"The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants." -- Gichin Funakoshi

Friday, October 13, 2006


Last night I made it through both hours of class. During the first class, Hanshi C had us working on kick combinations. Very good strategic exercise - he didn't tell us what kicks to use or which of the three bags to take out first, only that we had to use kicks - and that we should try to get two kicks off of one foot before planting it and kicking with the other. So it was up to us to decide what combinations would be best depending on where the bags were in relation to us. Afer kick combos, we split up into pairs and worked kata with the lower ranks. I worked with a new yellow belt on Heian Nidan and Heian Sandan. She's doing very well.

Sensei-Hubby was in charge of second class. Started off with kata - ran up through Heian Yondan. Then he said "gear up."

See, Sensei-Hubby has this sparring game he likes to pull out that he calls "the ring of fire." We all get in a circle around the dojo, and 2 people spar free-style in the middle of the circle for about a minute, at which time whoever is referee-ing calls "open." This means anyone from the circle can call "break" and choose which person (one of the two who have just been sparring) they would like to spar. Once everyone has had a chance to spar, anyone can challenge anyone.

So Sensei-Hubby started off sparring one of our new yellow belts. And when Hanshi C called "open," I thought to myself, "Self (that's what I call myself), Sensei-Hubby would be a wonderful sparring partner - he won't go easy on you, but he won't beat the crap out of you either." So I called "break" and asked to spar him. I wasn't sure I would be allowed, because family members are typically not allowed to spar each other at our dojo (mostly due to the tendency of siblings to continue the sparring match at home). But last night was my lucky night.

Y'all, I actually enjoyed sparring last night. I was just on. I remembered to use my feet, I remembered to throw combinations. Yeah, I forgot to keep my eyes open the whole time (I flinch a lot when I'm sparring), and I forgot to sidestep a time or two (one of his kicks got me square in the ribs). But overall, I consider last night's sparring to be a vast improvement from the last time I sparred.

I got to spar Sensei-Hubby and one of the green belts before class was over, and had just decided to challenge that yellow belt Sensei-Hubby had sparred first when we were told to gear down. It was time to close out class already! Sparring nights always seem to just drag on forever for me, but last night I was like "Seriously? It can't be 9 already!"

Maybe this sparring business isn't so bad after all.


blackbeltmama said...

Good for you! Maybe there's hope for me yet!

frotoe said...

its always a good feeling when sparring starts to come a bit more naturally. that didn't start for me until i was 1st kyu. its a good feeling :)