Fox Challenges Tiger!

Tiger & Fox
On Friday, SavageKitsune challenged me to get off my injured, lazy butt and do ninety minutes of form work before Sunday night. If one of us reneged on the deal, we had to buy the other one donuts. There was NO way I was going to buy donuts and let someone else eat them, so I knew I had to rise to the challenge!

It was a beautiful day here yesterday, so I decided to go out in my backyard to do my forms. There is something special about training outside, with your bare feet in direct contact to Mother Earth. Within a few minutes of starting, I was transformed to a peaceful place where nothing else existed except my movements and breathing. The knee injury prevented me from going as deeply into the stances as I normally would, and I couldn’t do all of the kicks, but other than that I was able to find a nice comfort level. I finished off with a couple reps of our cornerstone kata, Sanchin. It’s a very slow, dynamic form, that focuses on breathing along with muscle contraction and relaxation. If it’s done right, it’s like moving meditation. When I was done I felt better, physically and mentally, than I had in weeks.

I decided to complete my time today by going to the dojo and doing kata while they were having women’s jiu-jitsu class. That was a big mistake. As soon as I walked in, I started crying…from frustration and longing. It was so hard to be there, and see people grappling, and not be able to join them. I had a hard time focusing on my forms because I was distracted by what they were doing in class. I went and got my ipod, hoping that the music would take my mind off of it. I’ve never tried to do forms while listening to music before, and it surprised me that it was not that easy. I just kept wanting to dance.

Technically, I have fulfilled my time requirement for the challenge, but I’m not satisfied with myself. My lack of ability to focus on karate when jiu-jitsu is around is the core of my internal struggle. I don’t feel happy about any of the kata that I did today, and I intend to go out in my backyard soon, and do them all over again. Then I intend to do that every day from now on…no exceptions…no excuses. I may have to work around some injuries, but there is nothing stopping me from doing something every day that benefits my mind, body, and spirit. Yesterday helped to remind me that nothing does that better for me than karatedo.

Thank you, Kitsune, for caring enough to give me incentive to come out of the physical funk that I’ve been in. In the process, you’ve helped me to free me from a mental one as well. Although I might just go back into one after hearing the new nickname that Shihan gave me today! He used to call me “Tiger”, but now he says he’s going to call me “Bandaid”. How sad is that? Ginger Tiger has a nice ring to it…Ginger Bandaid, not so much.

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2 comments on “Fox Challenges Tiger!

  1. Good for you! (I'm sad that I don't get doughnuts, though)Sounds like the dojo while other classes are going on is just not the optimal place to do formwork.I am doing a "Form Of the Day" every day from now on. Of course more forms are better, but sometimes time and/or self-discipline is not there. One form bare minimum.I occasionally do Tai Chi forms to music… sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. I think kung fu forms would be difficult to put to music.

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