A few months ago, I was feeling physically unproductive. I would work out once in a while, but nothing too strenuous. My training schedule was lacking and I was beginning to feel tired all of the time. When I didn’t even have the energy to go on a hike with my friends, that’s when I knew that I had to change something in my lifestyle. Not wanting to go on a hike is not like me at all. I love hiking and being active.
I’m in my mid-twenties and have always been quite sporty. Martial arts has always been something that I’ve been interested in. I used to watch Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films all the time as a kid.
Okay… so I guess you’ve caught on that I’m a bit of a nerd!
After talking to some of my siblings, we decided that what I probably needed was a bit of challenge. And as I said, I’ve always kind of liked the idea of doing martial arts.
I started doing kung fu two months ago and so far, I’m loving it. Joining kung fu is probably the best thing that I could have done for my fitness. My energy and motivation have improved so much.
But besides the fitness benefits, there were actually other reasons for why I decided kung fu was the best fit for me.
Here are 5 reasons why I joined kung fu
1. Finding Commitment
Commitment is a big part of any relationship. And let’s for a minute look at it as if you had a relationship with your body. Like any other relationship, you’re only going to get out of it what you put in. I wanted to become strong and improve my overall physical and mental fitness. If I devoted myself to going to classes, then with time I would see the changes in my physical and mental state.
In the past, I used to jump around between different workout routines and exercises, trying out new things sporadically. But this is not what to do if you actually want to improve your fitness. What I needed was something more regular and stable. I wanted to nurture my body so I could grow as a stronger person.
For me, kung fu was a challenge. I put on my training suit and decided to attend classes regularly twice a week. I have committed to practice at home everyday and learn the same three forms until they have been mastered before moving on to the next.
As I said about relationships, you only take out what you put in. This means you have to know what you want. I wanted to see progress in my development.
2. Seeing Progress
It drives me mad when I join an activity or a club with the intention of improving on something and after months of practice, the results are the same. When I joined kung fu, I wanted to see and feel the change.
Progress is gradual. There’s no cutting corners or cheating. There is only a small measure of control you have over it. Progress is dependent on your own effort. That’s why I decided that I would train as hard as I could every chance I could. I pushed myself to perform the forms over and over. It’s been two months and my muscles have hardened only a bit and the forms haven’t been mastered, but I do feel the improvement.
What I like about kung fu is that even though I’ve set a goal for myself, one that hasn’t been reached yet, I am still able to see some progress each time. There are just small changes in my form that show how I’ve improved. This feeling that I’m growing in small steps makes me feel strong.
3. Feeling Powerful as a Woman
I grew up with four brothers, and while I never felt inferior to them, the difference in strength is noticeable. Here’s the honest truth, men and women are biologically different. The average man is built stronger than the average woman. This is a fact that has stung me ever since I was a kid and competing against my brothers in wrestling matches. I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose.
Kung fu is a male dominated form of martial arts. But believe it or not, there are a number of kung fu styles that were developed by women. In fact, one of the five ancestors’ styles from Ngo Cho Kun was developed by a woman. Kung fu was mainly designed for people with smaller statures. I like to use my smaller frame to my advantage to catch my brothers off guard and throw them down.
As a young woman of average build, it is important that I know how to defend myself. Although I’ve been in kung fu a short time, it has given me confidence and strength.
4. Learning focus and discipline
I’m gonna be honest. I’m an overactive girl with no focus and very little discipline. I don’t much care for practising, especially when it’s the same thing over and over, so why did I think kung fu would be right for me?
The basis of kung fu is to achieve mastery through your own hard work. To do this, you must focus on the basics and repeatedly practice the simple forms over and over until you become a master at them.
“I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee had a point there. If you practice one punch 10,000 times, then that punch will become habit. In a fight, you don’t have much time to think, you need to rely a lot on natural reflex.
5. It’s Fun!
Since joining kung fu, I really look forward to going to training and getting sweaty. I always get a kick of adrenaline when I get to learn a new technique or apply break dancing in my forms. Kung fu is something I love to do because I have so much fun doing it.