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  • Writer's pictureClare

Special Jungle Edition: The Joy of Coaching

Enough about random MMA fighters. Let’s talk about those closer to our hearts: our coaches.

Ah yes, the people who makes our hearts skip a beat (literally). The people who have seen you at your finest (before training) and at your worst (during and after training). They most likely have felt our sweat splashed across their faces while doing pad works for us, and yet continue to push us further.

This post may get a bit cringey so buckle up fellas! This post we will touch on why are the coaches so dedicated to provide the best service to ensure we improve ourselves constantly.

Just like being a leader, not everyone can be a coach. Even if you have all the knowledge about the world, not everybody is fit to be a coach. So, what does it take to be a coach?

Well for starters, the qualities of an exceptional coach are not that far off from a great leader. Like a leader, a coach’s purpose is to guide, inspire and empower individuals to achieve their full potential. They also must have the ability to unify a group of individuals to make them committed to a single purple. At The Jungle, you can see how big of a community it is among the members.

The coaches at The Jungle were asked what drove them to be a coach and what about coaching do they enjoy. Let’s start with our one and only head coach and owner of the gym, Coach Alex.

“Interestingly, I started coaching at the age of 13. Funny story actually. Being one of the Asian minority in France, I was an easy target of bullies back then. So I decided to learn martial arts to defend myself. The other students in the school were inspired after seeing me doing spinning back kicks at the bullies. They ask me if I could teach them. And that’s how I first started coaching a group of high school kids at the park after school hahahaha”, shared Coach Alex.

It took him only 3 weeks to learn taekwondo, just enough to defend himself from bullies in school. 3 weeks. It took most people longer than that to learn how to walk!

“I enjoy seeing people that I coach going ‘I got it!’ after understanding a certain move. For example, when they are learning how to kick. Seeing their face light up after finally figuring it out how to execute the perfect kick is to me priceless,” added Coach Alex.

Coaching requires immense patience to guide those with you, especially with those who are new to martial arts.

Another key component of coaching is to be aware of the individual differences among the members in the gym. Different people have different goals, be it for health or to fight competitively. Not just goals, but even personalities. It is important the coaches are able to tailor their ways of communicating to different personalities. For some, they prefer a ‘less talk, more action’ approach. And then there are those who are chattier than others.

Coach Azman on another hand has a different story as to what made him want to be a coach.

“I actually started coaching just to help out a friend at his gym. I didn’t really want to be a coach then, even though I have the necessary skills and knowledge about martial arts. Honestly, was just doing it for the money hahaha. But after witnessing my first student improving himself while under my coaching, I felt accomplished. And from there I started being passionate to coach others,” shared Coach Azman.

Coach Azman added he enjoys seeing people from different backgrounds come together to learn martial arts and also seeing them share the same goal which is to constantly improve themselves whenever they come down for training.

Being a coach, they need to also be aware of the members’ emotions, strengths and weaknesses when training. For this, the coaches need to be able to practice empathy towards the members. As hard as they actually pushed us during training, our coaches do actually care about our wellbeing. They will not push us if they know we are injured or incapable of going hard (I meant the effort put in training) for that day.

“Spread positivity all around you.” - Coach Alex (2019).

Coach Alex and Coach Azman are not the only coaches at The Jungle Gym fyi. But don’t fret, the other coaches will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

The coaches at The Jungle Gym are all well-liked by everyone. Sure, the methods that they use during training can sometimes seem borderline sadistic but nobody died right? You can ask the regulars. Because of how much they tekan us during training, we are able to constantly improve ourselves.

For the newbies (or potential newbies) do not worry about getting tekan by the coaches. The coaches here will observe and take into consideration of the fitness level and threshold of every single members as different people have different limits and goals while at the gym.

Wanna see the coaches in action? Drop down The Jungle to have a look and experience it for yourself! The Jungle is located at 35B Boat Quay, nearest MRT is Raffles Place station. It is just a 5 minutes’ walk from the MRT station, situated along the ever lively Boat Quay facing the Singapore River. Sign up with your partner to train and then after class can have a romantic post-workout meal facing the river. Win-win situation! Do take note that the gym is located on the 2nd floor, above FatBoy’s The Burger Bar. And as you walk up the stairs, you will walk past DePizza. The path to our gym is lined with so many temptations.

Well you know what they say:

“Good habits result from resisting temptations.”

Signing out,


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