Monday, November 21, 2011

The Couple that Trains Together...

Typical L.A. and Mike pose down at the 2011 Colorado Tough Mudder

 This pictures is a perfect representation of my relationship with Mike.  We met at a gym back in 2005 and the day after our first date I told my mother that I would marry him.  Within two years, we were married and a mere year after that, we owned a gym together.  Our relationship is founded on our mutual love for martial arts.  We are each others teacher, coach, student, corner-man, inspiration and training partner.
I know a lot of other couples in the MMA community who train together.  Mike and I have often asserted that our relationship only works because we have this mutual love, that neither of us hold the other back from the pursuit of knowledge and growth.  Both of us had been in prior relationships where our partners would complain when we went to the gym, trying to guilt us into skipping or cutting back on training.  Ultimately, this is what tore those relationships apart and thank the gods for that!  
 This post is not to brag about my relationship with Mike, although it is awesome.  I am not sure that every couple should train together.  For many people, training or any other hobby one has can be the break from a partner that so many desire.  Also, many couples do not have the same interests so it does not make sense for them to take part in the same activities.  Over the years, I've had many men ask me to convince their wives or girlfriends to start training martial arts and I always refuse.  They should come and watch, but I'll never try to convince someone to train who is not already invested.

We joke that our gym is a hobby; Mike has a full time job and I am a full time graduate student, so the gym is only in operation in the mornings and evenings.  Thus, the time we spend together, as a couple, occurs within the walls of our gym. 

Check out Chris "Cyborg" Santos and her husband, Evangilista Santos, sparring at their gym.  Chris is obviously an incredible fighter, so it is always inspiring to see her sparring.  What I love about this video is that both of them seem to really enjoy each other.  Some see this as a husband and wife hitting each other, I see this is as quality time between two people who share a deep love for the sport...and each other. 

I am always interested to hear about other couples who train together.  Do you train with your partner?  If so, do you think it helps or hinders your relationship?


Tara @ Sweat like a Pig said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love training with my husband, but I couldn't do it every day. He was the one that introduced me to weight lifting, and he always helps me lift heavier. But for some reason I always find myself wanting to give up more when I'm around him. I'm much more driven when I'm on my own, in the zone.

Ashley said...

I train BJJ with my boyfriend and we are occasionally found lifting together. It is awesome. He is my best training partner.

It definitely helps our relationship. When we first started dating, I wasn't doing BJJ yet, and so I didn't understand the desire to train constantly. Of course, now I do and it definitely makes life easier. Plus, it allows us to grow together and have fun together.

Funnily enough, I roll harder with my boyfriend than with anyone else. (There is a lot of trust there plus, to be honest, I feel more competitive with him for some reason -- and it's silly because he is about 20x better at BJJ than I am and in much better shape.) He also helps me lift heavier and better. At the same time, I am a bigger baby when I'm training with him, both lifting and in BJJ. It's bizarre, really...

The Pugilista said...

That's funny, Ashley, because I used to do something similar. There was a period where I was training much more than Mike, yet when we rolled I couldn't tap him. I would accuse him of just using strength moves (although he wasn't) and would get incredible frustrated. Now I love rolling with him because I recognize that I probably can't tap him every time, but we can flow and have fun.

As for lifting, he pushes me harder than anyone else. The other day I failed at cleaning my body weight three times in a row. He came over and calmly started coaching me through it. I cleaned the weight but got stuck for a second when I came under the bar. He yelled "Stand Up!" and I did. It was a huge accomplishment for me and I feel like I couldn't have done it without him pushing me.