Enter the Dragon (Open Week at the FMA)

This Monday sees the beginning of open week at FMA (Fujian Martial Arts) in Stoke on Trent. The new faces started me thinking of when I took that leap into martial arts twelve or so years ago. I’ll let you into a secret. What sparked my interest; got my idle, student hands off the remote control and onto the punch bag?

Mortal Kombat.

No, your eyes do not deceive you. I really do mean that trashy film from the nineties, although the film can’t be all that bad if it inspired, can it? But that’s for another post. This one is about starting martial arts.

So there I was, glued to the screen when one of the badass henchmen got up and busted some moves. I sat bolt upright and declared: “I want to do that.” Stirring stuff, huh? Not quite the spirit of Bruce Lee visiting me with promises of destiny and glory but it did the job.

I’ve trained at a few clubs in a few different styles when moving around the UK but for all their differences, they share a common lure: magic. No, not the fireball kind, despite what the lying film says. It’s the magic of inspiration and secrets to unlock.

And it’s quite a journey. I recall falling flat on my face after just three press ups at my first club; of dashing to the bathroom to throw up then rejoining the class as though nothing had happened; of staggering to the sink, spitting out blood and getting back to training*. But it’s not all such fun! There’s hard work involved and, as with everything in life, you gain from it what you put into it.

For those new faces, I have admiration, envy and a warning. A life-changing path of enrichment awaits them, rife with magic to rouse the soul. Oh, the warning? Join my class and you’ll sweat, ache and curse the day I watched Mortal Kombat.


* I do not recommend sparring with fixed braces and no gum shield, no matter how cheap you are as a student.

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