Storys Of people pincking on Martial Arts People

B

Black Bear

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Thank God I'm not in high school anymore, nor do I go to bars. By the sounds of it, you guys are surrounded by idiots. *shudder*

I've invited most of my close friends to the studio, and they have no misconceptions about what it is I do for fun. Then again, most of my acquaintances are degreed professionals.

It's wise to apply a bit of judgement when conversing about this stuff with morons. IIRC, it Bruce Lee among others taught that there was one kind of pride that was boastful and overtly arrogant, and another that was based on getting off on the secrecy of it all, like you're really smug about not telling anyone, kind of false humility. Two sides of a coin, but they're the same coin. An interesting idea.
 

Tony

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I think one of the only times I would mention I did a Martial ARt is if I met another Martial Artist at a party or somewhere! It would give us something to talk about for the whole evening and a great way to make friends which proved the case at school! WhenI started my Graphic Design A Level course I saw this guy reading a Martial Arts magazine and we got talking and became good friends!
Whenever I meet a fellow Martial Artist of whatever style I soon build a rapport with that person and I forget about my shyness!
Its also good to exchange ideas and information and put right any misconceptions they may have about my Art or me about theirs!
But if I do encountersome person who is an MA and he says something like "oh ok, lets fight and see how good you are" I would probably decline!
I remember a long time ago even before I started Kung Fu when I used to teach myself from books being goaded into sparring with this guy who was a Taekwondo practitioner. He was very fast and I felt like a joke sparring with him but I eventually got the better of him by taking him off balance by catching his leg! But soon after that me and him became good friends! I told him he was really good and I really respected his skills like I would with anyone I spar with. But there are those people who can't stand to be beaten in sparring matches. I often feel like complimenting people on their techniques and asking them if they have trained in anything else!
 

theletch1

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Thank God I'm not in high school anymore, nor do I go to bars. By the sounds of it, you guys are surrounded by idiots. *shudderSpaceballs, the post. :) (if you've seen the movie you'll understand)

Most folks that I know are folks within the MA community. I drive a truck at night so my co-workers rarely talk to me. The few that do know me are men that I've known for a long time and either don't discuss it at all or are curious to know about it. The man that loads my truck before my run each night is constantly threatening to "Whup my @$$." in a loud boisterous voice until I set my log book and thermos down and then he takes off toward the back of the loading dock laughing. The man is my fathers age but one of my best friends and it is done all in good fun. Surprisingly, during many, many discussions about MA with other drivers on the road over the c.b. radio I've only ever encountered one or two folks who've interjected negative comments about the MA into the conversation and they always seem to be going in the opposite direction.
 

satans.barber

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Seems like reaction is very much based on age to me, if older people (let's say 25+) find out you've worked hard at something and dedicate yourself to soemthing, they're generally interested and want to talk to you about it (and often join in, I've got quite a few students this way when people decide they'll give it a go!).

It often seems to be younger people who, if they find out you study a martial art are compelled to shout 'HIIIYAAAAAAAAAAAAA!' in your face, or jump into the classic Karate Kid pose infront of you, or generally start taking the piss.

Now and again you get the 'ohhh! can I attack you then?' sort of people, to which you generally have to say if you feel you must, but I wouldn't if you need to be at work in the morning.

One thing people do seem to understand is a black belt though, people used to be like 'what belt are you' 'green belt at the moment.' '...is that good?' etc., but if you tell someone you've earned a black belt they do seem to have at least some respect! I try not to engage them in conversations about how meaningless rank is of course, I think they're to be saved for the club nights out!

Ian.
 

Tony

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Have you ever seen some people who go to their Martial Arts classes wearing their class suits outside just before practice? I guess this can be seen in so many ways! Firstly though I have to say I will always wear my jacket over my uniform. But because I practice Kung Fu it doesn't look so out of place as if I were going to the gym to work out, because I wear my black training Kung Fu pants and a plain white T shirt! BUt I could purchase out club T shirt with out logo!
But when I see people wearing TKD T shirts or carrying any other items which blatantly appears that they practice Martial Arts, they may as well have a sign on their forehead saying " I practice a Martial Art and I want a fight".
I think wearing anything that gives away the fact you study a Martial Art is very risky!
The only time I want someone to find out I do a Martial art is if I have to defend myself and the other person realises its not such a good idea!
But I certainly agree that the older the person is, the more respect they will have for what you do and won't make those silly sound effects!
 
