Power 3 Academy whips students into shape
By Adam Tatelman, Staff Writer
I arrived early for my appointment at Power 3 Academy, because I wanted to watch some of the more experienced wrestlers practice. The first thing I heard the instructor say was: “Okay everyone, 300 push-ups, 300 sit-ups, 300 squats, go.” I thought he was joking, but sure enough, the next 20 minutes were filled with the acrid odour of calisthenics. From that moment, I knew exactly what I was in for.
The superhumans populating the class before mine were mostly high school students training to become Olympic wrestlers, so most of them were longtime practitioners. All the instructors—Adam Santos, Cesar Narita, Frank Mensah, and Jason Fenton—are former world champions, so it seems part of Power 3’s mission, through passing down winning technique and discipline, is to create high-level athletes whose goal is professional competition.
Even after their exhausting workout, two of the students were willing to stay after their class and guide me through some of the basic stances and wrestling techniques. Good-natured ribbing aside, students at Power 3 are clearly as dedicated to their art as their instructors are. That’s a rare find nowadays.
Although wrestling novices like me aren’t required to do 300 of anything, I was surprised at the intensity of the warmup. It was fun to do at first, but soon the front rolls and cartwheels gave way to bear crawls and a style of pushup with a forward leap. I was knackered before any actual wrestling began. Fortunately, water breaks are encouraged.
The wrestling techniques taught at Power 3 originate from the Greco-Roman tradition; simple, direct, powerful, and effective. Although wrestling is considered a sport first, these concepts could easily be applied in a fight. When competing for points, the moves are applied differently in order to avoid harming your opponent. For instance, if you lift your opponent over your shoulder, you will not then drop him on his face behind you the way you would if you applied the move against a violent attacker.
Do a single class at Power 3 and you’ll feel like a veteran Marine just for surviving. You’ll be expected to set, reach, and exceed your own personal fitness goals daily and over time, so there is a concrete sense of physical progression which I feel is missing from many other martial arts systems. Just be prepared to wipe out a time or two.
Power 3 Academy offers classes in Greco-Roman wrestling, Muay Thai kickboxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Visit 106-7738 Edmonds Street in Burnaby if you want to take your martial fitness to the next level.