Martial Arts Humor – Preparation (And The Benefit Of Martial Arts in Life)

I have to say, Mr. Rogers, you let me down! 

The streets here are not exactly tame, depending on the block – happy-go-lucky mindlessness and handing out “hi, neighbor!”s is a surefire way to get in (possibly serious) trouble.

When I began Martial Arts, it wasn’t because I wanted to be “badass” or that I thought I’d need to fend of a gaggle of muggers, necessarily.  I was a lifetime athlete – primarily a performing one (ballroom dancing, figure skating, ballet, and the like) – and I wanted to up the ante.  I wanted more power, newness, and something that combined athleticism with artistry (which figure skating, for one, manages by default.)

That said, I was enamored of Martial Arts in general from an incredibly young age.  It had nothing to do with being a female, by the way – I’ve never felt that I couldn’t achieve the same thing the “boys” did, and in sports the men were more my idols than the women.  The grace and fluidity were something my body already knew how to create inherently, but the power and strength of male athletes inspired me on a whole other level.  

Martial Arts movies were common enough in our household – older brother = badassery.  And watching them, in and of themselves, made me feel empowered – imagine being able to do those things, and hold my own, for myself?!

I didn’t start (Taekwondo, Hapkido, dabble of Kumdo) until the third decade of Life, but I still don’t think that was “too late.” My current Arts are Ninjutsu / Ninpo, and Brazilian Gracie Jui-Jitsu. I feel that the combination of the former, and being in a new, and much tougher city than those I’ve lived in before, has prompted me to develop and even stronger situational awareness.  I notice my surroundings, but also am more attuned to the details – how someone is walking, if they are carrying something, if they look in shape and strong, or less able. . . It’s sort of just “there” and it makes me feel even more thankful for my training.

I can’t say whether or not my muscle memories would kick in – I certainly hope so – but I definitely know I am far more prepared than the average person, and have some chance of submitting, escaping, keeping my life. I’m also more aware in general, a direct result training with people, so I can possibly be more proactive.

It may not always be a “beautiful day in the neighborhood” much that my happy-empath spirit would like it to be. Mr. Rogers let a little me down but I picked up the slack and have trained my ass off in the last ten years just in case a “hi, neighbor” leans a little too hostile for my taste!

 

Martial Arts Humor – All Bets Are Off

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s someone deliberately tickling me when I’ve made clear I don’t want to be tickled. Which is EVER.

Never.  

EVER.

The problem with training in Martial Arts, though, is. . . well. . .that little thing called reflexes…

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Martial Arts Humor – New Techniques

I don’t know about you, but when my 76 year-old Grandmaster does a technique flat-out, or shows us a new one…this is pretty much right on (thanks, The Hangover! 😉 )   

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I might ALSO mutter “beautiful….just beautiful! because, to me, Martial Arts is much like dance.  A deadly dance, absolutely…but dance all the same, pairing fluidity and grace with devastating coordination and control.

There’s something incredibly special about watching someone “fluent” in the language – so well versed that countless techniques present themselves with one move of the opponent.  Phenomenal. ❤

You Chance Of Success

There is one thing that can make or break you in Life.  It can alter the reality of your circumstances when the hand has already been dealt…

Your ATTITUDE.

Attitude is everything.  

Human beings are flawed and fragile – some days will be tougher than others, rendering us ill-tempered and apprehensive.  Negative emotions can easily spiral into the doom-and-gloom of the spectrum, inciting a wave of debilitating self-doubt, unhealthy anger, or worse…  

But if we take a step back (no, it isn’t always easy, but it IS possible), we might just find our breath.  That peaceful cadence, which we can control when everything else feels unpredictable.  After a few controlled ins and outs, it’s just possible that you will find yourself a great deal calmer and grounded (you know, less likely to go bananas at the person in front of you at the supermarket taking out the pennies one by one…or the guy in front of you going half the speed limit (I can always do with some improvement myself!) 😉 )

When we ground ourselves, we have a greater capacity to change our thought patterns – being in tune with our breath is being in tune with our rhythm, and that’s exactly where you need to be.  Our mindfulness can take crippling self-skepticism and turn it into curiosity, excitement, faith even!  

My skating coach used to say “can’t is a four letter word” and she was SO correct – we manifest the way we speak to ourselves, so there is NOTHING more important than the conversation we are having WITH ourselves or PROJECTING about ourselves. 

There are plenty of skeptics out there, and certainly they are entitled… But I’d challenge those people to try something a little different…

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Changing the words we use is like walking around with a magic wand – you really DO have that power.