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Stepping onto the Mat: A Beginner's Guide to Your First Week at Carpe Diem.

Welcome, aspiring martial artists, to the beginning of an incredible journey! No matter if you're a complete beginner on your trial week or enrolled in our Beginner's Course at Carpe Diem, trust me, you're in for an exhilarating ride. As you embark on this adventure, you should know a few things to make the most of your training experience.

Trust us, you're going to need it. 

Embracing Uncertainties

Picture this: you're standing at the entrance of our dojo, heart pounding, mind swirling with doubts, thinking, "Am I ready for this?"

It's completely normal to feel uncertain, especially as a beginner. Everyone has been there at some point. Remember, martial arts is as much about mental strength as it is about physical prowess. Embrace the uncertainties, challenge yourself, and watch yourself grow with each session.

Making Friends, Building Bonds

One of the most rewarding aspects of training at Carpe Diem is the camaraderie you'll develop with your fellow teammates. Don't be shy about introducing yourself and striking up conversations before or after class. You'll find that the Carpe Diem community is not just a place to train but also a community where you'll forge possibly lifelong friendships.

The Art of Tying Your Belt

Ah, the infamous belt-tying ceremony! It might seem like a daunting task at first but fear not. All too often, we've seen complete beginners like you wrapping the belt around your waist and freezing. We know because we used to be in your shoes. Fear not; we got you. 

Start with the Middle: Hold your belt with both hands, ensuring the middle section is placed across your abdomen, just below your belly button.

Cross the Ends: Take the ends of the belt and cross them over your back, ensuring they're held firmly in place.

Wrap Around: Bring the ends of the belt back to the front, crossing them over each other again.

Tuck Under: After crossing the ends, tuck the top end under both layers of the belt.

Pull Tight: Once tucked, pull both ends of the belt tight to secure it in place.

Create Knot: Form a simple knot by crossing one end over the other, then threading one end under and through the loop.

Tighten Knot: Pull both ends of the belt to tighten the knot securely.

Adjust: Adjust the belt by pulling on both ends evenly to ensure it sits comfortably and evenly around your waist.

Now, practice a few more times.

Remember, the belt isn't just a piece of fabric; it symbolizes your progress, discipline, and dedication to the art. Embrace it with pride.

Avoid Spazzing to Prevent Injuries

As you dive into training, feeling excited and eager to unleash your newfound skills is natural. However, resisting the urge to "spazz out" during practice is important. What exactly does that mean? Well, it's the tendency to flail wildly or execute techniques with excessive force, often out of sheer enthusiasm. 

While enthusiasm is commendable, spazzing out can lead to accidents and injuries, both for yourself and your training partners. Instead, focus on controlled movements, paying close attention to your form and technique. If you notice your partner using excessive strength, don't hesitate to communicate with them. It's possible that they may not even realize they're spazzing out; alternatively, they might be responding to the level of force you're exerting. 

Remember, martial arts is about finesse and precision, not brute force. By practicing mindfulness and control, you'll not only minimize the risk of injuries but also enhance your learning experience.

Managing Grips to Prevent Finger Stiffness

Feeling finger pains? Waking up in the morning and forcing your fingers to bend slowly because they're too stiff? Starting to feel your finger joints swelling? 

As a complete beginner, you often substitute your lack of knowledge in the technicalities of the sport with executing brute strength over your opponent to protect yourself. You'll slowly realize that excessive gripping of your opponent's gi can lead to stiffness and discomfort in your fingers over time. 

To prevent this, focus on maintaining a relaxed yet firm grip during training sessions. Pay attention to how tightly you're gripping, and when possible, take breaks to shake out your hands and stretch your fingers. Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the affected fingers to reduce inflammation and numb pain. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a cloth to prevent direct contact with your skin. Additionally, consider incorporating grip strength exercises into your routine to build endurance and resilience in your hands. 

Consistency is Key

It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and let your training slide. But here's the secret to success: consistency. Make a commitment to attend classes regularly, at least 2-3 sessions per week. Even on days when you don't feel like it, push yourself to step onto the mat. You'll be amazed at the progress you make by simply showing up.

Like a wise Singaporean always says: "Pay already must go."

Embrace the Journey

Your martial arts journey is just that—a journey. It's not about perfection but about progress. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Set realistic goals, stay focused, and enjoy the ride. Before you know it, you'll be mastering techniques you never thought possible.

Inspirational Story: Here is Tim, a graduate from our January 2024 Intake Beginner Course, winning a silver medal in Singapore Jiu-Jitsu Open 2024 by BJJ Roots in February 2024 with only 2 months of training.

So, dear beginner, as you put on your gi and step onto the mat, we hope you enjoy every moment of your training.

Your adventure begins now. 

See you on the mat!


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