Article: The Long, Long Road to Martial Arts
The Long, Long Road to Martial Arts
I've been feeling a little healthier lately. My injury isn't giving me as much trouble, so I've been doing a little more: lifting my son more, gardening, and getting into miscellaneous odd positions (get your minds out of the gutter, people - I'm just talking about sex).
But am I doing martial arts?
Well, this is the question. The answer is no, and recent events confirm this (good, bad and ugly).
I've been doing Tai Chi on and off for a while. But this isn't really a martial art - not in this form.
And I've been doing Karate forms - slowly. Not really anything martial about this, either.
As I see it, there's a long road ahead of me. Perhaps this is well known, but from where I'm standing (well, sitting), it's shocking to see the steps slowly unfolding over the years.
First, I have to do something at all - something instead of lying down thinking about anti-inflammatories and painkillers. Ok, done this - eventually.
Second, I have to start Tai Chi. It gets me moving, and approximates some aspects of martial arts. And this still hurts, but it's done.
Third, I need to get back to the Karate forms, which build a bit more muscle because of the isometric conditioning. But this hurts more, and still isn't martial art.
Well, you get the point...
Tonight, I went a step further - I did the Karate forms fast. Not cautiously, or tentatively, but with some force and snap. SHOCK HORROR.
And you know what? I'm actually concerned. I could feel my neck jolting, and that's been a fear for the last two years - a fear aggravated by this injury's lag time (you don't you've buggered it until the next day or so). But let's assume I'm fine (touch wood).
I need this to build speed and confidence in a relatively safe environment, in my own time. This might take months, or years. Again, let's assume this is fine...
Then I have to find a place to train. And then I have to get my fitness up again. And then I have to try forms or drills there, under someone's tutelage. And then maybe light sparring, then heavier sparring, all with novices like myself. And then the same with intermediate. And then...
Well, you get the point...
And if not, the point is this: being a martial artist can be banal, boring and just plain commonsense, but it's actually one hell of an achievement. It's easy to do very little, or just enough, or nothing at all. For all those who've endured through the breaks, slips, cuts and strains, well done.
This big bag of nerd and adipose salutes you.
Total Comments 22
12/17/2007 4:24pm, #2
I'm overawed by all the responses.
*takes up Capoeira*Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness
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12/17/2007 5:00pm, #3
Originally Posted by Dr. Ho Ho Ho
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Vancouver, BC
12/17/2007 5:05pm, #4
I've been impressed with your soldiering on through your injury. It seems that you've been keeping tabs on it well and focusing your martial art training to accommodate what you think your body can do, nice work.
Sounds like your really starting to push yourself towards "getting back on the horse." You trained lightly as a way to just keep martial arts a part of your life while healing up and now you feel your ready to push your body for gains towards the goals you mentioned (general conditioning, sparring, etc). I think that you did good trying out your karate with strong intent/force. A first step to see if your neck is ready to stand up to getting back on that horse.
I have high hopes that you'll be just fine and that you'll keep track of how your body feels as you up your training. Sometimes you do have to just jump in and see what happens if your going to break that spell of "I'm injured and can't train hard" mantra that has been around for so long.
Good on ya!
12/17/2007 5:06pm, #5
I'm side-lined and I have no idea when or if I'll ever be able to do it again. But I'm not really sure how to respond other than "yeah, it's tough sometimes".You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
12/17/2007 5:36pm, #6
I'm not a 100% sidelined...but I have had to slow down a little since I partially tore my right rotator cuff in a sub-grappling compitition the end of October.
I'm happy to say I can now properly return your salute:
*Stands and renders proper salute with right hand*
P.s. Good job.....
12/17/2007 5:36pm, #7
your body is telling you it isn't ready and so it isn't. Don't push it as you'll find yourself out longer that anticipated if you mutiny against yourself.
Keep doing it slow until the discomfort lessens....if you can't do it right slow, you won't be able to do it right fast.
As for the journey taking years....well, you've got them. Don't measure your journey against others, as your path is as unique as everyone elses.
Keep soldiering on and whenever you feel the frustrated, go back and read your own words and see how far you have come.
I respect you for your tenacity.
12/17/2007 11:53pm, #8
DA. You know what you want, or at least you should as that's step one. You know how to get there, slow and steady. The only thing really left is to develop a single minded sense of stubborn purpose. When I'm tired or stressed my only real motivation for going to train is "I have to go do this because I have to do this." There's no reasoning or conscious thought going on there. That's what will get you to your final goal, which I assume is regular hard training.
12/17/2007 11:57pm, #9
DA: Are you involved in any professional physical therapy? From what you describe, your injury is almost 2 years old, so if your still experiencing problems maybe that's something you should consider (if you haven't already.)
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12/18/2007 12:13am, #10