Friday, June 18, 2010

Blog-Keeping / One Word

I need to spend some time working on my blog. Blogger has a new template design feature that I have been trying out. I think I am finally settled on the navy blue color scheme. I am still updating my link list. If you have a martial arts or acl blog and would like to be included on my blogroll...please leave a comment or send me an email.

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Last month, we asked the shodan candidates in our dojo to tell us what black belt meant to them. Each candidate handed in a one page essay. Recently, I read about Jillian Michaels, star of The Biggest Loser, who stated in an interview "Karate Changed My Life".

One of those "right decisions" was taking a martial arts class -- something which literally changed her life. "Karate saved my life," she says. "It all stopped the day I broke two boards with a kick."
In my own experience, I believe karate has changed my direction a few times. I was a green belt student when my husband decided he wanted to start his own dojo. This decision was the focal point of buying/renovation an abandoned building to convert into a house/dojo. There have been times when it has not been easy. A few years ago, my husband suffered severe third degree burns on his leg. I was completely overwhelmed. It was not easy taking care of a toddler, my husband, the dojo and working full time. My family, the dojo and my karate friends helped us through this difficult time.

For me, I would describe karate as a constant.

How would you one word...your martial arts experience?


Felicia said...

Howdy, Michele. I think I would describe karate as "enabling" - but not in a negative, addiction sort of way. I guess I mean it kept me sane during some rough times and enable me to find my new center.

I started training during radiation treatments for breast cancer. I had just turned 38 and retired six months ago from a long and successful track and field career. I started karate because of an invitation from my son's sensei to just "try it." I was hooked after the very first class - which I remember like it was yesterday...

Lots of physical changes came with treatment and two separate reconstructions, but through it all, there was karate. Training enabled me to do very physical stuff I never even dreamed of before - and enabled me to get through what I had to get through. I didn't feel so "woe is me!" with class to look forward to. I think I equated kicking the heavy bag, focus mitts and my training partners with kicking cancer in the booty, LOL...

Journeyman said...

Anyone who has spent time studying any martial art knows what a profound impact that study has on their lives. It becomes part of who you are.

I guess you've given me homework as I've sat here for the last hour trying to sum up what my study means to me in one word.

Great post.

SueC said...

I think I would say karate has been a 'new beginning' for me. I didn't take it up until I was 45 having previously been very unsporty or physical (I was the sort of person that was last to picked for the netball team in PE lessons).

I have surprised everyone (including myself) at how well I have taken to it and how dedicated I have become. My life has definitely taken a new direction and I feel I have been given a new lease of life.

As well as all the physical benefits I am reaping from training, I have made lots of new friends, got very involved with my club and the organisation that my club belongs to. Karate has definitely been a life changing event for me. Long live karate!

Rick said...


thomas said...


Ariel said...

A dozen or so words come to mind, but I'm going to say 'steadfast.'

Other hobbies and things have come and gone as my interests have changed, but my Tae Kwon Do has always been a constant in my life.

I feel that the martial arts will always be a major part of my life, thus I chose 'steadfast.'

Tampa Karate said...

Me, I would describe karate as my WAY OF LIFE. The skills and value I acquire from it is simply amazing. My whole life changed coz of it.

sandman said...


Aside from my family, karate is what gets me going, what challenges me, in life. Its a constant struggle to do it a little bit better, to work a little bit harder, to stretch a little bit deeper, to understand it a little bit better...

Frank said...

Karate is definitely something that is just part of who I am. I studied Guju-ryu for about 8 months, while I was still in the Army, then had to move and studied Wado-ryu for about a year, and then moved back to the United States. I've been studying Isshin-ryu, and the first thing I discovered, was just how much I missed it, in the years that I was between dojos.

The things it has done for me are innumerable... I don't know if it has produced these qualities, or simply brought them to the fore, but it has increased my tenacity, focus, and determination. It has improved my balance, flexibility, and confidence.

It's definitely one of the truly good things in my life, where progress is definite, measurable, and gratifying.

I'd better stop before I end up writing a novelette... LOL

Denman said...


That's the one word I would use to describe my third year of training, and will probably still be the word I use to sum up my experiences through my thirteenth year of training.

Michele said...

Thanks for commenting and sharing your martial arts experience!


Anonymous said...

Hi Michele,

Although I'm a practitioner of traditional, self defense-oriented, non-sport Tae Kwon Do rather than Karate, I, too, feel much the same as you.

Lesson days provide a constant and something to which to look forward. I can't wait for those days.

My two young children (8 and 6) also study Tae Kwon Do and it provides a bond for us. It's a journey and experience we share.

Also, I'm working 2 IT jobs and going to the do jang gives me a place to "empty my cup" in more ways than one allowing me to clear my mind and change gears a bit.

The physicality of the lessons gives me the same feeling I had 30 years ago. To be totally honest, I'm probably in better shape now than I was then.

One thing that people seem to miss when thinking about their martial art is that it provides goals and direction. There's always something new to learn, another test, another challenge.

Thanks for the great post.


Frank said...

oops... That was supposed to be "Goju-ryu." Not "Guju-ryu." Hahahaha....

Michele said...

Hi Michael,
Thanks for visiting and commenting!