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10 Reasons to Join Shaolin-Do

Everything that begins has to start from somewhere. For those that choose the path of martial arts, it is the beginning of a long journey of development toward personal and physical mastery. But what was it that got you started? What got you out of bed or off of the couch? What got you to miss your favorite tv shows and neglect your friends? Why martial arts and not some other thing like playing guitar or starting a podcast?

For anyone who is interested in training in martial arts, you may be looking for reasons to get motivated and finally begin your journey. Here are a couple common reasons that people get started. Any one of these may be enough for you, or you may require a couple to actually get going, but if these are the things you think about, then you may want to think about starting your martial arts career sooner, rather than later:

1. "I wish I had something exciting in my life."

Training in a martial art like Shaolin-Do KUNG FU kicks the excitement back into your life. What's more exciting than learning a combat art? It engages your brain and invigorates the body. The satisfaction that comes from mastering a simple technique is deeply spiritual and can be found in very few places outside of the martial arts. It is good for your body, brain, and spirit.

2. "I just want to be stronger."

Who doesn't want to be stronger? Just like anything else, it takes hard work and time. But do you have to lift weights or go running to be physically fit? No way. Shaolin-Do Kung fu is one of the hardest conditioning exercises there is, working the body thoroughly and building your energy level against resistance. But you also can't start by running a marathon. You begin with small, simple techniques at a moderate intensity, then you build up over time. After a while, you can look back at where you began and see how you've become much stronger.

3. "I want to be more flexible."

Flexibility is key in many of the martial arts. It is what allows you to reach the targets you want to hit, but also to perform the material in the best way possible. Shaolin-Do Kung Fu works with the body to promote flexibility. The I Chin Ching exercises, as well as the Tai Chi program also stress stretching the muscles to increase mobility and build core strength. Stretching should be part of any exercise routine and in Shaolin-Do is no different. When I began training, I couldn't even touch my toes. After a few months I could put my whole hand on the ground. Opening up my body even that little amount made a world of difference in what I could achieve, but just as importantly, in what I felt I could achieve.

4. "I wish I could be more confident and assertive."

The Martial Arts have the unique trait of building confidence and inspiring people. It teaches you how to take a large goal and break it down into small, achievable goals that get you moving ahead. You beging to learn that it's not a destination, but the progress that matters. Shaolin-Do Kung Fu gets you learning things that are difficult, things that a few weeks or months ago you would have said you could not do. But then here you are doing them, by getting the right instruction and actually applying yourself. This process teaches you that nothing is truly out of reach, it only requires the right amount of training and dedication. You can do it. You can get there. The more you see that and teach yourself this principle over and over again, then confidence grows inside you.

5. "Nothing I do feels important."

Simply put, sometimes you have to give yourself something important to do. Are you in a rut? Repeating the same routine, looking for a change? Few things are more important than working on yourself. Shaolin-Do Kung Fu helps you work on and refine yourself so that you can do the things that really matter. Then everything feels important.

6. "I wish I had more friends."

At Shaolin-Do, we have an amazing sense of community. We train together, we are friends, we are colleagues. We are not rivals. I have made dozens of friends through Kung Fu and look forward to meeting more. You can meet like-minded people who share your interest. Training hard with someone is hard to forget.

7. "I want to know how to defend myself."

Shaolin-Do Kung Fu has many techniques for self-defense situations. We have grappling counters, one-step techniques, side-stepping moves and many others. Remember, however that awareness is the key. Pay attention to your surroundings and make wise choices.

8. "I want to stay active, but I hate going to the gym."

Gyms are not for everyone. Martial arts can be for everyone. In terms of learning about your body and how to move, fewer things are more effective. Shaolin-Do Kung fu can be your fitness and wellness program for life!

9. "I love learning new things."

For me, life is about learning. So the chance to learn something new is always welcome. Shaolin-Do kung fu is like learning how bigger and bigger puzzles fit together. After a while, you start to see something more than just the puzzles, just the pieces. There's a deeper meaning that penetrates everything we do.

10. "I want to learn about myself."

That's it. That's the one. Do you know everything about yourself? Have you tested yourself lately to see where your limits lie? Have you pushed yourself harder on anything just to see if you can handle it? Knowing who you are and being authentic to yourself is essential to live a full life, but many people never see past their present concerns. Shaolin-Do Kung Fu can help you focus on small developmental goals that help you cut through the madness and reach your true potential.

Whatever it was that got you going, that same thing will also keep you going through the hard times. You just have to remember the initial feeling you had when you decided that you wanted to change. Open up yourself to a larger world. One with punches and kicks and stretches. Learn about yourself.

See what you can do.

--Michael Sandham

Shaolin Martial Arts

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