I have always been a martial arts enthusiast. In school we were trained for a few classes/months – I don’t remember. What I do remember is practising my moves on Papa at home and giving him a wrist injury! But since then I have always been very very keen on martial arts. (Or maybe before that, because I have loved Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies since forever.) I like Karate in particular – for its one of the art forms which relies both on hands and legs (for instance taekwondo relies more on legs) and does not depend on any weapons ( karate means “empty hand”). BTB there is a weapons training in karate, which is the normal moves assisted with weapons . (You can see I have done a fair bit of research – mostly internet driven. So if any of the facts are incorrect, don’t take me to court).
When Chiyaa was born, it was a no brainer that no matter what she would learn karate. Ipswich gave us the first chance. Since she was not yet 4, she was needed to train with an adult which had to be K (since I was tied up with Pumpki) As the days passed, her interest in karate seemed to wane. It was worrying. K commented that since she was in the same class as dad, she did not like the fact that he was praised some times. (Weird I know – but in those classes, they used to make kids compete with adults. A free for all and super duper weird.) K asked me to come along for a class as spectator to encourage her. I did. She was encouraged plenty and did real well. But I was also convinced by the instructor to give the class a go. It was as if I was waiting for the bait. I took the trial class, a class then on and before I knew, I had bought the uniform and all geared up for my Karate journey. (Amma was there, so Pumpki was attended to, I started my classes on a feaibility basis :D )
I am eager about stuff, but don’t take me for a fool. Slowly I realised glaring defects in their mode of teaching (yes I am a die hard critic. I am optimistic but critical – be careful of me) It did not take me long to pull Chiyaa out of the class, research more classes and put her in a awesome Karate coaching club. (I just loved it there). K continued his classes at the old place, but being the one seeking company, his attendance started dwindling. In a timely fashion he got injured during sparring once, and dropped 2-3 classes, which soon turned to stopped attending any classes :D
To ease his guilt, we moved to Leeds. J
I kept searching for karate classes in Leeds. I kept taking Chiyaa for trial classes in a zillion clubs! (Boy was I surprised to find the number of clubs around!) She was enthusiastic about every class. She loved every class. But it was not easy to deceive me ;) Finally after 4 months of scouting we entered the waiting list of a club. Waiting list was step 1. She had to like the trial class(which I was sure she would), I had to like the trial class( which I wasn’t so sure I would) and then we had to get going. Luckily everything fell into place and she was a student of karate again.
On cue K joined the classes too and dad and daughter started progressing. I stood in the sidelines, proud of their gradings, their tournaments, their practice together. I kept waiting for my turn. My idea was, once Pumpki started her training after she was 4, we would rejig our time and I would somehow start attending the classes. To give a bit more detail the classes happen on Tuesdays and Fridays. The under 9s train from 1800-1900, and the main class (over 9 to whatever age is interested) is from 1900-2100. So. Chiyaa would be dropped by me, picked up by me/K and then K would rush to attend his class (we have one car) It is a bit rushed and we are scurrying through Tuesday s and Fridays.
Till a few classes back the sensei said, Chiyaa could attend the main classes since she seems to be mature enough to do so. (Belt wise and demeanor wise J )So dad and daughter started training together and they loved it! This gave K an idea, that I could train one of the days. That way I could start working on my dream! It sounded tempting but I was skeptical – Pumpki, long term feasibility etc etc. K brushed these concerns as excuses! I have no idea why he was so enthusiastic about my training. Think he loves me and could sense I was literally jumping on my feet to start training. Anyways what goes inside a man’s head! After thinking a lot, debating and trying to come up with adverse scenarios I had to give in. There is one unhandled scenario still where Pumpki starts training and has to attend the kid’s class and someone has to bring her back. We have addressed this as of now by working out that the non-class-attending parent would bring her back while the class-attending parent and Chiyaa would take the bus and return home.
Long and short of it – Friday I attended my first proper Karate class (again!) And I oh so loved it!! When I came home, I was exhilarated. It felt awesome. Pumpki was fine at home with K and Amma. It felt nice to see the kids getting independent and I being able to do my things. Now K is looking forward to all of us participating as a team in the tournament next year!! (Boy that should give us some points for cuteness ;) )