B

Black Bear

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"Now and again you get the 'ohhh! can I attack you then?' sort of people, to which you generally have to say if you feel you must, but I wouldn't if you need to be at work in the morning." :lol: Good one.

Here's a great article on fear.

Awareness Versus Paranoia:
the Realities of Self Defense Training
By Matt Thornton

There seems to be an ongoing debate in Martial Arts circles these that can be summed up in the sentence, "street" versus "sport" training. The false premise being it must be one or the other, that the training methods are mutually exclusive. This is not only an incorrect assumption; it also goes against the long and colorful history of American "combatives" or "self defense" instructors, of previous eras. A brief look into their backgrounds, and minimum amount of research will tell the tale.

So setting aside that false argument for a moment, I would like to address the most important topic related to real world self-defense, the topic of awareness.

When I teach people specific topics related to civilian "self-defense" I generally base my teaching on a simple progression I call the ABC's of self-defense. The A stands for awareness, and is by far the most important aspect of the teaching. Awareness as I am defining it is the broad based clear realization of your environment, and surroundings, as it is brought to your body by all five senses. Knowing where you are, and what's around you at all times. At first glance this seems like a very simple idea, but it is in reality the most difficult aspect of self-defense training, with the 'pre' physical confrontation (what many are now calling the "psychological" aspects of self defense), and the actual physical skills of fighting, being a very distant second in importance.

"What makes this needed awareness difficult is first and foremost our own minds."

We are often proud, so we don't bother checking with local authorities regarding our geography. Or worse yet, we feel aggressive, which is a form of fear, and purposely place ourselves in situations we shouldn't be. We place ourselves in situations where we know we may receive an invitation to hurt another human being. This subconscious motive is common with those that like to "bar" fight. Or the half-wit that upon first receiving his concealed weapons permits begins driving through tough neighborhoods within his city. And it's worth noting that those, which find themselves attracted to such situations, or people, are usually the weakest members of human society. Both intellectually, emotionally, and to a degree, physically.

"We often feel paranoid, so we create an atmosphere around us that attracts predators, and fellow victims of paranoia seeking to measure their fear, and misery against ours. "

We are most often distracted with random and uncontrollable thoughts of our relationships, jobs, finances, and our own personal judgments regarding how we feel things should be, or not be, and this makes us oblivious to so much of what is going on around us within our field of awareness.

All of these states, pride, aggression, paranoia, and confusion, create a mind that is unable to read its surroundings well, and invites dangerous situations that could otherwise be avoided. They narrow the field of awareness to a great extent. So our first goal in cultivating this real world awareness should be to broaden that field, to expand it, and allow us to fully process all that occurs within our vicinity. To do this we need to attack each of these states step by step.

Let's start with pride. My job is self-defense, martial arts, and combat athletics; it's all I do for a living. This affords me more time then the average person has when it comes to daily training. It keeps my body in reasonable athletic shape, beyond what most 'normal' people have within our society. And it has given me a certain amount of skill when it comes to fighting within all ranges. In the course of working towards my black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I have wrestled thousands of opponents to submission. Some bigger and stronger, some faster, some younger, over and over. This is nothing special, it's simply the process required to gain real world skill in any delivery system of combat.

Having said all that there are still many places I will not wander, unless I had to, within this world. One clear example is South Africa. I have visited South Africa on many occasions. And depending on the statistics you read, Johannesburg may be the homicide capitol of the world. For those that think they come from a tough neighborhood in the USA, an evening stroll through a South African township may quickly bring that measurement into perspective. Before my last trip I was approached by a modern "combatives", or self-defense Instructor within the USA who is quite well known. He was offering what he felt was helpful advice by telling me what firearms I should carry while there, what clipit knife I should have on my person, and relating to me all the latest violent crime, and car jacking stats from the local.

Then he asked "what do you carry while you are there?" When I informed him I usually don't carry any form of weapons, be they blades or guns, he looked quite shocked. "How can you be in a place like that and not be armed, man?" My answer was, I am with people who know where to go. It's as simple as that. I have a 140lb Portuguese driver named Nuno, who is quite good at keeping us out of places we shouldn't be, when we shouldn't be there. He grew up in Joberg, and knows the area very well.

The worst thing I could possibly do is believe that because of my job, and the amount of weapons I am carrying on my person, I could wander the city as I see fit. That would be pride, and or stupidity, of the worst kind. And even if I were to survive such an encounter, and in the process wind up hurting people, what have I really gained?

