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Why do you train?

Shun Shifu Weaver's picture
Submitted by Shun Shifu Weaver on Sat, 04/19/2014 - 12:13

People train for all sorts of reasons. Self defense, personal improvement, to feel good.

And in the course of training it is very common for these reasons to change. Which is very often a good thing. Sometimes people come for one thing and stay for another.

So tell us what your top reasons for training are. Have they changed? What do you get out of it?

I'd love to hear why you train.

ccarleton's picture

Myself I was looking to learn self defense. I was wondering when the day might come when the unthinkable could happen. When I started, I realized how I was benefiting from the physical exercise, figured I would, just wasn't sure in what way. It makes you feel better mentally as well though. Not sure how to explain it, but makes me want to keep going.

Corey Carleton

Shun Shifu Weaver's picture
Crane Belt
Gold

Corey,

You don't know how many hundreds of times I have heard people say exactly what you just said. They get into it for self defense and then realize how it makes you feel. I've spent years trying to figure out exactly why. I've found a lot of reasons why which may sound crazy if I post them without giving some background knowledge. which I am working on.

Thanks for posting

\__3)__/

i train to build character,strength,calmness,balance,speed,accuracy and power. training gets rid of fear.

Shifu,
I first began martial arts about 21 years ago. I studied Ninjitsu for about 2 years. Then I began training in Filipino martial arts. I got to the rank of Guro (teacher) then I stepped away from martial arts when I joined the military. I served 2 tours in Iraq and then got out of the military. So 7 and a half years later I have bad ankles, a bad knee, a blown shoulder, PTSD, And a brain injury.
So there I was setting at my house staring at the walls while the VA was playing roulette with meds. It seemed like they were just giving me pills and trying to see what would medicate me enough to shut me up. I went through a divorce and a deep depression. At one point I even attempted suicide. But one day I thought back to when I had trained before, and how much peace and focus it brought me. I thought, "What do I have to lose"? So I threw away all my pills and went back to training.
That was a little over 4 years ago. I am now married to a wonderful woman who supports me in all of my journeys, and loves me for who I am. And I have to take it slower than I used to, (thus the name Turtle), but I now hold 3 teaching certifications in different Filipino Martial arts, And a Nidan in Kempo, and now I have begun to study Shou Shu. And I have a small combatives group that I teach in a closed door class. I tried teaching in a commercial school but it was not for me. The rest of the staff did not know how to deal with me because, though I am much more stable than I was before, I still have PTSD and an MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury). And At times I speak my mind quite boisterously. Also I had issue with giving away rank to those who did not earn it simply because they wanted it. And having 9 year old Black Belts is a joke. And not a funny one. So I find that private instruction working with adults is the best fit for me.
I told you all of that to better illustrate these points. What I get from martial arts is inner peace. When my nerves are out of sorts and I feel like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking-chairs I can calm myself. It helps me to find focus when my mind is running 100 miles an hour and I can't grab hold of a thought. And purpose. One must have a reason to get out of bed past the fact that you should do it. Knowing that if you were to stay in bed for a week straight that no-one would notice is a horribly empty feeling. But now I have my group to teach. And if I do not get up and practice how will I teach them? In many ways you could say that martial arts has saved my life.
I hope this all makes sense. Happy Easter to all. Have a blessed day.
With respect,
Turtle

Shun Shifu Weaver's picture
Crane Belt
Gold

Turtle,

Everything you said makes perfect sense. And I've seen it before. I have seen soldiers eliminate their need for meds on several occassions.
Here is an article about one of my students from a few years ago
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081001/A_NEWS/8100...

I think we should start a group on PTSD on this site. Could I talk you into being an admin for it?

I look forward to helping you in any way we can. Your account has just been upgraded.

\__3)__/

sane121's picture
Jr Yellow Belt
Cooper

Hi Corey Carleton
Your not on your own, Kung fu certainly does stimulate the mind and body.
I think of it like an addictive drug, you have a sample and you enjoy it so you go back for a little bit more. Before you know it your hooked always looking for that next fix and wanting more, the thirst for knowledge becomes unbearable so you scour this website looking for more and more.

