Self Defense for the Real World
By Sifu Lee Yokota

Protecting the lives of ourselves and others has always been a high ideal of the martial arts. I have often envisioned myself rescuing a beautiful damsel in distress with my formidable skills, defeating several vicious villains and getting the girl in the process. I would be lying if this scenario does not still run through the back of my mind. But, as often is the case, reality is not as fantastic as the worlds we create with our imagination. Few martial artists will find themselves in the position to honorably defend against a ferocious foe. Think about it. How many fights do we really get into after we pass our adolescence? Most of us will not be harmed by gangsters, thugs, or crazed maniacs.

Today, we have much more frightening enemies that mean to shorten our walk on this planet. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a long list of other diseases take more lives every day than violent crime. According to the American Heart Association’s estimates for 2003, approximately 71 million people have some form of cardiovascular disease. Obesity rates are higher than they have ever been and are on the rise. Despite technological advances in medical science, disease is running rampant in our society, and is the likely the biggest opponent we are ever going to face.

In the past, martial arts were taught to help defend property from bandits. Today, the same martial arts are still defending us against a different bandit. This new fiend is after more than the season’s crops and some valuables. These diseases are after your most precious possession—your life. Just as we can defend against would be assailants with our martial arts prowess, the same skills can defend us against disease.

Fitness level, stress, and dietary habits greatly affect our risk for cardiovascular disease. The martial arts are a great way to increase cardiovascular fitness and reduce stress levels. A complete martial arts system, such as Eight Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu, encompasses everything you need to live a full, active, and healthy life. Eight Step has exercises that will get your heart pumping and also has stress reduction techniques that are among the most effective available today. Eight Step Preying Mantis also incorporates Abimoxi, an ancient Chinese form of medicine. Abomoxi not only teaches a person how to treat disease, but how to live a life free of it.

Recent research suggests the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected and can affect one another. Eight Step Preying Mantis has long known this to be true. The body is useless without a mind to run it. The mind is useless without a sense of purpose and drive. Eight Step strives to keep these forces in balance. The ACMAF’s goal is to spread this knowledge to the public so as to have a healthier, positive, and more productive society.

Traditional Eight Step Preying Mantis has always met the needs of society. Its original development was for self preservation and that still holds true, now more than ever. Our ability to keep ourselves healthy and vibrant, not only enriches our lives, but the lives we touch. So keep training because you never know, your life might just depend on it.