Why did you start MA training?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Michele123, May 28, 2018.

  1. Michele123

    Michele123 Orange Belt

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    If you’ve studied a few styles or at different times in your life, the very first time you began studying martial arts, why? What was your reasoning? What did you expect to get out of it? Why are you still studying MA now? Have your reasons changed?

    I’m curious about the rest of you. As for me, I started studying MA back in the early 90’s because of the influence of Karate Kid and Power Rangers (don’t laugh). I was drawn to it for several reasons, I liked the idea of working hard and getting good at something, the self-confidence. But my dreams were split. Half the time I dreamt about being a super hero, the other half I dreamt about being a stunt woman.

    Now, I picked MA back up for multiple reasons. I’ll never get to be a stunt woman now (mid-thirties and mother of three) but I missed the comradeship and pushing myself to do things that were hard. I missed the physical fitness. I missed working hard to learn and achieve things. I also wanted to set an example for my kids and get them involved. Now I dream of someday being good enough to open my own MA club out of my church’s basement and teach teens and adult for free. (On really good days I still dream about being a stunt women but I know I’m too old for that).


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  2. Ryan_

    Ryan_ Orange Belt

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    I started studying Choi Kwang Do around 2003. Also around the time I was in primary school and getting bullied, so i started that because of me getting bullied. It gave me the confidence to be able to hit back, and the bully suddenly changed school.

    I left that in 2015 due to personal reasons. I recently started bujinkan ninjutsu because I missed doing MA.
     
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  3. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Brown Belt

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    Great topic :).

    It's so hard to say for me... And YES definitely Karate Kid and Power Rangers influenced (no shame in the Power Rangers!).

    My family actually all signed up and started and I hid away and was the one who didn't want to train! After them going for a couple of classes, and them asking if I wanted to, I eventually grumbled "... Yeah alright then..." (I was a teenager XD).

    My family all lost interest and now I'm the only doing it which is funny haha. I stopped for a few years only to really look into getting back into it. It's so hard to say why though... I just love everything about it. I love the self-discipline, skill, focus, the tradition and culture behind it, the respect, the comradery and spirit we all share, the feeling of the movements, the crispness and sharpness of techniques, the depth, spiritual meaning and philosophy behind it and that it's not as superficial as it may seem... how it can be something beyond just techniques or defending yourself, and point to deeper realities about yourself.

    I love how while we all may be there for different reasons, we're bonded in another way and are there to support and encourage each other.

    I love the peace of mind you feel while training, even if the training is reaching incredibly intense levels, and that moment when you finish training, you feel just that bit lighter than when you started.

    It's moreso the intangible yet very real things that are reasons why I train.

    Thank you for this thread, it's been a great reminder for me why I love it, and am tearing up just thinking about it.

    Arigato gozaimasu, osu *bows deeply*
     
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  4. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    I started when I was 3 or 4, with my brother. Pretty sure my parents just wanted us out of the house. Still at it today.
     
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  5. mrt2

    mrt2 Green Belt

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    I started off way back in 1979 as a high school freshman. I was bullied all through middle school. I changed school districts going into high school, and I didn't want a repeat of my middle school years. And like everybody else, I had an image of martial arts from watching old Bruce Lee movies and an up and coming Chuck Norris. I walked into Yi's Tang Soo Do as a chubby 14 year old with a vague sense of wanting to go all Chuck Norris on the school bullies. I was even more stoked to find out that Chuck Norris was, in fact, a Tang Soo Do master. But that came later.

    It wasn't until much later that I found out real fights are not like in the movies, and I actually did get in a school fight after signing up for Tang Soo Do. I didn't get to use any of the skills I learned in MA because after the first punch (which was thrown by the other guy), the fight went to the ground, and at that point, I had no ground game, so it was just two unskilled 15 year olds wrestling around on the ground. Hardly a Chuck Norris style *** kicking. In hindsight, I had no business getting into fights just a few months into my training. Though I was more skilled than a white belt, I had no experience going against an opponent who was trying to hurt me.

