does taking martial arts enhance your life?

Kacey

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Taking Taekwon-Do changed my life in ways I could not have imaged when I started. I started TKD purely by chance; I was talked into it by the guy I was dating at the time. After half my life spent in TKD (I started in February of 1987), I can't imagine anything else. It is who I am... but before I started I could not have imagined taking a martial art - never mind foreseen where it would take me.
 

IcemanSK

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MA helped me learn how to focus on setting & reaching goals, in addition to the incredible physical benefits that I've gained. In learning the kicks, blocks, forms, etc., I've learning to take things that I wanted to achieve & break things down into "bite sized" pieces. It crossed over into the rest of my life in the classroom, running 5Ks, & my work life.

Someone should write a book entitled, "Everything I needed to know I learned in MA class". Ya think that'd be a bit much?:idea:
 

newGuy12

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Yes, and if you achieve higher rank, like about 1st Gup (brown belt or red belt), or Cho Dan, then you must live up to it. That means that you cannot whine and moan, or be lazy, you gotta get things done and do things right. So, I have got the Cho Dan now, and now that I am a student again, I can't be a bad example.

This is maybe a "hard style" way, you have to FORCE things to work out sometimes, apply yourself strenuously at times!
 

FearlessFreep

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I'm curious at upping the ante a little bit.

Most physical activities when done regularly and consistently will give increased conditioning, strength, stamina, etc..

Most mental activities when done regularly and consistently will give you increased focus, concentration, memory, etc..

Now, what sets Martial Arts apart as unique? Physically? Mentally? Or some combination?
 

terryl965

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Martial Arts has tought me to be at peace with myself and to look at all things from every angle. My journey is far from over but I have noticed when I am at Peace it is when I'm working out. My mind has been on a journey or self decovery since I started.
 

Kacey

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Now, what sets Martial Arts apart as unique? Physically? Mentally? Or some combination?

IMHO, MAs in general have a mental piece that goes beyond the skills of concentration taught in many sports. Responsible instructors teach moral use of the physical skills taught along with the physical skills, and that creates a different atmosphere than the types of sports/fitness activities most kids grow up with in school. There is also the mental aspect of taking the skills learned and applying them to a variety of situations. As I have said in other threads, the physical side of TKD attracted me in the beginning, but the mental side is why I stayed in the long term.
 

Last Fearner

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i was wondering if any of you would say that martial arts enhances your life in any ways?
If it doesn't enhance your life, it isn't Martial Art.... just fighting or an exercise class (just my personal, humble opinion so as not to offend all the Martial Fighters)

meaning no matter what you do for a living, do you find that martil arts adds a balance to your life that would not be there if you did not take martial arts?
The essence of the Martial Art is balance. It is balance in every aspect and in everything you do.

does it make you a more balanced or focused or calm or peaceful person?
Remember that the Martial Art does not "make" you any of these things. Proper Martial Art education can provide you with the knowledge and skills to become balanced, focused, or peaceful, but it is up to you to choose to behave in this manner - - each and every moment of every day.

what about if you have a job where you travel a lot? are you still able to get focused practice time when you are on the road traveling? do you find that traveling a lot and not being able to take class for awhile effects your abilitly to lean and grow? (i ask these questions because they pertain to my career).
Class is about learning, practicing, and receiving corrections from a (hopefully) qualified instructor. Life is about application. The Martial Art should exist in everything you do, no matter where you are. Are you aware of your surroundings? Do you perceive potential dangers without becoming paranoid or freeze with fear? Have you considered possible responses to virtually any danger, conflict or attack? How do you breathe each breath? Do you move from one place to another with grace, balance and control? How did you just stand up, walk across the room, open that door, get in or out of your car? How are you preparing that meal, or moving your hand to grasp the utensil and feed yourself? Was it the best way to do that? Were you at peace and in harmony with your environment as you did those things.

If you can do those things, and be subconsciously aware of your Martial Art training without it becoming a strain or burden to do so, then you are living the life of a Martial Artist. Learn to stop and smell the roses, listen to some peaceful music, appreciate an artist's painting. Read some poetry, write some poetry, paint a picture. Life is an opportunity to learn and enjoy. Living life is an art form. The Martial Art is the art of living life to its fullest - - in my opinion. As for practicing techniques and self defense, all you need is 15 to 30 minutes each day, and a space of about 3 to 6 square feet. Close range techniques, hand strikes and joint locks can be practiced in the air with virtually no extra room - - wherever you are.

My above comments are offered from the perspective of an instructor, because I am an instructor. If this is useful to you, then great. If it offends you, then it wasn't meant for you..... ignore it and move on.

CM D.J. Eisenhart
 

YoungMan

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I think one of the ways that martial arts (especially traditional arts) diffrentiates itself from other physical activities is the idea that it is not focused on competition. In America, because of our culture, many of the activities we do for sport revolve around competition and winning. Which is great if you are physically gifted, young, fast, strong, mentally sure of yourself etc. Even if you don't start playing sports for a team, if you have talent, eventually it turns into "why don't you do this professionally or at least try out for X Team?"
Martial arts are different. They are not bent on winning, proving who's better, or designed around a framework of time. Your main competition is yourself, and you take as short or as long to master something as you want. You may not test right on schedule, but there's always next time.
This is great for people who do not feel physically gifted enough to compete, or simply don't want to compete. It makes for a more inclusive activity.
Also, it definitely helps to have a teacher who teaches martial arts as a holistic activity rather than just a sport. Because if they teach it as a sport or avenue to competition, invariably they will be disappointed when students do not perform up to expectations.
 
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drummingman

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thank you all for all the great responses. feel free to keep them coming as i am learning a good deal reading them, and im sure that others are as well.
 

YoungMan

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I certainly started Tae Kwon Do because the self defense aspect appealed to me. I also wanted to practice a martial art. It's almost like martial arts called to me. Very difficult to explain to someone who just started practicing for recreation or exercise.
However, I stayed because it filled a void in my life. I didn't feel good enough to play sports, and TKD offered me an avenue that I felt comfortable with.
 
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