Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sweat and a Smile

You should leave every workout with "sweat and a smile". That was the message today from Sensei Morris Mack, the head of the American Shudokan Association, our line of Shudokan karate-do. Before going to their karate recital, I impressed on the kids how lucky they are to be able to train under our Sensei, who was a student of Sensei Mack's, and also to be able to listen to Sensei Mack's advice and watch his demonstrations when he comes down from Yakima for our testing days. He is a great storyteller and keeps the students spellbound as he demonstrates techniques.

Today I got a real laugh out of his demonstration, as he told the students he wanted to teach them the six-step karate punch. My kids thought they were going to learn something very new and special, mysterious and powerful. And what he taught them was..... the same punch they learned on our very first day as white belts! Ha ha. But, Sensei Mack explained each step of it and why each individual element was important, before having them practice it over and over slowly. And then, he did some demonstrations and let's just say that he is one 72-year old you would never want to get punched by. I don't think you would even see it coming. Let's put it this way: I couldn't press the shutter button on my camera fast enough to capture one of his punches. The closest I got was the photo above, where he's already in the recoil.

For once, I was just in the audience at their recital, since I won't be testing again until I go up for my black belt (hopefully in three months), so I could just watch them do their stuff and be the proud mama. My son was testing for second degree brown belt, he will be about nine months behind me in testing for black belt. In the photo above, he's defending against a knife attack. My daughter is going for her black stripe on her green belt, after that the brown belt will be next for her. In this picture, she's doing a wrist-grab takedown. I love watching them move with confidence through their kata and their techniques.


I love how every class leaves them with sweat, and a smile. Isn't that how all of our workouts should end?

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