What has TMA done for you?

How do you guys think your time in the martial arts has effected you other than the "learning to defend yourself" part?

For me, I know I have become a lot more patient. With other people, but more with myself. I dont realy have the physical gifts to make alot of what I learn come eaisly to me, so I had to just be patient and keep working till I could do certain things. I have horrendous flexability, so it took probably over a year before I could even touch my toes ( I still need to loosen up a bit beofre I can do it now) but I just keep chipping away at it. I will never forget the first time I was able to kick someone in the head. I think they were happier about it than I was. Anyway, enough about me, what has TMA done for you?

First and foremost, I think it's ingrained respectful behaviors into my actions. A lot of people make fun of me for it, but I "sir" and "ma'am" all day long, no matter who I'm talking to. Bums in the street are "sir" to me. The woman at the deli counter is "ma'am". While some folks laugh at it, I can tell you I get excellent co-operation from total strangers in NYC more often than not. Exactly as I was taught in my first TKD class, show respect and it will be returned.
This is the most valuable lesson I've ever learned, no doubt.

After that, I'd say:
Ability to push beyond what I think are my physical and mental limits of endurance
Techniques for learning from and teaching others
Clarity of mind when I'm afraid
Awareness of my surroundings
How to say, "No big deal, it'll stop bleeding/swelling sometime. Let's keep going."

"No big deal, it'll stop bleeding/swelling sometime. Let's keep going." Yep. Or how to say after stuffing some tissue up your nose, "It's my face, I should have protected it"

I have become mentally tougher. I used to be picked on, always depressed, very shy, and made fun of alot but when doing TMA, I had alot more self-confidence and felt I was tought enough to take on any challenge that awaits me. Now I am not picked on in school anymore and have plenty of respect now.

I always say that it taught me as much non-physical as it did physical skills. The mental toughness, and general attitude of dealing with adversity are not so common these days. So now you run into guys who are much better at mma than you, but some might not have the same mental strengths.

Just as someone above said, the people skills are very rare these days also. Having the respect of older people means alot more to me than impressing the "extreme" crowd of my age group.

Also, the flexibity, reflexes and co-ordination are all way above average for someone my size.

Met some hot chicks

Hi folks

Torn muscles in my back, groin, lower ab, chipped teeth, bone chips, sprains, pulled ligaments, tendonitis in my
hip and shoulder.

Dark Knight

"Met some hot chicks"

Training in what?


Mom's. I had a ton of kids in my class.

The sad part was I couldnt do anything with them :( Kills the business.

Karate mom's......... could make a porn site on that.

TMA, has thought me many bad habits. And also it hasve given me a false sence of confidence. After 7 years of TKD and a black belt I thought I was pretty well schooled in self defence. Until I joined a Muay Thai school. After 1 1/2 years of Muay Thai I now realize that for the most part I was wasting my time with TKD

Opinions please...


"TMA, has thought me many bad habits. And also it hasve given me a false sence of confidence. After 7 years of TKD and a black belt I thought I was pretty well schooled in self defence. Until I joined a Muay Thai school. After 1 1/2 years of Muay Thai I now realize that for the most part I was wasting my time with TKD

Opinions please..."

You were taught incorrectly or trained with people who didn't want the same kind of skill you do or you mistakenly believed that one (teacher, art, organization) had all the answers or you tried to use your training in a way it wasn't designed.

Or, you are trolling the TMA forum ;-)

In any event, you've corrected (I think) the problem and have something you are happier with.


TMA (Japanese, Chinese, and Korean arts in particular) have taught me about:

1) Respect

2) Patience

3) The virtue of hard work

To me, this is the greatest value of the TMA: the positive shaping of an individual's character.

I am simply sharing my honest opinion. While I was studying TKD I was never encourage to try other martial arts. The instructor made me feel as this was disresctfull. I have to point out that I was involved in one of the top TKD schools in the country with one of the best TKD masters. People ans schools will go un-named here..

The instructors were great kickers but could not throw a punch to save their life. When I joined the school I was told that I would learn self defence. Yes, I did learn some but I have learned a lot more in a fraction of the time with Muay Thai. I am not saying that Muay Thai is better than TKD what I am saying is that TKD as a whole will not teach you effective self defence in a reasonable amount of time.

