Enter the Heights

Enter the Gym: The place where one works out and practice one's martial arts skills.

Local gym encourages students to exercise their mind, body, and spirit.

The spotlight does not shine on a single player or on a particular teacher in this gym located at Daly street. Instead, the spotlight shines on every one who participates in the classes and activities that are available at the Submission Factory.

This once Buddha temple now a place where one can practice and hone one’s martial art skills and maintain one’s healthy fitness lifestyle has been open and serving the community since 2010.

From the moment one steps in through the front door and enter its main hall, the lights, hanging on its red walls along with the pictures of past and present great martial artists, surrounds one as one make one’s way towards the main matted dojo area.

Submission Factory's boxing ring.

The silence soon gets interrupted as young students enter the gym, some followed in with their parents close behind them, watching and supporting them in silence while they get ready for their workout session.

As the youths enter, automatically, they take off their shoes and set them a side, and begin to approach the mat. As their teacher, Johnathan, arrives, both teacher and students begin to warm up together using jump rope, shadow boxing, and the practice of side and forward kicking methods to loosen up their muscles.

The goal in the Submission Factory, as Mike Biag, owner and instructor tells me, is to help one gain empowerment so one can reach one’s own individual goal. In order to do so, one must devote one self to a 1 percent change everyday so to reach for one’s envision of achievement.

That achievement is gained when one can share one’s experience with another person. After the students are paired off and set to work on their punches and kicks, there is one particular student who is not placed in a pair because he is a bit taller than the younger boys, and not quite as old as the older boys; seeing the case, Johnathan takes him in as a partner and begins to work with him slowly, showing him that accurate muscle memory is more critical than inaccurate speedy strength.

The youth kickboxing class is intense on its workout session.

Despite working with one particular student, Johnathan, nevertheless keeps a keen eye and an alert ear on all his youths as he calls out to them to switch positions, from giving punches and kicks to receiving them in a practice pad, and to changing the practice pattern routine so to train the students to become more flexible with their movements and their abilities to adapt to different situations.

To ensure the students are working and performing their movements properly, Johnathan would step in gently to offer his students some assistance and demonstrates a review on how the movement’s done.

At the end of their practice session, the students line up behind one another with the teacher in front, both facing one another, begin to bow, shake hands, and congratulate one another on a good work out. After the first student finishes his salutation with the teacher, he lines up next to him, and waits to perform the same salutation with the student who is behind him in line; this would continue until the last student has been acknowledged.

From Biag’s experience, martial arts become something more than just a mere training session, it becomes a part of living. And part of living is training, and that’s something we practice everyday.

Next Post: Thursday, January 26

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