So one of the things I would like to do in my final third is learn a martial art. I really don’t know much about them except it looks like a really cool, tough way to keep in shape. It also addresses the things that all of us in our final third should all be aware of–balance and flexibility. I won’t have time for karate or kickboxing classes in the near future but I plan on doing it at some point.

My friend, author April Henry already has.

april Henry











And she’s pretty bad ass at it,  actually.

April fights monkey line purple web









And here’s what April has to say about her love for martial arts:

A few years ago, I took a kickboxing class that was really fun. The instructor had a black belt in kajukenbo, and he started up a mini kajukenbo school at our gym. I joined because I loved the feeling. Some grappling/Brazilian jiujitsu, (BJJ), was always part of our requirements, but then our teacher began offering formal BJJ four times a week – and I go all four!

In terms of self-defense, kung fu is fairly practical, BJJ even more so. Almost all fights will end up on the ground, if they are serious. I can now take care of myself, especially if my attacker hadn’t studied any martial arts.

It’s also good for me as someone who writes mysteries and thrillers. I have even worked through scenarios of what a character could do if, say, they were being dragged out to the woods. Martial arts teaches you about fighting back, how to read a person’s thoughts (like where they are going to hit you) and how to cope with a certain level of violence.

If you are interested in martial arts, I would observe or try out several schools to find one where you like the instructor and students. Many schools will offer a free week or something similar. Look for someplace that will meet you were you are – not demand that you be some whirling dervish. I would highly recommend Check your ego at the door and you will learn a lot!BJJ Tournament april looks dominant








To learn more about April and her writing, visit