What are the martial arts to you?

Hudson69

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This is request to find out how you view your participation in the martial arts. Is this something you started just to be able to defend yourself, is it something a father/mother/brother/sister did and you are doing it because you look up to them, is it a fitness thing, are you a warrior and this is one of the skills you have taken up in order to become a better warrior, is it something that you need for your career path, is it part of a spiritual path...... What are the martial arts to you?

Please share your thoughts, I have my own views and would like to see how the rest of the martial arts world view their own entry into the world of self defense and (at least part of the time) empty hand combat.
 

Jaspthecat

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I like challenging myself and learning new skills.

Fitness - MA is great for fitness and as I'm in my thirties I want to prepare myself physically for my latter years.

I like fighting in a controlled environment (ie sparring)

I want to be able to defend myself and my family if the situation arose.
 

Jenna

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This is request to find out how you view your participation in the martial arts. Is this something you started just to be able to defend yourself, is it something a father/mother/brother/sister did and you are doing it because you look up to them, is it a fitness thing, are you a warrior and this is one of the skills you have taken up in order to become a better warrior, is it something that you need for your career path, is it part of a spiritual path...... What are the martial arts to you?

Please share your thoughts, I have my own views and would like to see how the rest of the martial arts world view their own entry into the world of self defense and (at least part of the time) empty hand combat.
For me I was bullied horribly at school because of my background and my art was a necessary defence. My dad owned a boxing gym and but in those days it was not so acceptable for girls to be fighting as it is now. A friend of a friend of his taught Aikido and I was thrilled to be involved and I think because of the stark necessity of a defensive capability I believe I maybe expedited my progress. I was training every day.

I think sometimes we do not always put our best 100% efforts into our training because we do not *at that moment* have a requirement for it [or maybe do not even conceive of needing it ever]. Since then I would always train my art with the mindset that I WILL need this some day [always hoping I would not]. I think if we train our defence that way then we are already a step ahead in physical and mental capability for when we are forced to defend ourselves again for real. And no I do not think that equates to or engenders a paranoia, just that if we have decided to train ourselves for self-defence then we should always envision ourselves USING those techniques for real thereby maximising the gain from our training.. sorry if that sounds ranty.. Yes I took up MA for SD though now it has expanded into a whole range of things not least being able to know some wonderful people.. I guess is the short answer haha.. Jenna xo
 

Chris Parker

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Hmm, martial arts...

I don't know if I can really sum the concept of what martial arts are to me and still do it justice. For me, the arts are a resource, and a source of myself. They are a way of exploring everything that makes me who I am, and finding where I can be better each and every day. They represent a guiding philosophy, and physical abilities. They give options, and the confidence to go through with decisions. They allow me to be a truer version of myself, for the benefit of myself and all those around me. They give me the courage to meet the world with integrity and congruence in each of my actions and interactions.

In short, martial arts make me me.
 

Em MacIntosh

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I have found everything in the melee (not to mention everything else) is derivitive of psychology and physics. After that you subdivide aspects and keep those with overlaping attributes closely associated to support each other. Philosophy has it's place but I'm very sceptical when it goes against scientific evidence and if a philosophy sounds good to me I like to find evidence to support how it specifically applies to me rather than adopt it. I appreciate TMA for their effectiveness, which I believe is mostly from the attitude they were originally cultivated under rather than their techniques, therefore I believe it's important to understand the history surrounding the art and what angle the philosophies are coming from to appreciate them fully. Karate was for life and death against armed, and sometimes armored, opponents. This is why I believe you need to study kobudo if you want the real traditional karate experience. If you had a technique that didn't work, you died. Karate has had a very strict natural selection process and "grew up" with a controlled desperation to it. That's what I feel makes it effective. I find TJJ to be traditional in it's openmindedness and desire to innovate. I believe in progression and using tested knowledge and have no use for tradition just for the sake of tradition. I think there are many aspects of many martial arts that go unappreciated and criticism often doesn't account for the critic's lack of knowledge.
 

terryl965

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I have stayed looking for total enlightment. So far it has been a bottle of booze and a good women, not bad for a old timer.
 

jeorf

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I spent 8 years lying in the bathtub with my husband (the 2nd in rank at our school) on Tuesdays and Thursdays listening to the stories of how the students were progressing and his celebration of someone breaking through a tough spot for them either physically or psychologically/emotionally. I've always been fascinated by how involvement in certain activities stresses one to grow and change and acts as practice for life outside of that activity (often sport). I had my own sport and had really no interest in TKD for myself. I loved going to watch BB tests and all the BBs were our close friends but that was pretty much it. For some reason I went to a student test and had the epiphany that, "You don't have to be a black belt to do this!" (Duh)

One winter I couldn't bear to join the gym so I figured I'd go to class for a few months. Well, that was that. It has been just as I suspected: a growth experience, challenging to my mind, my heart, my body. It has given me a spiritual base (don't even ask me to try to put that into words). It has completely changed me. (My 2nd dan test - which, BTW, was with someone who was getting his yellow stripe at that first student test I saw - a couple of weeks ago was one of those life experiences that seems to be having a huge impact on my sense of the world and me in it.)
 

xJOHNx

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It is something that makes me a better person, that teaches me discipline and that guides me on this path in life.
So I guess it is a spiritual thing for me.. Zazen you could say. Reaching the phase where you just do your movements without thinking about anything.

It started as fitness/general condition thing.

Never really realised it till know, thanks!
 