"Know where you are at, and when you should be there, and if you are not from there, find someone who is, and listen to them!"

Aggression is another state all together. The first thing I try to explain is that aggression when it is unwarranted is simply another manifestation of fear. We need to understand that aggression and fear are one and the same quality. Two ends of the same stick, or two halves of the same coin, if you will. They are not only the same, they are inseparable. When it's aggression that is manifesting itself in non-appropriate ways, such as the examples above of the "bar" fighter, or the concealed weapons holder who puts himself in dangerous situations, then it's actually the fear that is being manifest. So we need to address that issue, the big issue of martial arts as I see it, the issue of fear.

I am asked a lot about fear when I teach seminars. And the subject of fear is an important one for anyone interested in pursuing martial arts, or self-defense. The first thing we need to do when we talk about fear is separate what I call "psychological" fear, which is self created, and what I call "body" fear, which is dependent on external circumstances.

Body fear is the body's own natural response to danger. It's normal, healthy, and needed. The simple example is the two men in the military told to charge a machine gun nest. One charges the nest, and is branded a hero. One refuses to move, and is branded a coward. However, the important point is that physically both men felt the exact same thing. This feeling the body gets is the natural response to a very real physical threat, and it should be viewed as an aid, and not a foe.

Another clear example of body fear comes in the form of what people often call 'intuition'. A term I prefer is "gut" instinct. This is a great term because it aptly describes the body's actual feeling when danger comes closea stirring in the gut, (stomach area). The work of Gavin De Becker brings this information to light in a very accessible way. The nanny that gives the mother an "uneasy" feeling. The date that wont take "no" for an answer. The stranger offering unsolicited help. When we meet these people our bodies tell us something is wrong, and then, too often, we allow the mind to come in and rationalize the feeling as "paranoia."

In reality, the opposite is true. Paranoia begins and ends in the mind, as thought. Gut instinct begins and ends in the body, as feeling. By learning to trust these gut instincts we can stay away from danger by recognizing it much sooner then we otherwise would. Gavin De Becker's work has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that the common idea that most violent acts are unpredictable is a complete and utter myth. For those raising children I would also highly suggest his book "protecting the gift," we are implementing some of the educational aspects of this book within our own children's program at the SBG.

Psychological fear is a completely different animal, and sadly it is incredibly common within the "combatives", or modern self-defense crowds. Psychological fear is actually a form of paranoia, and it's created by one's internal fears of inadequacy on either a physical, emotional, or mental level.

When a male (in particular) thinks himself to be inadequate there is a strong feeling of sadness and anger. And just as aggression is the other side of the same coin as fear, sadness is the other side of the same coin as anger. If one doesn't address this internal sadness in a very real way then it will often manifest itself in the form of anger. I think as males we are more prone to adopt and embrace the anger, at least within our public persona, as opposed to the sadness, because for some misguided reason we have been taught that anger is more "masculine" then it's equal, sadness.

One would think that by training in "street" orientated martial arts, or combatives that emphasize the self defense aspects of martial arts, to the exclusion of what they deem to be "sports" training, that these types of individuals would gain more confidence, more peace, more happiness, and become more comfortable within them as their skills at 'self-defense' grew. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that the opposite seems to be true. Individuals that come to strictly "street" orientated martial arts, that were already prone to feelings of inadequacy, shame, physiological fear, and paranoia tend to have those qualities magnified by such training, rather then eased.

I wouldn't ask anyone to take my word for it with that assessment. Instead I would suggest one visit the nearest "mercenary" convention, combatives or "street" martial arts forums, or speak with these individuals in person. This sadness, anger, and immense fear is palpable when you are forced to spend anytime around these types of individuals. Try reading the posts at the "street" forums. Many tend to read like angry notes from disgruntled 13-year-old boys. There is talk of "tearing out the mo-fo's eyes", biting, and various vicious things that can be done to the attackers. The posts speak to an intense anger and fear in the writers, and sadly, the Instructors of such curriculums cater to this need by exploiting their target audiences obvious weakness, and emotional frailty.

