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!
Scott has been training with BMAC since 2007 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is working towards his 2nd Dan grading.