What got you into martial arts?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Kenpoguy123, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. twendkata71

    twendkata71 Black Belt

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    My instructor/coach was the USA team head coach. actually got to meet Master Donovan at one of our camps. awesome karate guy.
     
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  2. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    It was 1985, (I was 5 years old) The Karate Kid had recently been released. I was infatuated with that movie, and fortunately for me, there was a new tkd school that was teaching out of my elementary school as part of the local board of education's cultural enrichment program. The rest, as they say, is history!
     
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  3. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    The power rangers got me into Kenpo when I was 6, I got bored of it due to the very slow pace of learning and ironically I rejoined the same class which changed my life around the age of 16, I kick myself all the time for quitting because I would be so much better than I am now if I had stayed.

    I was a stupid kid though and didn't understand what martial arts was about. What got me back into martial arts was weight loss and in general it was the only thing I had any interest in at all, I was not good at sports, I didn't really have any hobbies outside of video games. So I needed something that would give me a reason to take pride in myself. Before that I had literally nothing to be proud of, as I was a dorky kid who wasn't even good at school, my GPA was always like 1.6 or something terrible like that.

    So I figured, well i'm dumb as rocks, not good looking and not even atheletic, I have nothing at all. So I went back to Kenpo and was bad at it, real bad, but I enjoyed it even though I was so terrible at it. Within a few months I began to become very good at it and advanced quickly through the techniques, not belts, but my technique and sparring ability became very sharp.

    I was often praised for how well I was doing and how quickly I was learning, but I would often get way ahead of myself because I hungered so much for recognition and accomplishment. I lost around 60 pounds of fat and became very fit, I was around 150 pounds, not a lot of muscle, but at least I had far less body fat now and everyones jaw would drop when they saw me, they did not recognize me at all.

    Fast forward some years, I had to move, plus my Sifu grew ill and could no longer teach anymore. I still train often, 3 days a week, and took up weight lifting at 25, Just turned 27 and I went from 160 to 205 and have lots of muscle mass, but it is never enough and I am constantly going for more and more. Same goes for martial arts as well, I am never good enough and can always be better.
     
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  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I love that we are all giving our ages away here. :)
     
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  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Kung Fu Theater and the WWF were Sunday traditions at my house (after dad dropped us off at church with my grandmother). My father and his brothers were TKD black belts growing up in Beirut, Lebanon. Their TKD wasn't what TKD was here; it was basically padded Kyokushin with a bit more emphasis on head level kicks.

    I wanted to start MA at a young age, but with 3 of us and not much time and money, we didn't have the opportunity.

    My brothers and I started wrestling around 4th or 5th grade. My father also bought us boxing gloves and he'd box with us.

    My late high school/early college girlfriend's mother run a daycare out of her house. She got a bunch of kids and their parents to sign up, so she and my girlfriend trained for free, and I trained for $25 a month. I was the only one who stuck around longer than 4 months.

    We split up, but I kept training at $25 per month. My father constantly questioned my judgement for training full-contact (Kyokushin offshoot), but didn't criticize. 6 years in I was gearing up for my 2nd dan test.

    I was offered a graduate assistantship 5 hours away, and planned on returning 2 years later. I met my beautiful wife, started a career, then met the other 2 loves of my life (my daughters).

    2 years turned into about 15 years. I changed careers so I could be home to raise my daughters and be a husband, and a side effect was being able to get back into karate. My old Sensei had moved his dojo about an hour away, and his schedule conflicted with my work and family obligations.

    I found a Seido Juku dojo that's about 10 minutes from home, is dirt cheap, and has an excellent chief instructor and students. It just felt like home. It'll be a year on March 5th.

    15 years flew by. There wasn't a single day in that 15 years that I didn't think about karate. Now that I'm back, it feels almost like I never left. I'm 20 lbs heavier, a hell of a lot less flexible, and a 5th kyu, but other than that I'm far better today than I was back then. Stronger, faster, wiser and sharper. I'm chasing improvement, not rank nor competition.
     