MJS

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This is request to find out how you view your participation in the martial arts. Is this something you started just to be able to defend yourself, is it something a father/mother/brother/sister did and you are doing it because you look up to them, is it a fitness thing, are you a warrior and this is one of the skills you have taken up in order to become a better warrior, is it something that you need for your career path, is it part of a spiritual path...... What are the martial arts to you?

Please share your thoughts, I have my own views and would like to see how the rest of the martial arts world view their own entry into the world of self defense and (at least part of the time) empty hand combat.

I wasn't really one to get involved in sports in school, so my father suggested that I give the martial arts a try. That was 23yrs ago, and I havent stopped. :) The goals were the usual...fitness, confidence, self control, self defense. Over time, the goals change. While I still reap the benefits of the other things, I dont need the martial arts to stay in shape. My goals today still revolve around self defense, but mostly, I just enjoy the training. I've had the chance to meet and train with many wonderful people. Many of the relationships with these people have extended beyond the training hall. I've enjoyed PPV events, cookouts, private workouts outside of the dojo, to name a few.

I plan on training until I no longer can. There is so much more to learn. :)
 

pmosiun1

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Have taken martial art karate when 7, got interested back when 13 years old, buy lots of martial art books, tae kwon do, judo, kendo, lol ninjutsu and others. Join several martial arts when in high school, kendo, judo, tae kwon do, shorinji kempo. Now in 20s, got interested back in martial arts again.

The reason for studying martial arts when 7, don't remember, maybe parents ask to do. When being a teen, reason for studying martial arts, movies and it just felt natural studying martial arts. Now in 20s, it does not felt natural not studying martial arts. I guest i just like martial arts better than any other activities.
 

stickarts

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For me it's a great workout, I enjoy teaching others and seeing them learn and grow, I like the self defense, and I enjoy sharing the martial arts with our community. Owning a school, I also enjoy giving others an opportunity to teach and advance.
 

Flea

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I got started for the self-defense. A byproduct of the improved awareness skills and self-confidence is that I haven't needed the self-defense as much anymore. :supcool:

Since then I've stayed for the health and spiritual dimensions. And of course for the SD because one never knows.
 

TigerLove

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Uf, hard question..i can't transfer my oppinions and feelings for martial arts by words.

Let's just say i found way of life in it..way of coordinating yourself, your ego, respecting yourself, and others..etc..

Greetings
 

tallgeese

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It is first and foremost, for self defense and always has been for me.

Secondary to that, it's now part of what I consider job specific training and upkeep.

There's certainly also a fitness component to it, but I think that's a by product of the first two.

Lastly, I've really enjoyed competing in various venues thru the years. It gives me a good outlet for such things.
 

Ninebird8

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As a short and small person, I started over 32 years ago as a teenager wanting to keep a specific bully away from me, as I got sick every day of running home from school. A few years later, I saw this same bully, had been training for a little over five years and was back from college for the summer, and spotted him at my complex. I went up to him, told him who I was, and was ready to challenge him. Instead, he started crying and told me about his childhood whippings/abuse, and how he took it out on me, and then he apologized. I learned the lesson of humility that day! Later, the art was my salvation, along with God, when I did some stupid things and lost my first family, and everyone abandoned me, including my family, for awhile. I was a college educated, arrogant fool who lost everything and was on the streets for 4 months. However, it was my kung fu brothers, not my family, who took me in and nurtured me back to health. I learned that God and martial arts are the two things that would never leave me, for they are in my heart and in my mind and in my soul! I have since found a beautiful woman on the third try, and along with Yang tai chi that I started 12 years ago, 20 years after starting kungfu, gave me an inner peace now. Finally, when I was diagnosed with a digestive disease 2 years ago, my gastro doc told me never to quit my arts or my joints would not function properly again due to the inflammation and arthritis caused by this illness. So now, the art is a matter of health for me. And, unless unable to do so physically, I will never quit the art that has been loyal to me and NEVER betrayed me! And even then, it will always be in my mind and in my heart, as one master told me, " you are a warrior from the neck down, and a master from the neck up." Amen! Other than that, the martial arts does not mean much to me.....LOL!
 

tonbo

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Like many people, I started for self-defense. I wanted to be able to protect myself in case something "went down"....I didn't want to be the thing that went down...;)

After about a year in the arts, I realized that it was an inextricable part of me...it was in my blood, and there to stay. Since then, I have been in the arts because it is a part of my life; it is religion, workout, philosophy, therapy, and mental challenge all rolled into one.

The sun shines, the wind blows....I do MA. Just the way it is....and I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Peace--

--Tonbo
 

sfs982000

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For me the, like many other, my journey in the martial arts started off as one thing and evolved into something else. I started because of being bullied in grade school and wanted to have the skills and knowledge to defend myself if needed. Of course once I started training I began reaping the physical fitness benefits as well as the increased self confidence. My love of the martial arts started from day one and continues to this day. I try to not live my life with many regrets of what could've been, but I do wish that I had never taken such a long break with my training. Then again things happen for their own reasons and I'm back at it and will continue to study as long as I can. Now with my studies it's still the constantly learning that I enjoy, but also the fitness aspect for me is a great benefit still.
 

ralphmcpherson

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For me it actually had nothing to do with self defence. I havent been in a fight for nearly 20 years and I dont hang out in pubs , clubs etc or walk the streets late at night so there is no real requirement for me to learn how to defend myself , not saying it will never happen but it would be highly unlikely. I started because I wanted to improve fitness and flexibility and wanted a hobby/interest that I could persue for years and years. Martial arts have given me that.
 
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