My Martial Arts Dreams in Recovery

For a lot of my teens I was involved in martial arts. This was something that I took to straight away and for a few years it gave my life a real purpose; I had been a bit aimless before this. Much of what I learnt at that time shaped the rest of my life. It was then that I found out about meditation and the importance of discipline. Despite the fact that I had fallen deep into the pit of addiction by the time of I had reached my twenties; the lessons I learnt from my Kung Fu classes remained with me. It acted like a light at the end of the tunnel and reminded me that there was another way.

My family had fallen apart during my teens and it was during that time that I’d given up Kung Fu; I always regretted it. I moved to a different part of the Ireland and I found the booze before I found a new martial arts class. I spent countless drunken nights cursing this change of path, and I always wondered about what might have happened. Maybe instead of ending up a drunk on the streets of London I could have been teaching something that I loved. Every time that I became sober for any length of time I would return to some sort of martial art; even if it was only Tai-Chi. Combined with meditation it would be the tools I used to deal with stress and keep myself in shape.

I am now in my forties and as odd as it might seem I’m happy that my life worked out the way it did. If things didn’t happen exactly the way they did I would not be where I am now; and I love where I am now. I still have this yearning for martial arts though, and it is this that is driving me towards wanting to fight Muay Thai. I am not an angry man, and I’m not aggressive, but there is just something about training the body to fight that really appeals to me. I don’t want to challenge anybody else; only myself. If the truth be known, I’m absolutely terrified of the idea of ever actually fighting somebody else.

I truly believe that it was my martial arts training that got me through my years of addiction. If I’d never have known a different way then I’d never have yearned for it again. Forget the fighting, for me martial arts are about discipline and striving; it is about training the body as a practice without any real goal. It is like the Japanese tea ceremony; it is not about making tea it is about the process. We recently moved to a different part of Thailand so that we could find a good school for my son. I researched a few schools but the one of the things that influenced my choice was the fact that the school teaches Tae Kwon Do from the age of four. I believe that this training will be one of the greatest gifts I can give my son.

I am slowly building my stamina up in the hope of joining a Muay Thai gym in a couple of months. This may be the craziest idea I’ve ever had but it just feels right. Anything is possible in recovery from addiction, and we can often get back all that we lost.

Don’t Forget to Visit the Middle Aged Muay Thai Website (just click on the highlighted text and you will be taken right there)

Latest posts by Paul Garrigan (see all)

3 thoughts on “My Martial Arts Dreams in Recovery

  1. Paul, looking at your photo (top right) you look pretty good for someone who has previously spent a lot of years bending his elbow and ogling pretty barmaids.

    Martial arts are a good way to discipline yourself (so I’ve read) and Thailand has got to be a great place to learn one. The Land of Smiles has also got to be ideal for getting your fitness back in check, hot balmy days and sticky evenings spent training can only mean sweat, sweat, sweat.

    Best of luck in your efforts to get back in shape and I’m sure you’re going to make it. Muay Thai is one tough sport but its discipline and high level of fitness is perfect for holding back the years. Who knows, in a few months you might be able to outrun those soi dogs which hound you when you’re on your bike.

    Nice post and a sweet looking blog.

    1. Thanks Martyn, I really do think that it is challenging ourselves that keeps us healthy and young. I think it is good to set the bar high enough to make it a challenge.

      The ability to outrun the soi dogs – now there’s a challege 🙂

Leave a Reply to Paul Garrigan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *