The other day my mind wandered down a path I hadn't seen in a while. The question of why I started training in Kempo stood at the end of the path, and I had to metaphorically cock my head to one side and narrow my eyes as I thought about it.
Why did I start taking a martial arts self-defense class? I started years and years ago. I was way overweight, had no physical skill except eating to brag about and I didn’t know anyone in the class.
But I’d always wanted to be a Jedi, and as another class member pointed out, this was the closest I could ever get without being delusional.
I’m still considering the delusional option, by the way.
My first exposure to the dojo that I’ve now been a part of for eight years was at a women’s activity for my church. One of the girls in our congregation was a member, so she brought a few students and they let us hit and kick the pads and then showed us how to get out of a lapel grab—when someone grabs the front of your shirt with both of their hands. Stupid way to try to man-handle someone, in case you’re wondering. Just leave them all of their weapons while both of your hands are tied up. Great idea. Yell really loud in their face, that’ll teach ‘em.
Anyway, I had a great time. Kicking those pads as hard as I could had to be one of the best things I’d ever done. Even in tight jeans. (Ugh)
So I went to one class, and immediately knew I was in. If you’ve never had the “I just knew it” moment, then you might not understand, but if you’ve ever felt the universe align in just the right way to tell you that you’re exactly where you need to be and doing just what will be right for you, then you’ll get it. I agreed to a lesson the next week and signed up after that. It has to have been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. Through the martial arts I’ve learned to deal with adversity, I’ve been forced to think outside of my own personal box, I’ve done a total overhaul on the inside of my personal box a few times, I’ve had the chance to get to know people I NEVER would have met otherwise and at one point I could jog for a mile.
The jogging days are long gone (I hope to get back to them soon) but I will never regret my decision and I will always be grateful for the “do it” feeling I got the day I signed up. Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, but don’t let that stop you!
Next time we’ll travel down a different path-why did I start writing?