Shihan tells a story about one of his students, who was much bigger and younger than him, who once remarked “I wonder what would happen if you and I ever got into a real fight.” Shihan responded “I’ll tell you right now, the first thing I would do is pick up that chair right there and crack you over the head with it.” That is what I would do if I ever had to fight my karateka sister Karin!
A couple of years ago when Karin was in town, she attended one of our regular Jiu-Jitsu classes with me, and our women’s teacher Amy worked with us. Ever since that day, whenever Amy talks about someone being strong, she always adds “But not as strong as your friend Karin!” Well guess what, Amy, she is even stronger now! Karin came into Lincoln yesterday to attend our annual Karate Convention, and I convinced her to meet me at the dojo during open training today, so we could work on some Jiu-Jitsu. I know she hasn’t done much mat work, so I wanted to give her some simple options in the unlikely event she ever gets taken down (it’s hard to knock over a brick house!).
After I taught her a few things, we grappled, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she has very good instincts, and I’m sure her Karate training helped a great deal. Even though she has almost no ground experience, she gave me a harder time than about 90% of our Jiu-Jitsu white belts, female and male. She was also very aware of the opportunities she saw to use her Karate in conjunction with the grappling. She effectively defended most of my sub attempts, without anyone ever telling her how. Of course she used some of her super strength, but she also moved very well. I did finally submit her with a straight armbar, but it was not remotely easy!
It was a good workout, and I had a great time. I thought it was an appropriate way for me to welcome her back to her home dojo. I think she also enjoyed it, although at the end she did comment that now she was sure that anyone who trained Jiu-Jitsu had to be a little crazy! Guilty as charged. Of course, that accusation of craziness comes from a woman who insists that we have to jump over a fire on Midsummer’s Eve in order to keep the evil spirits at bay. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but I forgot to do it last year and then I broke my wrist. I wasn’t going to take any chances this year, so last night when Karin said to jump the fire, you better believe I jumped it! She even convinced Shihan to do it with us, and that is a memory I will always cherish.
When I was leaving the dojo after grappling with Karin today, Shihan asked me “Did you choke her out?” No. I did try to triangle, arm triangle, and RNC her, but she was not having any of that! I’m telling you, if she ever goes postal and attacks me, I better hope there is a weapon within reach!