The desire to practice a martial art is a bit like a madness that takes over your entire being. Your soul starts to burn for more horse stance while your body and mind agree that that your soul needs a chill pill. However, not all the signs of this kind of lunacy are quite so obvious and one might wonder if they have taken the red pill, instead of the blue.
The martial arts player faces many ups and downs in their quest for self-perfection. The desire to be a better person presents all kinds of challenges that then soon become habits that bleed into everyday life. A player might not even notice until someone, who isn’t scared of you, points out your odd and extreme behavior. You might be surprised if this happens. Or, maybe you do notice how much your training is affecting (or should I say “infecting?”) your daily life but aren’t quite sure if you’re truly an MA. I’ve decided to help clear up the confusion we players might feel with a handy list of symptoms that show you might be a martial artist. I present…
The Modern Kunoichi’s Guide to Diagnosing Your Martial Arts-itis
To help you out, I’m going to start each phrase with “You might be a martial artist if…” then list the symptoms one by one. If you find that you fit into three or more of these symptoms you can go ahead and diagnose yourself. No need to see a professional or a doctor, they wouldn’t understand anyway.
You might be a martial artist if…
- …someone attempts to snatch your Doritos and your first instinct is to karate chop them in the face.
- …roughhousing with your kids turns into a self-defense session where you tell them, “Punch them in the groin. Works every time.”
- …you see a stick and wonder if you could whittle it down to a usable weapon for practice.
- …you have enough knives on hand that whittling anything isn’t a problem.
- …you see a stick and immediately pick it up and start doing the patterns you just learned.
- …you ask your spouse repeatedly if you can “just try out the new technique I learned. I promise I won’t hurt you.”
- …you scan every exit for the safest route out of there, then make sure you sit where you have line of sight on the front door.
- …you find yourself telling your kids to “push past what you think is possible” when they just can’t pick up their socks.
- …you eye starts to twitch when you pass by the martial arts shop at the Farmer’s Market.
- …you say you’ll be “right back” and run right into that shop.
- …you spend the next 30 minutes thinking up justifications for buying another gi/knife/bokken/staff/pair of kama/whatever.
- …you aren’t above pleading, whining, or bargaining to get what you want.
- …you think everybody looks suspicious in the mall, and you’ve got at least 3 weapons on you.
- …the weapons on your person are not necessarily obvious.
- …you start assimilating the culture of your art into your life.
- …anime is now a thing in your life.
- …Otakon doesn’t sound so weird anymore.
- …it’s not beyond the pale to have a personal armory available in your home.
- …you’ve hidden weapons around the house “just in case.”
- …you find repeatedly hitting or kicking things “fun.”
- …Tiger Balm, Arnica Gel, and instant ice packs are part of your dojo bag.
- …you find yourself trying to find a polite way to ask if you can touch someone else’s sword without being weird about it.
- …watching martial arts movies, or movies with MA’s in them, causes EyeRoll-itis, and “That-Couldn’t-Happen-In-Real-Life Syndrome.”
- …you take on the closest 3 people to you in the dentist’s office in an imaginary kung-fu battle, and win.
- …someone just put you in a painful wrist lock and your response is “Ooo, yeeaah, that was a good one.”
- …you explain to the lesser experienced MA how to adjust their hands to “make it hurt more.”
- …you think to yourself “Yeah, I could take him” even though he’s 6’3″ and 350 lbs.
- …family holidays turn into board breaking sessions with the cousins, because you’re just that cool.
- …you find ways around injuries to get to class and learn anyway.
- …being banned from class, because you’re contagious, is way too sad.
- …you console yourself with the latest episodes of Enter the Dojo.
- …you understand what “re-stomp the groin” means.
- …three hours in the dark in the middle of July playing ninja games sounds like fun.
- …everything is training
- …training is life.
- …you add one more book to your collection you might need a whole room for just your books. And weapons. And equipment. Heck, lets just open a personal dojo.
- …can’t understand why everyone isn’t kung-fu fighting.
Obviously, I could go on and on. But, there are only so many hours in the day, and I have to go sharpen all my knives and put them back in their hiding spots.
Have fun folks!