Harsh Experiences that Forced One to Learn Martial Arts
What would happen if you had to fight someone bigger or stronger than you? Would you stand no chance at all? Or would you be able to overcome these challenges and win? The answer lies within martial arts.
I am no stranger to having experienced bullying, but I would say I was fortunate to have the innate courage to stand up for myself stubbornly and not back down, which quickly ended any bullies in my path.
While it never fails to be interesting to delve into the various styles of martial arts out there and share one’s experience of how progression in a particular art is, there is something far more important beneath the surface.
The traumatic experiences one had to endure served to ignite the spark of martial art and to be more specific, the focus will be on children and adolescents. Now, not every single young person that has taken up a self-defense art has been triggered by difficult circumstances and for many, the journey into martial arts begins on a positive note. Yet for some of us, our journey began after encountering the brutality and the ugliness of the human spirit.
Bullying has unfortunately been a standard part of the school experience for a large number of students, regardless of age and this has caused numerous problems, both on the academic side as well as on the physical and mental side of things.
I have witnessed how the act of bullying has the destructive power to undermine a student’s self-worth and confidence, to the point where he thought the only way to survive was to become overly aggressive and resort to extreme measures, all in hopes of being left alone.
This student was once a close friend of mine and after being bullied, he distanced himself from all his usual friends and began mixing with the wrong crowd, which eventually led to him starting fights which culminated in expulsion from school. You might be wondering what is the deal with this drab and depressing story but there is a twist. This same friend eventually connected with a cousin of his that trained religiously in Muay Thai and he took to it like water once introduced.
All of that pent-up anger, hatred, and frustration fuelled by a competitive mindset made him go far in Muay Thai and to this day he still trains and has had several stays in Thailand where he trained alongside experienced Muay Thai trainers and is working towards opening his training studio Shortly.
When I asked a close friend of mine who has been a senior in-door disciple in Pak Hok Pai Kungfu for eleven years about what sparked off his journey into serious Kungfu practice, he shared:
“The root cause, I believe, started in primary school. I was once cheerful, optimistic, and easygoing. But my classmates took this as a sign of weakness and began to ask me to lend them money and when I asked for my money back, they refused to give it and would bash me up. Complaining to my parents and teachers did not change much and I was stuck in the same miserable situation for years to come even as I entered secondary school. I desperately wanted to find a way out and that drove me to self-defense. However, I could not afford to join most martial art classes as they charged a high fee and that was when I came across Pak Hok Pai Kungfu.
My teacher agreed to teach me free of charge and that began my journey into serious martial arts practice, it has been eleven years now and I can honestly say, that was the best decision I made.”
It is interesting to see the common elements of being bullied and feeling helpless and out of control that led these two individuals into the world of martial arts. On top of this, I feel that martial arts should be mandatory in schools, at least up till secondary age
Teaching kids and adolescents martial arts, truly empower them to step more into their confidence and bullies can be handled with far greater ease in a boxing ring than through diplomacy. In a previous article, we wrote about why boys should learn to fight, and the necessity for young men to be acquainted with aggression was explained. Because without being aware of one’s aggressive tendencies and nature, it is fairly difficult to channel them healthily and productively, and pretending that we do not have such tendencies perpetuates a dangerous ideology that can result in extremely destructive actions that may harm others as well as the self.
Wish to learn more about struggles? We also shared about struggles with taekwondo, which has become a sport and a form of self-defense.
Martial arts enthusiast & loves exploring all of life before it all ends!
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