(Original post by Alves888)
I wont lie, im unsure what 'art' I want to learn... I want to do it for self defence, you no in case I ever meet an idiot on a night out etc...
Why are you reading this?
So you have always wanted to do Martial Arts right?
You have seen the movies with Jean Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Steven Seagal.
You think to your self 'that looks cool', and put the thought on a shelf in the back of your mind.
You see an advert in a magazine about a new Martial Arts club near you, and off you trot to join.
Or do you?
I've met some people, who researched the subject of Martial Arts thoroughly before going anywhere near a club! More commonly people join a nearby club with some mates for moral support.
No two people think alike!
You say "Skateboard"; I say "broken leg".
You say "Coconut", I say "yuck".
You say "TV", I say, "Book".
This is one of the reasons for the diversity of the Martial Arts available. We are all individuals!
Before going onto the subject of 'choosing an art', I'd like to point something out!
While you may aspire to be one of the people spinning around, doing flashy techniques and looking cool, it can be very intimidating at first. You may think 'I'll never be able to do that'.
The trick to any difficulty in life is to ignore the boundaries that restrict other individuals. There is risk involved, and sometimes pain in failure, but the reward of inevitable success through persistence is the sweetest fruit of all.
When we say, "That's impossible!", we really mean;" 'I don't know if I could do that". The trouble is that we fear defeat, so we accept defeat without trying. Taking the easy way out!
Different people have different abilities!
Some people seem to be born with advantages!
We all know someone who is really strong, fast, flexible, intelligent, funny or good looking!
Something I have observed from experience though, is that the people at the forefront of Martial Arts today, are not the people with the 'natural gifts' of strength, speed, agility etc.
They are the people with an inner strength!
Something to prove, perhaps a physical or mental limitation.
Bloody-minded determination can overcome Mr or Mrs Lucky if you are persistent about it.
Learning a Martial Art is a 'War of Attrition' with yourself.
The people with 'natural gifts' tend to find things so easy, that they wander off and find something else to do that is easier still!
If someone ever says to you; "What you? Do that? You have no chance", just smile to yourself, and take steps to make them eat their words.
Choosing a Martial Art!
If you are looking at Martial Arts for the first time, you just opened the biggest box in the toy store! In fact you could spend your whole life just trying to decide what to start with!
I would personally recommend that you find a good instructor, rather than trying to choose an art.
All the arts have something to offer, if someone tells you otherwise, smile and walk away as this person has a lot to learn.
Please carry on... we are getting to the point now!
There are no bad Martial arts, only bad Instructors!
So you are now asking yourself 'how do I recognise a bad instructor?'
Most schools will let you watch a class before joining. If they don't, walk away as they may have something to hide.
When you watch the class, don't just watch the techniques, watch the Instructor! His/her eyes should be everywhere, ensuring the safety of his/her students and looking for ways of improving them!
If there is misunderstanding apparent on the face of a student, what does the Instructor do?
If there is negative emotion apparent on the face of a student, what does the Instructor do?
Do the students revere the Instructor?
Have you seen anything that would make you revere that Instructor?
Can you see yourself practicing that style, with that instructor for two to five year's minimum?
Has the club been established for a long time?
Has the instructor been involved in the arts for a long time?
You must ask questions, not just blindly accept what you read in an article or advert!
Once you have chosen your Art!
1/ Show respect and loyalty to your Instructor!
2/ Show respect and loyalty to your fellow students!
3/ Show respect and loyalty to your style!
4/ Show respect to practitioners of the other arts, as they have gone through everything that you have!
5/ Conduct yourself in a manner that others can respect!
Training in the Martial Arts, is like setting off on a journey!
As you travel to the mountain, there may be people ahead of you. You may pass some of these people on the way, and some of them may pass you. You are all going to the same place, so it is as well to be civil to each other on the journey!
Good luck on your journey, I hope that our paths cross, and we may travel together for a time!
This article was taken from another site and it is not my own work but I thought I would share it on here anyway.