When I was around 14 years old I had the great fortune of being introduced to The Martial Arts. My school had brought us (my class) to a Martial Arts for a self-defense course at the YWCA. . Some may say being a fighter isn’t sexy or lady like, my response, look at Gina Carano! I’m a big fan, I love what she has done with her career and we share a middle name, Joy. Gina is a Champion MMA fighter and was Crush on “American Gladiator”, she also starred in the movie, “Haywire” and more recently she appears in, “The Fast And The Furious 6.” Being a successful Martial Artist, is all about heart and having the confidence to see through what the heart is driving you to accomplish. I like to think, if I had the heart, I have today 15 years ago, I would have been a world champion today! Even though this isn’t the case, practicing the Martial Arts has helped me on my journey, in so many ways, with my career, in my personal life and most importantly what it did for my mind. It gave me focus and direction. Sadly the commercialisation that brought The Martial Arts to me is also eroding at the foundation of The Martial Arts. The traditional aspect, in my opinion, is the most important factor in proper learning and retention of all things relating to the art you are studying with that being said, would I recommend that anyone take a self-defense class? Absolutely! The world can be a tough place and sometimes even an extra second can give someone the upper hand or at least enough time to get away or it could help bring a shy child out of their shell, it is a great way to stay in shape and of course, can help you immensely in many career paths. Judo was the basis of my first self-defense course, after that I dabbled in North American style kickboxing at Hub City kickboxing in Saskatchewan. At this time I was also studying movement, among other things at Persephone Theater School, after a few years of that, I found my way to reading Bruce Lee’s, “The Tao Of Jeet Kune Do” and took an interest in Jeet Kune Do, and the life of the great Bruce Lee! More recently I studied and practiced Muay Thai, Thai kickboxing, at “Gold Lion Muay Thai” in Vancouver, for a few years. I fell in love with the sheer offensiveness of it, when combined with the elegance of the traditional, it is a truly beautiful and magical sport and it has served me well over the years. Probably not in the way you think, sure it helped my career, and helped keep myself and others around me safe but its true value comes to light more so within a person, inside their soul, the calmness of their being, the tranquility of their spirit, even in the face of adversity! That to me is the true test of a successful martial artist. I am currently interested in learning about Krav Maga and will never stop learning new arts. It is just a part of who I am and for that I am grateful! Thanks for reading and leave a comment if the wind so moves you.