Meredith never imagined she’d become a martial artist, let alone considered the benefits of a disciplined body and mind. It all started when her boyfriend brought her to a dojo in San Francisco.
The moment she set foot in the doorway, she knew that she had found a place she wanted to invest herself in, “I had been involved with the Burning Man festival and a lot of other crazy, fun activities. I was 34 and I decided it was time to grow up a little bit, so I went to the dojo and there were all these kids in their little uniforms, and there was this element of family that was totally different than anything I had ever experienced.”
Nobody messes with Meredith. When she walks down the street, she knows she can protect and defend herself. “With martial arts, I feel safe in my body. There is a level of confidence I hold in my body when I walk down the street everyday. If I am wearing high heels or I am dressed up for some event my head is up, my focus is up, and I am attuned to my environment.”
Along with confidence and focus, martial arts have given Meredith a freedom from body issues. “The very practice of martial arts means that your body is clothed in uniform. Having a uniform allows me to be viewed as the same as everyone that I practice with.“ In addition, sex appeal transformed from being contained within body parts and physical features like hair or the shape of a figure, to manifesting itself in the immaterial feelings with the body.
Three years ago, Meredith broke her clavicle. She attributes her rapid recovery to her involvement and new awareness of her body found in martial arts. “In hapkido, my body was attuned and I was able to heal, and do arm movements. I would have never had the return to normal in my left arm if I hadn’t been practicing punches and kicks, and being aware of what my experience was while I was in the dojo.”
Did you know that there is a National Women’s Martial Arts Federation? Check out their web site here!
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