Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
I'd like to be able to say that my ability to regain my body shape after the baby is due to Martial Arts. In fact, in my case it's more an attribute of my natural body shape and lifestyle.
Many people join Martial Arts thinking it will give them killer bodies. And for some, they do reach those results. These lucky few, however, would have obtained this level of body condition from any number of activities simply because of their natural body shape and lifestyle. They often are dedicated to exercising far more than the average person. Their discipline and regiment help to shape their body. While Martial Arts can be used to obtain this level, it isnít the only tool that could have been applied.
What Martial Arts allows for is to love your body shape just the way it is.
When you're studying Martial Arts, you learn what your body's strengths and weaknesses are. You learn to capitalize on your strengths and utilize the opponent's actions against them. In the philosophy of Martial Arts, it doesn't matter what size, gender or age you are, you should still be able to compete and win.
Now with that being said, there is a level of fitness which is required to do Martial Arts. For instance, if you practice San Shou, or full contact Martial Arts, there is no way you'd last the 2-minute rounds unless you're physically fit and able to endure that length of time. In order to perform certain moves or hold certain stances, you must have a level of flexibility and strength.
All that means, however, is you aren't able to perform certain aspects. You are still able to do Martial Arts. And if you continue to practice, you will find ways and motions that work for you and your body shape. You will learn how to move your body in order to manipulate your opponent regardless of what your body shape is. You will learn what the strengths of your body shape are and how to best apply them.
In other words, you will learn to love your body shape because of your Martial Arts training.
So, no matter what body shape you currently have, don't let that hold you back from doing Martial Arts. Don't despair or get upset because you don't look like some ripped movie star. Focus on learning what the strengths of your body shape are and how you can use them to better your Art.