Saturday, May 19, 2007

Who Gave Martial Arts A Bad Name?

As most of you know, I have been taking Martial Arts classes for over a year now. Actually, I am less than a week away from testing for my Blue Belt...which is what inspired this post.

Martial Arts training has become an extremely important part of my life...a way of life actually. It's invigorating, empowering and immensely rewarding (especially at this stage of life). Though the tenants of MA are grounded in the personal development of Modesty, Courtesy, Integrity, Self Control, Perseverance, and Indomitable Spirit...Karate seems to have the reputation of a "nerd sport".

I don't want this to come off as whining --it's just wondering. The Man seems embarrassed and calls me Napoleon or Ralph Macchio. My siblings think I'm a dork. Why? How did mastering a skill that allows a 5'2 girl to successfully extricate themselves from a 250 lb. man become geeky? Who gave the martial arts this terrible stigma?

Was it the Karate Kid movies? The Man claims that all the losers in high school were the ones that took Karate or Tae Kwon Do so that's the association in his mind. And yes, Napoleon talking about all his nunchuckas skills didn't help...

Anyway, just thought I'd put the question out there --I wonder how many others have a word-association of "geeky" when it comes to martial arts.

Don't think I'm implying that this stigma keeps me from talking about my doesn't. I refuse to let some silly perception -or even my family- take away from what I have worked so hard to achieve... Less than 1% of the country has holds a Black belt and that is an accomplishment I attend to achieve and surpass.