Saturday, 4 July 2015

I Want To Fight

I Want to Fight

Believe me, in the past few years I have lifted almost every misconception I’ve had about myself.  I became a writer.  I finally labeled myself a “martial artist” and not just someone who does martial arts.  I initiated my martial arts website, “The Martial Arts Woman,” and connected with other martial artists around the world.  I guest posted for other bloggers, podcasted, and created videos.  I pushed “hate” to the background.  I faced fears of rejection and doubt. I worked out to build stronger muscles. I cultivated a strong, positive mindset. I went out on a limb and reached for goals that were extremely high. My words have been published. I wrote and recorded songs and even shared them with a few people. I became a better listener. I am the person I always wanted to be.

Strong. Competent. Passionate. Committed. Resourceful. Dedicated.

The new wave of people I meet only see me in this light.  Now I am an inspiration and a motivation for others. I share their stories and I listen to their tales and I am appreciated for it. I couldn’t ask for more.  All of this is worth the hard work.  All of this is worth fighting for.

I wrote one blog about a man in a wheelchair and his plight to learn karate.  It was misconstrued by an Internet group of haters (trolls) who decided I was taking advantage of this poor guy by using his “handicap” as my “inspiration.” Hate flew far and wide across social media, even though my blog post was written with his words and any of my personal commentary was approved by him.  It was the first time I experienced hate in this fashion, as it rolled and grew until it was like a tidal wave crashing down.  While I really wanted to fight back with a hard punch, I took the high road, the calm road, the peaceful road, which is sometimes a better way to fight back than any other.  When something is done for the right reasons, no one has the right to judge me.  So, I let it go and that was my fight.

When an incident arose where I was stuck struggling about a personal issue, I decided it would not steal my joy.  I pushed through knowing that in time, all things work out as they should. Fighting back can be literal and it can be philosophical and figurative.  There are many ways to fight back and the important thing is to recognize exactly what kind of fighting back will work best in the situation. Fighting back is not always easy.  It is draining and difficult and anger-driven at times. It requires stamina and mental strength whether you are in the fighting ring or the ring of life. It is important to learn and understand the concepts behind fighting so you are not just swinging with no technique. I’m not much of a physical fighter, but I know one thing. You need to understand what you are doing and why in order to make progress.

In my martial art, I am a teacher and have been for many, many years.  I teach students how to perform karate katas or throws and how to spar.  My husband is the better teacher when it comes to sparring.  I’m too busy making sure everyone is okay, no one gets hurt, that they keep their gear on.  But I also judge their points. I know what to look for, where the opening is, and how they should navigate it.  It’s easier as a coach than a participant. When you are watching, you can see.  When you are fighting you are blinded by everything except your intense focus on your opponent. I recall the intensity from years past, although I haven’t sparred in a while.

In thinking about it, I realized this is a component I’m lacking in my training these days.  On my own, I can practice all of the skills and drills with no problem.  But, I want to fight.  Not because I am some anger-driven, crazy woman lunatic!  Not even because I think it will help save my life, because I think other techniques are more suited to that.  I just want to feel the physicality of fast paced movement, application of the fast hands, and clear direction of a kick on a target that bears some resemblance to an opponent.  I’m not looking for an all-out bar room brawl or anything.  No, just a roundabout with a trained fighter so if I slip up and miss, neither of us gets hurt.  It’s more than sparring I’m after; it is direction.  I don’t even care about scoring a point.  I just want to feel it.  The swish of the air, the sweat dripping, the rhythm of being pushed to extreme.  It can be slow motion, which is where good learning takes place, or kicked up a notch.  I need to know I won’t flair or succumb when I need to stand tall because I have technique.  Anyone can throw a punch, but how?  What is most effective? If I am close up, how do I do it?  I don’t want to be a woman-wimp. I want a trainer who is a man who feels right about teaching a woman. I need a teacher who understands that I’m not doing this to protect my life, I’m doing it because I can.

It’s one of those things I guess, where you ask yourself if you are doing everything you want in life, everything that matters to you, or if you are still shying away from the things that don’t readily present themselves.  I’m not looking to be shoved into a ring to fight the battle of my lifetime.  I’m looking to be trained in eye/hand coordination, breath, and momentum.  It’s not the fight, but the training, that means something to me.  I don’t want a trophy or recognition, or even a pat on the back.  I just want a trainer to tell me, “this is what you do and this is how you do it.”

Personally, I’m very good at following rules and commands.  If I’m told to punch a certain way, I will.  If I’m told to kick a certain height, I will.  Fighting can’t be planned like that perhaps, but strategy can.  If I can learn strategy, it is half the battle.

So true in life.  Strategy is half the battle to every obstacle and failure that presents itself. How you fight back and how you recover make all the difference. Will you crumple and walk away and never face your fear again? Or, will you learn what to do, how to handle it, and make sure it never happens that way again? Your mind can be trained right along with your body. Your mind can learn proper technique and skill and that includes perseverance, patience, and a positive mindset. Half of any battle is belief in yourself.  The other half is made up of training and practice, skills, and strategy.

I want to fight.  I want to fight the battles that try to make me deviate from who I am. The battles that pull me in the wrong direction.  I’m willing to work hard to win my own wars.

So, show me how to fight. How do I hold my hands? How do I gain quickness? When do I go in for the punch? Let me feel the sweat pour off my body and hear the words echo in my mind “you’ve got this.

Not because I have to, but because I want to.

No win is more important than the life-win and that’s what this is all about.


A great article! Thank you so much, Andrea. Readers are encouraged to visit her site at THE MARTIAL ARTS WOMAN . And please visit it often. Her writing has such a great personal touch to it. Hopefully, we can encourage her to post another article soon.

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