I spent more than 9 years in my early teens into my twenties practicing martial arts. Through that time I gained a number of insights. One of which was that it’s important for everyone to practice martial arts in some capacity in their life.
When you start taking martial arts, be it boxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, you come to find out something very important about life-there’s always someone better than you.
There’s always some guy out there who has more talent or has worked harder than you in honing their skills. This was obvious to me even in my karate class.
At my school, there was one teacher who was a natural athlete. When it came down to it, there was no way I was going to be able to defeat him in sparring unless I trained 8 hours a day or something. I sparred against this gentleman a couple times a week for about 5 years. I was able to get hits in on him maybe a hand full of times. He had incredible strength in his legs and was able to chamber an axe kick and bring it back into a side kick. That’s incredibly hard.
This taught me never to go out looking for trouble and to stay humble. You never know if that random guy on the street is a secret badass.
People who have never trained have this unrealistic view on their ability to fend off attackers. They don’t understand basics, they don’t understand distance, and have this belief that they will just punch guys and they’ll go down. Once you train, and fight against other people who have trained, you’ll actually have the experience to gauge your true abilities. This is important to understand when faced with actual danger.
This is an especially important lesson for children. We all know that kid from our youth that wouldn’t ever shut up. Usually this is a symptom of never being punched in the face. Unfortunately these kids grow up and continue that behavior online where they feel like they can hide behind their screen name. Nip this behavior in the bud by teaching kids martial arts early.
Responsibility for Safety
When I talk about self defense, I’m not just referring to punching and kicks. I’m also talking about guns and knives. A lot of people that don’t understand freedom argue against the ownership of guns. They aren’t ready to take responsibility for their own safety and have to rely on external groups (police) in the event of trouble.
We here at striving for freedom are pro gun because we’re pro freedom. In the same sense, we’re pro martial arts because we feel as though we should have the freedom to roundhouse kick some guy in the head who is threatening us.
Taking a martial art will empower you to rely on yourself for your safety. The mindset is that you have the skills and technique to stop attackers and general scumbags from harming you, so you can walk around with less anxiety. You don’t have to fear walking the streets because in the back of your head you’re ready to put your fist through someone’s brain if forced to.
When you start training in some kind of martial art and partake in sparring, you’ll quickly realize just how out of shape you really are. It’s a different kind of stamina that most people don’t know about. You think you’re in shape because you have “run” a marathon before or did some kind of goofy mud run? Try going 3 rounds with someone who is trying to punch you in the face.
If you’ve never squared off with someone else before, the only way I can describe it is that your whole body is tense and ready to strike. When kicks and punches are flying by your head, it takes incredible timing to evade and counter. Throw in a little adrenaline, and you have a recipe for burning out quickly.
Train enough and your stamina level will increase allowing you to start outlasting others. This is an incredible feeling and will empower you even more with confidence. When you see your opponent dropping their hands because they can’t physically keep them up, it’s incredibly easy to hit them.
This stamina level will quickly go down if you don’t work at it, so make sure you make it a life long commitment to keep your levels up. This can be done with just a few minutes of intense bag work per week to sustain.
These are some of the best reasons for everyone getting involved in some way with martial arts. I took karate back in the day, and a lot of it was bullshit, but the basics and sparring were both worthwhile endeavors.
If you’re looking for what martial art to take, I’d stick with stuff that focuses on those two areas. Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu seem to be good in this regard. I’d also look into boxing as well.
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