Sober martial arts enthusiast

samjames

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I've been sober for about two years, and have been training for about a year. I find very much fulfillment in my martial arts training. I know there have for sure been nights where it has kept me sober. I was just wondering if anyone has a similar story. How long have you been training?
 

Blade96

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Training six and a half months.

and shotokan helps with my depression.

i also read in an article in reader's digest once that being happy requires two things

One is having a passion for something you love and are good at.

and the other is having a philosophy and a way of life to follow.

In Shotokan I get all that. I found that I am good at karate.

and I also found a philosophy and a way of life to follow in the teachings of Funakoshi Gichin.
 

MA-Caver

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Started MA about 30+ years ago and been learning off and on ever-since...
Been clean and sober for 21+ years... NOT drinking (and using) has given me a better mind and spirit to do better in my MA, I need to get my MA training back on track but through my sobriety I've learned discipline to wait or has my MA given me the discipline? :idunno: either way both journeys have been parallel for a long time.
 

xJOHNx

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6/7 years tee-total (depending on the timeline I use to count).
Martial arts kind off saved my life.
 

Flea

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MA has been absolutely amazing for my bipolar disorder.

For several years I've kept a daily diary of my moods as a point of reference. My manic and depressive episodes used to last for weeks or months at a time. Now they usually last only a few days, with weeks of rock-solid stability in between.

:piratedan
 

buldog

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Sober 13 months and counting. Still being kept out of training by one health problem after another. I think I'm going to have to go soft style from here out just not sure if I have the patience for it. My mind keeps writing checks that my body can't cash.
 

Carol

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Congrats to all of you for being sober and/or healthier. Alcohol and drugs are tough demons to beat, and mental health issues are huge challenges of their own. :asian: :asian:

When I started MA I was drinking nearly every day. I wasn't addicted, but I did like it. I knew it wasn't the best for me, at the same time I wasn't really motivated to change.

When I started training I wanted to get in better shape, and develop better discipline. Plus it had kinda been a dream of mine since I was a teenager to give MA training a try. I didn't expect to fall in love with my training the way I had....the dojo became a sanctuary where I could simple be a karate student and not worry about what I was, or was not, in other places.

I loved the school, loved my teachers. After recting the school creed at the start of every class that included "I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that could reduce my mental strength or physical health." something seemed to change within me.

Physically, I felt healthier from the training and didn't want anything to interfere. Mentally I felt like I wanted to do all I could to succeed in my class, and drinking as I was doing was not "avoid anything that coupld reduce my mental stength or my physical health". I went from a person that drank nearly every day, to a person that rarely drank at all.

My training habits changed after my work hours changed as well as some injuries...but that was one change that was permanent. I am still a person that rarely drinks, and I know my health is better for it. :)
 

Flea

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I'll add another thought - I've found that along with the stability, I've been living better in other ways. I keep a cleaner house, better financial records, and a healthier diet. I'm more patient and loving with people, whether they're friends, adversaries, or strangers.

None of this has been intentional. It's just an organic ripple effect from the first day I showed up and some old hand let me introduce him to the floor. That ripple is ongoing in some exciting ways - this newfound patience has made me much better at my customer service job, where I'm now Being Noticed. Likewise I've discovered some leadership skills I never knew I had, and that's now impacting my larger community on a city-wide level.

Where will this take me next? I can't wait to find out. There is no question that I'll be practicing MA until I'm too old and infirm to move any more. Recently I spent a month in another part of the country scouting out a new city to move to. A major factor in my decision has been the availability of my MA. I can't imagine my life without it now.
 
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samjames

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Thank you all for your responses. Its good to know that there are other people who have a similar story. For me, there have been countless nights where I have been invited to go out and drink, but my desire to progress in martial arts was stronger, and I declined. Martial arts has helped me mature, overcome depression somewhat, and build discipline, and balance in my life. I'm very grateful that I've found it.
 

GHETTO NINJA

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ive been sober for years and MA has helped me stay that way , but if i ever come across some of my buddies with the herbal inspirational healing tools i puff in a responsible way and MA has gave me that self control :angel:
 

Nolerama

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Although I enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine, I fill my spare time up with training and hanging out with my MA buddies; no need to spend time with the old bar crowd.

I also had a really bad anger problem prior to my MA training. It's not that I take out my frustrations on my training partner, it's more that my life perspective has been redirected from how the world is affecting me to how I affect the world.

It's pretty mellowing. Nothing like the endorphin rush you get after a really good sparring session.
 

Blade96

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Congrats to all of you for being sober and/or healthier.

i dont know about healthier. I sort of lied. I really dont have any friends so i never go anywhere and the only thing I have in my life is shotokan (but dont have any friends there either I am a real loner and hardly talk to anyone) so i get really depressed

doesnt help that most of them act like i dont exist (most of them do) its probably a loyalty thing They dont want to spend energy on like white or yellow belts who might not stay but even though i work hard learn quickly and 'have a talent for it' as my senseis told me and announced my intent to go all the way to black belt and beyond that even and work hard for learning I dont really have friends and most people avoid me and as a result i avoid them.

Maybe it shouldnt matter though. i went to learn shotokan, not to make friends.
 

corwin137

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26 years sober (42 years old), martial arts longer than that. Started with TKD as a kid, got a drug/ETOH habit. Cleaned up, started some N. Shaolin, then Tai Chi, then S. Shaolin, Kenpo, and some esoteric styles. Last 10 years or so have been doing mostly JKD (whatever that is...)/Kali, "combatives" (whatever they are...), jiu jistu and some other stuff.

