Do you ever forget your martial arts training?
Last month I ran into a father of one of my ex-students, who I have seen socially over the years. His daughter Jessie, was about eight years old when she started with us, and continued on until about eleven, when she dropped out as a green belt. High school became more demanding, and she was a very busy girl. I remember her as a conscientious, hard-working student with an excellent attitude, one who probably would have obtained her black belt if she had remained with us.
Jessie remembered her martial arts training
As we got to talking, the father said martial arts was the best thing for Jessie as it increased her self-confidence in a big way. He then told me a story about something that happened to Jessie, now 20, recently. At a nightclub, another girl started a fight with Jessie. Although Jessie did everything she could to avoid the confrontation, the girl took a swing at her. She responded by dropping the attacker with a front snap kick, knocking the wind out of her. She did not seriously hurt her, but after the kick, the girl wanted no part of Jessie.
This happened nine years after Jessie dropped out of karate. She remembered what we had taught her when it really mattered. The many hundreds of snap kicks Jessie performed in her classes years ago were part of her muscle memory. I was not surprised by this as I’ve had many students return to us after several years off, and they pick up where they left off amazingly fast.
Do you have any similar stories about remembering (or forgetting) martial arts training after several years? In an emergency, does it come back quickly for everyone or do most forget it? I would like to hear from you.