Fight for Your Life

The alarm clock wakes you up but your body is asking for more sleep. As you get ready for work you are thinking about other things you would rather be going off to do. You didn’t have any spare time in the morning so you skipped breakfast. At work you sit at a desk, alone with a computer screen. Your boss, co-workers, clients, and/or customers frustrate you to a point where you wish to hit something. After sitting in typical DC metro traffic you finally make it home, with little motivation to do much more than slouch around for the rest of the evening. If this, or at least a part of it, sounds familiar you need to start fighting for your life.  

We as humans have done something amazing and unique from any other life form. Our houses protect us from all but the worst weather. Grocery stores have taken away any chance of starvation. We even have vehicles, which easily transport us from the comfort of our homes to the workplace and back again. Add digital downloads and web-to-door shopping, and we don’t even need to interact with other humans to get by. We really have come a long way toward taking the human out of nature. However, the problem is we can’t take human nature out of who we are.

Research into common illnesses such as, obesity, depression, mental decay, heart attacks, and even cancer, are showing a link between disease and a sedentary lifestyle. Humans have the same fight or flight response to stress as other sentient creatures. Everything that happens to you throughout your day, both good and bad, is a stressor on your mind and body. Throughout the day you encounter situations that cause your body to think “should I fight or run?” Add all of these stress inducing situations up over time and we begin to see why people suffer from depression, anxiety, over eat, or drink to excess. While neither running or fighting are appropriate in a conference room, imagine kicking your work computer down the hall, and running out the building, there are socially acceptable ways you can release this tension. Study a martial art.

Martial arts is a wonderful outlet for the modern person. The very nature of martial arts allows humans to tap into and channel their fight response in a healthy way. While it isn’t an immediate fix at the moment of frustration, it does give an outlet to any built up tension. Not only will practicing a martial art help bring emotional stability, but it also has a number of physical benefits as well. You can expect to work up one of the best sweats of your life doing any form of martial arts. Even the slow speed training of Tai Chi can do wonders for physical conditioning. In his book Spark the Revolutionary Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John Ratey explains the impotence of exercising while at the same time focusing the mind. He gives martial arts as a perfect example of this kind of exercise. It is shown to decrease stress, while at the same time keeping the mind sharp helping to fight off degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

As someone who has been teaching martial arts for a number of years, I’ve heard all of the horror stories and know all the misconceptions about martial arts. While there are whackos and money grubbers in any industry, there are an ever growing number of really good teachers and clubs out there. I hold a weekly tactics and sparring class, as well as incorporate martial arts training into many of my clients workouts. Not surprisingly, with shows like Game of Thrones becoming more popular there has been a growing interest in Western and Historical European Martial Arts. These focus on the martial art styles of Europe and to a large degree on swordsman ship. In fact sword clubs, are on the list of top 10 growing fitness trends.

With the ever increasing number of health problems plaguing the modern person, it is about time people begin to fight back. Just like your ancestors learned to train hard and fight so they could stay alive, isn’t it about time you learn how to fight for your life?

If you are interested in learning more about what style is best for you, or are interested to learn about the programs I offer, contact me at chris@rebornfitnessva.com.