I wanted to post something about martial arts for some time now but I couldn’t be bothered to take a photo of my boxing gloves or something relevant. A few days ago though there was an event at the gym and pictures were taken so I thought, perfect, someone did the job for me. I have tried several kinds of martial arts like Wing Chin kung fu, Pa Qua Chang, Lau Gar kung fu, Krav Maga and lately I decided I don’t have the brainpower to remember defense moves and forms so I just went with kick box.
Anyways, here’s five things people are likely to say or do when they know you practice martial arts:
- ‘So do you have Karate training today?‘ This is a classic. Come on people, I know Karate Kid was popular in the 80s but seriously not everything is Karate. I used to practice Wing Chun six times a week so it did come up in conversation quite a lot. Still, some people would carry on asking about my Karate classes- which is Japanese by the way. Kung Fu is Chinese.
- ‘So can you beat me up?’ If you tell a guy you are practicing any sort of martial art there’s a 90% chance you’ll hear this (yes, 75% of statistics are indeed made up on the spot). I think it’s a playful-and slightly sarcastic- question indirectly indicating that they are kind of looking down on you. My usual answer is ‘I can try’ or ‘ dude you are like 2 heads taller than me and twice my weight. What do you think?’. I mean, it’s not that I suck and Wing Chun was all about using the opponent’s size and force against him, but let’s be realistic.
- One thing that really annoys me is when a friend tries to land a hit on me at a random time,when my attention is focused on something else entirely. For example: We are walking down the street, i am paying attention to the wonderful decoration on the window of a clothing store ( not really but some reason that’s the first thing that came to mind) and my friend punches me on the arm like ‘HA! caught you off guard!’, smiling triumphantly like he just conquered Rome or something. And I am like seriously man, what’s wrong with you? There’s a time and a place for everything so just let me enjoy this window decoration in peace. Also, I am not a freaking ninja, I just have a hobby and even if I was a ninja, I am sure some of them did occasionally get caught off guard and died; I haven’t seen many ninjas around lately.
- Relatives who grimace and say ‘ couldn’t you do something more feminine?’. Well, as a matter of fact, no, I couldn’t. I have no sense of rhythm whatsoever so I can’t dance. I absolutely detested ballet as a child. Volleyball was alright but I sucked at it and what else is there? Gymnastics? I remember doing one lesson as a child for some reason and never going back again. No idea why, I think I kind of enjoyed it too. Now, first of all I hate this distinction between female and male activities. Is there anything in my anatomy that absolutely prohibits me from practicing martial arts? I don’t think so. If anything, I have a higher chance not to faint if I get kicked in between the legs. Sure, most of the guys I train with are naturally stronger than me, but they do take care not to kill me. In fact, training with them is disappointing at times because they are seriously trying to reduce the force of their hits, while the girls have no problem punching the hell out of me. Secondly, dear relatives, if I ever have children I’m gonna sign them up on some Kung Fu class as soon as they are able to walk. They will grow up to be disciplined, calm and confident people because they will be aware of their own abilities, of their limits and of how much it hurts to be kicked in the stomach. And the best part? they are going to gain some actual confidence when walking down the street, especially if they are girls. In my experience, one is 40% less likely to be attacked on the street when they look confident – also when they are dressed like a bum and their sole possessions are a 2 euro coin and a mobile phone made 20 years ago.
- When female friends say its ok to go somewhere dangerous because you are in the group. You guys might be joking, but you scare me, ok? I take these things seriously. If I really am the most qualified of the group to protect you, that means I have a responsibility, and I don’t like responsibility. That said, I am usually clueless as to what’s dangerous and what’s not so it’s more than likely that I am the problem and not the solution.
One thing you are not likely to hear:
My father’s paranoid worry: So your daughter doesn’t answer the phone on a night out. What is your first thought?
a) She can’t hear it cause she’s in a place with loud music (If you are a parent you might as well skip this one)
b)She had a car crush
c) She got attacked/mugged/followed some dodgy guy home and he turned out to be a serial killer
d) She had a fight. Like, got out of the car and shouted ‘ hey shithead, learn how to drive’, then proceeded to land an axe kick on the hood of somebody’s vehicle. Then probably dragged him out of the car and punched him repeatedly until he apologized for failing to use the turn signal.
Yup. My dad’s worry was that I got involved in a fight cause my life is straight out of an episode of The Wire.