When my husband first mentioned Thai Kick boxing lessons for our two young sons awhile back, I gave him the look of death. “Over my dead body”, I countered. There was no way in hell that I would let my two young boys be subjected to what I could only imagine would be violent physical abuse. Frightening visions of Jean-Claude Van Damm from his 1989 cult movie “Kickboxer“, bloody, shirtless and flying furiously across the room delivering “death blows’ to his opponents flashed through my mind.
Thai Kickboxing or Muay Thai is an ancient Thai martial arts dating back over 1000 years. Muay Thai has been practiced for centuries to build strength, endurance, self confidence and discipline. It’s also Thailand‘s national sport. Did I mention that a one hour class can burn up to anywhere from 600 to as high as 900 calories per hour!
A few months later, my husband brought it up again. “What are you crazy?” I snapped. “Why would you want to do that to our kids? What’s wrong with soccer or little league? Why Muay Thai?” I continued.
“But Jean-Luc (not his real name) and Colette (not her real name) take their son and they swear by it.” protested my husband. “They say it will great for our boys concentration, focus, discipline, etc”
“Nope” I replied definitively. “Not gonna happen”
Well looks like 3 X is a charm because the 3rd time that he asked me again this year, I reluctantly acquiesced. It was only after many convincing assurances from my french friend Colette, that ” “zee keeedz will not beeee urt” and that “zey will luvvve eeeet.” did I let my husband to take our 2 boys to the Muay Thai lessons.
We negotiated a deal. If he agreed to take the boys to and from the classes himself, twice a week, then they could go. He had to assure me that I would have no involvement with that gym and that I would not have to sit there and witness my babies be pummeled.
When they all came home after the first lesson, I quickly flew over to my kids examining them head to toe for cuts, bruises, scratches or blood. “How was it?” I asked nervously.
“Great!” they both replied in unison.
“What do you mean, Great? Did they kick you? Did they hit you? Did they beat you up?” I quizzed them intensely, glowering at my husband for subjecting my babies to this possible physical harm.
“No, mom” said my oldest son with a roll of his 8-year-old tween eyes. “It was really FUN. We don’t actually hit each other. We use pads and gloves and just practice the moves.”
Ding: Round 1 goes to Thai Kickboxing.
The following weeks I asked the same questions and got the same responses. They came home happy, enthusiastic, and excited to show me there newly taught moves.
Finally after a month of lessons, my boys whined to me “Mom. Why don’t you ever come to watch us? Why is it always Dad?”
Alas, what to do when your two little angels guilt you into watching them do their dance of death.
Ding: Round 2 goes to Thai Kickboxing
I reluctantly agreed to take them to their Junior Muay Thai classes at the Five Points Academy. This unassuming, intimate, well equipped and spotlessly clean full-service gym located on the corner of Canal and Broadway was such a pleasant surprise. The Five Points Academy offers Junior Muay Thai classes for kids a couple of times of week but the main event is clearly for the adults. The staff is friendly, welcoming and attentive. The atmosphere is unlike the typical gym you find in NYC. There was no loud music blasting. There were no scantily clad posers. There was nary a fake tan, obvious plastic surgery, attention grabbing leotards or vulgar thongs you so often see at the more “glamorous gyms.” What I saw were small classes trained by professional, attentive and skilled coaches. What I also saw were serious-minded members who appreciated this type of “old school” atmosphere and them working their a**es off.
Fast forward 6 months. After succumbing to schlepping my boys weekly to Junior Muay Thai classes and watching the adults take a different class simultaneously (read my post, Kettlebell Kicked My A**), I decided that I would give it the old college try and try a Muay Thai class myself.
Now, I have taken my fair share of classes at various gyms in the past. I’ve tried Yoga (kept falling asleep during class), Pilates (not flexible enough) and various cardio classes (did I mention that I am also not very coordinated? I kept mixing up the combinations and banging into everybody), but nothing prepared me for Muay Thai. The entire 50 minute class were repetitions of prompted jabs, punches, upper cuts, hooks, front kicks, back kicks, roundhouse kicks and various combinations of the above, to your well protected and fully padded opponent. I have never worked out so hard, sweated so much and had as much fun in an exercise class in my entire life. I immediately signed up for a years membership.
Ding Ding Ding: Round 3 – Winner and Champion Muay Thai!
***If you are interested in getting a Kick A** workout in a non-threatening low-key atmosphere, I highly recommend checking out Five Points Academy. Tell them I sent you and they will give you your first trial class for free. Take it. You will be hooked like me. Check out their site at: http://www.academyfivepoints.com.
Chow for now!