Roundtable Discussion 006: Life
Six martial artists, from six different disciplines were asked,
“How did the study of the martial arts impact your Life?”
Robert Lara ::.. The study of Martial Arts positively impacts my life more and more each day. I started my studies in the arts to learn to be able to control attackers. But as the years have went by I now train to learn to control myself. To master the self is the true battle.
I do my best each day of my life to better myself through the study Martial Arts. I deal with Fibromyalgia and other health issues. Without the Martial Arts I would not have the tools to deal with my health issues. I wish you all the best on your paths in the study of Martial Arts.
I first started training for the same reason a lot of kids did because I wanted to be able to beat up all the bullies that were tormenting me at the time. As so often happens in martial arts, by the time you learn how to “fight” you realize that you no longer need to. Through Martial Arts I gained the confidence to stand up for myself but also the discipline to not let people provoke me into fighting over nothing. I went from walking looking down at my shoes to walking with my chin held high.
Martial Arts also helped me deal with some anger issues when I was younger and still helps me manage my temper to this day. Martial Arts gave me a healthy outlet for expressing my anger and according to my wife has calmed me down a lot since high school. One of the main reasons I enjoy teaching so much is because I get to help kids dealing with the same issues that I dealt with as a child. Nothing compares to watching a student’s confidence grow before your eyes.
Freddie Lee ::.. Martial Arts holds great significance in my life. Before practicing Martial Art, all I knew of was sport, nothing about art. When I started training, it was a physical discipline, something that was nothing new to me. It was not until 2 years later did I begin to look deeper into it. It first started with being inspired by Bruce Lee. Practicing Martial Arts for the first time made me proud of my own culture and race. I was no longer ashamed. For the first time I went to seek out information about my original Chinese culture.
I first started reading “The Artist of Life.” That lead me to many other books related to Eastern Philosophy. Martial Arts sparked my thirst for knowledge and wisdom. Ever since then, my life was never the same. Ultimately it lead me towards enlightenment. Now I see the world from a whole different level. It has awakened me. I see very clearly now. And it began with Martial Arts; I have much appreciation towards Bruce Lee who had shared his wisdom with the world through his writings.
Johnny Kuo ::.. The martial arts have impacted my life in several ways, but the primary effect has been on personal development. To understand an art, you need to focus your mental energies to perceive its essence. That sort of mental focus is not easy, especially in our modern day barrage of constant and varied distractions. The mental training has paid dividends in different aspects of my life. It helps me stay focused and calm when life’s pressures start mounting.
The other major effect of studying martial arts I’ve noticed has been more social. Training martial arts has given me the opportunity to interact with people who I would probably not run into otherwise. In my experience, the martial arts have been both a vehicle of physical struggle as well as a common bond which forms friendships and community.
Coach Michael Joyce ::.. All people are different (especially children) and as I began to sprout upwards in this world, I played a variety of sports. My father had always encouraged me to play football and I ended up becoming a fairly decent wide receiver. In middle school, I could literally feel a strange “shifting” at work. Running patterns on the football field and catching an oval shaped ball just didn’t cut it for me anymore. Besides, I wanted something that could help to develop the image of what I had always hoped to become. The martial arts, whether it was my earlier kungfu training, my college days spent studying fencing (mainly) or, later, my focus on self-defense and taiji… gave me an inner sense of fulfillment that I couldn’t get by being a team player.
In this world, it is important to do things on your own… or at least, have the capacity and confidence to do things on your own. Although we all need people to guide us, nothing improves one’s confidence and sense of achievement when you know it was your strength, your courage, and your determination that produced the result. Moreso, the result becomes even greater to see as one continues down the martial art path, whereby the result isn’t a championship ring, but something deep and profound that you wake up to every morning and something absolutely no one can take away.
LET US KNOW WHAT THE MARTIAL ARTS MEAN TO YOU !
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