Black Belt Society
For as long as I can remember I have had a gripping interest in the Martial Arts. What began as an endless stream of watching Kung Fu movies with my dad, developed into becoming my own curiosity with the art. Interestingly, despite this preoccupation with all things Bruce Lee, 26 years went by with me never having signed up, kicked or punched at any of the local Dojangs in Bangalore, India. I played a lot of Badminton and swam and tried parasailing even .but never seemed to get around to learning any karate. It still puzzles me when I think about it. But all good things come to those who wait and finally at age 27, six months after the birth of my daughter Aparna I found a small school with a quiet instructor that taught the old Japanese form of Shito Ryu Karate.
From day one I took to it like a fish takes to water. My one hour class was my one hour of jumping, running, punching, kicking it was hardwood floors, complaining heels, bleeding elbows and yet, it was my one hour of peace. I loved the sense of simplicity it brought all things down to. Every kick and punch and form could essentially be broken down and eventually mastered. This was at a time when my child was barely six months old. For most women this is a stage that is usually marked by mild to moderate post natal depression, confusion over a baby that stays up all night crying over seemingly nothing. Friends I knew were going through feelings of ranging from anger to lethargy to helplessness and frustration over babies that were always cute and but also always demanding. And yet I felt none of this. Not because Aparna wasnt constantly demanding my attention or because I had super human levels of patience .it was definitely my martial arts.
I learned quickly how great an effect training in martial arts could
have on ones life. I felt stronger, had more energy, felt more positive
and had greater flexibility at 27 than Id ever experienced before.
I consider myself truly lucky and blessed that I found martial arts when
I did because pretty soon I was going to need it again.
Today as a Black Belt and wife and mother I am also enjoying the slow but unbelievable rewards of energy training. I have been taking Chi Kung seminars that Master Bell organizes for over two years now. This training has taken the whole person concept to a new place. The awareness it bring to you, about your own mind and body through the channeling of your spirit is hard to explain and has to be experienced to be understood. The way I see it, my training in Tang Soo Do and turning Black Belt is hardly a final destination or goal. It is an invaluable tool that makes life and its long and interesting byways easier and simpler and less stressful. I feel like a better person as a wife or as a friend, as an employee or as a teacher someday because of my training. As a female and as a mother raising a daughter I feel twice as confident knowing that I train under the instruction of Master Bell at the First Tang Soo Do of Fremont.
Vandana Rao plans to start a school teaching the multiple arts of Tang Soo Do, Yoga and Chi Kung in Bangalore, India in the near future. Any contact with Ms. Rao can be established over e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org