Hey all! I hope all the Americans out there had a lovely Thanksgiving – and I hope that my non-American readers had a great weekend as well! I had a great potluck party with friends. Cards Against Humanity was played, as was Halo. It was a nice night!
So this is a post that’s near and dear to me. Writing and martial arts have been my dual passions for a very, very long time. It’s been about ten years since I decided I wanted to do something with writing (then decided to do something else, then came back to it). And about nine years since I decided that I wanted to do something with martial arts, specifically taekwondo.
So. For those who don’t know, I’m a second degree black belt in taekwondo, currently training for my third degree black belt. I’ve been training on and off since I was fourteen (in fact, my first classes were a few days BEFORE my fourteenth birthday!) For some perspective, I’m currently twenty-five.
Martial Arts and Writing
These don’t seem like things that go hand in hand, so I’ll give a bit of background. I’ve started to realize that martial arts and writing do go hand in hand. There was a point in my life that I had just about given up on my writing career. I hadn’t been able to land a job in the writing field despite revamping my resume and applying everywhere like mad. It was exceptionally frustrating and it was really having a negative effect on my personal writing as well. I didn’t really want to do anything at all.
And then I found out that my old martial arts school had closed. And that the instructors had opened a new school.
I hadn’t left on good terms (one might say awful terms), so I was hesitant to even try and contact them.
But I did contact them and everything went fine. I started up my martial arts training again at Lake Country Martial Arts.
Since starting the martial arts, I’ve found that no matter what I do, somehow my martial arts career starts snaking its way into my writing. Sometimes the main character has some serious combat training. Sometimes they need combat training. I write a lot of science fiction…so there’s often need to fight. Like I said, sometimes its hand to hand combat – and then the influence of taekwondo really shines through.
Sometimes its knowledge of fighting more than one person at a time.
Sometimes its needing to know how to disarm someone who has a weapon.
Or how to fight with a weapon.
But the martial arts influence is there.
Sometimes I think it helps me with my fight scenes (especially when I’m being realistic), sometimes it holds me back because I know exactly how I want the scene to look and maybe I’m not conveying it well enough with words.
So…just in your physical writing?
No. I think the more important part of how the martial arts have impacted my writing is in how they’ve shaped my mind. This is always something that I’ve had an incredible amount of difficulty putting into words. When we were asked to say how the martial arts have shaped us at our black belt test, I had so much trouble. That was many years ago now…so I’m hoping I can be a little more eloquent at 25 than I was at 17.
Back in 2011 before I’d come back to the martial arts…I was almost ready to give up on my writing dream. I was ready to quit and become a wage slave.
But then I went back to the martial arts. And I started having urges to write again. I started revising Opus Aria seriously, getting it ready for publication. I started having goals again.
In my dedication for Opus Prelude, I wrote: “To Lake Country Martial Arts for picking me back up when I felt like I was drowning. I doubt that I would be a published author if I hadn’t come back to the martial arts. You have my heartfelt thanks for helping me find that drive and perseverance again.”
The martial arts taught me perseverance and how to have an indomitable spirit. How to keep going, how to never give up. How to get up after I’ve been kicked down. Without the martial arts, I was going to give up.
I never would have made it to where I am today without the martial arts.
Thanks guys. You’ll never know how much I appreciate what you’ve taught me. Or how much I appreciate the support.
What has influenced your writing? What gives you the strength to keep moving forward?