Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
I’ve often spoken with many people in which Martial Arts has made a major impact in their lives. A lot of this comes from the fact that my focus is on the Internal side and those that come to the Internal side are often seeking help for something. Internal Martial Arts, such as Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung and Ba Gua, derive from exercises developed long ago that are meant to help stimulate the body and circulate the blood. Its calming movements and focus on inward searching helps to reduce stress and bring oneself back into focus.
However, for all that I have seen, I found this story and this site extraordinary. As stated by its purpose “Focus is dedicated to helping women and children survivors of domestic violence rebuild self esteem and receive health benefits using the teachings of the Chinese Martial Arts.”
The site is fairly new and the content is still light, but the message is powerful. Martial Arts isn’t just about the physical, the movement of the body or how to take down your opponent. There are many aspects and levels to Martial Arts that cultivate the person as a whole. And in fact, one of the most powerful thing any Martial Artist can do is to use their “martial” training (which in by its name implies military and war) to end violence.
Here at BellaOnline, I’ve spoken many times about the benefits of Martial Arts in regards to self-esteem and healing. This sentiment is fairly universal in the Martial Arts world. With a good teacher and the proper environment, Martial Arts can be very nourishing and helpful along our life’s journey. Self-respect and self-esteem are the innate lessons that we learn while we get on the mat to punch, kick, or do forms.
Tammy Johnston, who runs the site, has personally survived domestic violence in her life and found strength from her Martial Arts training. She started this site to help others in a similar situation. In addition to providing support and guidance, they host many events throughout the year in an effort to help other survivors of domestic violence. They provide a forum which they work to answer questions not only about Martial Arts but about domestic violence in general. They have teamed up with several wonderful instructors and national organizations on domestic violence to help spread their message.