These same people could begin to realize a much deeper sense of peace, well being, and level of personal safety if they were instead steered away from the geeky-ness of the combatives crowd and into a more contact orientated, healthy, and sane sports environment, with "alive-arts" such as boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, muay thai, judo, and other "sports" systems. In that type of "alive-training" they will not only gain real skill within a particular delivery system of fighting, they will also achieve a higher level of personal conditioning, become used to a higher level of contact, understand exactly what an aggressive, resisting attacker feels like, and learn to perform under a certain amount of stress. They will also gain a real sense of peace that comes with understanding how to actually move the human body in effective ways against aggressive and dangerous attackers.

By avoiding the contact, resistance, and most important required willingness to tap, be thrown, hit, and be beaten over and over, that is required with Alive arts, the "self defense" student instead draws deeper and deeper into their own world of self defense fantasy. And in the process their fear, paranoia, and sense of overall unease only increases over time. The anger and sadness actually grow, and if not checked they can turn into the most destructive emotion a person can experience, hate.

The real irony is that by not addressing the psychological fear that these individuals feel they actually decrease there own field of awareness, narrow it, and increase their risk of personal attack.

The reason they increase that risk of attack by another is because when we are dealing from a point of psychological fear and anger we project that onto those around us, and in turn that anger, fear and aggression often gets projected back at us. Our world becomes a more hostile place to be.

As the scholar Robert Thurman so aptly put it:

"Once we are prone to hate and rage, we project around us a field of paranoia and all people become our potential enemies. We feel destructive towards them, and we assume they feel destructive towards us. When we become cool, we don't project enmity on others; we can observe them more objectively, and if they are in fact out to cause trouble, we can quickly act to avoid it."

Finally there is the issue of a chattering mind. We have all experienced being so lost in thought that we walk into a sign, or run a red light, or bump into someone on the street. In fact being lost in thought, and trapped within an imaginary world of a chattering mind, constantly talking to ourselves within our own heads, is for many people the normal state of being rather then the exception. The danger of this when it comes to your field of awareness is quite obvious. By turning our attention to our random thoughts, as opposed to the field of awareness around us now, we seal ourselves off from experiencing a great deal of reality. And in terms of self-defense, this presents a very real threat to our person.

A simple example of this is a friend of mine who was recently visiting a beautiful tropical island on vacation. She is an attorney by day, and maintains a fairly busy work schedule, along with being a mother. One day after having been on the island for three days, she was walking down the path and noticed the birds chirping. She realized she had not noticed that before, and wondered if the birds had just arrived? Then she realized the birds lived there. They had always been there. It was she that had just arrived.

We become so pre-occupied by our daily stress these days that we can easily get into the habit of allowing the mind to chatter endlessly. Being able to relax into a state of present awareness, (that is an awareness that is not burdened with thoughts of the past, or an imaginary future, and allowed to be fully present in the moment) will increase our level of performance in all areas of life, athletics, relationships, listening, hearing, seeing, and decision making. Our ability to sense danger also becomes heightened, as we are now free to notice what's going on around us in the moment, and our own bodies gut instinct to it, rather then attempting to rationalize it away with thought, or ignoring it all together.

This is the idea of awareness. The most useful tool for self-defense, and "self preservation".

By not allowing ourselves to become so prideful we neglect to ask those that know, the locals, local police, etc, where and when places are safe to visit. We will become more fully aware of where we should and should not be at any given time.

By acknowledging our own fear, which masks itself in aggression, we can avoid that weakest part of us which seeks to pick fights in bars, or place itself in dangerous situations as a means of creating more fear and misery. We can avoid the endless cycle of stupidity and suffering.

By acknowledging gut instinct, and not attempting to rationalize it with thoughts of how we "should" be acting, or what we "should" be feeling, we can avoid much danger we might otherwise ignore.

By acknowledging that aspect of ourselves that creates psychological fear we can avoid projecting our own anger and paranoia onto others around us, and as a consequence cease attracting certain troublemakers that might otherwise find themselves attracted to us.

By learning to calm the mind, and rest in a heightened, and relaxed state of present awareness, we can see danger coming much sooner then if we are in an agitated state of paranoia, or lost in the thoughts of a chattering mind.

This is true awareness.

I have not touched on the B and C aspects of the ABC teaching method. As I felt the subject of awareness fully warranted its own article, and was indeed the most important issue related to modern martial arts training. I will address each of those in future articles. But very quickly I will mention that B stands simply for diving Board. The diving board consists of all the 'pre'-fight psychology, postures, tactics, and things that one should be aware off. And it's named after the feeling one gets just before they take the leap off a high dive at a swimming pool for the first time. C stands simply for the actual physical confrontation that may or may not follow, and it refers to the actual physical skills in the delivery systems of stand up, the clinch, the ground, and with weapons, that we offer our clients.

