Tuesday, April 05, 2005

a larger community

This is so cool. I was surfing around on the internet and I found a discussion board where people can discuss martial arts online.

After reading through the posts that were already there, I thought it might be nice to hear from people studying martial arts elsewhere. I posted the following question:

I am new to sparring (I'm a yellow belt), and it is completely counterintuitve to me! I am not a warrior, but a 5'3" mom who takes ballet and TKD.

When it's time to spar, I want to run away instead of fighting someone (especially the taller men), but I am really loving TKD--the forms, the basic moves, the self-confidence I'm building--so I don't want to quit.

Any advice for me? What can help me feel more comfortable when I face someone in a fighting stance? Or should I follow the advice someone gave me on my blog--quit TKD and take Tai Chi instead?

I got a lot of really good answers, really thoughtful answers to my question. You can see them in their entirity if you check out the link above.

A couple I really liked a lot:

Despite what your sensei may be telling you, you are not training to be "a warrior". You are training to be a martial artist...BIG difference there. The arts aren't so much about being a fighter, as they are about being a better person. Being able to defend yourself is a part of this, and a path to this. Posted by "Shorinyu Sensei" from Montana.

Yes, I think this is how I see it. I want to be a martial artist with the emphasis on the artist part. And I think that's how Hughes Institute sees this process. I was looking at a handout from there the other night, and in a section called "Why take martial arts," it never said "to be a better fighter." There were other reasons: physical conditioning, increase in self-confidence, meet friends. (That last one is fun!)

Here's another:
You have alot of time to develop more aggresion. Work with what you got now, what you feel comfortable with and expand it as time passes... posted by "Slydermv"

Now this is something I hadn't thought of: that one can develop aggression. I had been thinking either you had it or you didn't. And of course that's not true. You develop aggressive techniques as you develop technique and self-confidence, I guess.

And one more thought:
In Tang Soo Do (one of TaeKwonDo's ancestors), we strive to achieve Pyung Ahn, or Peaceful Self-confidence... When you train to achieve that, you use your martial art every day... When you train just to fight, you use it a few times in a lifetime... posted by Master Jason Powlette in Pennsylvania

Now that I like. I think I would like to achieve Pyung Ahn. We need that everyday, don't we? In teaching, dealing with people, being a mom, dancing. I need Peaceful Self-confidence all the time, and I think that is what I'm striving for in Tae Kwon Do, and in other aspects of my life: the social, the parental, the spiritual.

There were many other wonderful comments, too, some of them with very specific advice about sparring. Last night, my head was echoing with them when I went to bed. I dreamt I was sparring, and that I was following "ninjanurse"'s advice: counter straight with round, round with straight. She threw a roundhouse kick; I countered with a front kick. She punched; I threw a roundhouse.

Maybe this will help. If you dream your goals, it seems you might come closer to achieving them!

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