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IMightBeWrong
9/11/2009 7:39pm,
Martial Arts – A Guide to Staying in Control (or, Why I Practice Martial Arts):
At least once in all of our lives, we end up in a position that absolutely scares the crap out of us, whether it be something hugely impacting like being kidnapped or something as simple as getting a spanking from your father when you’re young. There’s something infinitely unpleasant about somebody else imposing their will on you, and most of us learn this at a very young age. When you’re in 3rd grade, for example, and some 6th grader keeps giving you a hard time, taking your lunch money and whatnot. It’s just plain unpleasant.
There’s a solution to the problem, one that most of us here have discovered already, but many seem to overlook: Martial Arts. Whether it’s Boxing, Wrestling, Karate, Judo, or whatever, you can learn not only to protect yourself, but to stay IN CONTROL. After all, control isn’t any small thing, it’s a big deal. Countries all over the world are waging war against each other for control over something. Land, people, holy places, you name it. People want control. It’s universal, and many people who want control may come into your life, and they may want control over YOU. But martial arts keep you in control of yourself. That’s where the beauty lies.
In my life, there have been plenty of times in which I haven’t felt that I was “In Control”. Sometimes somebody bigger than me wants something from me. Usually it’s something simple like respect, but one thing people ALWAYS want is to prove during these encounters is that they have control. Control not only over themselves, but over me. People are always trying to control things, and nothing is scarier than being forced to let somebody have that level of control over you.
In today’s society, many people have come to a quite logical conclusion that the cure for this is “superior firepower”, so they carry weapons. However, not everybody in every place has access to a weapon, and even when they do it is not always the best option. If you draw a weapon on every single threat you encounter, you’re likely to end up with charges for brandishing a weapon or worse. Not every problem can be solved with “firepower”. Sometimes you can only stay in control with what your mother gave you, and who would ever want to be the type of coward that solves everything with a gun anyway?
Every art has its own way of staying in control. A boxer may want to keep control by keeping an attacker at bay with jabs and straight punches. A practitioner of Muay Thai, Kickboxing, or Karate may keep an opponent at bay with push kicks or kicks to the legs. A wrestler or submission grappler might keep control in a totally different way, such as taking their attacker to the ground and using pins, submissions, and dominant positions to keep their opponent right where they want them. The weight of the body can be used to transfer energy into a strike and make it more powerful, or can simply be placed on your opponent to keep them where you want them. No matter what course you choose, you can learn to stay in control, and with so many options, you have quite a number of tools at your disposal to help you in doing so.
Let’s say you’re somebody who already knows this. Many may have overlooked it, but not you. There may still be something you’ve overlooked regarding this: Your instructor and fellow classmates. We all meet somebody like this in our lifetime. The kind of person who practices martial arts, but uses them not only to stay in control of him/herself, but to control others. The type of classmate that rolls too hard to try to prove superiority or the type of instructor that teaches you a technique, but fights you too hard when you try to emulate it, impeding your learning of that technique. All of this stems from a primal desire for control. It’s important for any martial artist to be aware of practitioners like this, and to find a school or club filled with people that respect you and allow your knowledge of the martial art to grow as much as possible.

dwkfym
9/12/2009 4:31pm,
As one progresses through martial arts, one realizes control over yourself is the hardest and the most important thing to attain. Focus, control, staying calm and neutral and moving on principle and pure action / reaction with just enough planning to get you by.

IMightBeWrong
9/12/2009 5:11pm,
For some reason my tabs didn't show up to help separate the paragraphs. Sorry to everybody if this seems like one big cluster of words.

dwkfym
9/12/2009 5:13pm,
You wrote it well and it was a nice easygoing fast read

Purpleskunk
9/12/2009 6:18pm,
Lt_flippy?

G-Off
9/12/2009 8:26pm,
Lt_flippy?

Can we sticky this just for him or something?

TheMarquis
9/14/2009 5:25pm,
well, it good to see that the old adage is noted by others:

if one cannot control oneself - you will never control any other situation.

A nice article, both as a reminder and a caution about 'loosing it'.....

It must be said, every single altercation I've seen or been involved in (either directly or simply as a 'negotiating' capacity)... pretty much every time, the person who looses the plot and goes into 'RAAARRG!' mode usually seems to fair much worse than the guy staying calm assessing the situation, then reacting accordingly and appropriately to the circumstances they find themselves in.

A nice reminder - cheers

crappler
9/15/2009 9:38am,
Control is an illusion.

bobyclumsyninja
9/15/2009 1:40pm,
illusion is control...uh...nvrmd

Good read, that was.