The Endless List of Karate Feelings
- That mixed feeling of frustration and letdown; not having punched even harder, faster and better than your previous punch – as you’re standing in front of the mirror practising your punches.
- That bitter feeling of having to stop practising a technique because you know that your muscles are starting to get tired, yet you desperately know you need to practise more, and more, and more – but don’t want to sacrifice quality over quantity.
- That near-death, close-to-the-edge, feeling of twirling a heavy Kobudo weapon in 120 mph; not knowing whether it will violently spin out of control and kill somebody – or successfully arrive safely in your hand.
- That feeling of just wanting to practise a technique over and over and over again – all night long if you have to – because it is one of those rare moments when you can actually feel a (small) sense of joy and improvement in E-V-E-R-Y single execution of the movement. Happiness in motion.
- That feeling of silently thinking “Oh… my… god? Is this for real? Am I about to do a perfect kata? This is a historical moment!” as you approach the end of one of the most difficult katas you now – just to miserably fail the next move precisely because you naïvely thought that this would be the “perfect” kata.
- The feeling of looking into a parents face when they tell you how their kids attention deficit hyperactivity problems seems to have completely vanished ever since they enrolled in your Karate school.
- That feeling when you, without even having planned it, seemingly effortlessly tie together a perfect 1.5 hour thread of knowledge during Karate class, as you approach the crescendo and connect all exercises throughout class; into a sum that is ultimately greater than its parts.
- The feeling of disappointment as you later realize that almost nobody understood the gist of the class you just gave – perhaps still being stuck in the first or second exercise you did. Probably like conducting a world class symphony orchestra, only to later hear that the audience was sleeping the whole time.
- That strange feeling of compassion in the heat of battle – as you look into the hazy eyes of the opponent you’ve just kicked to pieces – knowing that all he really wanted was a hug and somebody to tell him that they’re proud of him.
- That feeling of looking at a young promising athlete – who kicks way higher than you, punches way faster than you, and screams way louder than you – knowing that in five years he will have grown tired of Karate, and you will still be standing in the dojo working on some tiny detail that you “still haven’t got hang of”, just yet.
- That feeling of teaching a set of seemingly random, nasty, simple self-defense Karate movements to a class – only to hear somebody in the back silently whisper “Hey, that looks just like kata X!”; when that was the idea the whole time.
- That feeling of secretly preparing to poke your opponent’s eyes out, smash his Adam’s apple in, fish hook his cheeks to shreds and pulverize his shinbone (with your hidden tekko); as your opponent puts on his 4 oz UFC gloves, loudly declaring that your silly Karate, “where you’re not even allowed to touch your opponent!” has got nothing on his ultimate fighting art of MMA.
- That undescribable feeling of putting on a white belt – when visiting a new place or learning from a new friend – seeing if and how you will be treated.
- That feeling of asking your sensei to teach you something which they have already taught you earlier, but you have neglected to practise. Sorry, I just realized that there can’t possibly exist people who actually have the stomach to do this?
- That feeling of knowing that even though everybody in the dojo is nodding enthusiastically as your sensei speaks, you are the only one who really understands what he is talking about; because reading (the right) books have been your pastime obsession your whole life.
- That feeling of seeing somebody great; and actually looking forward to all the training that will hopefully take you to their level in ten years.
- That feeling of seeing your opponent leave an opening, catching the moment and flying in head first – not realizing it was a trap until it’s too late to turn back – and all you can do is close your eyes, suck your vital parts in, and hope that he has mercy on you.
- That adrenaline filled feeling of doing all-out, 120%, Kobudo kumite – with live weapons and no protectors - knowing that one wrong move on your part means sudden defeat; weapons whistling dangerously close to your head.
- That feeling of having survived both of the situations previously described.
- That sweet feeling of knowing that by making your students laugh a little, sweat a little, talk a little, and learn a little – you’re steadily adding not only to their weekly progress in the dojo per se; but more importantly, to their daily life quality overall.
- That feeling of seeing the spirit of an 11-year old junior black belt girl – with a swollen and bandaged hand – doing thrice the number of push-ups the adults around her did before they gave up.
- That feeling of walking down the street, knowing that you can break anybody
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