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I graduated to Yellow Belt in MMA 🥋

Quick update on one of my side-hobbies today.

Context

In 2018, I moved to Bangalore after joining SellerCrowd, a fully-remote company. While making the move, I realized and acknowledged the fact that maintaining a healthy lifestyle would be a challenge as I’ll mostly work from the comfort of my home.

Prior to this remote gig, I was with Wingify in Pune and was quite physically active during the time as:

  • Wingify had a big office that facilitated movement throughout the day.
  • There were a few football courts nearby my house so I was playing twice every week.
  • Pune’s traffic was less taxing so I spent my evenings meeting friends or go & eat in different parts of the city.

All that kept me moving and as a result, in good shape.

Football days @Pune, India – 2017-18

Now, after moving to Bangalore in 2018, I kept myself active by practicing yoga in the morning and some cycling around the neighborhood + some occasional training at the apartment’s gym.

About 6 months passed with just yoga and cycling but I still felt that I needed to get involved in some other sports/physical activities. This was mostly because I was practicing yoga nominally from my house and cycling was not quite fun because Bangalore‘s traffic isn’t a pleasure to cycle in. + I missed playing football too.

Enter MMA

One evening while making my trip to my apartment’s gym half-heartedly, I noticed that a few kids were shouting in sync in the yoga room – which is just beside the gym. I went to peek and to my surprise, there was a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) session going on full-fledgedly.

I smiled, skipped gym that day and just stood there and watched the session go by. After the session got over, I went over to the instructor and without even asking what he’s going to teach me or how much time it’ll take me to go from White to Black belt (levels), I said: “I want to enroll in this class”.

Later when I thought about it, enrolling myself in the MMA class was a no brainer. Mostly because of my fascination towards close-combat fighting scenes I used to watch while growing up. Yes, I am talking about those Jackie Chan movies and Karate documentaries on Discovery channel and I was always intrigued by seeing these actors/athletes doing amazing stunts and at the same time being capable of defending themselves in tensed situations as a result of their training.

And that’s something I think I want to learn i.e.:

  1. Having strength, flexibility, and more stamina
  2. Capability to defend myself in tensed situations

Anyway, long story short, I enrolled about a year back and have been learning and practicing the basics under White belt. Last month I had my first belt exam and I graduated to Yellow belt!! 😀

Me with my sensei after graduating to Yellow belt

FYI – The form that I am learning is called Goju-ryu which is one of the main traditional Okinawan (Japanese) styles of karate. The belt or levels starts with White (which I started with), and then people progress to Yellow (my current), followed by Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown, Red, and Black. The change of belt color denotes the hard work and discipline that a student has put into mastering the art.

Well, that’s a brief summary of belts and the art form that I am learning. I’ll keep writing about my experience in MMA as I progress further.  Till then, here’s a video of me performing a basic kata – Kata Junino.

By Sankalp Sinha

👨‍💻 Senior Product Designer | 🌐 Working remotely | 📐 Heavily organized | ✍ Writing about my experiments in Professional & Personal Life | 🙆‍♂️ All about me 👉sankalpsinha.com

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