Today’s post is brought to you by a guest blogger, my handsome and talented husband, Paul (a.k.a. The Geek.)
I watched as my daughter stood face-to-face with a karate black belt. He stood poised in his best front stance, she in her best back stance*. It was not a situation I had ever imagined taking in with my two eyes.
The instructions were to pair up one belt-ranked person with a non-ranked/white belt person and stand in a line, waiting for a turn to take on the sensei in kumite. My daughter had already witnessed my turn at the teacher, her look full of glee. I think she truly believed that the sensei was about to have his hands full with the impressive array of Daddy-skillz she’s always believed me to possess. Sadly, I am sure her perception of my skills has been reduced in quality since this particular karate class. When it was her turn in the rotation, I was impressed with her willingness to jump onto the mat.
The sensei, knowing right away what he was dealing with, proceeded to charge at her, hands raised, like a monster. He growled “Arrrrrrrrgh!” and she backed off a few paces, maintaining her stance. The sensei stopped, assuring her that he was only joking around, and then told her “Hit me.” Now, I have spent much time informing my children not to hit. “Son, don’t whack your sister with a pencil.” “Don’t pillowfight in the living room.” “Spatulas are not playthings.” You know, normal parenting phrases like that. I hadn’t really prepared my little girl for a location where hitting was not only encouraged, it was standard. So my girl reared back and threw a punch, complete with sound effect (“Pew!”). The sensei remained unaffected, not because he outweighed her in years, size, and skill, but because he was still 4 feet away.
“Hit me!” he repeated. Another little salvo from the girl, a one-two combo; “Pew, pew!”. Still 2 feet away. “It’s okay, c’mon, hit me!” The parental restraint stayed in place, and no contact was made. The sensei approached her and began to pepper her with little jesting prods and pokes, ending with a barrage of hair-mussing. My crouching tiger jumped back, fixed her stance, and gave him what I can only call “Hissing Fist.”
“SSSSsssssssssssss!” Her hands were up in fists, but the index and middle fingers were flailed out fiercely as if anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in their wake would be bitten by her wrath. The sensei was a good sport and continued to approach, coach, and train my little snake-master.
After class, I asked my daughter, “What was that thing you did with your fists out on the mat?!?” She replied, “Welllll, it was kinda my own little flair”. “Hrm. Maybe we should do what they teach us and not do so much personal flair, ok?” “Well, ok.”
Not a bad first class. I’ll have to watch her with her brother though. He’s given her more than enough reason to practice punching.
*I’m proud to say that when it came time for action, she remembered the back stance as I taught it to her.