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The Martial Arts - an overview of the fighting arts


There are many inspirational martial arts stories - some are old and some are new. Yet these tales of inspiration all have one thing in common: They speak about human greatness, spirit, dignity, humbleness, victory, trust, fulfillment, honesty, achievement, vision, loyalty, truth, spirituality and sharing.

Side note: Before you continue reading, make sure you have a serious look at all the free stuff inside 'The Martial Arts Vault'!

Truly inspirational martial arts stories are not simply about someone who is good (or great) about something , who has a name, or who has achieved some sort of success - money, fame or victories.

Sure, it is great to read about that too! It can be inspiring to learn about how the great fighters have trained to achieve their moments of glory - what they have gone through to become number one. It is nice getting to know all the talented and successful people who have made their mark in the "Martial Arts Hall of Fame"!

The truly inspirational martial arts people and events:

What is really inspirational though, is to read about those who have suffered great losses, and then came back to achieve something; Those who fought against greater odds, and then won; People who have achieved something that few or no one believed they were capable of; People who have inspired, guided and helped others to achieve greatness of some sort; The true stayers and winners - those who never gave up, and finally succeeded; Those who supported their own or other peoples belief through hardship and suffering. The stuff that legends are made of...

Those are the things that I personally wish to read and  learn about more than anything else! And inspirational martial arts stories like these, as well as inspiring people from the budo communities around the globe is what you will find on these pages.

I am absolutely confident that there are literally thousands of such stories just waiting to be found - tales of true fighting heroes! If you happen to know about someone or something that you feel more people should know about - please don't hesitate, but send us your inspirational martial arts stories here!

So without further ado - here are some people and events that have amazed, moved and inspired me as well as many others.

He was hooked:

(July 14, 2008):

New York -- 7-year-old John Belcastro from Long Island was hooked the moment he  was introduced to karate. "It was instantaneous; it was amazing," his mother said.

John, who suffers from autism, has been taking one-on-one karate lessons at Calla Karate in West Brighton for the last 14 months.

"I never would have thought of karate. I didn't think he could be focused enough to follow the directions," John's mother said. "When you give them the resources, it's amazing what they can do," she added.

Read the rest of the story on

Autism and martial arts:

(July , 2008):

Michigan -- 11-year-old Keenan Miller from Grand Rapids gets ready for his twice weekly taekwondo class.

His set routine is a way to create order in a world that can be challenging for an autistic child to process.

It took the kid a couple of months to get used to martial arts. His parents saw him struggling at first with simple tasks. Now, his instructor said, he's considering the boy for what they call a student leadership position. He adds that this is something he didn't think would be possible.

Read the rest of the story on

Disability won't stop Connor:

(July 3, 2008):

UK -- Seven-year-old Connor Kemp form Newmarket has suffered from a form of cerebral palsy since birth. However, this has not been stoping him from taking up karate.

After he began attending lessons seven weeks ago with his younger brother Jack, some moves have been adapted so that the wheelchair bound child can join in with the class.

Read the rest of the story on

Seniors staying fit with karate:

(July 3, 2008):

Missouri -- "I'm over 60," is all Arlene Creech will tell about her age. But she's not shy to explain why she took up martial arts. "I needed to lose some weight and I also needed an outlet and this keeps you flexible," she said. "They work at your own pace."

At the taekwondo (sic.) training center, classes geared toward senior citizens are being offered. The senior students say the sport keeps them active.

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Giving Asberger's a karate chop:

(June 28, 2008):

Wisconsin -- Young Scott Schultz, who suffers from Asberger's Syndrome was recently awarded his black belt in karate after 5 years of continues effort.

He repotedly took up the martial art at a church in New London when he was 10 years old. He found his abilities began to improve after some years - eventually becoming one of the top students.

Read the rest of the story on

Mick - doing karate at 70:

(June 26, 2008):

UK -- At the ripe age of 70, granddad Mick Young says he is feeling almost like a "karate kid". The sporty senior took up the martial art 26 years ago to encourage his son to get fit.

The Ipswich man has achieved his third dan karate black belt and he now teaches youngsters at the community center.
The gentleman, who says he played football until he was 64, added he won't pack it in the karate now. "I think I'd stiffen up and I want to stay flexible. It is a good sport for older people," he states.

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The one place where she can focus:

(June 23, 2008):

Minnesota -- "This is one place where I can just focus, I can forget about everything, (...)" Suzie Seever says about her taekwondo training.

The 41-year-old woman has had to undergo a double-lung and kidney transplant over the past eight years because of cystic fibrosis.

In the future, Seever says she wants to become a taekwondo instructor.

Read the rest of the story on

A great stress release, she says:

(May 30, 2008):

Michigan -- 71-year-old Karen Du Page, of Jackson, is a fourth-degree black belt judo instructor.
The Jackson senior practices at least twice a week. She is using a knee brace following a knee replacement three years ago.

She thought she was signing up for a yoga class, but ended up doing judo :-) That was 35 years ago.

Read the rest of the story on

A passion for karate:

(May 28, 2008):

Australia -- A married black belt couple have been teaching karate to blind and visually-impaired people since 2001 in the Inner West.

