While I have nothing against people making a living, it’s time for someone to finally call out all those supposed exercise gurus with fictitious degrees from made up institutions, who create silly exercise fads and machines that tuck neatly under one’s bed. The very reason there have been hundreds, perhaps thousands of exercise programs since Jane Fonda’s first workout video and Olivia Newtown John asked us to get physical, is because they are just that, fads.
Unfortunately, for those hoping to either get in or stay in shape, there is no shortcut or “fun way” to get or stay there. Exercise is in fact work. The only reason anyone stays with an exercise program is because he or she has the motivation to do so. Case in point, I originally studied the Martial Arts because I was sick of running and I absolutely hated the gym. Not only was I learning how to defend myself but because I knew I would have to test to advance in rank, I would need to train regularly. Fighting was a large part, so twenty years ago I began a sit-up and push-up regimen that continues today, 7 days a week. When I finally achieved the rank of black belt, I was driven to stay in shape so I could always keep up with my younger students. Point being, everyone must find their personal motivation if they are to continue a life long regimen of exercise. And fad exercise programs won’t get anyone there.
Nothing frustrates me more than when I see kicking and punching exercise regimens that has people believing they can defend themselves and that’s simply false. While kicking and punching is essential in fighting, and is great exercise, being able to take a punch or kick to the face or gut is at least as important. The only way that happens is to practice what we call kumite or full contact fighting. In Jujitsu, that may also include throwing, and ground fighting. Without physical contact, kicking and punching is merely good exercise. Always remember that!
In the end, the introduction of exercise regimens and fancy exercise machines are simply a way of making money. Most people don’t stay with them, which is why new regimens are constantly being introduced with the false claim that a revolutionary exercise program has been developed. In the world of physical exercise, there is truly nothing new under the sun. It’s all about a multi-billion dollar industry! At some point, every individual must decide whether or not he or she wants to look and feel good as they get older and nothing but one’s own motivation and desire will change that. If it’s not the Martial Arts, perhaps it’s cycling, running or swimming. The motivation should come from the improvement one sees in the way they look and in how they feel. Exercise needs to become an important part of one’s life, like eating, and sleeping. It may not guarantee a long and healthy life, but it certainly won’t hurt.