me feel when i was younger, like 7th or 8th grade. It was when I was first getting into it, and my friend Justin and I went to a TKD school at the Y. We'd get issues of Black Belt magazine and order books on ninjas from the Paladin Press. Then we went to a competition (after a year of TKD study) and loved it. Then we went to MANY competitions, and competed and did well in all of them.
One time, we saw a Wushu school performing and asked to join up with them. We drove an hour and a half to train with them on weekends.
Martial Arts always made me feel like there was always more knowledge to be had. For example, a way of building your chi to kill someone with the death touch. Or you could discover a new method of escaping danger with smoke bombs like the ninjas from my Paladin Press books. It wasn't until I tried to cartwheel out of the way of a moving vehicle that I realized that Stephen Hayes wasn't a true ninja. :) Oh well. I'd stay up all night and watch Bruce Lee movies, or Jean Claude movies and my mind would be going crazy at all these martial arts styles. What is drunken monkey? Sounds awesome! I'd see it, and although it has no practical martial arts application, I thought it was awesome...very impressive!
Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that its ok for fat kids, mentally handicapped kids, and old people to join martial arts classes. The self confidence I got after being in Tae Kwon Do for a year was amazing! I met some great people and had a blast doing it. Most places don't sell it as strictly self-defense anymore anyhow. I had a blast, and it seemed like something new was around every corner.
MMA is obviously more effective at fighting, but I miss the way that Kung Fu made me feel. In MMA, sure you can ground and pound someone, but in Kung Fu, I always thought that if I trained a little bit harder, eventually I'd get white knuckles and be able to kill people with one punch of my rock hard fists.