[I:http://martialarts.surrey-sussex.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/AlCase37.jpg]My official beginning in the martial arts was back in the late sixties. I walked into an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Dojo, signed up, and I began learning Martial Arts. The truth, however, is that I had been getting free Karate Lessons for a long time before that.
They weren’t much, as far as lessons went, but they did the trick. They kept me interested and happy. After all, they were the best type of conditioning, they were a good way to learn I could handle the bullies, and they were fun.
The first thing that caught my interest was knuckle conditioning. We used to knock our knuckles on walls and fences and boxes and anything that got in our way. That resulted in a lifelong interest in good conditioning, different types of punches, and a desire to have the hardest punch I could have.
The second thing I found fascinating was simple arm bars. This was good, as simple things always work better than complex things. To this day I take the trickiest of martial arts techniques and look for the simplest way of making them work.
The third thing I gleaned had to do with learning how to use the different parts of the body. I analyzed feet, hands, arms, legs, how the joints worked, the spine, everything I could. I even read large and heavy medical books trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various body parts.
Fourth, I engaged in a rudimentary sort of grappling. This was good because I took away from that experience the lesson that grappling wasn’t handy for fighting. You grapple, and you are tied up, and somebody else runs up and kicks the back of your head, and there might be weapons involved, and…no thanks.
The main thing I gleaned from reading books, working with friends, and just having fun pretending we were good and tough, was that sweat worked. The hours we spent lifting weights, running, wrestling around, and trying those techniques from out of old Bruce Tegner books and the like…they were golden hours. It was a youth that made for strength, politeness, and the desire to go forward.
The point I am making in this bit of writing is that the martial arts are not recommended for everybody. So do a search on the web, Google Free Karate lessons, (I always recommend Karate as a great way to start your martial arts with) or some other like term, and see what comes up. Do a few techniques, see if they work on friends, and find out if you have the kind of character to be a student of Karate.
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