Okay. So, I have been asked a ton of questions about martial arts. Some people are interested in taking classes, and they tend to ask about class times, prices, and what all is involved. Others tend to ask me why I chose martial arts and why I continue with it to this day. To answer all of those questions, I decided to share with you my “why” for choosing martial arts as my preferred type of exercise.
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8 years ago, I happened to see a friend’s Facebook post. This friend shared a photo of her and her two kids, letting everyone know they had tested for, and passed, their yellow belt test in karate. I didn’t know they took karate, I thought to myself. It kinda sounded like fun.
Well, my youngest was friends with one of the kids, so I showed her the photo, and she asked immediately if she could take karate too. “I’ve wanted to learn karate my whole life!” she yelled as she showed her best kicks and chops to me and her dad. I asked the other 2 kids if they were interested in karate, and they were, so I messaged my friend for more info.
She gave me the instructor’s contact info and I called him later that day. He said he had a class starting in January and he also explained his great family discount. I couldn’t see the point of sitting and watching a class while the 3 kids took it, so I told him the 4 of us would be there.
Before I go any further, I need to let you know: I’m not an athletic person. I can’t run very fast, I’m not flexible, I’m not very strong, and I’m kind of a clutz. I am fairly decent at water sports (swimming and water skiing) and I was in color guard for marching band, so I’m not too shabby at learning choreographed movements. Overall, though, my brother and sister inherited 95% of the athletic genes in the family, so I’m not known for my athletic abilities.
We showed up for the white belt class on the 1st Wednesday of January. There were about 20 others signed up, a few adults (which made me feel better) and several kids. Master Larry began the class, giving us some basic information about Central Shaolin, the martial arts style we would be learning, and showing us some basic stances along with proper kicks and punches.
Something else you should know: we call Larry “master” because he is a 6th-degree black belt, which is considered mastery level. A lower black belt instructor is called “sensei.
After showing us each move, he would have everyone get up and try it. With stances, he would show us what to do while we were in the stance. He would also give tips and suggestions to us so we could make changes as needed. With hits and kicks, he would show the proper move, then count as we tried each one a few times. He would also give pointers while we worked.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the first class! Everyone was encouraged to work at their own pace. Master Larry wanted us to do our best and to make improvements on what we could do before. He also shared with us that in martial arts, you are in competition with yourself, and not with everyone else. Being the non-athlete of the bunch, that part made me very happy.
That first class was 8 years ago in January. I guess you could say I’m hooked. Not only is martial arts a great way to get in shape, but it’s also an excellent way to improve your memory and focus! Be on the lookout for future posts, where I will share more about the health benefits of martial arts.
Until next time,