    But oddly, though it did temporarily hurt my confidence, in the long run, it was probably a good thing I got in the fight that I did. The guy I got in a fight with was actually not that bad of a guy, and once the fight was over, I never really had to deal with him again, and he never messed with me either. I did feel embarrassed at the time both for my failure to use any of the skills I thought I had learned, and for being manipulated by others into getting in the fight in the first place, and the whole experience spurred me to train harder, stepping up my training from 2 to 5 days/week, and to also train more realistically, within the confines of the sparring we did. I came back to school in the fall a lot leaner and stronger. I never did get to find out whether all that training paid off on the street because I never got in another school fight again.
     
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  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Of all the posts I’ve read about this topic, that’s got to be my favorite. “Pretty sure my parents just wanted us out of the house.” Classic.
     
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  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I’ve been drawn to MA as a whole for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my favorite stuff to watch was boxing, wrestling, and MA movies/shows (in no particular order). We watched the WWF followed by Kung Fu Theatre on Sundays. It seemed like there was a different WWF show or boxing on every night of the week. Boxing on HBO was always a big family and friends get together. It was my golden age of boxing - Hagler, Leonard, Duran, Hearns, etc. and an up and coming Mike Tyson. I saw Tyson fight live a few times very early on in his pro career. Met him a few times too. That was around 3-4th grade for me.

    I always wanted to take karate, but my parents couldn’t easily afford the 3 of us going. My older brothers (1 year older twins) didn’t have much interest in karate like I did, and we were pretty busy with other sports, so it didn’t happen.

    The 3 of us started wrestling when I was in 3rd grade. A new PE teacher in the district started a wrestling club, and we were the first to sign up. We loved it. And it made us better at beating each other up :) I stuck with it throughout elementary and high school. My brothers were on and off with it.

    My high school girlfriend’s mother ran a daycare out of her house. She somehow made a deal with a local karate school where her daycare kids and their families got a discount. She got so many people to join that the CI let her and her daughters train for $25 per month (normal tuition was about $100/month). She nicely included me in the $25 deal. Everyone quit within a few months; my then girlfriend lasted almost a year. I trained for almost 7 years until I left for grad school. I guess bare knuckle for the adults wasn’t what they thought it would be.

    I took almost 15 years off. Life got in the way - grad school, met my wife, starting a career, having kids, relocating a few times, etc. Funny thing is I thought about karate and wanted to start up again every single day. Everywhere I moved to, I looked up the local dojos and tried to fit it into my work/school schedule, but it just didn’t happen.

    I changed careers, moved back to my hometown, and once my girls weren’t infants, I found my current dojo. My former teacher moved his dojo about an hour away, and it just doesn’t fit my schedule.

    It’s been about 3 and a half years back now. The first day back felt like home again. The syllabi between my former and current schools are extremely close. And I remembered practically everything from my previous school. It was just a matter of getting the rust out and learning a few new things. I started at white belt and just promoted to 2nd kyu (brown) about 2 months ago. I was preparing for my 2nd dan test when I left my former school. I wanted to start over again. A few dojos offered to let me wear my old belt; I didn’t want to. My current CI said I needed to start at white belt, which is part of why I respected him initially.
     
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  8. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    As someone who got in a lot of fights in high school...this happens a lot. From my experience, all the anger and resentment I felt towards someone generally went away after fighting with them, and while we may not become friends, the tenseness there was gone. I reached out to a couple of them over this past summer, from fights 5-10 years ago, apologizing for my part in them. They did the same, and it didn't seem like there were any grudges either way.
     
  9. mrt2

    mrt2 Green Belt

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    As you know, I was away for almost 35 years before returning this year. Like you, I felt at home in the Dojang pretty much from day one. curicullum is similar, but not identical to my former style. My instructor told me I had to start as a white belt, but he would move me up more quickly than someone completely new to TKD. And he has. I am now a high yellow belt, or
     
  10. CrazedChris

    CrazedChris Green Belt

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    I originally signed up my 3 kids that are still at home. Mostly to get them out of the house, exercising, and to help with my oldest daughter's shyness and anxiety, plus I really felt the need for them, the girls especially, to know self defense. My youngest daughter is a wild child and needed some focus and more discipline and to channel her endless energy into something useful.

