A brand new Sport & Health club opened within a few miles of my house this winter [right by the Wegmans!!!] and I have been trying out a bunch of the group fitness classes. I guess I have become a little cardio-obsessed. Anyway, they were offering a sword-based class for the first few months that they were open and I fell in love…with Jungshin.
According to the website, “JUNGSHIN Fitness is a high intensity class incorporating a full body workout that utilizes a
unique piece of equipment derived from martial arts: a wooden practice sword. The sword brings an element of combat training, mental focus, and the ability to be radically present as the practitioners slice through the air while kicking, jumping, stretching and targeting their core. The JUNGSHIN Fitness philosophy is deeply rooted in ancient meditative techniques, allowing the practitioner to achieve the ultimate level of physical and mental fitness, cellular longevity and strength, awareness, and harmony in life.”
Let me start by saying that I am not very coordinated or graceful. And I do poorly with heavily coreographed workouts. Jungshin is NOT that. Instead, each individual focuses on their core and breathing. As you move the sword, you are them focusing on how your body reacting–how it feels–is the sword acting as an extension of your body? It should be.
The benefits are extensive. After the first few weeks of taking Jungshin twice a week, my body felt stronger, I looked thinner, and I definitely had a “badass” attitude–like I could conquer anything…or kick anyone’s ass. In class we would practice our slices, stay low, do FINGERTIP PUSH UPS [yes, you read that right], kick in every direction, and then spar with one another.
Sill not convinced? Here are what the JungshinFitness.com lists as the benefits:
- Reduces the strains of carpal tunnel syndrome by the position of the wrists in the finger tip push-ups
- Strengthens the tendons and joints through the gripping techniques of the sword
- Gives one a sense of real confidence and focus
- Quiets the mind chatter through mental focus on repetitive cuts
- Relieves stress from the adrenal glands and rebuilds cortisol levels by utilizing lower abdominal breathing
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves strength in the upper and lower back
- Strengthens the lungs, increasing one’s capacity for calm and controlled breathing
- Moves body and mind into the present moment