Author: J.J. Tudor PM
Half Fiction, half travelogue. I would go and write that I have always wanted to practice martial arts, but that would be lying... I have been bitten by passion once again... I must begin my martial pilgrimage. Here is my story.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Words: 1,199 - Published: 01-31-13 - id: 3097163
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I would go and write that I have always wanted to practice martial arts, but that would be lying. When I was a kid, at the age of 5, I tried my hand at karate. However due to my short attention span and low energy levels, I rapidly quit. Now, twelve years later, I have been bitten by the bridgework of martial arts. For the whole of last year, I studied at this "Kung Fu" dojo. The dojo in itself was good, but the teachings just were not what I was looking for. The Fang Shen Do style simply did not feel right.
For several months, I have done nothing but look, and train. Nothing too intense, thirty minutes runs with intervals, some ballistic exercises… Now, as fate would have it, I have become interested in Karaté once again. Although infatuated may be a better term, I strongly wish to study the art with a more mature outlook.
My body yearns for the martial exercises and the training it provided; my mind has grown tired of mindless physical training. I need a purpose; one that does not involve simply "being in shape". My thirst requires honor, and a purpose to be quenched. My spirit has become restless with the inactivity of my inner warrior. My emotions have become trapped within the prison of my everyday struggles.
Who am I, you ask? I will answer: I am but an average 17 years old high school student, meant to graduate from the arts program. Somebody who is surprisingly average, save for his artistic talents and his knowledgeable personality. Not fat, but not built either; simply stuck in the in-between. Neither handsome, nor ugly. My skin is not perfect, but I am not covered in acne. Although somewhat taller than most, I blend in quite easily thanks to my typical appearance. I have the very typical brown hair and eyes, which are hidden between glasses. My short hair is not perfect, but it is still tidy. In one word, I am the average.
I do not wish to learn the arts for some higher purpose, or for some kind of strange enlightenment, but simply to fulfill myself. I need it, simple as that. I have the usual goals: confidence, which I do not need; health, which I already have; losing weight, but I am slim; the ability to defend myself, but I will never pick a fight. However, two goals of mine, which were not listed before, vary from the general ones. I do wish to start my own school, and to pass on the teachings to those who deserve it. The other one, although more egotistical and less likely, please me quite a lot: to star in action movies.
I can already imagine the incoming comments about my goals and wishes, or the uselessness of any art, other than Muay Thaï, or Krav Maga, or even Mixed Martial Arts. Frankly, and everyone who loves martial arts knows this, each and every style is useful for self defense; it is what they were invented for after all. Although I will admit some are better suited to some scenarios than others, but none is above the rest. This is the, often spoken, truth. Some, who believe their art is the best, or that a certain art is just for exposition, are not martial artists, not in my opinion.
Learn to fight, as to not have to fight. That is our creed, as all martial artists learn. Karateka do not start fights; Aikidoka does not start a fight; Jujutsuka do not start fights. They merely defend those who need it, be it themselves, their family or the weak. This is what I believe, not in shiny medals or ranks in a tournament. Such trivial things serve no purpose in the world of martial arts. Real martial arts have no rules; merely a code of honor for the willing warrior. Although I still believe in the notion of honor, survival would come first. Real fights do not have one minute rest for each three minutes of fighting; they are brutal, which is why we search to avoid them. However, we do not avoid fights by cowardice, but where is the honor in beating someone who probably won't be able to fight back?
I have no doubts that without righteous beliefs and compassion martial arts constitute nothing but violence, whatever their original intent. Myself, I have no qualms about defending those who need, and deserve defending. The doubt in my soul does not lie there, but in I: will I be able to do it; will I really do it; am I strong enough; did I practice enough. Those are what run through my mind, when I know a fight will occur, or when I think if I were to get into one.
I have read, since the beginning, the manga History's Mightiest Disciple Kenichi, a manga dedicated to martial arts and their two subdivisions: Satsujinken and Katsujinken. Respectively, they mean The Fist of Killing and The Fist of Life. One is willing to kill, while the other does not. Of course, as any sensible human would, I am all for the The Fist of Life, but… What if you simply cannot? To answer such a question without experience is like trying to explain the nature of the nucleus in the atom without any scientific knowledge.
To answer my questions, and to become who I want to become, I must learn martial arts. Does it matter which? No, not really, I will simply take the best school available. Long had I thought I should search for a style that would complement me, that would complete what was missing from me. How stupid, only recently have I realised: the style does not complete the artist, the artist completes the style.
And so, here I am, looking for a martial arts school. I might have found one, a Shito-Ryu Karaté school. How lucky for me, since I still felt I needed closure with the art. I of course will visit before plunging into the payments. I simply hope it is a good school; I had enough of simply looking up and visiting, only to see it was a McDojo or a Belt Factory.
For those who don't know what McDojo and Belt Factory mean, they are generally close to Bullshido. Bullshido is a term used in the martial arts world to describe a martial art based on ridiculous principles, practiced in a ridiculous way, or otherwise grossly ineffective. A play on the words bushido (way of the warrior) and bullshit. Usually, McDojo and Belt Factories teach those. However there is the occasional "school" who teaches a real style, but end being bad because of the teachings. There are so many in the region, and the good ones usually end up being the "best of the worst". The best school I have found so far is a Southern Kung Fu Tiger style, but it is in Ottawa, which is just out of reach.
Next week. I will probably visit the Karaté school next week. For now, I have to bide my time, and keep searching. Someone please help me.