Ask a licensed physician (which I am not) how to treat an infection and you’ll likely get a prescription for pharmaceutical medication. Ask the same to an “herbalist” and you’ll probably get a tincture of powdered garlic or eye-of-newt or something similar.
As for me, I have realized that nearly 100% of the time when I hear someone stating they have an ailment of some kind, my immediate thought is “Some Karate will clear that right up”. It has gotten to the point where my wife mocks me, saying Karate is my cure for everything.
Now, I am a pretty rational guy; so how the hell does an idea like that become so engrained? And what really shocks me is that it almost never matters what the ailment is:
- A cold?
- Low self esteem?
- Bad Grades?
- Hardened arteries?
- Cardiac arrest? (just kidding)
Just take two kicks and call me in the morning!
Jokes aside, the notion that martial arts training will help, reduce, or cure health troubles is as old as the martial arts itself – nothing ground breaking, here. But what surprises me is that beliefs like this are usually the result of spiritual training in the martial arts – of which I have had none. And it isn’t as if I got these ideas through osmosis either; in my dojo the furthest a conversation of medicine ever went was the best kind of knee brace or the most effective groin cup!
So, how did I come to these notions? I can only conclude that these ideas have collected in my mind, like ocean sediment, though my own experience. Since beginning my training I have severely reduced the number of incidents of illness, any time I am feeling “the blah’s” I will go through my kata and those feelings will go away, and karate training has helped me stay fit and trim.
Now that I think about it, when it is put together like this it is more surprising that EVERYONE on Earth doesn’t feel this way about Karate (an martial arts in general)!
What about you? How has your ideas of health, medicine, and martial arts changed over the years?