Have you ever… tried a martial art?

Have you ever is a look back at anything you might have missed from the pop culture world.

Karate
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Have you ever is usually a look back at anything you might have missed from the pop culture. This time however I wanted to mutate it slightly into a more general question. My theme today comes straight out of me attending my first ever karate lesson, having been learning Kung Fu for the last few months.

It is painfully obvious from my previous posts, with two of the nine posts being about martial arts, that I have a lot of respect for all things Kung Fu. This only stemmed from watching Ip Man (which I’ve done a pretty great Have you ever on – what a shameless plug) and has expanded from there.

kung fu
https://www.istockphoto.com/gb/photos/kung-fu

I’ve had a long and fairly unsuccessful track record with hobbies throughout my life. Guitar is the only other one that really captured my imagination and has stuck with me through thick and thin. I have always had an enormous amount of respect and admiration for someone who knows a martial art: I had never thought that it could be something I could do. It was fairly recently that I heard an old Chinese proverb that really resonated with me:

“The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The second best time is right now.”

I found that very inspiring. I’m going to be 30 eventually anyway, at least this way I’ll be 30 and be able to do a crane kick.

I would like to say now: I am in no way condoning fighting – outside of tournaments. The best course of action in any situation is to run away but if running away is not an option, I think it is incredibly important to at least know the basics of how to defend yourself. The self-defence aspect of it is only one small part. You can also learn balance, discipline confidence and more.

karate kid
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It is also worth mentioning that I am not a violent person in the slightest so it has come as a surprise to my family when I come home on a Monday night excitedly telling them the new way to punch that I had learnt.

My main worry was this: I am a very protective person over people I like and I didn’t like that I wouldn’t know what to do if anything happened. On top of that, I knew that if anything happened to me I would end up on the floor in a ball probably. After having only done a few lessons of Wing Chun Kung Fu (a southern more practical Chinese form unlike the more flashy Shaolin style that you may be more familiar with) I already felt more confident that I could hold my own. All of the moves are built around the concept of self-defence and I have often heard that if two Wing Chun practitioners got into a fight no one would ever throw the first punch.

giphy (1)
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In the short time I have been learning martial arts, I have gained so much confidence and it has opened up my mind to so much that I had never thought of before.  There are also so many different styles from all around the world such as the brutal knees and elbows of Muay Thai, the throws of Aikido and Judo, the kicks of Taekwondo, the ground based grappling of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and many more so there is something for everyone. At the very least, it is some exercise which can never be bad thing. Might be worth seeing what is nearby for you to do? You might be surprised how much you can find without having to travel far.

Already tried some? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook! I’d love to talk about it!