Well I suppose we are releasing endorphins into our blood stream as we exercise. Then also stimulating the brain with extra oxygen and neuroplasticity as talked about on here few months back.

Thank you for sharing

Sean

Shun Shifu Weaver's picture
Crane Belt
Gold

Yep, Endorphins, extra oxygen, and neuroplasticity are a part of it.

I'll briefly mention a few other reasons why it makes you feel so good.

1) The level of focus needed eliminates the possibility of other thoughts. Sort of a meditation in a way. So if you have stress (caused by negative thought patterns such as prevalent in pTSD or just generally being stressed) you cannot pay attention to that stress for at least a little while.
2) Stress causes muscle tension. It's a preparation for fight or flight. Some believe we actually store negative emotions in our muscles. The stretching and motions releases this tension.
3) Most animals after experiencing stress will play out the experience. Like they have to finish it. If not allowed to do so they can actually die. I doubt we are any different.
4) Mentally empowering.
5) the brain loves to figure complex things out. There is an associated high. Shou' Shu' continuously puts us in this condition of figuring out how to make our body do complex things and producing this high.
6)The kiaia. Raising your voice improves confidence. Learning to kiaia does the same.
7) Motion. the weirdest of them all. I think certain motions create certain emotions. When doing the tiger you feel powerful. when doing crane stoic. Walk sluggishly across the room and you feel depressed. Walk with purpose across the room and you feel invigorated. I believe the complex motions of Shou' Shu' generate positive emotions. Motion creates emotion.

Maybe there's even more.

It all happened at first when i was a kid. you see I was not a popular kid when i was in school. actually you could say i was a nerd/geek and i got picked on alot in school and got bullied. So one day I decided I needed to learn how to defend myself from the bullies at school. So I asked my parents if i could get into martial arts to learn to defend myself. so begains my journey in martial arts. I been to several to see which one best suited me. I moved alot because of my father use to be in the military so i ended up giving it up. now to this day from being physical and mental abuse I ended up having PTSD and major depression. also i have anxiety problems and being around people. So I decided to train from home and I found your site and started back up training from home. you guys are the best I have ever trained with

CillaT's picture

I train because I want to be able to defend myself if I'm ever caught in a sticky situation. I also train to exercise and stay fit.

I train because it is how my true self expresses it's self, the harmony, the will power, the discipline, and plus the reassurance that come to give self confidence if unrightfully attacked.

I train because it is how my true self expresses it's self, the harmony, the will power, the discipline, and plus the reassurance that come to give self confidence if unrightfully attacked.

i train because i love the art and i gives me the extra confidence in life that i have been searching for.

I was allways fasicinated with the Martial Arts, and then when David Carrindine stared in the Kung Fu, that's what frist got me going and 41 years later I'm still going strong.
Yours in Christ
Dave

David E. Spangler

glendahaskell's picture
Jr Yellow Belt

I started as self defense ,but it turned into more . \_3)_/

ghaskell

Tin

The ancient phrase "Know Thyself" has always been a driving force of mine, and once I found Shou Shu and begun training I realized how very calming it was. There is an undeniable sense of accomplishment in self-mastery and self-discipline, and I want to be more effective in my daily life--and this wonderful ancient art has allowed me to bring a powerful player to the table.

glendahaskell's picture
Jr Yellow Belt

I still have not received the second email about my leadership role or lack of it :) I am not sure what signed up for . I thought by trying to get the boys interested was doing my role or at least partially also finally have a couple people near me interested , maybe future workout partners . as far as vitual meet ups I know nothing . would be cool I offered but no one has taken me up , maybe cause im not doing it right ? \_3)_/ :) Ps things have calmed for me so i can concentrate more on Shou Shu

ghaskell

Shun Shifu Weaver's picture
Crane Belt
Gold

Hi Glenda,

Don't stress on getting them involved. If they do they do and that would be great. All you really need to do is create a group for your area. That way people on the website can find it. So go here
http://www.shoushuonline.com/node/add
Look for the link that says physical meetups. Click on that to create your group.

