When he was not reading through manga, studying or drawing in the library at his middle college, David Clark could be identified examining about martial arts.
Clark trains and coaches at Spartan Health and fitness, a martial arts and exercise health and fitness center in Homewood that teaches various fighting models, together with muay thai, boxing and jiu jitsu.
He begun discovering anything he could about martial arts although in center faculty, starting with “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” by Bruce Lee, which outlines the to start with combined martial art designed by Lee.
“I was the form of male in college who, if we did not end the textbook or the lesson, I’d examine the complete textbook,” Clark mentioned. “I did the identical issue when it arrived to martial arts.”
The library at his middle college experienced several textbooks on unique combating styles that piqued his interest, such as judo, karate and boxing, he explained.
Following yrs of teaching and novice fights, Clark produced his debut as a professional fighter, defeating fellow featherweight fighter Rae Thomas in the B2 Preventing Sequence on Aug. 28.
Clark received the struggle in the first round with a ending time of 2:23. He reported he was equipped to get gain of Thomas’ weak ground recreation and get him on the flooring, where Clark was able to attack and get the referee to stop the battle.
Although in school, Clark’s newfound interest in martial arts gave him an prospect to study to protect himself, he said. He stated he struggled with bullying from an early age, but martial arts taught him not only to protect himself but also not to treatment about how other persons perceive him.
He stated there was one bully in individual who picked on him mercilessly in faculty. When Clark was well prepared to combat his bully, he requested him why he generally picked on him, he mentioned.
He discovered that the bully was threatened by his demeanor, accusing Clark of contemplating he was improved than anyone else, he explained. He discovered, via martial arts, not to care about how other persons understand him and also how to convey his “freedom,” he mentioned.
“The more independence you have, the additional conflict you will have in daily life,” Clark stated. “To learn how to learn conflict and be cozy with it is finding out how to grasp your independence.”
Clark stated he discovered from Lee that the most challenging factor for people today to do is to convey them selves freely at that second, without stressing about impressing men and women, as properly as remaining conscious.
Conflict is inescapable and permeates each element of daily life, he reported. Martial arts is staying comfortable with threats, not just physically but also by means of identity — these kinds of as racism, Clark reported.
“That’s what martial arts is all about and what resolving issues is about,” Clark stated. “To be knowledgeable of your surroundings and to put into action oneself accordingly.”
Clark’s passion transferred from the library to his nearby boxing health and fitness center in his hometown of Gadsden, in which he was also capable to practice his karate footwork he learned from observing YouTube videos, he stated.
“With the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, you have to be knowledgeable of the pitfalls of every single design,” Clark mentioned. “In karate, you really don’t have any hands. In boxing, you have hands.”
Martial arts, to me, is a way to present persons that if you give yourself time and energy to grasp yourself, you can do all forms of matters.
Before long just after, he was competing in boxing, wrestling and jiu jitsu, all at the similar time, he mentioned.
Clark claimed he is fascinated by the environment by and large and sees martial arts as a way to see the planet in another way.
It has uncovered him to unique Jap philosophies as nicely as different universities of imagining from distinctive cultures and how they are expressed, he explained.
For instance, a principle of jiu jutsu is to “bend but not break,” he said. A further is from Tibetan Buddhism and its 3 degrees of generosity: content generosity, time and fearlessness.
Fearlessness is a way of providing individuals a distinctive see of how to “obtain the planet,” Clark claimed.
“People will occur to me and tell me that they’re not strong more than enough to do martial arts, do not have the psychological fortitude to defend on their own, make them selves fit or master new matters,” Clark stated. “Fearlessness is teaching persons that via their actions and their time, they can do that.”
Martial arts teaches men and women to be in command of their feelings when they are under threat, and this cannot be accomplished on your own, which is what would make it “beautiful,” Clark said.
“It’s been all over for countless numbers of decades,” he mentioned. “The matters I have realized have been handed down from technology to era from other persons. You have to open up your brain and take that you don’t know things. When you acknowledge that you do not know issues, you just can’t be a jerk.”
Clark is at this time planning for his following struggle and to launch his new application, the Blue Belt Initiative, he said. The Blue Belt Initiative will train staff from different police departments in Jefferson County the fundamentals of jiu jitsu with the basic populace at Spartan Exercise, he said.
“Martial arts, to me, is a way to clearly show folks that if you give yourself time and work to master oneself, you can do all varieties of points,” Clark mentioned. “Martial arts is like a thermostat to clearly show you that principle.”