It's worth noting the obvious in that I am painting with a broad brush when it comes to combatives or self-defense Instructors. I started the article by stating specifically that I was referring to those Instructors that seek to minimize the "alive" aspects of what they do, and refer to all "alive" arts as "sports" training. By mitigating the real value, skill, and attributes that are developed through Alive, athletic arts they dissuade those weaker minded individuals that where already prone to paranoia, and fear, from one of the few things that can really make a positive impact on their life, athletic training.

But as stated before, there is absolutely no reason that fully Alive training, and fully self defense orientated curriculums are mutually exclusive. In fact the opposite holds true. One can have an athletic curriculum that will teach a certain level of self-defense by emphasizing strictly sporting aspects of Arts such as boxing, wrestling, BJJ, and Muay Thai. But one cannot teach real world self defense without offering it in an Alive environment. When people attempt to do so they instead create a fantasy world, which only serves to increase their own paranoia, fear, anger, and sadness.

There are many great Instructors outside our own SBGI group that are offering top of the line modern combatives, and self defense training, while also understanding and using the athletic principles of Aliveness. That list includes Michael Brown of The Praesidium Group, Gabe Suarez a former police officer that is now training civilians, Kelly McCann from The Crucible Group, and many others. Their level of maturity and real world experience is visible, and your gut instinct will let you know that's true if you allow it to.

For firearms I would suggest D.R. Middlebrooks, the firearms training he uses is designed from a private citizen/solo act point of view rather than the normal team tactics type scenarios. After all, how often will the private citizen have a "team member" to help them?

In closing I'd like to offer an experiment. Spend one week without watching the news, or reading any major media publications. Avoid stressed out, or manic friends that are obvious victims of the chattering monkey mind. Devote at least 30 minutes each morning to doing absolutely nothing except sitting quietly. And try and look at every human you come in contact with as a member of your own family. Don't engage in any gossip, or negative conversations about anyone, even if you believe it to be justified. Don't give any credence or time to selfish thoughts that pop into your head about what you "need", or "want."

Instead, place your attention upon what others around you may want, or need. The assumption being, (and although you may feel this idealistic upon reading it, for the sake of the experiment give it a shot) that they too are actually looking out for your best interest. Try this simple test for one week. After one week ask yourself this question:

Do I feel safer?

-Matt Thornton www.straightblastgym.com
 

Thesemindz

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Most of the time when someone finds out I do martial arts they are genuinely interested and respectful. Of course, I hang out with adults. When I was youger, I got the question, "Could you kick my butt?" I think the answer to this question always has to be yes. If this person was a real threat, they wouldn't react this way upon finding out that I studied martial arts. In my opinion, this question reveals their own fears and insecurities, and shows them for the coward they are. After all, I don't go around asking people if they could beat me up, and neither do my instructors. We already know the answer to that question.


-Rob
 
B

Black Bear

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Guy: "Could you kick my butt?"
ALM: "Well I don't know you, but... yes."
 

Tony

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Well I have this friend, who is about 34 now and when he first started Taekwondo which must have been the first week he must have been totally impressed and thought this was the best Martial Art ever!
He came to my house with my other friend (my best friend who doesn't do any Martial Arts) and we were all talking and he began telling me he had started Taekwondo. Remembering that I had been training in Kung Fu for some years, he wanted to see how fast my punches were and like an idiot I started punching as fast as I could and he immediately criticised me "oh you have to punch faster than that!" like he's an expert now after a week's training!
And there was another occasion when we were watching a video at my friend's house, we got on to the subject of flexibility and I showed him how flexible I was. I think he must have been quite jealous or something because he challenged me to a sparring match. The truth of the matter is I was scared. He is a very aggressive person and he has been in many fights before, whereas I have not and I tend to avoid conflict!
When he challenged me I said I didn't want to and he became annoyed "Oh whats wrong with you?" " are you a man or a mouse?" and called me a couple of names but that I didn't want to fight him! This would only fuel his ego and in the long run it would not do any good!
But what if I had sparred with him and won? But I guess I will never know, because I thought it was totally unnecessary! He has to learn some Humility!
I have seen already how limited his flexibility in regards to his kicks are and none of them go above the waste and so would not be that effective, but he used to box a long time ago and is no stranger to fighting!
I really don't think he respects Martial Arts as a discipline but merely as a way of hurting people more effectively!
 
