Monday, August 14, 2006

Sunday best and Bo staff practice don't mix

Ah.. I was so HAPPY with myself. In my ongoing effort to be able to train with my Bo staff at home, I decided to wait until it was past dusk to work on it in my backyard. I figured that the coolness of the oncoming night would make all those pesky wasps absent. The worst that I'd have to worry about is a few mosquitos, and I can handle those.

My husband came out to sit on the back step and keep an eye on his wife.

I happilly pulled out my staff, and started my warm up. YES! No wasps.. I was correct about my prediction. I was able to go through most of my basics, kata, stances, etc. with no hassles at all.

However, I did misjudge my own clothing attire. I had not changed into my karate Gi, instead I was wearing a flowing long skirt, and shirt combination. It was Sunday, and I had dressed up that day for my religious service, and had not changed out of the outfit.

As I was doing one of those wonderful spinning defenses with my bo, the end of the staff snagged into the bottom of my skirt. The material of the skirt flowed up beautifully in an arc like a spanish flamenco dancer changing the normal spin of the bo staff which then gracefully, and powerfully "THUMPED" into the side of my head. I stood there seeing stars for a few seconds wondering how THAT happened... It took a couple more thumps in the head before I realized what was going on. This provided no end of entertainment for my husband who sat on the back step chuckling to himself.

So.. I learned a valuable karate life lesson: Sunday best, and Bo staff practice, don't mix.


[Mat] said...

"Sunday best, and Bo staff practice, don't mix."

Hence the biggest challenge for women :

karate was designed by men, for men fighting men. It's such a macho thing. Maybe... humm... when you think about the attire they had in those days, maybe it isn't a bad thing to train with the skirt. I mean after all, if you had to use it you would use it in every day clothes.

Maybe they don't mix YET.

Ouch for the head! Careful with that bo! maybe (just a thought)put some foam padding on it? You know, the kind they put on plumbing stuff(sorry, english again) (tubes?) in order to cut the noise and heat dispersion. I've put that on my nunchukus. It works like a charm.

Does your hubby train with you sometimes? My gf sometimes just looks at me while I'm training and I'm always wondering what's going on in her head while she's looking. We've trained together a few times, but I guess I'm a bit too hard with her. LOL. Imagine having a perfection freak telling you how to train. Yep, it can be that bad. (I'm slowly learning to be nicer).

When I asked her what was going on in the head of hers, she just said : "well, it looks so easy when you do it". She's so nice with me. :) Until I hit myself with something then she laughs.


take care.

lizzie said...

I have practiced kata in the library at church because I get bored waiting for people to come into the library. It's really different practicing in a skirt instead in pants.

Ruth said...

I'm giggling away here - but it's an interesting point, isn't it. how does attire affect karate when used in self-defense. We're unlikely to be wearing our gis when attacked in the street.

supergroup7 said...

A dress can be quite a positive attire for martial arts, a long flowing dress can hide the position of your legs, and your stance therefore hiding your intent from your opponent. I really enjoyed watching a movie with Jackie Chan using the folds of a long flowing dress to distract, and hamper his attackers. I was amazed at how he would hide his strikes, and they would just fly out from the folds of the flowing dress. I cannot remember the title of this movie, but Man! was I impressed!!

Hmmm... padding on the Bo staff? Hmm.. It's a thought! Thanks for the suggestion. Won't the padding just let the Bo staff slip out, and go flying like a projectile when I thrust it? Oh wait.. no good, I just remembered how the Bo has to slip in my hands for me to spin it, and switch hand positions... that foam wouldn't be very slippery at all.

Let me tell you what was the funniest thing! I had just finished telling my husband that since I was training with my metal Bo practice staff ( I use metal because it is heavier than wood...) that I'd better be careful not to be a fumble fingers and smack myself, or it would REALLY hurt! Then a few seconds later, you could hear the nice musical tone of the metal staff smacking the side of my head... HA HA.. A 6 foot hollow metal staff makes a very nice deep "tong!" sound when struck by someone's head.

Oh yes.. my hubby trains with me often. He is my main practice partner. I have made it a point not to "correct" him on anything unless asked specifically for my opinion. I keep reminding myself that I'm not his Sensei. I think that it's a different relationship with you and your gf, right? She relies on you to show her what to do.

I asked my husband what does he think when he's sitting there watching me train, he said "Sometimes it's a recognition of "hey.. she's improved on that! It looks sharper.. good for her." other times I just feel a glow of joy that you have found something that you REALLY love to do, and I am amazed that it is karate of all things."

supergroup7 said...

Are there surveillance cameras in your libary, Lizzie? Ha ha.. You might be entertaining the security staff with your kata. :-)

supergroup7 said...

It's unlikely that I'd be carrying a Bo staff when I'm walking down the street either, Ruth.

I agree with you that we have to think about what we normally wear.. such as sandals, runners, jeans, skirts.. and how they would affect our attempts to use our art if we really needed to do so.

I think that it would be a real good idea for our Canadian karate class to have an outside winter karate class where we are wearing our winter boots, parkas, toques, scarfs, and mitts... and we examine how vulnerable we are, and where our strengths are in that kind of attire.

lizzie said...

Lol Supergroup. No sadly. That would be funny though.

[Mat] said...

"and I am amazed that it is karate of all things"

I often get that too.

wonder why.

Ruth said...

I need advice and I wonder if I might seek it from you and your readers, Supergroup7?

I am struggling to re-motivate myself in karate after a long break. I am wondering what to do to re-enter my beloved world of martial arts. It's now several weeks since I motivated myself into turning up at a lesson - partly because the last thing I feel like doing after 14 hours with a 4 year old and a 1 year old is to go out and exert myself - but I'm sure that's not the main reason.

What can I do??

I am tempted to start afresh and try a local Taikwondo class (not sure that I can even spell it, let alone attempt to learn it)... this would be a complete change and would present me with new challenges etc.

You probably need to know more about why I feel I can't get back into karate after 5 years away (I stopped to have children) - difficult to answer - it's partly because I wear a black belt and yet have forgotten a lot of what I once knew - e.g. katas - and struggle to energise myself into re-learning them. The pace of a lesson is so slow when you don't wuite remember your moves. It's also because my former club is no more and I'm training with a new sensei and new karate-ka.... and it's not quite as physically challenging as it was in my old club - I need more to aim for.

Any views on taikwondo? (There's a 'good' local club that I could try out)

Supergroup7 - if you'd rather not have me treat your site as a 'help me forum' (!) and choose not to publish this comment, I won't be offended! If you do allow this comment, then I will be extremely grateful for all advice you and your readers can offer. I can assure you that it is with great respect for you and your commenters that I make this plea for advice, as I am not proud of myself for this lack of motivation (although I don't think I am entirely to blame for it)

Best wishes

supergroup7 said...

I don't know Mat.. but even I am amazed at it myself... How in heaven's name did I find my space in martial arts? Me? Go figure

supergroup7 said...

Ruth.. feel free to use this weblog as an advice column.. no problem! With our collective minds we might help brainstorm some ideas for you. Some of our thoughts will be silly, some will not fit your choices, and some might spark a solution for you.

In fact! I'm going to make this my next thread. IF that's o.k. with you...

Ruth said...

Thank you Supergroup. Thank you so much.