I was once given “dojo homework” by Sensei Giles that consisted of watching the movie Billy Jack. He couldn’t believe that I had never seen it, and he told me it was what inspired him to start training martial arts.
I’ve heard many people say it was a movie or TV show that first caused them to become interested in training. I think my husband’s might have been the show Kung Fu (and/or professional wrestling). For myself, there was no such inspiration, my own curiosity was actually sparked a long time ago by a self-defense class at my school, but it lay dormant for many years.
Then one day about eight years ago, my daughter expressed an interest in learning Karate. Joe and I decided to along for the ride, and the rest is history. There is no doubt in my mind that Skyler’s desire to train was brought on by her total and complete obsession with Japanese manga and anime, which persists to this day, although her latest fixation is Homestuck, which she points out is not manga or anime, because it’s not Japanese, and it’s a “web comic”
So, anime is indirectly responsible for me starting training. If it wasn’t for my daughter’s anime obsession that started when she was about five, there’s a good chance my interest in training would’ve remained unfulfilled. I don’t really share her love of manga and anime, but I can appreciate it, and I like that it caused her to become interested in cultures other than her own (especially Hetalia!), and how it even led to her raising money to go to Japan for a couple of weeks when she was in middle school. Our tastes may differ, but Skyler and I both love comics and cartoons!
My favorite martial arts scene from a manga (neither Skyler nor I can remember which one) involves a group of martial artist heroes who had just finished a session of intense training. As they were leaving the dojo, they encountered a person in distress who needed their help. They responded “Sorry, we really want to help you, but we are all just too damn tired from training!”.