Most importantly- I don't do MA for the usual reasons. I do 'em primarily for what they can turn me into as a person, if looked at in a specific way. That is the part that relates directly to my slowbriety. The capacity for mindfulness, stripping me of my ego, how it can highlight my character defects (and my meager assets), if looked at in the way I'm describing.
 

ceaer

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I've never had a drug or drinking problem-- I've never had any drugs or alcohol, period-- but I did/do have other self-destructive habits. Like Blade, I have depression issues and I have found my training to help with that immensely. I don't know if it's the physical exercise, the friends I've made, simply getting out of the house, having goals to focus on, or what exactly, but it helps. When I feel horrible I always focus on "x hours till class" and I always get there. No matter how horrid I feel I get myself out the door instead of reverting to self-destructive habits. Carol quoted part of her school's creed "I will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that could reduce my mental strength or physical health." and mine has a part very, very similar to that. We don't recite the creed in class but it's up on the wall very visibly and whenever I see that it feels like it was written for me personally, it really affects me. I honestly feel that if I hadn't taken up martial arts (a mere 4 years ago) I would not be alive at this moment.
 

xJOHNx

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i dont know about healthier. I sort of lied. I really dont have any friends so i never go anywhere and the only thing I have in my life is shotokan (but dont have any friends there either I am a real loner and hardly talk to anyone) so i get really depressed

doesnt help that most of them act like i dont exist (most of them do) its probably a loyalty thing They dont want to spend energy on like white or yellow belts who might not stay but even though i work hard learn quickly and 'have a talent for it' as my senseis told me and announced my intent to go all the way to black belt and beyond that even and work hard for learning I dont really have friends and most people avoid me and as a result i avoid them.

Maybe it shouldnt matter though. i went to learn shotokan, not to make friends.
It should have nothing to with your rank/belt. They are just paper gangsters. Ignore them, rise above and you'll go further than those who let their ego's stand in the way.
 

Blade96

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It should have nothing to with your rank/belt. They are just paper gangsters. Ignore them, rise above and you'll go further than those who let their ego's stand in the way.

I dont know if its paper gangsters or people with ego's. I dont believe its my yellow belt, either. In that case then everyone must be a paper gangster because I've always been treated that way in life.

It must be my fault, maybe my social skills are crap. or my personality is bad. or something. Who the **** knows why I am not really liked.
 

Bruno@MT

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When I started MA I was drinking nearly every day. I wasn't addicted, but I did like it. I knew it wasn't the best for me, at the same time I wasn't really motivated to change.

I've never smoked or done drugs. I do however like high end whisky and cognac. I won't say I drink nearly every day, but regularly.

But I am wary of falling into the trap of becoming a habitual drinker so every now and again I decide for myself not to drink any alcohol for the next 2 or 3 weeks. I figure that as long as I don't have trouble not drinking for a couple of weeks, I don't have to worry about the habit becoming an unhealthy one. the other limit I set myself is that I don't drink more than 2 glasses unless there is an exceptional reason like being at a party.

Currently I am in my 3d week of not drinking. And since I have decided to work off the additional winter weight, I'll probably abstain for a longer than 3 weeks.

Anyway, congrats to all of you.
 

xJOHNx

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I dont know if its paper gangsters or people with ego's. I dont believe its my yellow belt, either. In that case then everyone must be a paper gangster because I've always been treated that way in life.

It must be my fault, maybe my social skills are crap. or my personality is bad. or something. Who the **** knows why I am not really liked.
Paper gangsters are people who think they archieved something or feel tough because they have a paper that says: black/brown/green/whatever belt.
Don't take their BS, just shrug it off.

When I was having that in highschool is stopped when I started believing the words: "Rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not". Don't blame it on yourself, because there is always someone who thinks you are awesome (I believe your sensei, no?).
 

Blade96

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Paper gangsters are people who think they archieved something or feel tough because they have a paper that says: black/brown/green/whatever belt.
Don't take their BS, just shrug it off.

probably somewhat normal for ranks to want to hang around with those of their own rank. maybe.

I just dont think like that. I'd talk to anyone nice. if they're friendly i dont care about rank.

i remember greeting someone who wanted to try shotokan. all i said was hello.....and that was it. Because he was not terrifically friendly.

john said:
When I was having that in highschool is stopped when I started believing the words: "Rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not". Don't blame it on yourself, because there is always someone who thinks you are awesome (I believe your sensei, no?).

yeah my sensei :angel:

but i think i'd rather be loved. I had a lifetime all 31 years of it....of being hated.
 

ceaer

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probably somewhat normal for ranks to want to hang around with those of their own rank. maybe.

I just dont think like that. I'd talk to anyone nice. if they're friendly i dont care about rank.

i remember greeting someone who wanted to try shotokan. all i said was hello.....and that was it. Because he was not terrifically friendly.



yeah my sensei :angel:

but i think i'd rather be loved. I had a lifetime all 31 years of it....of being hated.

You're always talking about your sensei and your nidan and how much they like you. Focus on them and don't worry too much about unfriendly people. Everyone has their own issues, it doesn't reflect on you at all. Some people also just take time to warm up to people, not necessarily because you're 'only' a yellow belt, but because they just need time to adjust to new people. Myself personally, I make a point of introducing myself to every new person and getting their name and exchanging hellos and all that. But after that, it can take me a while to adjust to having the person there-- not a reflection on them at all, but just my own thing. I'll say hi to them every class but probably won't have any real conversations for at least a month. Not like I'm intentionally ignoring them, just it usually takes me a while to warm up to people.
Also, at the risk of being too forward, you mentioned in this thread you have depression. As a fellow sufferer I know too well how that can cloud everything. I have felt totally isolated and alone while I had people reaching out to me. I just couldn't see it at the time. I can virtually gaurantee if you look at your situation again when your mood improves you will see it's not as bleak as you're perceiving it.
 
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