Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan. Miss Michigan???
Just last week, Erin Jenkinson, Miss Great Lakes, competed for the Miss Michigan crown and wowed the audience with a most unusual display in the talent competition. In a dervish of whirls, kicks, and splintering punches, Ms. Jenkinson introduced the crowd to the artistry and power of martial arts. Her routine, performed to a Skrillex? techno throb, showcased not only the strength and agility required in all martial arts, but the beauty and fluidity with which it can be executed.
The martial arts are most demanding, both physically and mentally. They require discipline that manifests itself in all areas of the practitioner’s life and can be a key to lifelong fitness and health. Oh, and a crown. Although Ms. Jenkinson didn’t come away with the title in last week’s competition, she certainly raised the bar in the talent competition.
Athletes often mistakenly train with improper form – it’s easy to do, but can have devastating results. A martial arts instructor’s job, first and foremost, is to ensure the safety of the artists, which by necessity involves instruction in proper form. This, combined with the obvious connection to functional fitness training, provides the practitioner with core strength, knowledge of the body, flexibility, and strength.
As is evidenced by Ms. Jenkinson’s performance, martial arts is a growing sport. Many clubs and fitness centers offer introductory classes in one or more martial arts. Becoming a part of any group fitness activity provides accountability and can ensure that you stick with it longer than a routine done alone. This doesn’t mean a good workout at home should be given up. In fact, the discipline of working on your own between classes is essential for success. Make sure you’ve got that home workout space, complete with our martial arts or fitness mats, and invest in your future with a good total body/mind workout.