Daily Archives: March 13, 2014

“But That Was All”

“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.

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Mental Notes

It was my first Wednesday in forever without a trip to the guan, and it was noteworthy for its lessons:

– Retail space in my popular neighborhood is expensive; retail space with high ceilings is very very expensive.  A school of my own would have to be in another neighborhood.

– Well-established gyms that don’t offer a martial arts class have program personnel who aren’t interested in martial arts.  I shouldn’t spend too much time trying to make them interested before offering my skills elsewhere.

– Training for five successive days is debilitating to the knees, no matter how much massage and ointment are applied to them.  Just because I have the space to practice every day doesn’t mean that I should.

– The method of delivering a message is as important as the message itself.  Don’t put anybody on the defensive, especially if I want them to hear what I’m saying.

– Anger is empowering but destructive.  Put my energy into forgiveness or detachment… or both.

Valuable food for thought acquired this Wednesday.  More and more to be said for time outside the guan.