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How Martial Arts Saved My Life From Depression


I know that when someone drops a title like “How Martial Arts Saved My Life,” people are expecting a badass story about smashing guys out that tried to attack me and how I fought them off with complete ease.

That is not what this story is about.

This is about how Martial Arts saved me from myself.

I am going to to drone on a little bit here but I want you (the reader) to bear with me because it is very relevant to the point I am trying to make.

I come from a pretty withdrawn family and dysfunctional childhood which I don’t need to go into too much.

My father was in the Navy which he went to war on several occasions which caused PTSD and this caused alot of trigger points at home dealing with his restless aggression on many occasions which I felt was very strange and unusual as a child and dealing with his narcissist abuse and hypocrisy because of his military background and this is just a start.

Mother was on another level of emotional and psychology abuse from years of calling me names due to my hearing difficulties and ensuring that I wasn’t a normal child and like everyone else.

My mother had a very warped vision of how she would set her examples by using reverse psychology and blaming me for her mistakes rather than admitting it.

I have suffered many times of sadness from their consistency anger and aggression which they made it clear I was the problem child.

I wasn’t a spoiled kid by any means, but I never went without necessities, I always got what I needed but that is far as it goes.

I went to boarding school in London and learnt how to survive with other 100s of kids that we had to face all day and night as we didn’t have the option to go home and take a break from everyone.

I had fights and psychology abuse from my houseparents at my boarding school for years because they didn’t have management and safe guarding training dealing with challenging kids with special needs.

My mental health started to head downhill from the tender age of 14.

I lost myself from years of psychological abuse from my parents, house parents and kids which sent me into spiral and a part of me disappeared, the part that made me believe in myself, and my ability to succeed in life.

Now I hadn’t completely lost my s*** yet, but I was definitely on my way to that point.

I was already bullied alot in my boarding school and college mentally and physically by a vast majority of people who I knew would take any opportunity to poke fun at me, insults at my hearing difficulties.

Kids and teens can be very cruel.

Insults are hurtful and can cut you to the core.

When someone calls you names or poke fun at you relentlessly for years, it isn’t surprising when you start to believe what people are saying to you.

I lost confidence in myself.

Even by people who I thought considered to be good friends, who I since realised weren’t true friends, would join in for the name calling.

I somehow managed to scrape my way into college, which I would go on to fail the first year.

Part of my failure that year involved my first “adult” relationship with true violence.

I was only 17 years old and I wanted to be a painter and decorator which I attended to Plymouth college to get some qualifications.

For some reason I was very good at picking up things by using my hands due to my vision and attention to detail due to lacking of hearing abilities.

This promotes jealousy from other colleagues in my course.

One day I discovered my very first taste in true violence when I was dragged beside the wall and a Stanley knife was placed against my neck which at that point changed my life with immediate effect.

I struggled to cope with the situation and its ramifications which sent me deeper into depression.

I was completely unhappy with my life.

I went through a string of failed friendships as I didn’t know how to cope with people so violence was the solution for me.

Couple of years later….

I decided to attend another college and learn to become fitness and personal trainer instructor which I passed as I found something I was passionate about.

I was still back at square one mentally as that was pushed aside for many years and living in denial.

I spent many Christmas by myself because I was so mentally exhausted and depressed that I didn’t want to be around my family or anyone.

I have been in strings of relationships and I would make excuses to leave them to avoid deep connection.

I was ready to end it all.

I was burnt out and fed up.

I am about to turn 22.

The one small ray of hope in life that I found, was Martial Arts.

I decided to take my first Kung Fu class back in 1996 which was referred by a friend in Newbury.

I immediately took a liking after a taster class and I signed up.

I felt some sense of belonging and sense of peace.

This lead the path of discovering Kali, JKD, Wing Chun, May Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, Street Self Defence & Ground Fighting.

I improved as a martial artist and became good at what I do.

I become the weekend and evening warrior where I be too busy training for countless of hours while my mates be busy having their beers.

I had finally managed to start to take control of my mental health.

I was abit more happier.

I am not drowning in my own debilitating mind anymore.

And isn’t that the goal in life? To be happy?

It took me a long time to look at the world through a different perspective.

I problem solve better than I ever thought I could be and I am confident in who I am for the first time since I was a kid.

I am not saying that martial arts is the thing that will help you to beat depression, or to give you confidence, or to help you beat anxiety, or help with any other mental health issue.

But it did help me.

If you find something that works for you, like martial arts worked for me, hold onto it.

Use it to make yourself not only a healthier person mentally, but a better person entirely.

Book your FREE TRIAL at Evolution Martial Arts and Fitness Academy and start your journey with us to help rediscover yourself….

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