By Tony Bahia
Personal Trainer, Martial Arts Shifu, TheGym at 99 Sudbury
The Fitness Inside Martial Arts
Many people at gym think of me as Tony the Kick boxer or Tony the Personal Trainer specialized in Martial Arts…Well, they are correct, although my real name and status is Shifu Alysson Antonio de Souza Bahia.
Shifu is not only the Chinese word for a Martial Arts Teacher, in the Kung Fu family (here the FEI HOK PHAI FAMILY-or Flying Crane family) it also means I am” like a father with a couple or hundreds of sons” who follow my teachings in this Art.
When I was in Brazil l built a huge school called Nan Phai and I also studied Physical Education at a Federal University. I used the knowledge I gained here to integrate into my classes for people who came looking for culture and or self defense. I used this knowledge also as a coach for my athletes and for myself as a competitor. Having a well rounded understanding and foundation in fitness was the secret of my success; my team and I were and still are recognized inside the Brazilian Kung Fu society as a winning Champion Team.
When l moved to Canada a little more than 2 years ago l came to 99 Sudbury Gym just like all of you, as a member. I was looking for a good facility for my workouts and once came and saw The Gym at 99,I knew this was my new home. The gym had all the equipment I needed and more. I had never found a gym that was set up to help me reach any of my physical goals and workouts. I spent some months training here as a member and it was amazing… it was as if l had been transported back to the time when I was a top athlete.
I then met Sam and David who invited me to work at 99Sudbury as an instructor for a Boxing class. At that time l was working as a freelance trainer in Toronto and had been missing the happiness of working with group classes. When I met with both of them l explained that l was familiar with traditional Martial Arts and Sanda Sanshou (Chinese Kick Boxing) and also regular Boxing. David showed me everything that l needed to know to run the class for their members and Sam gave me a chance and was the first person to take my class. After class she said, “you should be fine…” and l believed that. That class became one of the most popular classes on the schedule in just a couple of weeks. After seeing how well my class was doing, they offered me a position as a personal trainer, and I accepted. That was the beginning of something new for me, and it changed my life as well as my views about many things that I thought I knew…
Working at a Fitness Club as a Trainer using my Martial Arts knowledge to help people reach fitness goals was the total opposite thing that l had being doing my whole life and as the YIN YANG in Martial Arts exists, that gave me balance… I reached a level that was there that I never knew was possible, and that was the FITNESS inside the Martial Arts.
To understand that let’s think about the image that you see when you picture a warrior… Do you picture someone strong, healthy and unbeatable? Warriors must be fit to be effective. To develop skills and reach a good performance as a Martial Artist you have to work your entire body. Boxing punches and kicks are an amazing workout to build a STRONG CORE and BURN LOTS OF CALORIES when you work rounds as a CARDIO exercise; The traditional bases and forms in Kung Fu could make your legs stronger than any squat; Tai Chi exercises like breathing, hands press, routines and stances develop POWER, strengthen your heart , REGULATE BLOOD PRESSURE and also are excellent to improve BALANCE and FLEXIBILITY. Also when you work with Martial Arts as Self-defense and aim to reach a high level, you might be surprised when you feel some muscles and motions in your body that you never thought were there.
At this moment of my life, l am very proud to say that l found a new family here in Canada…The 99 family. It all started with one boxing class and today, l am running four different classes at 99 Sudbury that work all of the aspects of conditioning and techniques that l referred to above. I am also a personal trainer here currently have 20 Personal Training clients. I use a variety of Martial Arts techniques and strength and conditioning techniques to help them reach their goals. My clients have made me a better fitness professional and Shifu, which is why today you can call me Tony, Personal Trainer and Martial Arts Specialist at The Gym At 99 Sudbury.