“I had a really good day in sparring class,” my 12-year-old girl shouted over the whirl of cold winds as she threw her arms around me in a quick hug. I’ve decided to alternate Thursdays and Fridays as a day of no kung fu, but when I skip Thursdays I forfeit playing chaperone to a preteen that has great difficulty getting motivated to use and show the fighting skills she’s been taught. So I was thrilled to be greeted on the edge of the train station parking lot by such unexpected news.
“That’s great, babe. What happened?”
“Oh, Doug gave me a hard front kick and I fell on my butt.” By this time, she’d completed her move from the front seat to the back, and I was closing the passenger door, nestled in the seat she’d just vacated. “But that was all,” she added with a broad smile in her voice. I had one on my face, understanding completely the joy that any stranger would find confusing based on the two sentences I’d been given.
But I knew that the stocky, powerful, dangerous, forty-something year-old man, who fought his own children as if they were in an MMA match, had once picked my daughter up off of her feet in a sparring match but caught himself before throwing her to the floor. I also knew the force of the kick she took, because I’d taken a side kick from Doug on more than one occasion and doubted his front kick was any weaker.
When my girl said, “But that was all,” I knew it meant she fought well enough that Doug only took one opportunity to show her a hole in her defenses. She was often so lackadaisical that he schooled her out of either frustration or irritation or both. Today, she subjected herself to nothing more than a fall on the butt from a front kick.
It warmed my heart (and cold, arthritic bones) to get such good kung fu news, even if I couldn’t see it. Sounds like she’s got a handle on just getting back up when kicked down.