Martial Arts Misconceptions This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I'd like to clear up a misconception. Every afternoon children's television tells this lie. Many movies use this as entertainment. People choose to believe it because it is exciting, but also because they don't know the truth. This is the truth - the truth about martial arts.

First, I would like to share my credentials. I have been studying karate for four years. I have earned my brown belt, and am working for my black belt. My style of karate stems from the island of Okinawa. My sensei (teacher) has earned his fourth degree black belt.

The common misconception is the purpose of martial arts is for beating up people. This is true to a very small degree. Real martial arts are mostly for self-defense. I would be excommunicated from our dojo (school) if I ever used my skills to attack anyone. Martial arts also have the potential to kill. Before you learn such techniques, you must learn a lot of responsibility. That is one lesson I have learned extensively. Another lesson a person would learn is determination.

Martial arts are easily addictive. You constantly want to learn more. There is a lot of motivation involved, and you could apply this to other areas in your life. Other lessons taught by martial arts are self-discipline, respect, trust, and self-confidence.

On television, Chuck Norris kicks a guy ten times before knocking him unconscious. This is not how martial arts techniques work. This is a dramatization to increase the excitement. In real life, I think it would take two, maybe three kicks before the guy is out cold. As you can see, one must not use these skills carelessly.

I believe that learning karate is the best achievement that I have ever made. It has helped me succeed in life more than I could have imagined. I believe that everyone should try martial arts at least once. It could change your life. You never know until you try. l

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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sp116 said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Well said!

I've been studing martial arts for eleven years now, and I completely agree with you.

Martial arts has truly changed my life, I wouldn't be who I am today without it!

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