Now, the couple - Miklos and Nora Farago - have won a Vision Australia's Making a Difference Awards for their work.

As well as improving participants' fitness levels, the karate training improves awareness of spatial concepts and posture.

Read the rest of the story on

She has demonstrated age is no barrier:

(May 22, 2008):

UK -- 68-year-old Sheila Thurlow took up karate training 20 years ago and claimed her first black belt at the age of 53. She recently passed the physical examination in Sidcup for the fourth Dan black belt in shotokan karate.

The veteran has demonstrated age is no barrier and provides inspiration to other pensioners and even younger adults.

Mrs Thurlow continues teaching at her own dojo in Bexleyheath as well as to train in both karate and kobudo at her son's school.

Read the rest of the story on

Kicking it at 73:

(May 2, 2008):

You probably don't want to be on the receiving end of her karate chop. 73-year-old Jeannie O'Connor is a second degree black belt.

The Oklahoma grandmother took up the sport to spend time with her grandson. By the time she's 85, she says she'll earn her fifth degree black belt.

Read the rest of the story on

Karate gives him a sense of self-esteem and self-worth:

(April 7, 2008):

12-year-old Brandon couldn't stand on one foot without losing his balance and falling when he took up karate. Today - four years later - the child diagnosed with autism will compete in his third consecutive National Karate-Do Federation national championship.

The boy began studying the martial art at the recommendation of his therapist. Brandon's mother, said the boy was frustrated easily and had difficulty socializing. She added she was initially skeptical of seeing any results, but changes to Brandon's behavior were immediate and positive.

Read the rest of the story on

She is fighting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

(March 13, 2008):

14-year-old Jessica Maitland loves nothing more than a dust-up with a black belt rival - but each day she has a fight of a different kind.
For five years the karate teenager  from Carrbrook has been battling ME (chronic fatigue syndrome).
It is estimated that about 25,000 children suffer from the condition once nicknamed 'yuppie flu'. Its symptoms include poor concentration, muscle pain and exhaustion.

Read the rest of the story on

Unsinkable courage:

(February 29, 2008):

Australia -- 41-year-old John Jarret had been clinging to debris for 30 hours in the open ocean when a rescue helicopter picked him up and took him to hospital. Mr Jarrett feared his skipper would not be found alive.
The fisherman was the second person found alive after the net of their prawn trawler snagged about 3 a.m., capsizing and sinking the boat about 13km off the coast of NSW.
A second dan black belt in karate, Jarrett's crew mate, 39-year-old Michael Williams, reportedly swam for 12 hours to shore to raise the alarm.
Mr Williams' mother said that Mr Jarrett almost certainly owed his life to her son. "Michael wasn't going to let them die," she said.

Read the rest of the story on

Still gets his kicks at 75:

(February 25, 2008):

At 75, Tom Sulick Sr.'s has not stopped expanding the martial arts trophies collection. He recently added to it in fact, when on February 17 he won first place in forms for competitors 55 and older at a karate tournament.

When he served in Korea, Sulick had brief tae kwon do lessons in 1952. His real start however was 1967. The Phillipsburg native became a black belt in 1972.

Sulick co-owned a karate school for several years in Dover, New Jersey, and has been inducted in several martial arts halls of fame.

Read the rest of the story on

Wheelchair-bound man earns yellow belt in karate:

(February 13, 2008):

Canada -- Patrick Christie practices his karate jabs and kicks along with the rest of the students, working his way from one end of the gym to the other. Where his fellow students use footwork, Mr. Christie periodically breaks from his jabs to turn the wheels of his wheelchair.

The 25-year-old Parry Sound, Ontario man was born with cerebral palsy. He has been in either a stroller or a wheelchair his entire life and adapts the karate moves to his unique situation.

His teacher has noticed an increase in his range of motion. When he started he could barely move his legs. Also his arm movements are improving. Currently on a waiting list for physiotherapy, Mr. Christie says that although he'll still take the therapy once a spot opens up, that karate is helping him.

Read the rest of the story on

"He's our hero":

(January 25, 2008):

Florida -- Gus Egerer is a fun-loving person with a huge heart. And while he says the folks at Cerebral Palsy of Northeast Florida are his heroes - they call Gus their hero.

Gus is a black belt in karate, something he achieved after he lost his arm. Now he teaches folks with disabilities how to defend themselves.

Years after losing his arm in an acident, he severely hurt his back in a fall. Now he gets a morphine-like painkiller through a pump implanted under his skin. Still, he hurts just about every day. Still, he doesn't give up. And he shares his will of steel with other disabled folks.

Read the rest of the story on Wtlv.c

Martial arts program helps autistic children:

(January 23, 2008):

Maryland -- When the she brought her 7-year-old autistic son Aydn to the Gaithersburg karate class for the first time, his enthusiasm and engagement in the lessons surprised both mother and child.

As she watched him go through drills with the five other autistic children at the martial arts studio, she laughed to think she assumed Aydn wouldn't take to it so quickly. And her son had hesitated, too.

"He said, 'It's too dangerous; I don't want to.' He doesn't want to go home now." the Washington mother said.

Read the rest of the story on

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