Why Blue Titan
I have been a student at Blue Titan for a little over 3 years. Kind of surprising considering I went there to check out this thing called Krav Maga. It was a crisp October Monday. I met the owner, Eric and his wife Amanda (two of the nicest people you could possibly imagine), signed the waiver, took a tour and got the low down on some basic mat etiquette. I think there were 4 people in that first class. Eric would be teaching.
We did a ballistic warm up, played shoulder touches and proceeded to go through some basics: stance, movement, and how to throw a punch. Then we punched things, and did some drills. We also did some palm heal strikes and some more drills. Class finished with a self defense lesson and another drill. I was decent shape when I started but I was definitely carrying a few to many pounds. By the end, I was wiped out and I loved it.
Did I know I’d love it for 3 years and add Crossfit and grappling classes? No. So what has kept me coming back? It’s fun. I learn something. The people.
I loved playing football in high school. I wasn’t anything special, there was no division scholarship in my future. I loved the contact, the camaraderie, and the competition. When I do Krav Maga I get to punch and kick things, hard. I get to tackle people and people get to tackle me. And when its over we pat each other on the back and say “thanks” or “good work”. When I take Crossfit, I’m jumping, pushing, pulling, pressing, running, climbing. Its always different and fun, and that’s just what I need to keep me coming back.
I learn something every time I take a class. I would put the learning in two categories, techniques and self. We learn techniques in both class. In Crossfit we learn things like olympic lifts, dynamic stretches, and how to do handstands. In Krav we learn how to move, punch, defend and how to get out chokes and bear hugs, trying to create muscle memory in case you ever need to defend yourself. In grappling we learn takedowns and submissions and how to get home safe when the fight goes to the ground.
I also learn something about myself, each class is a test to get better at something, or to add more weight or do reps often when I’m tired or struggling to complete a workout. It is also an opportunity to over come my fear of being upside down, or of being attacked. I learn to push myself to do better than I did last class.
A few years ago I heard an NPR piece about the decline in the number of people who frequent bars regularly. The point of the story, as I remember it, was to show that fewer people in the community are coming together in informal settings to discuss their world then those in previous generations did and how that was helping create the divide we see in America today.
Over the course of three years I have seen people come and go at Blue Titan but in that time I have become what you might call a regular. This has led me to become friends with people who I probably wouldn’t even meet in my daily life, secluded up here in Sparta N.J. and in my current position as a stay at home dad. I don’t get out much.
The people who train at Blue Titan come from all walks of life, engage in a variety of hobbies, hold a wide range of jobs and have various political opinions. Now I’m a pretty liberal guy and one of my first and longest Blue Titan friends is a Republican corrections officer. We would discuss elections, candidates and current events, informing each other of our perspective.
In my time there I have met many who share my political views and many who don’t. The one thing that brings us together is our desire to work hard, become physically fit, live a healthier life and go home safe. By doing it together we are bridging gaps, making life long relationships and gaining a better understanding of our world.
My wife wonders why I drive an hour round trip to punish my body. She often asks, “how long will this go on?” I tell her, “I don’t know. I really like it there, its fun, and I’m learning things and I get to hangout with great people and expand my horizons.”
So if you are interested in getting fit, staying safe and helping bridge the gaps that divide us, let me know and I’ll meet you for a class at Blue Titan.