I was in high school when I began practicing karate. I was told that education came first. Martial arts would always be around and you can come back to it at any time. One of the key aspects of martial arts is to have a sharp mind. After all 98% of martial arts is mental and 2% is physical. That’s great for me because I am limited when it comes to the physical part of karate. I mostly focus on the mental aspect of martial arts. Another great thing about the 98% mental; I can practice at any time. Of course being 3 feet tall, I can virtually practice anywhere too.
However I eventually had to step away from karate class to pursue a college education. I figured the trade-off would be that I am sharpening my mind and I am getting new and diverse experiences. Not everything can be learned in a dojo. Even though I wasn’t in a class; didn’t mean I stopped practicing or stopped learning. I was constantly practicing kata’s and basic techniques such as the center block and the front punch. In fact I practiced those two techniques so much I have a better understanding of the mechanics and what I am doing.
For a little while I even held a private class for a few select people. This was beneficial to me because it allowed me to maintain my teaching skills I had developed while practicing karate. Again, nothing like working out with friends to keep you motivated.
When I was finished my degree I did not have a class to return to. My original instructor moved down the road and was too far away to attend his classes. Everyone else had either quit or went to another style. I had considered taking up a new style of martial arts. At that time I was limited on the number of styles to choose from. There was an abundance of Tae Kwon Do and Sei Sei Kan dojos in the valley. Without disrespecting either style; neither was appealing to me. I picked up books on various styles and reviewed them; but nothing like being in an actual class. I continued to practice Shorin Ryu on my own when time allowed.
After a few years later I got married and started a family. My wife started practicing Sei Sei Kan and discovered that a Shorin Ryu class that was being taught at the same dojo on the other nights. My time in this class was short lived unfortunately. I did manage to get to second degree brown belt. After that class dissolved I went back to practicing on my own for a few years until I started practicing ju-jitsu.
Since I have been in ju-jitsu the idea of martial arts being 98% mental and 2% physical has never been truer. There is more thinking and more strategy involved when doing close quarters combat. Mix in the karate skills and the possibilities grow exponentially to get the desired results.
Whenever I cannot attend ju-jitsu class I am still learning. I use resources such as the internet to do research from Google® and social media sites such as YouTube®, Facebook®, and Twitter®. I can do research, watch the moves be performed, and ask technical and philosophical questions. Many times I find a technique and when I get back to class I discuss it with my instructor. I show him the move if it’s online and we work to make it adaptable for me. Martial art’s is 98% mental and 2% physical.
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