Welcome to the Midwest

Ukemi- fall practice.

Usually when I go into the women’s changing room at the dojo, I am all alone. At the most there may be two of us, but today when I went in to change before our Midwest Karate Convention, it was completely packed! I didn’t get a count, but there had to be at least ten women there, and that is the most I’ve ever seen training at one time. We also had a lot more kids than normal, and I think we had more total people than at the last International Convention. The number of white and colored belts also exceeded the number of black belts, and it does my heart good to see how much we continue to grow.

Unfortunately, once again I was only able to participate in the first half of the six-hour workout, because I am still nursing a pulled calf muscle. It turns out that taking a week off was not long enough for it to heal, and it didn’t help that I grappled during Thursday’s Jiu-Jitsu class (even though I told myself I wasn’t going to), and afterward my calf was not very happy about that. At first I tried to say no when I was asked to roll, but when your seniors want to grapple with you, it’s hard to turn them down! Shihan says I suffer from “Hard-headed martial artist syndrome”.

I’m glad I was able to do at least part of the convention (even though I was in pain the entire time), and it really bothered me when I had to drop out. I worked exclusively with females, and I don’t get that chance very often! The people who train Karate in the SRSK Organization are all fun to work with, and we never have any ego issues or other problems like that. Everyone has an open mind and a good attitude, and it makes training really enjoyable. We always have a great time when we all get together.

By the way, technically Nebraska is not a part of the Midwest, but I guess “Great Plains Karate Convention” doesn’t have the same ring to it. We usually hold the Midwest Convention in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but Shihan wanted to do some throwing this year so we had it at hombu dojo to utilize our awesome mat. Even so, some people had to practice their throwing on the floor, because we had too many people to fit on the mat. That is a problem I hope we continue to have for many years to come.


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