Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Learn a martial art

As one of my ten things to do in the coming 12 months (Nov 2014 - Nov 2015) I have decided to learn a martial art. Check out the rest of the list here.

But which one?

There are so many!

  • Taekwondo 
  • Jun-jitsu 
  • Karate
  • Judo
  • Capoeira
  • Muay Thai
  • Hapkido
  • Kung Fu
To name but a few!

And obviously Kung Fu is the cool one. If for no other reason than it inspired this undeniably cool song:

But Capoeira is also seriously cool. I've wanted to learn Capoeira for quite some time. I actually nearly did a few years back - I spent money on lessons for myself and my ex and even bought some jogger bottoms but it never happened - and so maybe now is the time to try again?

Except when it comes down to it there is only really one martial art that I want to learn... KARATE!

There are a few reasons for this.

1. My older cousin did it when we were children and it looked like a lot of fun. I'm not sure why I never went? Although to be fair I was probably simply too busy, what with football twice a week and swimming five times a week.

2. I was and still am a big fan of the Karate Kid films. However, while every kid of the eighties - including my cousin - was out learning Karate so that they could pretend to be Daniel san* I somehow let it pass me by.

3. Finally although it's a contact sport, it is very much about defending yourself from attack and so with that in mind I'm hopeful of not getting my head kicked in on a regular basis haha unlike if I did Thai Kick Boxing for example.

Now that I have decided which martial art I am going to learn, I need to work out where I will learn to perfect the crane:

So I was in Angel the other week when I saw an old guy who looked a bit like Mr Miyagi - only with a much better beard - and I thought to myself, well that's probably the best way to learn. Is it not? With your own private Sensei! But I'm not sure how realistic finding my own sensei is and obviously assuming that a random old Japanese man must know Karate is both stupid and borderline full-blown(?) racist. He might know a completely different martial art altogether! ;).

But joking aside, what I must decide next is where the best place for me to learn Karate is? Some dojos must be better than others? Listen to me with all the Karate lingo. I recently watched the Karate Kid films again. But back on point. Where is the best place for me to learn Karate? Well for me it is somewhere that is either close to home or work, at a time and on a day that I can attend and somewhere that isn't too expensive. While also hopefully being somewhere where my instructor is more Mr Miyagi and less John Kreese.

So I search the internet. What did we do before we had it? And I find a few places that might be suitable but then something unexpected happens. I get completely obsessed with the FX series Archer. Archer is an animated series about the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS for short) and it's self proclaimed best spy in the world Sterling Archer.

So I'm watching my new favourite show and this happens:

Cyril Figgis: Hey, will I get to learn karate?
Sterling Archer: Karate? The Dane Cook of martial arts? No, ISIS agents use Krav Maga.

And I don't get the Dane Cook reference - apparently he's an actor and comedian who is all show and no substance - and I'm not completely sure if it qualifies as a martial art? but I now know that it won't be Karate that I'll be learning. It will be this Krav Maga! What ever that is? Then it hits me. It's not just something that's been made up for the show is it? I do a another google search - other less efficient search engines are also available - and I find that Krav Maga is in fact real. Very real!

Krav Maga is a self defence system consisting of a wide range of techniques sourced from Boxing, Combat Sambo, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Judo, Jujutsu, Wrestling, Aikido and Grappling. It is the official fighting system of the Israeli Defence force and is regarded by many to be the best self defence system around.

It sounds totally awesome. So I look for places to learn Krav Maga in London and getting totally carried away, I spend the money that is supposed to last me the rest of the month - making me very poor for the next few days - booking myself onto a 13 week foundation course which starts on the 19th April. So I've still got a little bit of time on my - soon to be deadly  - hands before I get started, but I'm well and truly on my way to learning a (field stripped) martial art!

Wish me luck!

Ps. If you're not already watching Archer get on it! It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. That and Bob's Burgers. If you're also not watching that you should be!

* I always thought that Mr Miyagi was saying "Daniel son" in a Japanese accent haha but I've recently learned that adding 'san' to the end of a person's name is a sign of respect in Japan. You learn something new every day!

1 comment:

  1. Martial arts classes are a great way to build functional strength, flexibility, improve balance, develop power, gain higher levels of awareness and much more! MMA in Connecticut