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Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I started training in the martial arts

Since I was a kid I have had a fascination with martial arts. I trained in Tae Kwon Do a little in high school and college. By the time I was out of college and working in a job that had me sitting around all day, I was, as one friend put it, “pushing the deuce.” I needed to get back in shape.

About the time that I decided to get off my butt, a new school opened just down the road from home. When I walked in, the class was rolling around on the ground which was a new look to me and I was instantly intrigued. I learned the school taught Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do Concepts. This is a branch of the art and philosophy of the late Bruce Lee.

Now I had heard of Bruce Lee the movie star, I mean who hadn’t? Yet, I had never considered that people were still teaching what he trained in. I signed up to train twice a week at the Ryan Academy of Martial Arts. By the end of the first month, I had upped that to three times a week and within six months, I was training six days a week. I was hooked.

It was hard work and I initially earned the nickname, “Smelling Salt,” although I never had to use them, I definitely was pushing myself. Hard. I started gaining energy again and was moving back away from that 200-pound mark.

I discovered that there is a line in the sand we establish in our heads that seems to hold us back. We reach that point where things just stop and it seems we can’t go any further. The thing is, that first divide is only in our heads. We can jump past it and push ourselves farther; draw the line again, just a little bit more ahead of us. It is always there and that’s okay. It gives us a place to aim for and that new target is always just beyond the line.

To me that is what makes martial arts a life long endeavor: that constant striving to discover and improve.

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