After the first class we took off to a local pub to soothe our soon-to-be aches with a cold pint or two. And maybe some protein heavy munchies… To me the after-class socialization is an important part of the class. It has nothing to do with being better fighters, or more fit…but your martial art comrades should be part of your social circle. You spend hours sweating with them, challenging them and being challenged by them. You’ll form a bond whether you want to or not.

And class is a physically and emotionally stressful thing. Especially mine. You do things you are not used to. The energy output is very high. You risk physical harm, you push your own limits and strain your brain’s comfort limits. I try to make every class a heavy learning session. You need to de-stress after that. You need a period of debriefing in a supportive environment, a place where you can come down from the high of training.

My old instructors used to say that the training hall was meant to be a seen as a battleground and as a sacred place, a place remote from the rest of the world. You couldn’t just walk out of that space without acknowledging that you were leaving it’s uniqueness behind. You had to put it away before you walked out the door, as taking that mental space with you wasn’t healthy. They always used a period of meditation to settle the mind down. I prefer to talk over pints, until the steam has cooled.