I study Karate (Goju-Ryu for those who know a little bit more than the average bear). I find it to be a great form of self defence, exercise, and mental development.

I also study Capoeira (A brazillian ‘martial art’). It teaches you flexibility and flow, as well as music and rhythm.

I used to study several other martial arts that I will not bother going into, as it will take a while to describe each of them properly (my descriptions for the two listed above are very brief, at best).

Martial Arts, though beneficial for so many reasons, is not right for everyone. For some, it is religious beliefs. For others, it is their hesitation due to what they believe to be lack of ability. There are even folks who just don’t want to due to lack of interest.

My wife, for example, is not one of these people. She has flat out refused to want anything to do with martial arts, and that’s fine. She’s honest about it. Mind you, this won’t stop me from periodically trying to subtly sell her the idea….

Jorge: So, want to do Karate?
Mrs. J:
Are you sure? It’s awesome. You should do Karate.
Mrs. J:
[Getting irritated.] No!
Come on, I’ll be your best friend. Come on and do Karate!
Mrs. J:
[Without hesitation delivers unholy beating to Jorge which no Martial Art can defend, then walks away.]
[Lying in a broken heap, weakly raising his index finger.] Are you sure?

There are two types of people that bug me when it comes to not wanting to do Martial Arts.

The first type of people that bug me are those who are just afraid of trying new things in general, and yet, don’t express this. Instead, they choose to come up with all kinds of excusues.

My favourite excuse usually goes something like this…

Person: Hey Jorge.
How is Karate going?
It’s going well.
Oh that’s great! I’ve always thought about Karate.
Really? The dojo I attend is awesome. Even if you don’t go to that one, though, you should still consider it. It’s good for you.
Yeah. I don’t know. I’m not really in good enough shape for it. I’d rather take an aerobics class first so that I can be in good enough shape for Karate…..
[Pulls out his own eyes and pours Sulfuric Acid into the sockets, melting his own brain in disbelief.]

What kind of logic is this? I mean, I can understand taking an aerobics class to supplement the Karate would be a great thing. Karate isn’t always the best aerobic workout. However, Karate is exercise. If you go to Karate (or any other martial art), your fitness level will improve by just doing that art!

Usually these same sorts of people give the same excuse if you were to ask them if they are going to attend that aerobics class…

Jorge: [With newly regenerated brain and eyes.] So did you ever make it to that aerobics class?
Person: No. I’m not in good enough shape yet to go to an aerobics class.
Jorge: [Runs screaming out of the conversation.]

The second type that bother me are the people who want the most amount of return from Martial Arts for a minimal amount of work. These people come up with all kinds of excuses as well.

These are the folks that watch Jackie Chan movies and want to do all the moves, yet they don’t take the time to even think about how much effort those moves take.

In my old Capoeira academy, there were a couple of guys that saw a movie called Only the Strong. The movie itself isn’t all that great, but it has some nice movements in it. Not to mention Marc Dacascos, who is pretty cool. Anyhow, these guys came to class hoping to be able to duplicate some of the crazy stunts from the movie.

Of course, they didn’t take into account the fact that they would need to spend every class doing drills and stretching and learning the rules of the Art before they could even think of doing the moves from the movie. Once they found this out, they didn’t enjoy it so much anymore.

It wasn’t as if they didn’t like Capoeira. They just didn’t want to do the work. A lot of people these days are all about instant gratification (I am guilty of this when it comes to buying crap like DVDs) and the easy way out. They can’t handle the wait or the work to achieve the desired result.

So they did what any lazy person would do: they gave up.

I wonder if they went to aerobics class instead…