2015 Dec 07
Today it happened. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t likely be the last. Today I talked someone out of being my friend on a social media network. “How? Why?” you may ask. I talked politics or religion again. This happens every day to someone on every network, it’s usually not a big deal. Why am I writing about it today? It’s not because of the topic we were discussing that triggered something in the person. I'm writing because of how the conversation was started.
It all began with a short private message: “Over the year or two that we have been connected, I rarely see post or comments from you other than martial arts and the occasional music post. Why do you post so much about martial arts?” My answer was short to get the idea across, and things snowballed from there. Let me give you the long version of my answer today.
Those that know me well know that martial arts is a large influence of my life. Decisions like where I go for fun, the people I interact with on a daily basis, and even the places I don’t visit are affected by my interest, love, and passion for martial arts. Many times I find myself engaged in conversations for the better part of a day with someone that shares the same interests in topics that deal with martial arts in one way or another.
It only seems natural to me to talk about the things that are touched by martial arts training. I have a desire to learn more - which can only accomplished by study. Study can be in the form of the physical applications on the mat; reading articles, books, and manuals; watching documentaries; and simply talking with someone that had some sort of related experience. During my studies, I find interesting articles. Those articles are sometimes (often) shared on Facebook or Google+ in hopes that others will find them interesting as well - helping with their studies.
Martial arts is often misunderstood and is viewed as nothing more than fighting or a sport to most people. Even some of those who train feel it’s nothing more than a hobby, a competition to see who is better, or a race to see who can get further in rank. These are not the things people should care about. Sure, it may be entertaining to some people to watch a pair of competitors square off and beat each other, but when the match is over, what can be said?
When someone starts to understand martial arts, they realize the training and purpose isn’t to get another stripe on your belt or to win the competition. It’s about the discipline, focus, determination, perseverance that it takes to do those things. It’s about the sweat, aches, pains, and blood that accompanies the actions involved. It’s about the fortitude, alertness, awareness, patience, and the calm that it produces. Those are the qualities of martial arts that people should care about.
You’re right. Most people aren’t interested. It isn’t because they know about all these things, it’s because they don’t. If you have a child diagnosed with ADHD, are you interested in learning about things to help them? Martial arts may be able to. You see, the things you learn while training go beyond the small, awkward, glimpse most people get.
I find that posting about martial arts results in fewer negative results. That is, if someone isn’t interested, they just ignore the post. People don’t see a headline and get emotional and start flaming over your post. Try posting your opinion on politics or religion and see if you get the same results! Those that usually comment on a martial arts post are supportive and may offer additional information or insight (yes, there are exceptions).