This week marks my second kickboxing session of the year. What an experience! This has probably been one of the most challenging aspects of my CAS experience as a whole that it seems interesting to be facing it so close to exams and TOK finals and whatnot.
Given that I am still fresh to the activity, I will be taking this time to kind of explain or reflect on my initial reactions in regards to my three learning outcomes.
1. Increased awareness of your strengths and areas for growth
Initially, what I’ve become aware of are the two levels of strengths/areas for growth that are involved in kickboxing, or at least my personal fitness experience. The first is physical fitness while the other is a sort of mental strength and capacity for fitness.
In terms of the actual kickboxing, I have identified kicking and kneeing as two areas which I hope to focus on in the following sessions. I think that I have relatively strong punches and that my positioning for punches is quite good for a beginner but what I am really struggling with is leg work. I hurt my leg the other day which is going to teach me to persevere.
As I mentioned, I think that one of my biggest problems with fitness is kind of underestimating myself and not feeling that I am prepared. This is something that I will definitely need to focus on and what I appreciate about these trainings is that we are a small group to encourage and support each other.
2. Undertaking new challenges
As I have mentioned many times, this is my first time ever kickboxing! As I reflect, however, I am also realizing that this will be my first time engaging in a non-team activity or a small-sized training-focused activity. While I participated in competitive swimming when I was younger which required a great deal of training, the larger size of the group was much less intimidating as I did not feel I needed to focus on myself so much as I was not being focused on per say. With kickboxing, a new challenge that I am facing aside from the hard work itself is being in an environment as personal as this. I think that this will be a great experience in this sense because in university I doubt that I will be engaging in volleyball or any team sports so I will need to conduct a similar exercise regimen to ensure my fitness stays a priority.
3. Develop new skills
I think that what I’ve mentioned previously regarding “undertaking new challenges” resonates strongly with the idea of “developing new skills” for a number of reasons. Each of the challenges mentioned in some way requires new skills to be developed which I should hope to achieve.
On a superficial level, I will be developing kickboxing skills such as punching, kicking, kneeing, and increased cardiovascular endurance. On the other hand however, I am improving my skills when it comes to fitness and exercise in terms of understanding my body and how much exercise it can handle and how to approach this exercise. This skill is perhaps the most valuable as it will teach me what my body requires in terms of food and water and even energy levels for a good and efficient training program.
On another note, it was very interesting when the instructor mentioned what we were doing in a practical setting last week because that had not even occurred to me. I suppose another great benefit of this activity could be the development of self-defense skills!
To finish things off, I’ve attached a lovely photo below of me drenched in sweat after a great kickboxing session – complete with the fierce facial expression!