At Func (where we train every day) there are 2 sides of fun: a functional fitness (CrossFit like) side, (this is what we do) as well as a martial arts side. We never really imagined ourselves ‘hitting the mats’ over on the Dark Carnival Martial Arts side but our constant peering and curiosity got the better of us. Not only did we want to try it for fitness but we think it’s kind of important for every girl to know how to protect herself… and well, before we tried out Dark Carnival, we can’t even imagine how we would have reacted. Squeal and run? Ha!
Mitch Langman, the owner and Head Trainer at Dark Carnival Martial Arts is a completely awesome guy. He invited us to try out Crazy Monkey, Crazy Monkey Jits, Muay Thai and Red Zone knife defence – these are all of the different kinds of martial arts you can do at Dark Carnival. Plus, Mitch offers free women’s self defence classes every Saturday which we think is so generous and just plain amazing. If you’re in Canberra, you should definitely like them on Facebook and attend the next free session! As we said before, we think every one (especially women) should know some basic self defence because (unfortunately) one day you may find yourself in a situation where this might come in handy. Plus, the confidence you build is quite amazing, even after just a couple of sessions we walked through our local bus interchange with our heads held high (yes, we find our bus interchanges scary). Anyway, back to the martial arts. Who knew there were so many types… here’s the lowdown:
Mitch told us this is known as ‘the art of eight weapons’, Muay Thai combines hand, elbow, knee and leg strikes in a fun and friendly environment to build your physical, mental and emotional strength… plus it’s really fun.
Why the name? Because you literally look like a monkey. You will learn to fight instinctively (like an animal in the wild!) as well as how to quieten your mind so that you can better manage real-life situations. You know when something horrible happens and your heart starts to race? Crazy Monkey will help you manage that so you can stay in control.
Red Zone Knife Defence
This was probably our favourite and most exciting experience we had with Dark Carnival. c may have accidentally almost really badly hurt e by squashing her head into the ground… but all in the name of research really! With Red Zone, escaping is the entire focus, not fighting back (violence is never the answer). Mitch taught us how to control the weapon bearing arm and get out quick. This session was FULL ON. Even though Mitch was pretending to attack us with a knife it was still super scary. There were a few screams and whimpers and we realised just how intense something like this in reality would be. Yes full on but this session was probably the most valuable
Monkey-Jits is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program that focuses on ground skills and self defence. Monkey Jits has a lot of floor-based work and we learnt ways to get out of very sticky situations (for example, being pinned to the ground…see below cartoon). Again, super valuable.
Yes, martial arts has the ‘attack’ side to it (as in the whole you fight in a ring and see who wins kind of thing) but then you’ve got the self defence, health and fitness and the entire way of life/thinking side to it too. Working out what makes your heart race and how you react is really important for every day life.
The BEST thing is that we felt entirely comfortable trying out this new kind of exercise. We have to admit, we were nervous and didn’t know what to expect but Mitch has created an environment where everyone is and feels welcome.
Yes give it a try, yes learn some new skills and yes build your confidence! Martial arts did that for us and only in 4 sessions… perhaps we should do more of it?!
Have you tried martial arts before? Did you love it and learn stuff? Comment below!