Saturdays at the AFC…. Organised chaos

The Alarm goes off and little Nev licks my feet just in case I fall back to sleep, I get up put some clothes on and take him for his morning walk full of sniffing things, weeing and a poop bag full of last nights tea, then meet Kerry at the car so she can drive me to work with Nev on my knee. As I get dropped off with Nev wondering where I am going and why he is not allowed to come I go to Gregg’s for a sausage sandwich and a full fat coffee (naughty) and head to the gym. In the meantime Kerry drives home to wake the girls up, feed them breakfast and heads to the gym to work their magic behind the desk for the day.

When I get to the gym I check the toilets and fill the water boiler so all the coaches can be kept hydrated with coffee and tea so they can teach effectively. I teach a couple of private classes which are like gold dust (as most of them are) some classes have trained at the same time on the same day for over 10-15 years and for this I am truly humbled and honoured that they do this.

The gym starts to get a bit noisy about 10.15am as the Terrapins (4-6 years old) start to arrive; some stand watching the private classes while others run around half dressed with a parent persuading them to get the rest of their uniform on!

Erin lines up the Terrapins at the desk and Hi-5 them as they run into their lines while big John Brown starts the class with a bow and starts to warm the kids up, when they are suitably tired (warm) we start the class with the help of assistant coaches Nick, Alan, Adam and Erin. The format for each term is taught in bite size pieces so that the Terrapins can absorb the information, but we intermingle games like the shark game the kids love it. During this time the parents will catch up with one another, and normally eat the free lollipops that Kerry gives out.They sort out payments for classes and organise new training suits or ask questions that come up from time to time about the training, and as head of admin Kerry does a wonderful job with Molly backing her up (or taking over when the need arises; because she makes the best coffee).

Next up is the Tigers (6-8 Years old), we use the same format as the Terrapins, but with a bit more techniques add but the same amount of fun; Always teach with fun and laughter and become a kid again because they can teach you a lot.

The Next team is the Dragons (9-12 years old) which are split up into smaller groups because of the specialist nature and grades involved; with a special group headed by David one of the senior black belts in the AFC. as I head off to the cage to teach my small band of Teen MMA fighters.

The Teen MMA class concentrates on different sections of the MMA game and builds up to sparring elements and drills from the upright techniques to the clinch, the takedowns and the groundwork game that make up MMA. We have a great game called the sock game where they are set in teams where they have to get the socks off the other team and if they lose all their socks they are out of the game . The game has a serious side to it as they have to pin and control the other players so that they use all of the groundwork skills they learn in the class;. Sometimes it gets that heated Ryan, a young black belt has developed suicide socks, were he will pull both of his socks off if he is in fear of his life during the melee. This class is overlooked by the kickboxers that are congregating waiting and stretching; at this point there could be up to 70 people in the gym and the atmosphere is buzzing!

Kickboxing at the AFC is always fun, with great music and hard workouts , I used to call the Saturday class the hangover cure class, as you can see (and sometimes smell) who had been out on Friday evening. Sometimes I start off with a gentler pace than we do on Tuesdays which is a hard fast paced workout with sparring at the end of most classes, but Saturday sometimes I sense what the class is like and teach accordly. When they are up for it we will go all out and sometimes I will go more technical detail with less drill sergeant attitude; but we always have fun.

Last but not least is the blast class which is a bag workout class of 2.30mins on with 30secs active rest (where you do sits ups, squats ,burpees) then back onto the bag for a total of 6 rounds full of kicks punches knees and elbows; this is a great form of conditioning and we have a hardcore team lead by Molly my oldest daughter who has now decided to take her gloves off for the last round to help condition her hands ( were all mad here!).

If there is a course we would start at 2pm and either teach for 2 or 3 hours and then go home but if there are no courses we as a family tidy the gym and the toilets because it normally looks like a tornado has hit it lol but we would not change it for the world !

AFC Saturdays are the best Organised chaos in the world.

The four of us miss Saturdays and cannot wait to see everyone.

Big love from Team Atkin

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