So I continue on with my self-defense/jujitsu class. I am starting to feel less awkward and able to relax. Week four we worked on our break-falls – the ability to fall to the ground with grace and style. Actually, the grace and style part is strictly my objective. The real purpose of a break-fall is to avoid hitting your head if pushed to the ground by smacking your hands out to the side as you hit the ground.
When working with one of black belts I was practicing throwing him to the ground from behind while moving out of the way quickly. I had everything right until the move quickly part. As a result “Mr. I can smack the ground so hard I can break your foot,” aka Sensei, hit me. Yes, that’s right – my foot got bitch slapped. It took all of my will power not to cry in class. I walked with a limp for two days and had a hell of a bruise.
Five weeks in I have come to realize two things – one I have a bit of built of anger and aggression and second, karate is all about subtle technique and not brute force. BOO! I was so excited when I registered as I thought I was going to get to hit people. But SEVERAL Sensei‘s pointed out that less “grrrrrr” and more “ahhhhhh” was more effective to throw people to the ground and get them into a submission position. Although they appreciated my bounding energy, the guy whose arm I kept trying to break was happy when I learned to breathe and take it easy.
So, at the end of the class, I realized that perhaps this karate thing is just what I need. It’s a way to expend excess energy, anger, and frustration while learning how to remain calm. I know that my kids would probably appreciate a mom who is more relaxed and I like the idea of being able to throw my BF to the ground on a whim.