Father, Electrician, Mad Scientist, Student

I really like doing stuff.  Trying new stuff, making new stuff, improving old stuff, pressuring the comfort bubble, some times in earnest, others with trepidation.

Some time ago I began to investigate different fighting systems.  Having been a lamb of sorts, it was a personal area that begged investigation.  Having had the good fortune resourcing many acquaintances that had experience in a variety of martial arts, I felt that I with some help, I could leverage the right decision which path to choose.    By accident, I came across the Krav Maga system, (not well known by the aforementioned).  I was impressed by the progressive nature and practicality of this martial art, up to this point, strictly from research.  Since free time for most of us is compromised at best, I was looking for instruction close to home, and found Urban Tactics in Burnaby to have an agreeable location and realistic hours.  A few emails, a timid arrival, and exactly one year ago my first class was past me.

Right away, we were immersed in a fully intense environment, free from the embroilment of art form and tradition.  Our exercises and manoeuvres were realistically and scientifically explained.  Two classes in, armed with my new minimal protection, we were sparring not with bags and pads, not practicing in air, but with each other.  Real people, real opponents.  Real punches in to the head; real kicks in the groin.   It was this aspect that continues to captivate and bring me back to class each week.  It was time to put the lamb of sorts to the side, well… forever.

As most can attest, any opportunity for distraction from the life of raising children, working and generally looking after people should be clutched at once.  For one hour at a time, there is nothing on the mind but the task at hand.  No meal planning, no strategies on dealing with aging parents, not a blip on the radar.  And it is this investment by all of our fellow classmates that conceives and nurtures a community of athletes striving for improvement both through instruction and through these real experiences with each other.  And it is to our group of students and instructors that I owe a debt of gratitude for that hour of freedom each week.  One can’t help the enthusiasm brought about by keeping up with the pack.  This time to me is significant and extraordinary, and the skills we take away, the improvement in our mental and physical health is all icing.

At no point is ones opponent in the Krav Maga class to be under estimated.  Regardless of size, of the experience and ability, anyone can surprise, and anyone can learn.  We at Urban Tactics, like with many martial arts groups, have a great opportunity to work with students from many disciplines, each bringing their strengths and experiences into the collective.  I have always respected the trained fighter and athlete, more at this time than any other.  The fitness that accompanies this kind of skill set (“… we get fit to do Krav Maga”) demands your improvement, a truly welcome and compelling reason to stay healthy, to stay strong.

I have always considered myself fortunate to have had enormous opportunities to acquire a wide and varied skillset, in my working life, and through some other more personal crazy stunts our family has survived (or at a minimum, endured).  I have had many great teachers, technical colleagues and friends and I consider all of my experiences in Urban Tactics part of this tremendous opportunity group.  I would encourage everyone try this once.  You reap what you sow, and these fields are truly bountiful.

By Bruce Kennedy