Bloody Hands (or Why Everyone should Practice Martial Arts)

I hit the bag until my knuckles bled.  And then I taped them up and hit the bag some more.

It’s not an everyday occurrence, but it was what I needed right then to expel some of the craziness that had permeated the week.

All of us have stress, and I’m not advocating ignoring the causes of whatever is elevating your blood pressure but what may be more important is how you handle that stress going forward.

And that is why everyone should find their martial art.  They are all-encompassing.   Although the work outs can be outstanding – you go at your own pace.  Supportive and competitive at the same time,  it improves your memory and your ability to concentrate.   It encourages you to move outside of your comfort zone while keeping you safe and helps with flexibility and balance.  We learn how to breathe and focus on the moment while being mindful of the goals we set for the future.   Respect and service for all people and the world are the foundations.  It is physical and mental therapy combined.  And you always feel better after class.

My family jokes sometimes that it was like I am born again.  And although it is not at all evangelical, in a way, it is a truth. It had never occurred to me that it was something I could or might want to do.  It has been a wonderful discovery of self.

Sadly, only a very small percentage of people practice a martial art. But there is a school, or class or an individual mentor that is right for you.   It doesn’t matter how old you are or how out of shape – there is always a beginning.

My hands hurt for two weeks after hitting the bag like that – so now when I feel the need to punch the bag, I tape my hands up first.


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