. But hitting stuff makes me the happiest. You get so much stress out. It has an adrenaline rush element to it, without any real danger.”
Do you spar/ have you sparred? “I have sparred a ton. Beofre training at POW, all the time for the Gloves, but now I actually take more of the contact free route, except for the light contact used in Krav.”
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