Saturday, December 08, 2007

Maybe I can!

I take class for the first time

Hey! Not many at training today, so I got to take 'warm up' and take everyone through basics. Haven't done it before... even though I'm brown belt in shotokan karate, this was the first time I'd been asked to do the session start.

So - there's 3 beginners, 4 middle and a couple of seniors plus Sensei. After warm up (which I only missed one bit out, but I improvised) I took them through basics: punching, kicks, blocks... stuff I've done for years! Oh yeah, I got it wrong! It's like the first time on stage - you know every word of the song but as soon as the microphone goes live, you dry up.

But I did OK, with a bit of prompting from Sensei, of course. Then we split the class up and I took three through some kumite (partner fighting but to a strict routine) and then kata (series of moves in a specific pattern). They did ok. One young girl (I suppose she is about 12) got quite confused, but I think in the end she managed it OK. It's remembering hand, foot, body, fist, shouder positions... all those things at once. One cheeky lad told me we were doing the kata wrong, but what had happened is he'd mixed two up. He was convinced he was right! Er, sorry mate, listen to the higher grade - for once she is right!

After a while I was transferred to the beginners. Boy, did they need help! They managed to confuse me to start, but I really enjoyed watching the slow but definite progress they made.

At the end of the class Sensei thanked me, said he liked how I teach, thinks I have a 'nice way'. Good. It was so nice to have some positive feedback on something, and something I particularly enjoy.

I like our karate class - the mix of ages and abilities works well. The previous Sunday where we just do kata, I watched 15 year old Nadeem help 50-ish year old Alan train. The respect given by young to old and old to young is based around ability, and it's fantastic to watch.

I like karate. Just don't catch me on a bad day, OK?
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