Do you remember getting a scraped knee as a kid? You were playing outside, having fun, doing something stupid or challenging or daring. And then you wiped out. Scraped the shit out of your knee.

At the time it sucked. You may have even cried.

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But remember later? When your knee started to heal? And it started to scab up? Remember how proud you felt of that scab? Remember the respect you got from your friends?

There’s something really cool about battle wounds.

As kids, we knew the value in going through that process. We took risks, we got hurt, and we healed. And we did it again and again and again.

As adults, we are far more wary of taking that risk. But this is a shame, as there can be tremendous value in doing so.

This is why I love martial artsI can take that risk, get banged up and bruised, and it feels GOOD.

That release of endorphins, that rapport you build with a sparring or training partner, that respect you get when you show off your bruises the next class: that whole process can be incredibly liberating.

It reminds of being a kid, of bailing while learning how to ride a bike, of cutting myself while climbing a tree, of getting pretty minor injuries while pushing myself and learning how far I could be pushed.

Through martial arts I’ve learned that I can handle it, that pain isn’t necessarily something to be avoided, and that I’m far tougher than I think.

How do you feel about getting hit while practising martial arts? Please comment below.

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You’re reading Pain Can Be Liberating: Getting Hit in Karate by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!