My washing machine started having problems this week, so we got a service guy to take a look at it. In doing so, we showed him one of the double weave gis that is frequently washed in our machine. Holding it in his hand, he said “Do you have any idea how heavy this thing would get when wet?” He then informed us that we should probably only be washing it in a commercial grade washing machine. Since we can’t afford a commercial grade washer, I got advice from appliance service guys as to how to lessen the impact of the double weave washings.
The martial arts are very popular these days and it seems like more and more dojos are springing up all over the place. When choosing a martial arts school, many people turn to the instructor bios to find out their background. Many will make great claims about their experience, but how do you know if it’s all legit? Here are 2 things you should do a little research on about instructors you’re considering training under:
1. Training background. Most instructors will list their training backgrounds on their websites. It is a good sign if they list their past instructors, dojos at which they trained, as well as organizations with which they’re affiliated. If so, do a Google search of all of these items, looking for references of the instructor or their dojo in relation to them. If the instructor doesn’t make any reference to any of these things in their bios, ask them specifically about them so you can look them up. Anyone can list a bunch of martial arts they’ve trained in, people they’ve trained under or claim a certain rank, but if you can find no evidence to support their claims whatsoever, you might question the instructor’s legitimacy.
2. Competitive record. If an instructor claims to have won competitions or ring fights of any kind or to have coached or represented fighters, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding evidence of the fact online. A quick search of their name and martial art (ex. “louis sargeant boxing”) should yield a number of results related to their competitive background. If you’re specifically questioning a boxer’s professional record, you can easily look it up at BoxRec.com. This site lists all the details you can imagine about professional fighters, managers, specific fights, etc. in the International boxing world.
There are a lot of hacks out there who don’t have the expertise or backgrounds they claim. Protect yourself by doing a bit of research before choosing a martial arts school.
I remember one time, back when I was married, when I had a terrible nightmare. I was being attacked by a man on whom none of my strikes were affecting. In my dream he took me to the ground while laughing at my fruitless attempts to defend myself. As I fell to the ground I thought, “I have to do something!” I then grabbed him by the hips and gave a full power knee strike to his groin. At that moment I awoke to the sound of my rudely awakened husband yelling at me, “Lori! You just kneed my in the balls!” As I was dreaming, in reality, I performed the technique with great accuracy on my sleeping husband.
Since I took up martial arts, there were a number of times that I had dreams in which I used techniques in an attempt to defend myself. At first, in most of these dreams, I would strike with all my power and nothing seemed to work. My attackers would just laugh at me as I hit them and it would continue on until I woke up in a cold sweat.
Later on, the dreams shifted and I was able to use my martial arts training to defend myself effectively, but the dreams never seemed very real. It was more like watching an action movie in which I was the star.
Not too long ago, I told some of my students about the nightmare I had with my husband. A couple of them, ones who had trained for martial arts for awhile, admitted their own stories. One fellow woke from a nightmare having elbowed his wife in the head. Another had kicked their partner in the calf. Out of curiosity, are their many of you out there that have had experiences like this?