It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK today, and as a special treat we went to see Kung Fu Panda 3. Probably not what Dee would have chosen, but it was part of a family afternoon out!
Oddly enough, it set me thinking back to when I was a teenager. Not that I was overweight or furry you understand, but for a couple of years I played judo. I know, it’s not the same as kung fu, but it did teach me a couple of life lessons which were (and which I still find are) invaluable, and I think which are common across all martial arts.
Those lessons included self control, respect for others, discipline and self confidence. To paraphrase from [the original] Karate Kid movies, you learn how to fight so you don’t have to fight. I found it so much easier to walk away from potentially difficult situations after I knew a bit about how to defend myself than I did before I started classes.
I found that doing the regular exercise, with strict regimen around what moves we had to practice, the formality of bowing, starting and stopping when told to, all helped to build confidence and respect. I sometimes wish I hadn’t stopped going, but that’s another story.