Following on from last time, I want to look at comments from my club mates when I asked why they started training and what keeps them coming back.
Let's begin with "why did you start training". Interestingly, everybody said it primarily was a way to keep fit rather than for self defence. This was common to younger and older members, male and female. Without wanting to give away Davie's age, he was partly inspired by Bruce Lee and the dynamic action of his movies. Who would not want to be able to do those moves?
However self defence did come into the equation, although mostly as a way for Emma to defend against older brothers who had started training and wanted to use their little sister for target practise.
People have started at different ages. I started at 34 and am not alone starting in my 30s but we also have adult members who started as children and in their teens. You are never too old, or indeed too young, to start training.
Jamie, who started at 11 and has been with us for almost 10 years, commented on being teased at school for not being interested in football but he quickly was hooked on the individual drive for improvement. Football is not the sport for everyone so perhaps the individual challenge of Shoto Budo would appeal to you.
So why do people come back?
Well the common answer is that the ongoing exercise, development and improvement that we see in ourselves. Everyone made a comment about the challenge to improve and then seeing how their skills grow over time.
Further to this, the variety of skills is a hook for many. Shoto Budo covers so many areas and that variety appeals, whether it is kata, the practical elements of self defence, the skill of parrying and locking and the downright fun of ground work. I could not agree more!
This applied across our membership, whether they be male or female and in their teens, twenties, thirties, forties or fifties, Reflecting this inclusiveness, Emma commented that she "would encourage other women who want to keep fit without having to do a zumba class and learn some really useful skills to come to the club. I can guarantee they will be made welcome".
Last of all, it was nice to see that people enjoy the camaraderie of the club. Julie commented on having made many friends through martial arts and Jamie still feels part of the club, even though he is studying away from Bearsden. However Paul summed it up best with " And some of you guys are ok I guess . . .". High praise indeed!
Does this encourage you to join us and find out for yourself about Shoto Budo? If so, click on the Contact Us button and come along and try it.
Until the next time, keep your guard up!
Over the next few posts, I am going to look at something that interests me, namely why did people start training and also what keeps them coming back, week after week and year after year.
To this end, I asked my club mates to explain what attracted them to the club and what motivates them in their training. Hopefully this will provide an interesting and valuable insight into why Shoto Budo just might be the martial art for you.
First up, is Ross G. Take it away, Ross . . .
It's been just over three years since I started Shoto Budo, and I've never once looked back. Although I've sometimes questioned whether or not it's actually possible for me to achieve a black belt, I look around and realize that I'm training with some of the best, and I just know that my ultimate goal of achieving 1st Dan will be possible under their supervision and guidance. Had it not been for Shoto Budo, I'd probably be spending my Tuesday and Wednesday nights sitting in front of the T.V and stuffing my face (I leave that for weekends). I also wouldn't have met all the lovely folk within the organization.
When I started attending training regularly, it really propelled me into the world of martial arts and I've been extremely keen on it ever since, exploring all the different arts and generally learning how to turn my body into a lethal weapon. In the past six months or so I've also attended Thai Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA and Boxing classes. I used everything I learned in those classes in order to excel further in what has always been my favourite martial art - Shoto Budo.
Lately, I've really been putting in that extra effort to improve my cardio and general fitness. I've started to cycling to training and back, to both the Tuesday and Wednesday classes. When I'm not cycling or training, I'm focusing on my technique and trying my best to perfect every kick and punch with great precision and power. I also study lots of different martial arts, ranging from Krav Maga to Kickboxing. If my last grading taught me anything, it was that I seriously need to improve my cardio if I'm going to be able to perform to the best of my ability (so basically try not be out of breath before sparring even starts).
Speaking of grading - I hope that I get the opportunity to grade again soon, because I've missed out on a few opportunities before and I can't help but think what belt I might be now had I actually gone to all the grading courses. Despite this, I always tell myself your true ability doesn't show itself in the form of a belt; it shows through your technique and understanding. I may still be an Orange belt, but I feel my opportunity to go for Green is overdue, and so I've been working extremely hard to prepare myself for when the day comes that I get the go ahead for Green.
Shoto Budo has also helped channel any aggression I feel, which means no more screws and metal plates in my hands or scarred knuckles! Before I started, I had a bit of an anger problem and often misplaced my rage. It sometimes put a strain on my relationship and friendships, and so I started training a lot more to get it out my system in order to prevent it happening so often. Unfortunately, I was still sometimes capable of snapping. I realize now that I was so busy focusing on the physical side of things that I didn't bother to see what I could do to train myself mentally for situations that would anger me. Fortunately, I found the answer within Karate, and I feel a lot more disciplined and controlled now.
To summarize: Martial Arts isn't just a hobby for me; it's a way of life. No matter how many different kinds I try, Shoto Budo will always be the one that matters most to me because it has really helped me mature and keep myself from getting into any trouble. My only regret is not trying it sooner.
Thanks Ross! Nicely put and very honest. I agree with the sentiments and like you, wish I had started sooner (like when I was your age!).
Until the next time, keep your guard up.
Scott has been training in Shoto Budo since 2007 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is working towards his 2nd Dan grading.