Depending on which trainalta partner location you choose to take your first Mixed Martial Arts class, you will be met by a coach who will provide you with an introduction to the gym. Generally, when turning up for the first time, they will give you a brief tour of the facilities pointing out the location of the bathroom, where you can store your training bags or shoes and any information about what different areas of the gym are used for and where you should wait until the start of class.
At the beginning of the class, different styles have certain traditions on how they should begin. While some styles will simply move immediately into the warm-up, more traditional styles may expect you to bow onto the mats and line up in order of rank before commencing. Your trainalta partner coach will direct you if this applies to your chosen discipline.
Most classes will then begin with a group warm-up of some kind, designed to get the heart rate up and blood flowing around your body; they can be high-intensity physical exercises, feature some of the foundational movements you can expect to use in class or focus on stretching to help increase your flexibility and minimise the risk of injury. While each style of martial arts may warm-up differently, it isn't uncommon for different coaches to have a preferred way of warming up, so this can be an excellent question to ask as a conversation starter while you wait for class to begin.
After the warm-up, most classes will move into the central portion of the class, typically focusing on technique. Here you can expect to receive direct instruction from the trainalta partner coach on what skills you need to perform. These will then be repeated with variations, modifications and corrections given to either the entire class or sometimes an instructor will move around the class and provide people with individual feedback. You may be asked to perform these independently or be put into groups or pairs. Your coach may specifically pair you up with someone if it is your first time.
Once the techniques have been demonstrated and practised, the intensity at which they are practised is generally increased. Depending on the martial art style, this may mean striking with more power against pads or a bag or giving more resistance to the partner you are working with. The instructor will often give instructions on what is level of resistance or intensity is expected when working with a partner, but It's always a good idea to ask your partner what expectations they may have or if they have any injuries of which you need to be aware.
Although this is not the case for every class, some will conclude with a light, playful sparring session of some form or another, but it is uncommon for this to occur during your first class or for beginners. Only watching this part take place during your first class can often be a good idea, so you know what is expected from you. Asking the coach before the class starts if this will be included is an excellent way to know what to expect on how they will run the session.
Before class finishes, a final physical workout or cool down will normally commence; this can be a final cardio workout, further stretching, or even a repetition of the techniques shown earlier. By this stage of the class, you should have the hang of things and be sure of what to do next.
Different styles have different traditions on how to finish a class, they can include lining up in a specific order of rank, bowing off, shaking everyone's hand or even bringing everyone together for a group talk. How the class is finished is another question that is good to ask at the beginning of class as it's an easy question to answer and can be another conversation starter with the coach or someone else in the class.
The trainalta partner coaches are there to guide you on your Mixed Martial Arts journey. Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout the class, everyone started as a beginner once.
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