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My Martial Art

Do you know IP Man? Bruce Lee? Muhammad Ali? Mike Tyson? They are all legends in martial arts. Martial arts are often used for self-defense and also to strengthen our physical health. Learning martial arts not only helps people to improve themselves physically, but mentally as well.

Photo by Dylan Tan on Instagram

Nothing comes without sacrifices. The same goes for martial arts. You will need to start being committed and make sacrifices in order to gain the skill, knowledge and lessons from martial arts. A student of martial arts commonly goes through a change of lifestyle. Having a healthy diet is very important, especially for oily and spicy food. These types of food may cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and gastric problems. A healthy diet will instead give you a healthier body to boost your performance. Having cold drinks is also not encouraged as it causes breathing problems and would affect your stamina during practice.

Having time for yourself is hard, as schedules are always packed with classes even during the weekends. People practicing martial arts have to sacrifice their time with family and friends in order to train. Although it’s hard, the sacrifice at the end of the day is worth it. Training with a group of people who have the same passion as you, is like a dream come true. Having a packed schedule makes it even more important to get ample amounts of rest, in order to avoid losing focus during practice.  

There are many stereotypes towards martial arts. Most people think that martial arts is about only learning how to fight, and that martial art learners will only solve problems with violence. On the contrary, martial arts is not about picking a fight but it is about protecting ourselves and our loved ones. Most instructors would teach their students to have self-discipline. Martial art learners are not allowed to participate in any fights outside of the ring. If they’re found fighting outside of the ring, punishment will be given, as well as having the risk of getting kicked out of class. There is a famous movie that accurately represents a prominent martial art figure, Ip Man. He is a strong and confident master, but he remains humble. Ip Man is a good example for many martial arts students and instructors out there.

There are always two sides to everything in this world, good and bad. The same goes for martial arts, nothing is perfect. Martial arts may make heroes but at the same time, martial arts may also create villains. There are also some out there that learn martial arts with the intention of only learning to fight. Unfortunately, this is something inevitable due to their own nature. Many instructors are trying their best to stop this by educating their students. One of the most valuable lessons that can be utilized throughout our entire lives, is the attitude of respecting each other, having patience, and self-discipline. People tend to make excuses for themselves, but for martial arts, there are NO EXCUSES!

Martial arts could affect people in a good way, although some may say otherwise. Beginners usually try to rush when learning martial arts, especially during their sparring sessions. They have the desire to win so badly, that they don't keep safety in mind, and end up injuring their opponent or themselves. This is a very important part in martial arts, having patience. During sparring sessions, participants will need to patiently find the weaknesses of their opponent and gain points, instead of rushing in and accidentally hurting each other. This helps students learn the importance of patience, which many people might find difficult to learn.

Photo by Dylan Tan on Instagram

Learning martial arts is less tough if the student has passion. But at the same time, it is not an easy path, as self-preservation is very important. Personally, I have learned martial arts for more than 7 years, and I would say that it has been a fun and exciting journey throughout those 7 years. All the blood, sweat, and tears that were shed. Many people might have an interest in learning martial arts, but are afraid of being criticised by others, or afraid of the life that comes with it. What I can say is: “No pain, No gain”. Follow your heart and do what you feel is right. Do not be ashamed or afraid.

By: Dylan Tan


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