Sweep the leg, Ginger!

So, what did I learn from going to Karate class on Friday and Saturday? That after so much time off, I am no longer accustomed to kicking! My punches and stances are fine, but my kicks, not so much. It didn’t help that my knee is still a little sore from being tweaked during Jiu-Jitsu class on Thursday, and also that Shihan taught Karate on Friday, because he always likes to “push our buttons” (translation: kick our butts!).

I didn’t even get to work with my visiting friend Karin during class on Friday, because she was testing for Sandan that night, and I don’t know any of those requirements. She and I were the highest and lowest ranking black belts in class, so during training we each stood on opposite ends of the line. We were like a couple of bad-ass women bookends! It was a pleasure to be able to be there while Karin tested, even though my husband Joe is the one who actually got to train with her.

Gina & KarinI did get a chance to spar with Karin during class on Saturday, and it was so much fun! She was being aggressive, and it intimidated me a little bit, especially since I haven’t done any stand-up sparring for awhile. All I really wanted to do was avoid her strikes, get in on her, and take her down! Ken had told us we were basically playing under “Karate rules” that day, so we were allowed to sweep, but we only had 5-10 seconds to do something on the ground before we stood back up. I did catch Karin’s kick and sweep her, but other than that, she mostly beat me up.

I also swept and took down Skyler (my daughter, who joined us for sparring class on Saturday). All I really wanted to do in all of my sparring matches was to take my opponent down. It was almost instinctual, I was driven to do it, and it made me realize what a full-on Jiu-Jitsu fighter I have become.

My final sparring match was against Ken, and I guess since he and I are both grapplers (and he is also an MMA fighter), the “Karate rules” did not apply during our match. He took me down at the beginning, and we were on the ground for the rest of the time! I think I actually did pretty well against him, I spent most of the time in top side control, but it definitely reminded me that grappling with striking is a whole different ball game. I couldn’t really even think about submitting him, because I was too busy trying to tie up his arms so he would stop hitting me! I also haven’t rolled no gi for awhile, and it was sooooooooo slippery! Towards the end I had Ken in scarf hold, then he reversed and mounted me, but somehow I managed to escape to guard just as the time ran out!

It was a great couple of days of training, even though I’m out of “kicking shape”. Karin flew back home this morning, and my daughter moved back into the dorm, but we made a lot of good memories (and a few bruises ;) before they left!

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