The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Martial arts: A disciplined approach to fitness

Fabian Ruiz
Straight Blast gym’s competition team

Whether you go to a conventional gym and are looking for something new or wanting to learn self defense while also getting in shape, a martial arts gym might just be what you’re looking for.

Martial arts are forms of practicing traditional combat such as boxing, kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu and Taekwondo.

Martial arts gyms can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Some train to learn self defense, while others train to be more mentally and physically disciplined. Some train to grow spiritually as well.

As martial arts have started to become more popular, Central Oregon has their fair share of new martial arts gyms opening up.

Coach Brian Heenan Coaching a youth Jiu Jitsu class (Fabian Ruiz)

“It’s just fun to get to learn something and be part of something bigger than yourself,” said Welsey Yoder, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu practitioner, regarding the sense of community that comes from being in a martial arts gym.

Yoder continued; “the community is really the number one thing, just having people to chat with.”

Yoder wasn’t the only martial art practitioner who mentioned the sense of community being greater at a gym.

Community has been something martial arts practitioners weren’t necessarily looking for but something most find in these martial arts gyms.

Adrian Bergh-Hernandez, martial arts practitioner stated that being in a discipline such as Jiu Jitsu has helped him be calmer in aggravating situations.

“[I have learned] not to give up, there’s always another way,” said Bergh-Hernandez, on what Jiu Jitsu has taught him.

“I think if you spend time in such a vulnerable space with people, it’s hard to not build those friendships with people,” said Natalie Donato, wrestling and Jiu Jitsu practitioner.

Donato also mentioned that joining a martial arts gym has helped her get out of her bubble. “I’m more comfortable being uncomfortable.,” she said.

Central Oregon Community College student Joey Chadwick mentioned more reasons on how joining a martial arts gym has benefitted him in his everyday life.

Corner of Straight Blast Gym mats displaying flags (Fabian Ruiz)

“I think it adds routine and gives confidence,” said Chadwick.

“Those are the two big ones because it gives you routine which helps you make you feel normal. Everybody has a routine and confidence in yourself and your physical abilities,” he added.

“I built more mental fortitude and thicker skin in a good way. I’m still in tune with my heart but my mind is alot stronger,” aaid Steven Sheehy, a dual enrolled student at COCC and Oregon State University-Cascades.
One of the main reasons people train is to learn to defend themselves and their loved ones. Gym goers said this was one of their reasons for joining a martial arts gym.

“Sometimes, muscles don’t equate,” aaid Rob Vargas, a Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts gym goer on the difference between a conventional gym.

The difference being a martial arts gym will teach you techniques and disciplines to be able to protect yourself. While a conventional gym is better for muscle building, strength and fitness. Both are disciplines with different fundamentals and ideals for people looking to forward their fitness journey.

“There is a reason why law enforcement trains Jiu Jitsu,” said Vargas.

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Fabian Ruiz, Editor

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