For your group name it

US - Arizona - Kingman

Then just put anything in the description.

That way it is there for people to find. We will create a listing of groups as soon as we have a few setup.

glendahaskell's picture
Jr Yellow Belt

:) I will get that done now

ghaskell

Tin

Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Richard and I reside in the UK. Just started the Yellow A course.... :-)

sane121's picture
Jr Yellow Belt
Cooper

Welcome to this site, I am also in the UK (N Yorks) so if you ever want to get together in a hangout on Google give us a shout. http://www.shoushuonline.com/meetups-uk

I am currently on Yellow B working through the review lessons ready for testing.

Anyhow I think it's great that someone else in the UK is active on this site. Apparently around 198 have joined from the UK though up to now theres only the two of us writing on the forums.

So for everyone else reading this, if you live in the UK give us a shout. If you want to remain quiet that's fine I respect your privacy, if you want to get busy then lets hangout on Google. I'm not looking for friendship just persons whom love Kung Fu and want to practice.

Salute

Sean

Shun Shifu Weaver's picture
Crane Belt
Gold

I'd say anyone in the UK would do well to get busy with Sean. You might have a hard time keeping up with him but I'm sure it will benefit you.

Welcome, aboard , hook up with Sean, He's great
Yours in Christ
GM Dave Spangler KU-DAN

David E. Spangler

Tin

Thanks for the replies guys. For the time being I am happy doing my own thing with the online lessons as I am just getting to grips with the Yellow A techniques and my internet access is limited. But maybe further down the line I will take you up on your kind offer Sean; many thanks.

Tin

Thanks for the replies guys. For the time being I am happy doing my own thing with the online lessons as I am just getting to grips with the Yellow A techniques and my internet access is limited. But maybe further down the line I will take you up on your kind offer Sean; many thanks.

Tin

Thanks for the replies guys. For the time being I am happy doing my own thing with the online lessons as I am just getting to grips with the Yellow A techniques and my internet access is limited. But maybe further down the line I will take you up on your kind offer Sean; many thanks.

Tin

Thanks for the replies guys. For the time being I am happy doing my own thing with the online lessons as I am just getting to grips with the Yellow A techniques and my internet access is limited. But maybe further down the line I will take you up on your kind offer Sean; many thanks.

sane121's picture
Jr Yellow Belt
Cooper

Hi Richard no problem, you got pounced upon as a new arrival I apologise for that. The offer will always be there. I am debating on starting a regular hangout for anyone to join in. Thinking of weekends around 19:00 gmt which will be around 11:00am pst. Though often work weekends so still debating.
I now have a weekly sparring partner which is helping me so much at the moment which again is usually on a weekend. Makes all the difference actually putting our training into use. He doesnt hold back like my wife does with years of martial arts under his belt.

Kindest regards

Sean

Tin

It was kind of you to take the time to reply! Even though I attend actual classes here in the UK with another style, I love the idea of this online training. It is a lovely concept, and enables me to train at a new style in my own home when I like, with no pressure. Although I enjoy the classes over here, there is a lot of pressure to grade (I'm at green sash level) and spar. I recently received a bad hand injury which affected my work; this worried me.... So, the Shou Shu is allowing me to learn a new way, and I think the techniques are a no-nonsense practical self defence aid; very good, but not easy to master!
Best wishes, Richard

Tin

....I have an intermittent connection....

RichyB,
Hi, How are you doing? if there's a question you want answered, there's somebody that can answer it, so just take it slow and have fun.
Yours in Christ
GM Dave Spangler KU-DAN

David E. Spangler

Tin

My reply to Sean above can be regarded as a message to yourself too! Thanks for taking the trouble to get in touch.
Blessings,
Richard