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Survive Adversity Through Martial Arts

Survive Adversity Through Martial Arts - AKF Lexington

I asked Mr. Billy to write his 2nd dan black belt essay on adversity. He wrote this and gave me permission to share it with you. I think you will appreciate the read!

How do you get through the tough times in life? Adversity happens to everyone. Read here, how Mr. Billy uses martial arts training to help.

Survive Adversity Through Martial Arts - AKF Lexington

Adversity -By Billy

Over the past (almost) five years now, practicing martial arts has become a great outlet that
helps me manage the adversities, or difficulties of a life that often feels too busy. My wife has said for
years that I don’t know how to rest; at least not very well. I’m a very task-oriented individual, organizing
my thoughts by making a list of what needs to be done, prioritizing the work, and setting out on a
mission. While this mindset keeps me productive, I also find it very hard to “turn off” or unplug. Once
viewing this trait as an asset, I’ve now learned that not being able to mentally rest is one of my biggest
challenges, as it impacts every area of life.

“I didn’t even want to start training in martial arts”

To be honest, I didn’t even want to start training in martial arts. My wife came home one day
and excitedly announced she had signed our family up for Kyuki-do, demanding I try on my uniform. I
remember confidently telling her “I’m not doing that”. As these stories go, she convinced me to at least
try a few classes and if I didn’t like it, I could quit. Seeing her excitement, I went to my first class and
noticed something very strange. That one hour was the only hour that day I felt unplugged. I came
back, and it happened again. It didn’t take long before I began looking forward to that one hour a day I
didn’t have to think about anything else. This mental respite was just what I needed, when I needed it.
As I continue training for my 2 nd dan, I still appreciate and rely on my martial arts training to help clear
my mind and just focus on the moment.

“Martial arts became more than training, it was
part of our survival”


Martial arts also helps me manage life’s difficulties through the community, comradery and
family atmosphere at AKF Lexington. Through martial arts, I’ve been able to meet and interact with
others that would have never come into my circle except on the mat. These friendships have led to
countless encouragements, laughs, and shared meals that lift your spirits after a hard day, week or
month. According to research, one of the best tools to help individuals overcome adversity is having a
strong support network. Our family has some unique challenges that we’ve faced for many years now,
and I can’t imagine how much harder these times would have been without our AKF community. Some
nights a good sweat, kicks and punches was what we all needed. Other nights we simply needed a night
out with friends at a local restaurant after class to laugh and unwind. In the hardest moments, some of
our martial arts friends became our lifelines to normalcy. Martial arts became more than training, it was
part of our survival. And for that, I am very thankful.

“it’s cheaper than therapy”

I can’t recall how many times I’ve wanted to skip class after a hard day. But I’ve seen firsthand
the benefits martial arts provides both mentally and physically. As my wife, only somewhat jokingly
says…..”it’s cheaper than therapy!” And so, I’ll keep on training while the body permits…

Survive Adversity Through Martial Arts - AKF Lexington

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