Fit or Unfit--Your Choice

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Everyone knows that diets do not work.  To be healthy is a "way of life."  So get off the couch, put down the remote, and start moving.  This demands a lifestyle change.  Easier said than done.  However, what is the alternative?  Fad diets and programs that promise that you will look like the poster child for a body ripped, is usually just that--a fad.

There are many legitimate programs out there and legitimate fitness instructors.  Always check with you physician before starting any program.  Also check the credentials of the instructor.  Not every arobics, fitness, or martial arts instructor is certified.

Being a martial artist with 30 years experience, I would like to briefly address the benefits of martial arts as one method of fitness.  I know, martial arts, hop and chop, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee.  Well, that's TV.  Most of us who train in the Arts do so for many reasons, and self defense or sport is part of it, but fitness is also a part of the bigger picture.  Unlike many other forms of physical activity, martial arts have a mental and sometimes spiritual element which not only inproves the mind's focus, but helps in self control.  As I always say to my students, the discipline, honor and respect one learns on the mat is also applied to the everyday life we live.

If one makes a choice to try martial arts as a way of fitness, the benefits are many.  Of course one learns self defense, but a dojo (school) is or should be a family and a wonderful place of socialization and personal growth.  Be aware however, not every Black Belt is an instructor or even certified.  Check the references.  As I have already written, one must find a school and an instructor that "fits" your personal goals--not their goals.

Some benefits one can expect from martial arts as a "fitness program" are as follows:

Improved Cardiovascular Health.  A weak cardiovascular system can result in shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, and even a heart attack.

Weight Loss is another benefit.  Move, move and move!!!  Get off the couch, put down the remote and MOVE!  One hour of moderate martial arts (not fighting), but drills, can burn  500 calories.

Increased Muscle Tone.  By taking part in the drill of martial arts, even if one has no desire to spar or compete, just taking part in the movement tones muscles, prevents obesity, and leads to weight loss.

Improves Reflexes.  My wife teases with me all the time.  When she drops something, quickly she is able to snatch the item.  She says since she has been training in martial arts, she has Ninja-like reflexes.  Well, I don't know about all that, but I do know she is a lot faster than she used to be.

Improved Mood.  Research proves that an exercise program, done on a regular basis improves mood, relieves stress, aids in overall wellbeing.

So, get off the couch, put down the remote and get moving!!

Call us at:

Black Dragon Martial Arts