Tonight, I jumped into an American Karate class… for children. It’s technically a joint class for children and adults, but I was the only adult. It was simultaneously adorable and frustrating, a true test of my own love and patience. I learned various facts about American Karate and Karate – karate originates from India in 500AD, means “empty hand” from Japanese; modern-day karate was founded by Funikoshi; American Karate was founded in 1970(?) by Ed Parker; American Society of Karate was founded in 1970 by Bill Gray, who began karate in 1958, and received his black belt in Judou and Shotokan in 1967; and some other stuff – and had fun with the kids who, mostly, remembered the various facts rather well. We even got easter eggs for answering correctly at the end. (I gave mine away, of course, and the boys were delighted.) Most of the information was not actually new to me, but it had been a long while – roughly 20 years – since I had really considered most any of it beyond the actual word “karate”.
I think I need to let them know, however, that their translation of “kata” is not quite correct. Hmm… what an odd feeling. I even remember learning the translation as a child, and yet, it turns out the translation is not quite right. Is it better to leave it be, or to help them potentially correct such an error? I’m leaning strongly (like 99%) towards the latter, but I’ll give it a day to figure out how to approach it comfortably for all parties.
Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time, stupid frog jumps for their mis-answered questions and all. I loved doing the drills, the kicking, the punching, even the kiai, the shout to end a series. Oddly enough, I was afraid of that kiwi as a child, embarrassed by it. Tonight, however, I was comfortable and confident with it. And, now that I’ve thought some more about that, I’m wondering if that is not an oddity that happened when karate was give its “American” prefix. 😛 Haha. Traditionally, it looks like kiai were vowel starts. American karate actually says “Kia!” for the kiai… so, yeah… Haha
I’m not concerned about it. I don’t much care, really. Haha
Anyway, I think I’m going to do these classes. They are very much affordable, and I loved being in it and using my body that way, feeling how strong and agile I am… and in a way I never was growing up. I’m even more flexible now than I was back, then, I think. I know, actually. I was never able to put my head to my knees with straight legs, grab my feet with straight legs in front of me and a straight back. So, yeah… I’m able to do so much more now. Hopefully, I can find a group of adults at some point in the near-sh future. For now, though, I have these adorable kiddos, and dedicated teachers.
And I have lots and lots of gratitude.
Thank you, Universe, God, Bill Gray, and all the others… I thank you all. <3<3<3