    I joined because it looked fun, would encourage my daughter more, and lets face it, I needed a workout that I would enjoy and stick with. I found that it helps me with stress as well, and yes, self defense.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    My teacher told me I’d start as a white belt and promote when I was ready. He hasn’t held me back nor pushed me along quicker. I promoted quicker a few times in the beginning, but I’ve been on a normal schedule after the first few belts. The last time he offered to promote me early was a few belts ago. I told him ‘whatever you think is best. It makes no difference to me how long it takes to get to any specific rank. I just care about getting better, regardless of the belt.”
     
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  12. mrt2

    mrt2 Green Belt

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    When I left Tang Soo Do, I was a Cho Dan Bo, which is a rank between 1st Gup and 1st Dan. At my current school, they call it provisional black belt, but in my former school, you wear your red belt, with two white stripes and a black stripe. Anyway, I know I am not anywhere near a provisional black belt level, nor do I want to be. But I do think I am better than my current rank indicates. But it is fine. I have been advancing one rank per month since I started. I anticipate that pretty soon, the head instructor will slow down with the promotions, probably after the next test, which is for green belt. And that is fine.

    I am looking forward to advancing beyond the beginner color belts, because there are more opportunities for more advanced students to train than beginner students. There is one day a week reserved for black/high brown belts only in the time slot reserved for adults, and another day reserved for high intermediate and black belt students only. On those days, I can either take a day off or go to the smaller satellite school for "Family Tae Kwon Do", which is a mix of children and adults. This class is fine, and I may even continue attending those sometimes, but I can see a path where if I want to push myself, there are harder classes on the horizon. This is, IMO, a very good thing for advanced students, which I did not have a chance to do back in the day, as every class was a general classes that included everybody from white belts up to black belts.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  13. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    As others mentioned, my interest was media driven as well. Ed Parker appeared on The Lucy Show in 1963 and I was hooked. There weren't any schools around me at that time, but when one opened some eight years later, I was all in.

    My reasoning? No reason, pure addiction.

    What I expected to get out of it was learning Karate.

    Still studying now.....still addicted. :)
     
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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    A lot of people around my age cite the original Karate Kid as inspiration to start training. I do too. But I never really wanted to be Daniel/Miyagi-Do. I wanted to be Cobra Kai. I’ve always been drawn to those loose cannon-types. :)
     
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  15. mrt2

    mrt2 Green Belt

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    Subtract all that ******** about mercy being for the weak, and Cobra kai was a lot closer to a real 70s or 80s Karate studio. I read somewhere that Pat Johnson, who played the referee at the tournament and consulted on the movie based the Cobra Kai loosely on a chain of Tang Soo Do studios he and Chuck Norris ran in SoCal in the early 70s.

    And it is true, there was at least a couple of loose cannons at my old Tang Soo Do school. Not so many any more. I think, maybe, the tough guys have gone onto harder styles like Muy Thai, BJJ, or MMA.
     
  16. Rice Nachos

    Rice Nachos White Belt

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    I wanted to be a ninja (circa 1983).
     
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  17. marques

    marques 3rd Black Belt

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    Started for self-defence. When we are a male teenager, that is a skill to have. :) Movies helped, as well.
    Then the training became my 'therapy' and it was the reason to stay about 10 years in the same school.
    Then needed to stop or change school... and have been training on and off since then.
     
  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Purple Belt

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    I started when I was 24. I had finished college where I played football and was always very active. I had never, ever given MA (standard term was Karate back in 1986) any thought. One day a buddy of mine said something like "I'm going to go try this karate class, why don't you come with me. So I did thinking it would last a couple of months at the most. Six months later we were still training; he was in a bad accident and had to quit. I was bitten and mildly obsessed. I found it filled the void left after college sports and was a very good Segway into the next chapter(s) in life.
     
