Woo Hoo! I did it and I loved it! I am also a smelly mess.
I have written about AKA many times, Cooper has been training there for a few years with Jerome Turcan. I have always wanted to but didn't want to infringe on Coop's territory. AKA is known as the best kickboxing academy in the entire United States, really.
A couple weeks ago I was shopping at the store next to American Kickboxing Academy when the side door flew open and Jerome was standing there waiving and shouting Kristy Kristy! I walked over and he gave me a big sweaty hug. I told him I was boxing with my trainer and loved it. He said "Come box with me! I will teach you how to kickbox!".
Two weeks later I am here at AKA on a Saturday at 10:00 am with my gloves.
Jerome's class is called High Energy Kickboxing and it is everything plus that. I arrived and Jerome stood there with his arms out "I don't believe it! You are here!" "Yes I am!" The young woman at the desk had me fill out the release and went to take my fee. Jerome told her "NO! She is trying it out!"
The place is sparse, one ring, many hanging heavy bags, pads all over the floor and a small weight room area. I immediately started talking to the only other woman there and asked if she had been taking the class long. No, she just started. But she said "I started kickboxing 11 years ago...and quit 10 years ago. My name is Cheddar- like the cheese"
I liked her immediately. She explained that her husband is actually one of the founders of AKA and an instructor, Andy Fong. I think I am sticking with Cheddar for the morning.
Cooper told me the drill so I knew a bit about what to expect. The first half hour would be conditioning, then the second would be technique with a partner.
We started jogging indoors around the facility. There were about 15 males and me and Cheddar. I followed her and just copied what she did after Jerome barked out the commands. First we were to stop and do one push up, jog then do one jump, knees to the chest, jog and do one burbee, jog and do one squat, jog and start over. But the next time around was two of everything. Then three, then four, then five, all the way to ten of each.
55 high knee jumps
I was starting to wish I hadn't lifted weights for an hour and half at 5:00 a.m. Cheddar told me the key to this class was to "pace yourself". Yes indeed.
So we had been in class for about 15 minutes. Crap
Next we jogged to the center of the facility and he called out commands, jumping jacks, kicks, leg blocks, cross with the right, jabs with the left, both hands, hooks, it went on for a long time. Then more jogging, but we would stop half way and do table crawls across the room, jog and frog jumps, jog and squat walks, jog and butterfly's (those were kinda gross, by then almost the entire area was wet with sweat and I had to hop/jump on my belly), jog then back crawls (moving along the mat with your shoulder blades, pulling yourself through the sweat).
Back to the center and we did mountain climbers and all sorts of crunches, frog leg crunch, side crunch on the left, side crunch on the right, feet up in the air...100 of each. Jerome kept right up with us.
30 minutes done and I was dripping.
Jerome told me to get my gloves and wait for him. Everyone else paired up and he gave them combinations to practice. He took me aside and for the next half hour instructed me on the proper basic moves. He would tell me how to hold my body and jab with my left, then leave me to practice. If I stopped as he was watching he others the shouted for me to continue. Then I learned the cross. Upper cut. Jab. Move like a dancer, I am too stiff.
Protect my face, always keep the gloves up by the cheeks.
He then showed me a combination to practice. Jab, cross, upper cut, upper cut, hook, hook. Then another jab, cross, hook, upper cut, upper cut, hook. And another. Keep practicing. Jerome was laughing and he told me that I wouldn't even have to diet for my next competition now, I will be lean and ripped year round!
30 minutes alter I was done. Jerome gave me a big hug and asked if I was staying for the second class.
He asked if I was coming back next week.
I talked to the woman again about what I needed. She said "You are ripped!". "Yeah, I can lift some heavy weights, but this was tough, really, really tough". I walked out on air, I loved it. I treated myself to an entire banana. I haven't had one since October 2.
I got home and Cooper wanted to know what I thought. I told him I loved it and I needed equipment, he said he would go help me get the right stuff. We got out of the car and I said "could I be sore already? It's only been 4 hours". And he looks at me, the way only a 17 year old can do and says "yep" with a smirk on his face. "wait till later". I got wraps, mouth guard, and shin guards.
Here is Cooper with me in the kitchen showing me how to wrap my hands, oh I think this will take me a while to master.
Did it! David asked him if he would get up early next Saturday to wrap them for me. I think I will learn, it might take a while but I can do it. I can do anything.
If you are interested in seeing Jerome in action, take a look at this video, even if you only look for the first couple minutes. He is impressive, and frightening. Thank goodness he is on my side.
(Email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view this video).