After enjoying my favorite cardio workout for 6 months, I recently introduced a friend to kickboxing and she loves it. However, she admitted to me at brunch this week that her biggest concern is that of being a newbie and not being good at it. She said she’s been trying to spread the “burden” of training with her around the group so nobody is stuck with her very often.
My heart goes out to her because I know the feeling well. I felt the same way when I tried jiu jitsu, and still sometimes feel the same in kickboxing. When a quick search on the internet highlights the best of the best in every endeavor under the sun, it’s sometimes hard to be an awkward adult beginner in modern society.
Fortunately, at McHugh’s BJJ Academy, adult beginners are embraced and encouraged. Our kickboxing sessions are group classes with a Coach or the Professor teaching and guiding. But we also rely on each other to learn. After doing warmup drills. we partner-train. Everyone is inevitably at a different level of experience and ability. Eventually, we all work with someone at a different level than our own, with the more experienced teammates helping the newer members. And that’s the beauty of it!
First, I told her that no one is born a master of anything. Every single person on the mat started as a beginner somewhere along the line. Second, the more time you spend on the mat (#BOM or #BeOntheMat) training, the better you’ll be. You’ll get more lessons, train with more people, and learn faster.
Third, our jiu jitsu/kickboxing school is also a community. Although we improve as individuals, the school community improves at the same time. The better each of us becomes, the better partners we become to everyone else. It’s to our advantage to help newer members get better, because we then have better partners to train with. And we all improve by training with more teammates. It’s a great uplifting cycle!
Bottom line – it’s fun to mix it up and it becomes a win-win for everyone. If you’re concerned about being a beginner, find a place that encourages newbies, show up, train hard, learn, improve, and help your teammates do the same! It may take awhile but you’ll improve, your teammates will improve, and your school/community will improve.