Doing something for the first time is always stressful. It's a normal concern. We are taking a risk which leaves us feeling vulnerable and the weight of figuring out how to try something for the first time can lead us to procrastinate and never actually do the thing we want.

Hopefully these few tips can relieve the unnecessary pressure we create for ourselves.


1. ​Everyone's had a First Day.

When you first step on a mat of any kind. The first thing you can be assured of is that everyone else has or is currently having, their first day. You're excited and nervous all at the same time. You want to impress this new group that you've decided to inject yourself in but you also want to learn. This can lead to newbies "trying a bit too hard" to impress on their first day and can leave a sour note for your potential teammates. So, it's best not to overthink anything and just enjoy being wholly "new" to something. Focus on learning and retaining as much as possible and any social pressure will dissipate.

2. You're in Shape

Kickboxing Girl

modtaekwondoutah.com

One of the most common reasons I've heard from people when it comes to trying their first class is that "I want to get in better shape first", or "I don't want to embarrass myself." Well in line with the first rule. Everyone both understands the feeling and knows its not needed. It's something we tell ourselves. The athlete's we watch on T.V. are in phenomenal shape and its normal to compare ourselves to them but the reality of your local gym will most likely be a mixture of people in great shape and people still getting in shape. People from all walks of life and of all different sizes. Some are still as nervous as you.

3. Call Ahead

Most of the logistical issues can be sorted out with a simple phone call during normal business hours. "What should I wear?", "Will there be water available there?", "Is there a viewing area for the parents?", "What's parking like?", Etc. I'm sure there is a nice person waiting to answer all of your questions. I would also recommend checking the gyms website as it might contain all the answers you need.

4. Hygiene is King

Martial Arts

img.freepik.com

One thing that is or at least should be. Is that hygiene is paramount in creating a comfortable space to pursue our violent passion. Whatever clothes you decide to wear. Make sure they are clean. When you do show up for the first time. Be as freshly showered as possible. I know everybody doesn't have the resources to go home and shower after work but make your best effort.

I hope these tips give you the confidence to walk into your local gym and be ok with being out of your comfort zone. I promise it will get more rewarding with time. The biggest step is taking the first one.

SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Just like royalty has dynastic families that rule over nations, martial arts have dynasties that rule over the world of combat. So here's a list of our top five family dynasties in martial arts...


Keep Reading Show less

Bruce Lee's secret to self-mastery can be found hidden in the following quote, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Discipline, dedication and repetition over time are the keys to mastery. To get results like Bruce Lee we need to train like Bruce Lee.

Keep Reading Show less

Hard work requires tough gear, and a tough bag that can handle the wear and tear incurred from the rigors of hard work can make all the difference. The Tactical Trainer Backpack from Century Martial Arts may be just a backpack, but it's tougher than any other backpack you'll find.

Keep Reading Show less

In December 1979, I found myself meeting with a film director named Ding Shan-xi. He had thick-rimmed glasses, combed-back hair and a stature that commanded respect. We were at an abandoned American military base in Taipei for my first audition for a kung fu film.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter