13 Years at Cobra Martial Arts - Bradley Murphy (written 7/4/13)
During the 13 years I have been training at Cobra, what I see martial arts as, has changed a lot. When I first started I was 4 years old (photo below) and it was just a way of doing some cool kicks and punches. Now at age 17, as you can imagine it means a lot more than that!
For me, the martial arts is the learning of how to pursue the 9 Tenets, which have been drummed into me at Cobra, especially number 3, being Perseverance and number 4, Self Control. Everything in life requires perseverance and this has helped me the most at school. Self control shows at school, when someone is yelling at you, as it takes a lot to ignore them and keep walking, but this is something Cobra has taught me, how to fight back without fighting.
The the ability to focus my concentration is something I have learned through Cobra, and as year 12 TEE is gaining momentum, the ability to zone out the distractions and focus, is an irreplaceable tool to have. The physical Cobra training, is a much needed stress outlet, which helps me to relax, meet with positive, like minded friends and role models, and release the pressure of study and stress of TEE. I think that the kids that you hear about, that break-down or snap during the lead up to TEE, could benefit from such a great stress outlet.
Throughout my years at Cobra, I have seen many people come and go, whether they be white belt beginners or black belt, this always gives me a little push, not to become another 'statistic, or person who hasn't quite made it through the rigours. I want to be above that. This drive is fuelled by the fact that the instructors are so passionate about what they do here. This passion flows on to the students, as they lead us through lessons that are are always interesting, fun and definitely challenging.
For a few years now I have been assisting with kids classes after school and on Saturdays. This opportunity allows me to pass on martial art knowledge, while watching the kids have a wonderful time. It also allows me to take my mind off whatever is going on, forgetting about school work for a couple hours, making a horrible school day a bit better, or just finding a way to pass on some amazing techniques I have just learnt, whilst myself developing leadership skills, confidence and public speaking capability.
When I tell my mates that I learn martial arts, they get images of Jackie Chan fighting Chuck Norris, or UFC fighters beating each other unconscious. My point of view shows me now, that this is not what Cobra it is about. Cobra is a family martial arts centre, not a fight club. When talking to other members, it quickly become clear, that the majority don't have aspirations to be the greatest fighter ever, they just want to be able to defend themselves and become fit and healthy in the process. I believe this is why we train in such a good family friendly environment, no one is out to beat each other up. This is best summarised in the words of Instructor Lippitt, "What's the point of beating each other up, you won't learn anything!"
Physically, martial arts teaches you how to take care of yourself. It can be, 'not' how to hit yourself in the back of the head with nun-chucks, or, just throwing a punch correctly. The abilities you gain will help you in all parts of life; many times I have heard people saying how they have better balance, flexibility or fitness than before.
For me Cobra is an escape, where I can forget about everything and have fun training, teaching and hanging out with a great group of people, who are here to enjoy themselves as well.