We’re all part of a martial arts family, simply by sharing the common bond of training for self-improvement.
Martial Arts Family – Episode 138
It’s time for episode 138 of whistlekick Martial Arts radio, and today we’ll talk about the worldwide community that is martial arts.
Let me introduce myself. I’m whistlekick’s founder but I’m far better known as your host for this show. My name is Jeremy Lesniak. whistlekick, I am humbled to say, makes the best sparring gear, apparel, and accessories for practitioners and fans of traditional martial arts. I’d like to welcome any new listeners and thank everyone that’s returned.
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Thanksgiving is Upon Us
Today, here in the US, we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. While most of our listeners are American, more than 15% of our listeners are international. Fun fact, we’ve been downloaded in 112 different countries.
Even though the gross commercialism and gluttony of Thanksgiving earns top billing today, the holiday – at least for me – is about a lot more. It’s about family and community. About sharing a space and a meal with the people that mean the most to you.
There are quite a few parallels between the way I view thanksgiving and my martial arts training.
Sometimes, People We Love Drive us Crazy
In many families, there’s often a person or two that drives everyone else nuts. But you love them, hopefully, you accept them. In your martial arts family, there’s probably someone like that, too.
I’ve trained alongside some wonderful martial artists that drove me insane. People that I struggled not to enjoy kicking. People that I didn’t see eye to eye with, but we shared a common bond.
I can remember one person in particular that used to undermine anyone that was teaching. They’d chime in with their opinion on everything. Nothing we did was the “right” way. Once, I even had my instructor give me permission to discipline them if it happened again. Yes, it was that bad.
They’re no longer training, and while I don’t miss the frustration or their personality, I miss them. I believe that they were a better person with their training – as I believe everyone benefits from martial arts training. Living in a small area, I know enough of this person that I know what they’re up to in their life, and they didn’t migrate to another school, they just stopped.
I am genuinely sad that this person has stopped training. They had some skill and, if I might make a judgment, they’re actually someone that seemed to need the discipline and physical outlet of martial arts training.
Families and Martial Arts
Without getting into much detail, I don’t have a conventional family. I will not be spending this day with people I am related to by blood. But I will be spending it with people that I love dearly, people that I call family. How did I first meet them? Yes, through martial arts. I love them as much as I do anyone I share DNA with, and in most cases, even more.
In any group of people, you’ll have those you prefer and those you’d rather avoid. It’s human nature and inevitable. Even though most families have people like this, the instinct is to protect and support them through times of need. I’d suggest that your martial arts family deserves similar treatment.
It takes a lot of trust – which I’d say is a fundamental component of love – to work side by side with someone, bleeding on them, letting them sweat on you, and trusting that you’re both better for it. A martial arts school is a place where people share this common experience, and that builds a bond. While not the same as blood relationships – though blood is involved – there’s certainly a type of family here.
We Should Build Each Other Up
Which is why it hurts me so much when we tear each other down. We’re all martial artists – engaged in a practice of self-improvement. We do so in different ways – different instructors, styles, and systems – because we’re different, ourselves. There is no right way, though there may be a right way for you.
It’s cliché and hoaky but the notion that we’re all part of a martial arts family is true. We share a bond of training and a goal to improve ourselves through the process of martial arts training. Just as you may have members of your biological family that you’ve never met – you have members of your martial arts family that you’ve never met. Ever meet a stranger then learn they train? For most people, this instantly adds a significant level of trust and comfort. You hold a shared perspective.
While 85% of you will be stuffing your face today – myself included – I’d like to ask that you give thanks for all of the things important to you, even if silently, and I hope you’ll include your martial arts family and training in that list.
I’ve probably never met you, we’ve probably never trained together, but we’re family. Thank you for being part of my family and for listening to this show.
I’d love to know what you thought about today’s episode, and how you feel about your martial arts family. Are they your best friends or just people you hang out with a few hours a week? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram – just search whistlekick. Or, just leave us a comment on the show notes page at whistlekickMartialArtsRadio.com
If you want to be a guest on the show or maybe you have an idea for a show topic, go ahead and fill out the form on the website. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you can stay up on everything we do. You can learn more about our products at whistlekick.com
That’s all for today. Until next time, Train hard, smile and have a great day.