Outside the cage #5 "Old School"


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I was probably around seven or eight years old when I got my first bike. I remember it’s bright yellow colour and the fact that I had no clue as to how to ride the thing. Christmas had just passed and the streets were filled with snow which prevented my father, brother and I from going outside to practice. Fortunately our family lived atop of our martial arts studio and we decided to head downstairs to learn to ride our bikes indoors. Took us a while, and after many wipeouts we eventually got the hang of it as we pedaled up and down the hardwood flooring of the gym.

Having a martial arts studio for a basement while growing up had many advantages to it. First of all we’ve always had a full sized kickboxing in it, so neighborhood kids would come over and do battle in it,sometimes with boxing gloves on and other times without. The ceiling was a little low for some of my favourite moves as I remember one time smashing my head off the ceiling while trying to execute a flying elbow drop. That sucked.

Other times, huge groups of us would play ball hockey, soccer and a bunch of other games. We had so many fun times down there.

The only downfall to living atop the martial arts school was that as a child I never had a backyard to play in. Also, when my friends had to go outside to cut their grass, I had to sweep the rocks that had fallen out of our parking lot driveway back into it. That was kind of strange and even less fun than it sounds. Also our building is located on a corner lot so my brother and I always had a ton of snow to shovel during the winter months.

In terms of my training, it was great to grow up where I did. Anytime I felt like working out I could run downstairs and pound the heavy bags, jump rope, practice my weapons routine (that was way back in the day 🙂 or spar. It was great! Now I drive about 10-15 minutes to get there which isn’t too bad either.

I am proud to say that I finally cut grass for the first time a few months ago when we moved into my new house. It was fun at first but the novelty has worn off quickly :).

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