This is exciting. I have been looking forward to seeing Mike teach a jiu-jitsu class for a long time. It is so overdue, but oh so good. The last time I was in his gym was in 2015 for the weigh-ins for the kick-boxing event he was putting on...where I got to be the bell ringer guy!
Mike comes out of the dressing room, where I was pretending to be 'security' for the athletes (Let's be honest.), and with a huge grin on his face, he says... "Hey...do you wanna be the bell ringer guy??"
"I totally wanna be the bell ringer guy!"
2015 Honour & Glory Kickboxing event - Georgetown, ON...
The thing I loved the most at their event was watching Mike coach...OK, let's be honest, that second favourite part. Being bell ringer guy was pretty sweet. I mean, c'mooon, I'm gettin' hit by fighter sweat and everything. Yeaaaah!
Anyhow, I loved seeing Mike coach his fighters, whether that meant wrapping their hands or cornering them in their fights. He really does know how to connect with his students. I'll get to that a bit more in a moment.
The expansion of the gym was still just in the very beginning of bringing vision into fruition in 2015, but here we are, all these years later, and CircaFit has their expansion completed.
Your greeting in the reception area... BEAST MODE = ON!!
Second training space added in their expansion...
I liked seeing this second space empty when I was there. Nice, neat n' tidy, waiting for action. Make no mistake about it though, on the other side of the wall on the left is the original part of the gym, and it was goin' off, and then on the other side of the right wall is their martial arts space, which was also goin' off...with the tiniest, cutest kids ever in their jiu-jitsu class. I've been in gyms for most of my life, but I've never sat through a jiu-jitsu class, so I was really psyched.
"Large Martial Arts" Fantastic!! I came in to watch the youth jiu-jitsu class.
Puttin' the beat-down on one of his kids...oops...I mean, properly teaching one of his students.
...but it's all smiles n' fun...
After the warm-ups were over, the first thing they got into were guard passes. Watching one of his demonstrations for the class, with his brown belt instructor, and the progression to pass into side control was great. (I am simple, and enjoy it all) That whole thing that stood out the most at the 2015 kick-boxing event of the way Mike cornered his fighters all came flooding back pretty quickly. He is such a great teacher and communicator. It comes across naturally too, which is a big part of why I was looking so forward to watching one of his classes for years.
I love hearing the language of the teachings. Once again, the simplicity of just hearing guard passes and side control. Watching it all come to life of something I have been entranced by for decades now, but have not had the body to engage in myself. I'm sitting here debating within myself which I enjoy more, the structural/functional process of the jiu-jitsu, or Mike's teaching of it. They are equal to each other in satisfaction from observation on the sideline.
Demonstrating with one of his adult brown belts...
Infused within all of this is the knowledge of the passion that Mike has within everything he is doing, the amount of years he has put into it, and seeing it all evolve into fruition. Part of the genius in his teaching is that it is serious in movement, but super casual in feeling. The connection he has with the kids is fantastic. The communication is clear and concise, but also fun and understandable. And, just as I am writing about the fun in the class, his doggie rolls in for a lil' action too. My kinda place!!
Onyx-pup rolls in for a lil' hello...
Despite the fun that is woven into the class, you can see the respect everyone has for Mike. When he is teaching, everyone is laser focused in their attention to what he is saying and demonstrating. I gotta admit, I love it all... Gable grip Rear Naked Choke Side Control Pass the Guard "Yeaaah, I'm into that..." It makes me happy to see the expansion, and everything that has become of it. One of the great things is that CircaFit has become a family affair, where the kids will come in for a jiu-jitsu class while their parents go to the other side for their circuit training classes. "Freakin' dynamite!!" It is such a place of warmth for entire families to come and train to bring the best out of themselves. You can tell that people improve in their own lives for having come here. The environment exudes that embracing sense. It's almost as though you are tricked into becoming a better version of yourself because you're having fun in a light feeling way, but constantly improving your skills and sense of self in the process.
A black belt in jiu-jitsu is not an easy thing to achieve, and takes a long time of many years of commitment to do. Mike has had his for about five years now, but even still, listening to him talk with the small intricacies of knowledge while he teaches is rather entrancing, and quite enticing.
It's quite a privilege to be able to sit in and watch this class. Perhaps the best part of the entire class was at the end when he gave every student a hug before they left the mats. This is indicative of the person Mike is, as well as the connection he has with each of the kids.
Mike Large = A true mentor!!
It doesn't stop there in the way he can communicate with his students because as soon as the youth class was finished, the bigger folk rolled in for more advanced instruction.
The adult class is more serious than with the kids, but it is still all done in quite an engaging way. There is a lot less talking, and the focus seems on a different level, as one would expect from the difference between youth and adults, but it was nice to see the change in procedure within the different levels of classes. Regardless of age, or progression level, everything speaks of the way Mike knows how to connect with all of those who come to him for knowledge and learning, from little kids to youths and adults.
Mike Large of Large Martial Arts at CircaFit Training Centre...
CircaFit Training Centre and Large Martial Arts
60 Armstrong Ave Georgetown, ON L7G 4R9
Web address on the Internet
CircaFit on Facebook
Large Martial Arts on Facebook