This is an article I wrote for John Wai Martial Arts in September 2019 about my martial arts journey. Check out their blog here!
For most of 2018, I was unemployed (or, what I like to call on “corporate hiatus”), and super LOST. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t have a job, it was mostly because I felt like nothing out there seemed to speak to me. I didn’t want to waste precious time somewhere I wasn’t going to love. I didn’t know EXACTLY what I wanted to do, but I told myself I wouldn’t settle for something just because I felt the need to seem like I was doing life “right.”
September of 2018 I started my first FIGHT CAMP at John Wai Martial Arts- 8 weeks of intense training like a fighter. I had loads of time to commit to a program and I decided to dive right in. Before Fight Camp, I did a few days throughout the week of Kickboxing and Kung Fu, but never set foot in a Muay Thai or Sanshou class. Still feeling new to the martial arts scene, Muay Thai and even Jiu Jitsu just seemed intimidating and I didn’t think either was for me.
Without anything to lose, I threw everything I had into the camp. I ate extremely well, worked out twice a day, ran a LOT, and noticed that I actually really enjoyed the challenge. My coach, Tamer, told me to get my butt to the striking classes and get over my fear!! Well, I bought a mouthpiece, some shin guards and now I don’t know what I was waiting for! I have seen so much improvement just from attending everything John Wai Martial Arts has to offer.
I still get some members that approach me after class and want to know how long I’ve been training for. What they see is the Aziza post-fight camp. The one who is up and off the floor in Kickboxing and hitting the bag with some purpose! They see me go from one class to the next (and sometimes the next), and I say it’s been only a year since I decided to take my fitness up a level. I enjoy talking to members about their own journeys, and I like to remind people that everyone has a first day. I definitely am not the same fighter I was when I started to first train at JWMA back in January of 2018.
Since Fight Camp, I have had many challenges to face and I’ve made a lot of adjustments and lifestyle changes. Making changes to your life won’t come without a little blood, sweat, and actually a whole lot of tears. In one year from Fight Camp Season 2, I found a company I was willing to work for, made new connections and friends, trained for a REAL fight and a few other little things along the way. I am always searching for what’s next…
One year later, I decided the next step was kick it up a notch and prepare for my next challenge: Camp OVERDRIVE! Couldn’t think of a better way to push myself again. Find something that challenges you and keep going!!
4 thoughts on “Finding the Fighter Within”
That was a great read, and as someone who’d done something similar, I have to say that those were some of the most peaceful times (especially in my mind), despite the tough regime. Wishing you all the best!
Thank you so much Stuart! For sure, looking back I am grateful for all of the experiences i had that year and in the end, it did bring about a certain peace in my life. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! Stay well and safe