Martial arts off the mat and outside of the school

Good martial arts can make one a competent fighter and great martial arts can make one a better person. How has your training informed your non-martial side of life? I’ll start us off with a few examples:

  1. I’ve made a heck of a lot of friends and acquaintances just meeting fellow martial arts practitioners/addicts.
  2. The fitness I’ve derived lets me ride my bicycle, walk about town, drive long distances, and a few weeks ago helped me walk a very heavy drunken fellow and his hefty bulldog back home (my stances helped a lot here…)
  3. My mental clarity and calmness saw me through some exams as a student.
  4. My confidence and an overall freer spirit let me laugh a lot more than I used to. I’m a lot less shy, too. My default expression is now a small smile instead of a grim scowl. =P

How about you guys? What do you get out of kung fu, karate, wrestling, or what-have-you that informs your life outside of the training hall and off the mat?

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2 thoughts on “Martial arts off the mat and outside of the school

  1. Great post. For me, wrestling has helped with a lot of the same things martial arts has helped you:

    1) Overall confidence – The idea that you can defend yourself if necessary; the idea that you are trained to control and use your body movement in ways most cannot.
    2) Form/shape – Wrestling helped me become aware of muscles I previously didn’t even know existed!
    3) Discipline – Having to learn the will to stick with something as mentally and physically exhausting as wrestling taught me great discipline.
    4) Teamwork- Though this at first may seem a bit counter-intuitive given that wrestling is 1 v 1, to get better and train intensively one must have a/several good, reliable partner(s). In this way, one learns that one can only accomplish so much alone.

    Take care,
    Abie.

    • It’s great that wrestling’s been so kind to you, Abie! I remember chatting with you about the importance of a good training environment and training partners who work together to enhance one another’s skills. I also know what you mean about discovering new muscles; a few days after beginning to train the horse riding stance, it seemed as though I could delineate every muscle in my leg through the soreness and pain!

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