I’d never been interested in joining a gym.
Perhaps it’s my perception of gyms being cold and impersonal, decorated with bulky machines that involve solitary activity. Treadmills. Stationary bikes. Weight machines. Meh. None of that appeals to me. Plus the fact that most gyms seem so commercialised. That’s a major turn-off for me. I have no doubt they work for some, and that’s great, but they’re just not my cup of tea.
If you had told me a year ago that within the next 12 months, I would find myself fully committed to attending 5 classes a week at a martial arts gym, I would have raised a quizzical eyebrow at you in disbelief.
But as they say, never say never.
I was looking for something different to try out. Something fun and cool. And like most women who are constantly bombarded with photoshopped images of perfectly sculpted female bodies in the media, I desperately wanted to lose weight!
Little did I know that the moment I stepped onto the mats for my free intro class to the CMD Programme in May 2013, I would end up wanting more. And more. And more. Mind you, I remember quite distinctly that halfway through the intro class, I had to sit down for a few minutes to calm my growing queasiness. It was a very gentle class by their usual standards, but I was so out of shape that just 15 minutes of mild cardio activity was enough to make my head spin.
Fast forward 9 months, and I find myself spending, on average, between 7 to 9 hours at the gym every week. I’m still not as fit as I’d like to be, but I’ve definitely come a long way since that first intro class.
So what’s so compelling about CMD that keeps me going back for more?
Besides the fact that CMD’s boxing, BJJ and FizFit programmes are lots of fun, these high energy workouts keep the adrenaline junkie in me craving for more. Yes, I like my adrenaline. Can’t get enough of it!
I get a real kick out of challenging myself physically and mentally, and CMD provides all that, and more. Not having done any physical contact sports before this, I found it all rather unnerving in the beginning. But I figured, if I was going to pay money to get in shape, I might as well learn something practical and useful at the same time. A self-defense programme made a lot of sense to me, as a woman.
That said, the real differentiating factor for CMD, I feel, lies in the fact that they apply an ego-free principle that’s mirrored by the whole CMD crew and the members who train there.
Regardless of seniority, on the CMD mats, humility and respect comes first.
CMD is so much more than a gym.
It’s akin to a social club that draws like-minded individuals who share common values on and off the mats. It’s a place where genuine friendships are developed over time. And it’s a joy to train there with their professional yet down-to-earth instructors. CMD feels like a second home to me these days. And that’s mainly because of the atmosphere of camaraderie and inclusiveness with a mutual respect for the CMD values.
If it’s a mere matter of looking to learn martial arts or to get fit, there are a myriad of alternatives out there. But finding the right place with the right values, people and environment to train in…. Well, that’s a different matter altogether. For me, the people behind any brand, company, or institution make it what it is.
Vibe attracts vibe. What feels right will stick.
I highly recommend it for those looking for balance in their lives. Mentally, physically, spiritually. Even more so if you’re a small Asian woman! What could be cooler than learning how to defend yourself in a hostile situation, and doing so in a safe and friendly environment?
Ms. Lindy Siu