Talking about training

stone_dragone

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For the longest time, my in-laws looked at me as if I had a tomato plant growing out of my forehead whenever the topic of martial arts came up...then my father-in-law tried aikido! HOOKED!

I love being able to talk to him about this common thread we have now and, even though we got along great before, this has brought us even closer.

For the most part, however, I have found that I don't discuss martial arts with anyone who doesn't practice. The main reason being that I will talk forever on subjects fueled by just one question, so I try to answer in short, one word answers now as to hold my tongue and avoid the fatal eye-glaze.
 

cali_tkdbruin

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Flatlander said:
I remember when I first started training in JKD. I was so excited about the concepts that I was learning, I just couldn't help myself, I had to talk to everybody about it.
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Has any one else had this experience? How did it make you feel? Did you receive any surprising or negative responses?
I don't share the fact I'm a martial artist with people other than my immediate family unless I'm asked. When someone does inquire, they're for the most part interested and the response is usually positive. Some people do think it's strange that we do martial arts because of all the misconceptions they've learned from the movies and the media. We Martial Artists are mostly normal people who enjoy the MA we practice, nothing more, nothing less.

Well, that's unless you're a 7 year old kid and your parents are forcing you to do martial arts... :idunno:
 

Kacey

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I remember when I first started... it was so COOL! I couldn't believe that no one else I knew (except the guy I was dating who talked me into trying TKD) knew about this cool stuff. I was so excited... although people looked at me funny when I bowed coming into work (the entrance to the lab was the same configuration as the entrance to the dojang... you know how that goes...). Over the 19 years I've been in TKD, some of the newness has worn off - but never the enjoyment and excitment. I love teaching, and I love practicing and learning new things.

Most of my friends have heard about it... seen me limping last year after my last testing - when the instructor's wife (who is a nurse practioner, in addition to being an I Dan, and knows whereof she speaks) tells you later she can't believe you kept going after what sounded like a ligament in your knee ripping... well... it was my IV Dan test - and I do have 5 years to heal now... but still... it is an addiction - but hey, at least it's a (mostly) healthy addiction!

I don't talk about it at work much, because I teach middle school, and if I talk about it where the kids can hear, they start asking things like "can you break this desk?" - to which the only reasonable answer is "do you have $100 to buy a new one?", followed by "look underneath, what do you see?" (answer) "A metal bar" (me) "no" - and anyway, desks are particle board covered with laminate! Not the best breaking material in the world. But all of my friends indulge me when I talk about my students (both TKD and school), so it's not that bad.

One of my friends even came to me once, somewhat embarrassed, because her then 9 year-old daughter's doctor had recommended martial arts as a way to teach the child discipline (slight impulse control problem), which I had already recommended; my friend, who had thought I was kidding, came to me to ask about finding her daughter a class, since I teach on the other side of town from where she lives (a 45 minute drive each way for a 90 minute class is a little impractical for a 9 year-old, after all!).

My father always accepted my TKD training, even if he's never truly understood it; my mother thought it was a phase I was going through until about 10 years ago, when she came to watch my class, and talked to the
parents of some of my students - after that, she understood the instructing part, but she's never understood the rest of it, and probably never will.
 

Zepp

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I totally understand what this thread is about. Some of the other martial artists I know don't even care to talk about martial arts. Just a few hard-core addicts like us.

Once, only once, I made the mistake of trying to discuss martial arts on a first date. Didn't go over very well.

For the most part, I've learned to keep any mention of my favorite hobby brief unless I'm talking to a fellow enthusiast/addict. :D
 
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