• isabellamonga1997

When fighting becomes a dance

Fighting can be addicting. It’s been a while since I started going to the fighting classes at Hybrid Fight Academy in Glasgow, where I can learn all about Sambo, Boxe, MMA, TCFS and much more from two great teachers, George Johnston and Vadim Kolganov. There are men of every age, and I immediately fitted in. There are only other two women in the whole academy- for what I know- and I must admit this makes me feel a bit special. Going there is like having a unique family, my Glaswegian family, as I feel welcomed and respected, and I respect everybody.

I talked to George the other day: my writer’s curiosity pushed me to ask him about TCFS (Total Combat Fighting System), that he developed about twenty years ago when he got bored of conventional martial arts, that he had been practicing since he was seven. I just found extremely interesting to be able to talk to the founder of a new fighting technique. George told me his idea was born in the streets, inspired by classic martial arts, especially Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, but then transferred to real-life situations with no limits in the movements someone can do to defend themselves.

TCFS is not a sport, because it goes beyond the limits imposed by other sports’ rules, involving movements that, in an official competition, would be considered forbidden. TCFS aims to teach you how to fight until you break the opponent’s arm, learning how to be creative and think quickly how to use the space and the objects around you. While fighting, my mind needs to be active, to understand the body language of the other. On this regard, George told me this:

"In a fight, movement is power. You cannot stand around and wait for your attacker’s next strike; moving and instinctual reactions are very important. TCFS classes will help develop your reflexes and will help you gain a fighter’s reflex, which will allow you to move quickly and strategically in such a situation. You will know where to step and how to defend yourself against an attacker".

Somehow, fighting is like dancing to me: there are basic steps to learn as they might help your movements, and those are like an alphabet to tell a story with your body. But then, everything becomes fluid. It’s a never-ending change, an infinite interaction between two bodies that dance together, testing each other’s strength and determination. Fighting is sensual, dangerous, extremely rewarding.

When I fight, my dancer’s body feels different: I can be powerful, and courageous, I can see my inner strength and use it. It’s like being two versions of me at the same time: I’m the warrior, I’m the sensual dancer. When I fight, it feels like my body talks its own language, and when I understand that of my opponent, my instinct gets stronger, my mind clearer, my breath heavier, until the end of the fight.

I come back home sweated, my muscles are tired, and I’ve bruises on my shins. I enter the hot shower and while I massage my shoulders, while my hands slide down and caress my breasts, I feel stronger.

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