Martial arts, sports and others

By Joel B. Belinan

“Of course there are always the young practitioners who always join us and in fact whenever there is an upcoming competition our corner of the park is crowded with young players.”

It’s been eight years since the last time I wrote a column. Yes it was also in this paper titled Outdoor Bound. That column was basically dedicated to outdoor sports particularly the wide and wild world of the outdoors, mountaineering and all their derivatives like spelunking, hiking/trekking, bouldering, bushwhacking, among others.
After eight years of being inactive in writing which was spent with the government, I felt the urge to start doing some writing again. And of course since I decided to cut short my stay with the city government I have more time for the things I love doing. Last Tuesday, I went to visit ZigZag Weekly and brought up my desire to write again with Atty. Pekas and if he still had the patience to straighten out or edit my columns (whenever needed) as he use to do and, Hurray!, he responded in affirmative. Of course I told him my thoughts on the column and on where I am more engaged nowadays, martial arts and from time to time other sports and other matters I cannot resist dipping my finger into. He only has one condition, “submit your piece on Wednesdays,” maybe in order for him to have more time to look at it. For a start this column will come out twice a month and maybe later if time and mind permits, it might appear every week.
So here is my “come back” column.
Why martial arts? As I said I am directly engaged in this and in fact I guide some people every morning at the so called biggest gym of the country, Burnham Park. There, we do boxing, kickboxing, muay thai among other Asian striking arts. These are the martial art disciplines that we do to sweat things out and ergo maintain our health or physical fitness. Most of the guys with me are the so called lallakay and thus our group is called Team Lallakay, although we have a couple of ladies and thus the suggestion to call our group Team Lallakay and Babbaket.
Of course there are always the young practitioners who always join us and in fact whenever there is an upcoming competition our corner of the park is crowded with young players. Interestingly, the oldest guy who plays with us is a 70 year old in the person of Manong Sonny Bugnosen, followed by Sir Mike del Rosario at 66 year old (yes, of McDonalds’, Sunshine Supermart, etc). The youngest are sometimes as low as 9 years old and my second son Jared played when he was 7 years old. Unlike before, boxing kickboxing, muay thai and other martial arts now are not just for fighters, it can be played by anyone. People play or practice these for various reasons. The most common nowadays is to lose weight or for health reasons. Very seldom do I hear someone approaching me and asking to be taught boxing and other martial arts for self-defense.
I created a simple Face Book page for this purpose; Martial Arts for Health and Fitness attached with my FB Account, jbbelinan@gmail.com. Try visiting it and you can have a glimpse of how vibrant life in Burnham Park during the early morning hours. Better a short piece for a start, guys. Until next time. (Email: jbbelinan@gmail.com)**

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