Tried and Tested: How to Beat Your Daily Load of Stress

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Stressed? Anxious? Try Combat Sports tells Corporate Box owner, Glen Hodgens.

One of the most beneficial attributes my clients notice when they join my gym before any of the other benefits is their stress levels have dropped to the optimal ‘Zero F#cks’ level.

Let’s face it, life as we know it isn’t getting any slower particularly now as we use most of our downtime to sift through social media on our breaks rather than getting out of the office/ job site etc to stretch the legs with some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D. Believe me, if I read through every post and message across all of my social media, I’d probably need to hit something or even give myself an uppercut for wasting time I’ll never get back.

When a complete beginner enters my gym and I wrap their hands for the very first time, I can literally see the tension of their busy week in their eyes and through their shaking hands. Then I see everything switch and see the reaction on their face when they hit the pads for the first time with the right technique… Now I’m not talking about a Bootcamp in the park with what looks to be Betty White from the Golden Girls holding pads for you… I mean you’ve just nailed what your ‘Real fight trainer’ has taught you and smashed the pad so hard the crack is 10 times louder than usual and your trainers face lights up with excitement. These are the punches you’ll dream of throwing at your boss when they drop half a day’s worth of work on you an hour before you’re supposed to knock off on a Friday. While you’re hitting pads there is nothing else on your mind except what you’ll throw next, blocking and concentrating on your breathing.

This is just the start of it and it gets much better! You then learn how to kick, knee, elbow, throw or choke someone out as you grow hungrier for knowledge and chasing that feeling you had when you landed your first perfect punch. Now your whole body is contributing to relieving your brain of all its day to day stress and after a few months you’ve reached an expert level when it comes to giving ‘Zero F#cks’.

Perhaps the best example I can give that this works is back in 2011 when I fought anxiety and depression and was on a high dose of antidepressants. I grew up training in a gym, which I later ended up running for very little money. I was training 10 fighters whilst holding down a highly stressful and non-rewarding sales role in advertising. I felt I didn’t have the time or energy to do my own training. A close friend of mine and fellow Muay Thai trainer Don Millar convinced me to join him and his team on a trip to Thailand to train at World Famous fighter Sangtienoi’s Gym. When I arrived, I realized I forgot my meds and was too embarrassed to let anyone know that I needed a lift to a chemist to get them. This was scary as I suffered major vertigo whilst there and had to take a knee quite a bit over the first few days of my camp, but I eventually pushed through the side effects of coming off the medication, I trained harder than I ever have and haven’t needed my antidepressants ever since!

My Doctor told me that this was dangerous, and he wouldn’t recommend anyone to go cold turkey the way I did, however, it definitely proves that if Combat training can help me at this level, your normal day to day stress won’t stand a chance!

Lastly, please don’t think that joining a real fight gym, you’ll eventually be expected to jump in the ring or cage. In fact, only about 10% of the members that train at my gym actually end up fighting. That said the main opposition we want to help you beat the heck out of is that little demon on your shoulder named Stress!

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