My official beginning in the study of the martial arts was back in the late sixties. I walked into an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Dojo, signed a contract, and began to learn Martial Arts. The truth, however, is that I had been getting free Karate Lessons for a long time before I walked into that school. Check out the video, then I’ll tell you about it.
They weren’t much, as far as martial arts lessons went, but they did the trick. They kept my attention, and they kept me happy. After all, they were the best type of physical and mental conditioning, they were a good way to learn I could handle the bullies, and they were fun.
The first thing that caught my interest was knuckle conditioning. We used to knock our knuckles on walls and fences and boxes and anything that got in our way. That resulted in a lifelong interest in good conditioning, different types of punches, and a desire to have the hardest punch I could have.
The second thing I learned was simple arm bars. This was good, as simple things always work the best. To this day I take the most complex of fighting techniques and look for the simplest method of making them work.
The third thing I gleaned had to do with learning how the different parts of the body worked. I examined feet, hands, arms, legs, how the joints worked, the back, everything I could. I even read medical books trying to understand how the body worked.
Fourth, I engaged in a rudimentary sort of grappling. This was good because I took away from that experience the lesson that grappling wasn’t handy for fighting. You grapple, and you are tied up, and somebody else runs up and kicks the back of your head, and there might be weapons involved, and…no thanks.
The main thing I discovered from reading books, working with friends, and just having fun pretending we were big and tough, was that sweat worked. The hours we spent lifting iron, running, wrestling, and trying those techniques from out of old Bruce Tegner books and the like…they were golden hours. It was a youth that built strength, character, and the desire to go forward.
The point I am making in this article is that the martial arts aren’t for everybody. So look around on the web, Google Free Karate lessons, (I always recommend Karate as a great art to start your martial arts with) or some other like term, and see what comes up. Do a few tricks, see if they work on friends, and find out if you have the character and kind of mind to be a student of Karate.
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