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Why settle for Tae Bo?
Member Name: opinionated
Date: 03/03/01, updated on 06/05/01 (1226 review reads)
Advantages: A fun new twist on a work out class.
Disadvantages: If you like the idea of throwing a few punches or a martial arts type work-out a true martial arts club could offer so much more.
Tae Bo is the latest trend of exercise classes to run through the gyms. A cross between martial art and aerobics, it's popular and lots of women seem to be really enjoying getting a bit of aggression into their workout - throwing a few punches and kicks at their imaginary manager or cheating ex. I think that's great. But, I can't help wondering why all those people who enjoy a bit of martial arts in their workout don't go a step further and find out what a martial arts club has to offer.
I suppose the people racking up the blows on their invisible tormenters in the Tae Bo class consist of a mixture of hard-core gym bunnies and the on-again-off-again-I'd-really-like-to-get-fit- but-I-don't-always-stick-wit h-it mob. For gym bunnies going to the gym is probably the core part of the whole experience. It’s their social scene, their element. If you look good in lycra, have made close friends (plural) at the gym and you spend more time there than in the pub you’ve found something that works for you. Stick at it. However, I would like to encourage those people who are trying to convince themselves to get fit quite like Tae Bo (or any other martial arts crossed with aerobics exercise class) to think about considering a move from play martial arts at the gym to a real martial art at a dojo.
The great thing about Tae Bo is that it’s accessible and you don't have to commit to it. Signing up at the gym is almost a knee-jerk reaction to a January 1 hangover. It is also the first thing many people think of when they climb up a hill and find themselves out of breath or try on a favourite dress to find it shows more bulges than curves. Gyms might cost a lot but a friendly person greets you and convinces that you’ll be placing yourself into their well-toned care. The leap into going to a Tae Bo class isn’t that great since it’s a variant of an aerobics class - something some of us have been drifting in
and out of since the days of leg-warmers. Tae Bo seems new, novel, a lot of fun and a new fad should come along just as it’s starting to bore you.
The other way to do Tae Bo is to buy a video and do it at home. I had a look through the DooYoo opinions on this. People liked it because there was a basic section on how to do the punches, it was fun, ‘I’ve a secret yearning to have a go at Kick Boxing’ and because the instructor is cute.
So why would I suggest leaving the comfort zone of Tae Bo to venture out into a room of mostly men in white suits with strange rituals? I guess because I believe that a lot of the reason people like Tae Bo is that they do fancy the idea of a martial art but are not confident to have a go as they don’t know how to go about getting started. Well, if you do fall into that category then really give some thought to trying martial arts. It might seem daunting but people at martial arts clubs want you to join. They love their club and they want you to love it. I haven’t met an instructor yet who won’t go out of his way to make you feel at home. If you don’t feel at home pick another club. Take a look through the opinions on martial arts for hints. Give it a go!
Martial arts clubs are a great way to make friends, develop confidence, challenge yourself, and maybe even get you out of trouble. Your chances of making friends through a martial arts club are good because of the trust it requires to train with someone and the team spirit. For those of you think the cute Tae Bo instructor is an incentive – martial arts are a male dominated sport – work it out.
Because you’re always learning you hardly notice that you’re burning calories and toning up. Losing weight becomes a side-effect rather than the whole point of it. I think that’s a healthier and more sustainable approach. Just as with Tae Bo you have that great post-workout feelin
g, and a chance to beat out your aggression but you’re also building up your techniques. You get a great sense of achievement from making yourself able to do things you couldn’t before. I was dead scared the first time I was told to dive head first over a mattress at chest height and roll to my feet afterwards. But I felt amazing after I’d done it!
I still don’t know if I could protect myself if attacked and I don’t know that that’s the right reason to do a martial art. But, about a year after doing that break fall over the mattress I was hit by a car – twice. I went onto his bonnet, flew forward when he braked and just rolled onto my feet in time to be hit again and carried along on his bumper before he finished breaking and I flew through the air - again. I flew a total of 7 metres and stretched a ligament in my knee. I often wonder if I would have come off that lightly without my ju-jitsu training. Beat that Tae Bo!
(*sorry about omitting blokes in most of this but I have tried to focus on women because in general Tae Bo classes are full of women and martial arts classes are full of men and I think that’s a shame.)