* Contributed by Coach Rocky Skrelja
We often hear about martial arts being a great way to cultivate yourself and strengthen your character. We also separate Boxing from martial arts because it is a sport, however boxing is a martial art and can provide the same character building aspects as traditional martial arts. The art of boxing is a very difficult art to learn. However, with dedication and discipline anyone can learn how to box.
Developing the ability to commit to a difficult task and see it through is the first step to building a strong character. The confidence which comes from practicing Boxing is unparalleled. As you develop you begin to seek validation in yourself as most of your journey is within yourself. Your coach can only push you so far. They can let you know of your improvements, but it is all up to your commitment and hard work. There is no belt system in boxing and this leaves the sense of accomplishment up to the practitioner, themselves. It’s up to you to self-reflect, self-evaluate and make corrections as you progress. This builds a strong self esteem. You don’t need anyone to tell you how good you are because you’ve discovered yourself through your own journey.
I’d like for you to reflect on this quote from the ancient Stoic Epictetus:
“What would have become of Hercules, do you think, if there had been no lion, hydra, stag or boar – and no savage criminals to rid the world of? What would he have done in the absence of such challenges? Obviously he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep. So by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort he never would have developed into the mighty Hercules.“
See you on the mats!
Clay is a 9 year old gray belt with three stripes. Having been training BJJ at EGA for just shy of two years, he has grown and learned so much in both technique and character. According to Clay, his favorite part about coming to class is, “I get to learn new things every day while training to be a warrior and as Coach Mike says, ‘The world needs more tough people.’” At first takedowns were difficult but, “After I have kept training at EGA and doing competitions, I am learning to trust my takedowns and just go for the move!” What’s his favorite move? Clay says, “The bent arm bar (is my favorite), because normally when I take my opponent down, I try to get on top, and then when they push up on me with bent arms I can do the submission.” Coach Mike says, “Wow! Where do I start with Clay?! This boy is an inspiration to his peers and many of the adult students. As a student on the mats, Clay is all business! He’s fully engaged, focused, and ready to learn. His development over the last two years has been a steady incline of progress, chipping away at his development one class at a time. Off the mats Clay can be seen in the workout area (with his protein shake close by) getting a pump while his Dad takes the adult class. We’re super proud of this tough young man! Keep up the great work, Clay!” If Clay isn’t training BJJ you can rest assured he’s training something else. Between working out (weight lifting, calisthenics, running), hockey, football, boxing, baseball, soccer, playing with his Weimaraner Belle, taking care of his hermit crabs and tons of fish, snails, and frog, and collecting vintage Pokemon cards, he is always on the go. Add to the list: reading to learn, eating healthy and having lots of protein! Clay wants to encourage everyone to, “Train Hard, Train Smart! And don’t forget to take your scoop of creatine every day!”
Ari is brand new to jiu jitsu and EGA! Having just started a few months ago, Ari is proudly sporting a stripe on his white belt. At age 6 (and ¾!) Ari enjoys other sports and hobbies such as soccer, swimming, wrestling, and Lego. Ari said his favorite move to work on is the shrimp and he really loves playing crowd favorites, “Shoulder to Shoulder” and “Who Let the Dogs Out.” While starting something new can be difficult at first, things eventually start to become a little easier. Coach Nico says, “Ari has grown exponentially since he has started jiu jitsu. Always showing up to class ready to learn, he asks such intelligent questions in order to better understand. When something clicks, not only is it evident, it sticks with him. He’s going to be a great grappler one day!” We asked Ari what is something he now finds easier after practicing for a while and he said, “Crazy Horse!” (You try staying on someone’s back while they do what they can to buck you off!) Ari wants everyone to know, “I was nervous at first to try something new, but everyone was really nice and welcoming and now I love going to Jiu Jitsu!”
For kids that want a bit more…
Starting Saturday, April 8th through Saturday, May 20th, Coach Al will be offering an additional kids class each week in Fishkill at 2pm! Any skill level can attend, and instruction will be minimal. The focus of this time will be scenario-based drilling for our kids that compete or would like to do so. The goal is to offer a space for kids to explore what they are learning in classes during the week, with an emphasis on working through positions and common scenarios in which they find themselves.
Do you think we’re the BEST?
If you have yet to pop over to Best of Hudson Valley Magazine to vote EGA, you have till April 6! It would be an incredible recognition for our tribe and very helpful in sharing the word about EGA! Remember, there are multiple groups and categories to cast your vote! Look for us in KIDS & FITNESS!
Join us in congratulating Matt Montleon, Leo Sousa, Ashley D’Aversa, Gabbi Bruno, and Ricky Kolmel for their recent performances at the IBJJF Pan Championship in Orlando! Their hard work, determination, persistence, and consistent growth are something of which we can all take note. Thank you to all their training partners! It really takes a solid team of all levels to sharpen one for competition.
Are you thinking about competing? As always, hit up your or your kids coaches! There are many opportunities to compete in the surrounding area. For a listing of some upcoming opportunities, check out THIS LIST.
Beacon Chess Club
Did you know that the Beacon Chess Club meets weekly HERE at EGA? All ages and levels are welcome to join Sundays from 7pm – 10pm. If you have any questions, contact [email protected] or find them on IG @beaconchessclub.
More on the Blog!
Don’t forget to periodically check out our BLOG! You’ll find a mix of posts from technique breakdowns, things to work on off the mats to enhance your bjj or striking game, book reviews, match recaps, and more! If you have an idea you’d like to feature, please send a note to [email protected].
This post features Joe Pomarico breaking down a fantastic sequence drill that will challenge your brain and prepare you to smoothly transition leg entanglements. You will be ready to counter any defense your opponent poses to your leg attacks.
Director of West Point’s Performance Psychology Program, Dr. Nate Zinsser, authored The Confident Mind: A Battle-Tested Guide to Unshakeable Performance. This book shares the secrets of using mental toughness and self-belief to master confidence, the key to performance in any field. In a series of posts (currently on part 2), Matt Smith will be reviewing the book and sharing insights on how to apply these ideas to enhance your training.