Morning, all! Today I'm happy to welcome my friend and author L.G. Kelso on a stop of her blog tour for FIERCE! Be sure to pick up her book, which is .99 cents right now, but also be sure to enter her giveaway! Take it away, L.G...
Hello! Our wonderful host Jaycee has asked me to share how I got into MMA and why I like it. MMA is mixed martial arts, and incorporates various martial arts such as kickboxing and no-Gi grappling. When I talk about MMA in this post, just assume I'm using it as an umbrella term for not only MMA but also each discipline in MMA (boxing, kickboxing, BJJ etc).
What got me into MMA?
The short answer is that I walked into a cardio kickboxing class offered at a gym I was going to, and fell in love with boxing. It wasn't any kind of martial arts gym, but they offered different types of classes throughout the week and one of them was cardio kickboxing.
I had always wanted to try some kind of martial arts, (I was obsessed with Xena and Hercules as a kid, and my brother and I used to play Power Rangers for hours beating each other up), and I had wanted to try boxing for a while.
I owe it to that class, really. This class was something special. I've tried other cardio boxing classes since then, and I feel confident to say that had one of those been my first exposure to boxing and MMA, I'm not sure I would have pursued it. Those classes are great for cardio, but there is very little of anything else, not much technique, not much instruction, just a lot of "hit the bag" sort of attitude (in my experience). And that's great for exercise--seriously, those cardio classes kick some cardio butt! However, that wasn't what I wanted and that isn't the aspect of boxing and martial arts with which I fell in love.
Sure, I love the cardio and the exercise, but I fell in love with the technique, the way you move, the strategizing, the logic, the creativity, and the philosophy of it. That’s what that class exposed me to. I was lucky that the class I walked into that day was taught by a pro who not only knew what he was doing, but who also wanted to teach boxing and incorporate his MMA background. Yes, technically the class was a cardio class and there were limitations in what we could do in the class because of liability, location etc, but it was so much more than that. I got the technique education there that I get at an actual fighting gym, and the more invested I got (I incorporated the class into my schedule religiously), the more my coach taught me.
I eventually moved on to an actual fight gym and traditional dojo, and have expanded to other combat sports as well. Finding a gym was tough. It's almost like dating. Certain gyms click with you and others don’t. Most gyms have something positive to offer and often it's just a matter of "the right fit", but sometimes you also find gyms that aren't good gyms.
Why do I like MMA?
Fierce touches on some of the reasons, and the next novel will as well, so I won't get into major details here. But overall, here is why I love the sport:
It impacts you on so many different levels. It's physically and mentally stimulating. Seriously, you actually have to think. I know that's a shocker and a lot of people don't understand that, but it's true. For me, I have to be in my head and out of my head at the same time. There's strategizing involved, and intellect. I love putting the pieces together, and finding that combination that flows, or learning that technique that pushes me out of my comfort zone both physically and mentally. It's logical and incorporates science (think physics and physiology), and yet, it also offers opportunity to get creative. I tend to be pretty logical and methodical in my thinking, and it provides a fun platform for that thought process. You have to think ahead but you also have to make decisions in a heartbeat. You have to work hard. There's a certain honesty you get from other people, and yourself, and the relationships you make with your gymmates and coaches are pretty different than other relationships. You are your biggest challenge. I don't care who your opponent is, you are what is in your way. It helps keep my daily anxiety away and makes me happy. And, lastly but not least, let's not forget the adrenaline. There is a type of adrenaline that accompanies it that is its own entity, and so different than other adrenaline reactions.
Now, I want to hear from you! What do you like to do? What is it that keeps you doing it?
Thanks so much for having me, Jaycee!
Fierce by L.G. Kelso
Tori’s MMA career was taking off, until she beat the wrong man. Her training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence.Three years later, Tori’s keeping her fists to herself as she struggles to put herself through college. But when a group of gangbangers hassle her at work, old habits kick in and her fists fly. Max Estrada, a frequent diner customer, steps in and gets them out of hot water, but Tori is still fired… days before tuition is due.
With no other option, she’s forced to take a desk job at her old pounding grounds, where her demons still haunt the cage and the temptation to go glove-to-glove with familiar pro-fighter, Max Estrada, is too much. The sexy Colombian draws her back into the world of MMA and revives her dreams of becoming a professional face-puncher—until Will, her old partner and current Middleweight Champion, struts back into the gym. The secret they share is an unexpected liability to his career, and he’s determined to keep her silent.
With her life on the ropes, Tori will have to face the past for a shot at winning back her future, or carry the weight of a loss even greater than before.
About the Author:
L.G. Kelso is a fantasy and contemporary novelist. Having grown up watching Xena and Hercules with her grandmother, she inherited her passion for all things magic, paranormal and mythological. She also has a probably unhealthy obsession with martial arts, and as a boxer she strives to give readers an authentic view of MMA in her contemporary sports novel.