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  6. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Yes, it was Steve Armstrong. I tested for my orange and blue belts at his school in Tacoma.
     
  7. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I was at my 'advanced adults only' class last night. Despite being nearly 55, I was one of the youngest guys there, and at Ni Dan, tied for lowest-ranking with one other karateka. We did warmups, bag work, basics, kata, and some bo work. We don't always do that, but last night we did. So yeah, we still do kata and lots of fundamentals, even as advanced adult students.

    You say you don't remember much in the way of practical self-defense instruction, but you were getting it. You just didn't know it. As you said, you were there through blue belt. It takes a while longer than that, I suspect, for the realization that kata *is* practical self-defense instruction. It's all in there.

    I have the greatest respect for Master Armstrong. He is not our lineage (we derive from Masters Mitchum and Harrill) but there is a photo with Master Armstrong in it on our dojo wall.
     
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  8. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    I grew up watching Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal and Sho Kosugi and developed an interest in martial arts but did not really do much about it. I used to get picked on in school (not severely or anything) and got into the occasional fight (won most of them if you can call it winning). Was introduced to Judo by some friends and had one or two lessons and decided it was not for me. Made it all the way through High school and got into a fight about 3 months before finishing in year 11 and decided I was tired of getting picked on and to get off of my butt and do something about it. I looked at several martial arts and made inquiries and went to the closest Rhee Taekwondo class, liked what I saw and joined up. The rest is history.
     
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  9. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    44 going on 20, or 100, I haven't decided. :)
     
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  10. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Sort of depends on the day, doesn't it?
     
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  11. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    Bags dont make noises, friends and family do. how am I to know if the strikes are effective if I dont hear "ow!" Or see any flinches. And besides arent your friends(especially family!) supposed to be supportive... im sure they would understand it if you needed a training dummy. :D
     
  12. Phobius

    Phobius Black Belt

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    Or do solo training.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Reminds of a situation/conversation I had yesterday...

    I don't have space for a heavy bag in my house (yet), and I can't spend an hour straight hitting the bag at the dojo, so I hit a Wavemaster XXL at my local YMCA. It's on the elevated track in the gym.

    A guy running gets my attention and in good spirits says "I just wanted to see your face, because if I see you at a bar, I want to make sure I don't mess with you." After I chuckled, I responded with "the bag doesn't move and counter."

    I really like Phobius's advice on solo training. According to a different wacked-out thread, I'd easily break my hand, so I should learn to joint lock, throw, and choke myself though.
     
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  14. Flatfish

    Flatfish Black Belt

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    Oooooooh yes. Hitting the bag at the Y. The looks I get are priceless. Especially when I kick…..I guess most people only expect you to punch the bag and get flustered when you use your feet.



    And then there's the possibility that I get these looks due to my uncanny ability to move like a pregnant yak.
     
  15. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    Nothing beats 1st hand experience
     
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  16. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    actually sometimes it can...
     
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  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I've watched that video a million times before you posted it. It never gets old.
     
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  18. tubby

    tubby Yellow Belt

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    30 odd years ago my older sister was doing wing chun, thought it sounded interesting so went along. Changed over to choy lay fut a couple of years later. I think it was whne I got into the more traditional style and weapons that a love of the martial arts movies of the 80's developed.
    More recently I was getting fat, job as a consultant had me chasing hours to the detriment of my fitness and waistline, and my then 5 year old son took up TKD to help his shyness. He asked me to join him and for 2 years he reminded me he was still the senior student. He then got distracted by aussie rules football, I kept training.
     
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  19. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    I was bullied horribly as a child. I didn't have martial arts available to me then. I started when I was 17, trained for two years, then "sat on the bench: for 20 years. I got back into it and have stayed with it ever since.
     
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  20. twendkata71

    twendkata71 Black Belt

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    I was already taking karate lessons when the karate kid came out. I went to see it four times in the same week.123
     
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