Who would have thought from all of my years of training I use my martial arts skills in the defense against – the carpet? Karate and jujitsu has had a profound impact on how I gained independence. There are skillsets I learned during my early days of practicing karate that have been valuable outside of the dojo. Some of these basics that have been helpful are the overhead block, breakfall, and footwork.
I have limited mobility – no I am not talking about my mobile data plan either. I am short and have been classified as handicap. Some everyday tasks can be a challenge. When I started karate my first challenge I had to overcome was learning how to walk – walk without the use of a walking aid. Karate helped to build strength up in my legs. I can remember long nights in karate class where we would spend 2 hours transitioning from one stance to the next. We would move forward from one end of the dojo to the other.
Knowing how to transition from one stance to another has allowed me to walk around my house and avoid potential threats. I am constantly scanning the floors for threats. Ah ha! That slightly bit of raised carpet is waiting for me to walk through and trip me. The kid’s toys are like land mines waiting for me to step on them and take me down.
Some people learn karate or jujitsu to use for self-defense purposes. I have been able to use karate as a form of physical therapy. Yes, there have been moments where I have needed to defend myself. One time the flooring did get the best of me and caused me to trip. Instead of going to the ground I was headed for a brick wall. My forehead was leading the charge. Four years of practicing the overhead block 2 hours 2 nights a week really came in handy. I executed the overhead block just before my head met the wall. My friend was like “Wow, that’s a good use of an overhead block.”
Thankfully I have not needed to use my skills out on the street. Well I take that back, there was that one time I was downtown navigating uneven pavement, I tripped, lost my balance, and I went to the ground. Luckily years of practicing the forward break fall kept me from being injured.
Training in martial arts has prepared me for my battles against brick walls, carpet, kid’s toys in the floor, and uneven pavement. Martial arts’ has been a more enjoyable form of physical therapy for me than being at a hospital. Not only do I have the knowledge to defend myself against bad guys but I have the tools to overcome obstacles I may face.
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