M

moving target

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I tend to think that sparring with people like that tends to be a bad idea. They tend to get emotionaly involved and pull out the stops if you start to win which can lead to a more or less real fight. I wouldn't spar with someone who had that attitude unless I knew I had them out classed.
 

Tony

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moving target said:
I tend to think that sparring with people like that tends to be a bad idea. They tend to get emotionaly involved and pull out the stops if you start to win which can lead to a more or less real fight. I wouldn't spar with someone who had that attitude unless I knew I had them out classed.

I think you're right moving target! Good thing I didn't spar with him because I think he was basically on a power trip and probably wanted to show me up and tell me how useless my Kung fu techniques were! I think he gets annoyed in his taekwondo class when he is sparring with higher levels and they manage to get some good kicks in that make contact and then he retaliates and gets over excessive! I am really surprised he hasn't had some severe warnings! Such people wouldn't be allowed in my class! My instructor doesn't allow this kind of behaviour! Although his instructor has told him to watch his excessive contact I think he still has a lot to learn!
Luckily there is no one in my class who is overly aggressive and if I do receive any challenges while out walking in town, or with my friends I will decline.
 
8

8253

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I have had people tell me that i got into Kenpo because i couldnt fight. The fact of the matter is, it taught me not to fight. I used to fight all of the time, and did very well at it but that didnt make it right. People who think that you cant fight because you start taking Martial Arts are full of it. Sometimes it is better to just sit back quietly and when it comes down to it then show them what you can do. Actions speak louder than words.
 

Tony

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Well there are those people who think they're tough guys and they think that by learning Martial Arts they will become invincible, there by making themselves dangerous! These are the people that give genuine and humble Martial Artists a bad name! They are more likely to pick fights and used what they have learned to do serious damage to unsuspecting people! But the sad reality is that not many Martial Arts instructors interview each new student! This is due to the fact that they would have no students and because of all the costs involve cannot afford to turn away anyone, no matter what kind of person they are! The old Kung fu schools would only teach those students worthy of being taught, who were of the right positive character. Little tests were devised to wean out those people who were unsuitable!
But I am lucky to say in my class there are no people like that! We have had people in the past who resemble these characteristics but they have not lasted long!

Although when I go in to the sports centre covering my T shirt, so no one can see I do Kung Fu, I still have to carry my Kung Fu staff, and I do feel very self conscious bringing that in, in full view of the sports staff and people who use the centre! Its lucky I have not had any verbal challenges! But a few other people in my class who are doing the stick forms carry them so I guess its ok for them! There are also some younger guys in my class who like to play fight before class and one time one of them wanted to borrow my stick to use for their silly play fighting but I refused! They seem like nice friendly guys and I get on with them pretty well, but accidents do happen and they happen to be play fighting when other people are walking past to go to other classes, even little children!
 
M

moving target

Guest
yeah if they didn't know what they were doing than someone was gona get hurt. Getting hit with a staff is like getting hit with a baseball bat (depending on the material).
 
T

Thrinn

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Hi, I've been doing TKD for about a year now and finally got my Yellow Belt. I take pride in my first full colour belt, but most of all I'm excited that I can actually move and stretch more than I could a year ago.
I've never felt really comfortable telling people that I was taking TKD tho, except for one of my teachers who told me he was thinking of starting with Kung Fu because he likes the boxing aspects, and two other friends who took Judo and TKD for years.
It's not that it's embarassing, but like you guys said I don't want more trouble than I can handle since on the occasion I have told people I'm doing TKD they start with the Bruce Lee crap. I think it's sort of how I feel about Body Building lol! LIke, all these freaky looking people standing around posturing... maybe non-MA's think that MA is just that: a bunch of nerds posturing.
 

Tony

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I have now moved house and I am living in a flat! because I have no garden big enough to practice my stick form its going to be hard to practice, but there is a park very close by but I don't want to get funny looks off people walking by! And I can't go round carrying a 5ft stick. So what I'm doing is trying to practice my stick form empty handed. I can practice my forms in my room with the space I have but as its smaller I have to cut certain movements short. I don't have such a problem doing the forms at class, but its a shame I don't have my own private gym to practice in. ( maybe when I win the lottery)
 
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