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Date added: 03 January 2007

Martial Arts - a SwindonWeb Adventure 

Fighting fit!
with SwindonWeb's Miss Puny, Kirsty Heber-Smith

In the latest in our series of ways to get fit in 2007, we've swapped the relatively calm surroundings of the gym and the yoga mat for something slightly more 'in your face'!

An experience I have to say left me feeling the same warm glow of intense satisfaction I last had after getting back at my older brother in 1994 for ruining my birthday party. Remember that one, Karl?

After coming out of this class I really felt I could kick ass!

With intense thoughts of black belts, butch alpha-females and 'wax on, wax off!', I entered the world of Success Martial Arts and their ladies-only fitness class.

An idea that had been sold to me by my very persuasive boss here at SwindonWeb towers.

"You'll be fine," he reassured me, "just turn up and give it a go!".
"What is the worst that can happen?"

A question I refused to answer.

But after opening the door at Success MA's new exercise studio in Stratton-St-Margaret I immediately knew that whatever my pre-conceptions were, they were totally wide of the mark.

Apart from a spot of macho posturing from the two Success MA instructors at the start of the sesssion, where each took it it turns to punch clean through a piece of plastic board, I felt completely at ease with surroundings and all the others taking the class with me.

Without out a karate suit in site, I soon realised I was just another 'ordinary' woman amongst other 'ordinary' women all making an effort to get fit - and learn a little bit of self-defence in the process.

And boy, did I enjoy it!

To thumping music (literally!), our instructor, David, set a high tempo throughout and, after a brief warm-up, got us all releasing our inner Tomb Raider in relentless style.

Angelina Jolie I am most definitely not, but I certainly know how she felt playing a female super-hero as I punched and kicked my way through the hour-long class.

Sixty minutes that I can honestly say was some of the most rewarding and motivating I've ever spent.

The fact that I've know learned how to punch properly is a skill, though, that I don't think (hopefully) I'll ever need to use again.

Except perhaps at family birthday parties. Hey, bruv, you have been warned!
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