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  19. Hanshi

    Hanshi Orange Belt

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    It's difficult for me to answer the question. The short answer is I saw a karate guy on a western way back in the 1950s. A little later I was surprised at what a childhood friend was able to do after a few months of informal lessons. That started me on a cascading journey to more and more.
     
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  20. Mark Lynn

    Mark Lynn Master Black Belt

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    My journey in the martial arts started because my girlfriend at the time challenged me to start taking classes with her and her brother. That was in 1981 and I was 19 1/2. I stayed because I enjoyed it and was interested in learning to protect myself. I met my sensei 6 months later when I went to a school that was owned by a kick boxer Demetrius "The Greek" Havanas. Soon after joining that school Greek was killed in a pane crash and the school ownership changed so my sensei left and I soon followed. I found him teaching at another school, then he relocated to his dojo at his house. Somehow I got invited to train at "The Dojo" and those were a rough 6-8 years of fighting in the Dojo and working out with college karate clubs on the weekends. I also left in 82-84 to go to college and trained with and taught their intramural karate class as a brown belt in 83-84. Moved back and trained at the Dojo till I relocated again back to Waco and studied Wado for a couple of years until I went back to Dallas and back to the Dojo. Till I moved to OK for 18 months and trained with a kick boxing club and then back to Dallas/Fort Worth and back to the Dojo. Training and fighting at the Dojo was a great time of cementing friendships for me.

    My goal or desire was to learn to defend myself and in 1982 I went to a Dan Inosanto seminar (with my sensei's encouragement) where my martial study changed as I started a parallel track of doing the JKD, Thai boxing, Kali, FMA type arts while still doing the American Karate (Wado 1985-87) and American TKD with my sensei. In 92-94ish, I took a JKD Kali class then started with Hock Hochheim in late 93/early 94 and he introduced me to GM Remy Presas in 95 and GM Ernesto in 96. I was now teaching American Karate but my interest was in the FMAs and combatives with Hock. As an FMA junkie; I still tried out Pekiti Tirsa, JKD Kali, Garimot Escrima, and others but my passion was really Modern Arnis and Kombatan Arnis (the Presas brothers). In 2001 GM Remy passed away and shortly thereafter I started an ongoing training relationship with Dieter Knuttel, Dan Anderson, and later still Tim Hartman which I continue through to this day by having them in for seminars at my school. Still being an FMA junkie in 2017 I started training in his style of Mirarada Escrima under GM Art Miralfor in his apartment with one of my assistant instructors. We had a blast and we learned a lot from him and that experience.

    My goal once I got past just the need or want to defend myself was to become a decent teacher. My sensei always taught us outside of the box so to speak and I wanted to give my students the same kind of drive or passion he gave me. Due to my job (I worked for an airline) and my drive to be a good teacher/student and to learn from the best I traveled all over the place to train with some of the top instructors in their chosen arts. In 2007 I started teaching my own program at the Rec. Center that I'm currently at, I started teaching American karate, Presas Arnis and Kobudo. With the help of my assistants we started cross training groups here in DFW area and TX in general in the FMAs and Modern Arnis/Kombatan Arnis respectively to train with other FMAers to continue to grow and network with.

    In 2009 I started officially training in Kobudo as well blending my FMA understanding and applying it to weapons such as Sai, Kama, Tonfa, and Bo. Although I started learning Kobudo at the Dojo back in 1989. Soon after starting offically learning a set curriculum I started teaching my students the same weapons (to keep in practice with my formal lessons) even having three of my students join in the "Official" class in 2014 and testing for black in 2017.

    Even though I moved and relocated due to school and work I always found a new place to train. When at work and on brake I studied my notes from class and the seminars I attended, which I made into teaching manuals and curriculums that I still use today. Being in the martial arts has allowed me to develop life long friendships and mentor ships, it has helped me to focus, it has helped me to grow and learn to be a better teacher, a better speaker, and a more confident person.

    Still growing and going strong in my 37th year of study. I hope I'm still doing this when I'm in my 80's.
     
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