I believe that TKD is good for children and for people who want to get in shape. Not for people who would ever consider MMA or a effective way to defend themselves.

hitmeharder, I think you're being honest.
I also think you're misplacing blame for your over-confidence. Self-delusion is a technique many will offer to teach you, both in martial arts and elsewhere, but it takes lots of practice on your part to become good at it.
But, it sounds like you learned from the mistake. I hope it didn't involve a painful or embarassing lesson.

Thank you for your feedback. However, experiencing other martial arts has humbled me more that anything. I am aware that most traditional martial arts are deeply rooted in history and tradition. Therefore, I do have a great respect for them. And I found that the instructors especially at the master level are in fact quite honorable people. However, why are they so blinded that their art is the best? If we (students) even mentioned another martial art especially a non-traditional one like (muay thai, BJJ or even boxing) it was considered very disrespectful and ground to be asked to leave the Dojo. How can a student grow as a martial artist if they are not encouraged to explore different arts? It is like a linguist being allowed to study only one language. It is through comparison that one is able to come to their own conclusion as opposed to blindly believing their master because they happen to wear a black belt with a red stripe.

Almost all best fighters I have come across started in TMA. They all came to the conclusion that the TMA was more or less useless for MMA or practical self defense. The great Bruce lee once said that TMA are simply a product of thousands of years or propaganda and conditioning.

To realize this fact you may have to step into a ring against a Muay Thai fighter or be taken down by a Jiu Jitsu player. All I am saying is that many traditional martial arts rely on their mysticism and "propaganda" to attract and retain students.

A non-traditional gym that I train in has two signes hanging in the gym. The first reads that a black belt only covers two inches of your ass you have to cover the rest. I found this quote to be quite profound. The second sign reads. "No women or children allowed". At first I thought this was a bad joke. But I soon realized that it truly has merit. When I train I want to be surrounded by my peers. Why would I want to spar a 9 year old boy or train next to a overweight middle age woman who got tired of her Billy Banks tapes. Before I get all the feminist jumping down my throat. Think about this for a second. How would you feel about paying for college and being surrounded by high school students? You may feel that your education is being compromised. The same holds true for martial arts.

For what its worth, I don't trust instructors that don't have something positive to say about other arts. They don't have to love them, but they should be able to rationally assess their strengths.

I guess my point is that it takes a deluded instructor and students willing to be deluded to perpetuate the myth. I've met enough non-deluded of both to know it's not absolutely part of an art. I guess it's harsh to blame a student, given the easy promises of invincibility we see in media and legend, but I am amazed at some of things people fall for.

I could never deny that deluded instructors are a dime-a-dozen. The evidence is overwhelming. I can only say "Buyer beware" for martial arts, too. If while shopping for a TMA, a teacher starts sounding like a snakeoil peddler, keep looking. It's like any product. Sound too good to be true? It probably is.
Penis enlargement and self-defense, two items you need to be EXTRA skeptical about while shopping.

The second sign reads. "No women or children allowed".
This is very interesting and it makes me think.
If your main goal is competitive effectiveness, I guess you need to be picky about your partners. I'll be thinking about this for the next couple of days, no doubt. Unfair? Good idea? Unavoidable? Necessary? Hmmm...

Whitebelt, what are you referring to?

"Mom's. I had a ton of kids in my class.
The sad part was I couldnt do anything with them :( Kills the business.

Karate mom's......... could make a porn site on that"

WOW! www.karatemoms.com I never thought of that while I was teaching at a school. I did date one girl there for a while but then she quit so it was not comfortable.

My HKD school was located in NYC's Soho. It was full of NYU co-eds, models, and girls who worked in the fashion industry. The male/female ratio was 48/52. The female hottie/nottie ratio was like 60/40.
Sometimes, I still wonder why I left.


TMAs were my stepping stone into MMA, as well as having a bunch of people who support me and are always interested in my kickboxing/BJJ training when I come home (as there are no MMA schools around here).

I also got comfortable with my body, when I started TMAs I was about 12 or 13, but already close to 6' tall, deathly skinny and terribly uncoordinated. Karate made me a lot stronger and more flexible.

I also learned a ton of respect, and I'm not scared of fighting.

TMAs are fun as hell.