Gracie Hall: Why I Train Martial Arts

I train martial arts for many reasons: self-defense, fitness, strength, and countless other benefits training provides. The main reason I continued training, though, is that it gives me something to live and work hard for. Besides my loving family and good health and fortune, much of my life has been unstable. My military family moved around a lot, and I never really knew where I fit in or what I was a part of. Sometimes, I’ve even thought I wasn’t good at anything. I have felt like a disappointment in the shadow of my incredible older brother, I’ve felt worthless when being used by boys who made me uncomfortable, I’ve had a terrible self-image, I've struggled with my faith, and I've felt lost.

I used to find stability in terrible, unhealthy ways, and I became someone I wasn’t proud of. In fact, martial arts came to me when I was at my lowest point, and everything changed. Training renewed my entire perspective, not only letting me become someone I love, but also showing me that this person had been there all along. It gave me a much better self-image, confidence, pride, and something I know I am good at, and will only improve in time. Most importantly, it gave me something to have faith in, and something to let me know it’s okay to have faith in myself.

Martial arts training is my stability, because even if I won’t always be able to physically train, the morals, principles, and confidence they teach are ways of living that I can believe in. Martial arts are a way of life, PMA is a family, and I am someone so lucky to be a part of it, it really saved my life.