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Lessons from Jiu-Jitsu – You’ve Got To Know What To Expect | Interview with M5’s Angela Wood

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As you may have heard, M5 is hosting its annual customer appreciation event and birthday party in New York City on May 3rd.  The theme of this year’s event is “Learn” and it will feature two of M5’s most unique employee learning programs, The Battle of the Bands and Corporate Jiu-Jitsu.  Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be posting interviews with people who have participated in both programs.  We hope you’ll enjoy learning what our approach is all about and getting to know a little bit about our team.  The bands will be preforming at the May 3 event and we will be unveiling a movie about the Jiu-jitsu program.  If you’d like to see it for yourself, please register to attend and we’ll see you there!

I had a chance to chat with Angela Wood, a member of our customer support team in Rochester.  She started the M5 Jiu-jitsu program almost a year ago, but had to give it up because of other commitments.  She shared what she learned and her enthusiasm for the program.

Why did you join the jiu-jitsu program?

I thought that it would be fun and a good way to get in shape.  When the program began, I had just started at M5, so I also thought it would be a good way to meet my new co-workers and bond with people.

Were you someone who exercised regularly before?

Yes.  I exercised a couple of times a week.

Had you ever participated in martial arts before?

No.  It was a brand new experience

Were you afraid if injury or embarrassment?

Yes.  I was very afraid of getting injured at first.  But the teachers started us very slowly.  We were taught how to stretch and worked on each move.  I had a few twists here and there, but wasn’t hurt at all.

In the beginning, I was also afraid I would be embarrassed doing this in front of my co-workers, but once everyone started rolling around, I got over it.

What was the most difficult thing about the program?

Remembering the moves and doing them right.  It is very important for the other person to be able to anticipate what you are going to do.  That’s critical so that you don’t hurt the other person.  I was nervous about doing something wrong, but we practiced a lot so that everyone knew exactly what to expect.

What did you learn from the program?

I learned not to always think about the big picture, but to take it step by step and then gradually put the pieces together.  I learned how important it is to know exactly what your team mate is going to do so that you are ready with the right next move.

What, if anything, did you learn about your co-workers?

I definitely learned a lot about my co-workers.  I learned that they can support me.  They were very positive.  No one made fun of each other, but instead they were very encouraging.  The program also gave me the chance to get to know people from another department who I saw every day, but never spoke to.

Did you experience any physical changes?

Absolutely!  My upper body strength quadrupled.  I can do push-ups now.

What lead to your decision to leave the program?

I participated in the program for about six months, but when school started up again I just couldn’t work it into the schedule.

Would you participate in something like this again?

Yes.  I will definitely do it again.  Even if M5 doesn’t have another program, I will do Jiu-jitsu.  The program really peaked my interest in the sport.

What do programs like this tell you about M5?

M5 cares about employees.  A program like this is good for both their physical and mental shape.  It really helps relieve stress after a hard day at work.  This shows that M5 cares about us as people, not just as numbers.

What else should we know?

I suggest everyone try Jiu-jitsu at least once in their lives.  Even if it is just an intro class, it is something worth doing.