Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventure #125- Shin Karate

My stepbrothers were very into martial arts when we were younger, as were a lot of their friends. Even now, one is in China working with his Sensei and another is 3 belts away from his black belt, and one of the friends has his own studio. As a tomboy at heart, I've always wanted to join them and have that control over your mind and body.

When my ex-Japanese student told me that he was going to start classes, I jumped at the chance to participate. I have been taking the classes since February and I love it. Instead of a traditional style of martial arts, this is a style of kick-boxing. Many people are very surprised when I tell them that I am a kick-boxer and they always comment that maybe they should be careful around me. This is a bit of a joke, because I haven't actually ever hit anyone (with full force, outside of the class) and I don't think that I am a very violent person. Aggressive, yes. Violent, no.

Martin is taking the class with me and we are a great compliment, he's better at defense, I'm better at offense. Only problem is that he's 12 inches (30cm) taller than me...this makes a punch to the face very difficult, a high kick nearly impossible.

I'm the only female in the class and it can make things interesting. It shows some of the differences in attitudes towards women in different parts of the world. I don't know if it's the same in martial art classes in the States, but here, the guys are always instructed to be gentle with me. I know in other sports (soccer/softball/triathlons) there is a bit of a difference, but I've never felt it like this before.

The classes are on Friday evenings and it's a great time to vent your frustrations of the week. You can hit a mitt as hard as you want and imagine someone's face. It's great stress relief. The physical training is pretty demanding and makes me feel accomplished afterward. That's what I call a good class. If you're in Prague and you're interested in learning Shin Karate, check out the website, or let me know!

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