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Martial Arts Can Be For Anyone

-Christine Maternowski

I have always had a fascination for martial arts. I would watch it and think how cool it all looked and how neat it would be to do all those moves. I found the thought of doing that myself to be very intimidating. I resigned myself to just watching in awe from afar.

My husband loves martial arts. He has been training on and off since he was a kid. He wanted to share his passion with me and he had enough excitement to pull me through the door with him.

I was terrified.

I discovered all you really need to train is an open mind and a willingness to just try. You don’t need any previous experience. That’s the wonderful part of being a white belt. No one expects you to know the skills.

I trained for several years before taking a break. During that time I found myself losing confidence. I didn’t realize how much my confidence changed while I was training until I started losing it. I missed the positive energy I found in the studio. I missed the friendships and the experiences I gained while being part of the martial arts family.

Yes, it’s a family. There is so much energy and emotion that is shared during training. We are there for each other. We support and help each other. There are highs and lows, laughter and tears. It’s part of the journey of personal growth that comes from training in martial arts.

It felt good when I started training again. My confidence started rebuilding. I’ve made new friendships that extend beyond the studio. We train together, and we just hang out at each other’s homes. We go places together and I have tried things I had never thought I would do.

I’ve talked to people about starting to train and so often the response I get is “I could never do that” or “I want to, but I need to get in shape first”. My answer to them is to just give it a try. Walk through the door and watch a class. Meet the people training. Even try a class. You’ll find most people there started with very similar concerns and fears. And as far as being in shape, it will come. You’ll find yourself getting stronger and endurance will improve.

If you’ve ever thought about doing martial arts I implore you to give it a try. Bring a friend or relative with you if you are nervous to go alone. It’s a journey you can share together. Try a self-defense class if you are looking for a starting point. Just take that first step through the door.

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