The Rocky Road to Ninja-hood (Take 2)

I know I said that all I’ve been doing lately is working, but that’s not strictly true.  I have also been taking semi-weekly kickboxing classes.

This is, as those of you who have been following me from the beginning may remember, my second attempt at kickboxing.  My first attempt was with a kickboxing boot camp (you can read about it here if you want) and, like most athletic endeavours that I try, it was a humbling experience.

I am taking these classes for a few reasons:

  1. I want to be a ninja.  Ninjas are awesome.  When I haven’t tried sports for a month or two (like now), I can sort of convince myself that if I try hard enough, I can become a ninja.
  2. When people ask if you do sports and you say, “Well, I’m studying kickboxing,”  it’s just cool.
  3. There was a coupon on the internet.  (This is actually what gets me to try a lot of new things.  Marketers, take heed:  coupons work.)

This place is a bit different from the boot camp.  The focus there seemed to be to get you sweaty and fit.  The focus at this school seems to be on going for a black belt.  That’s right – I’m dealing with optimists.  Here is a detail of the back of the uniform they gave me:

Oh, the irony!


I giggle whenever I look at it.

I am currently a white belt, which is what they give you if you walk in the door.  There are several colours between white and black.  And between each colour, there are several stripes that you get for meeting various goals.  I got my first stripe last week.  The goals for getting your first stripe are pretty easy, I think to give you confidence.

To get to my second stripe I need to be able to do ten push-ups.  As a result, I think I’m going to stay a white belt with one stripe forever.  So while the message on my uniform is charmingly optimistic just now, I can see how it might take on a quality of taunting cruelty in the future.

For the moment, though, it’s going pretty ok.  The sensei is nice and her assistants are earnest and helpful.  (To be honest, everyone there is extremely earnest and helpful and friendly.  There is an air of recruitment there that kind of screams “cult.”)  I have yet to do myself permanent damage, so that’s also a plus.  And honestly, it’s pretty fun to pretend to kick and punch stuff.

It’s not all wine and roses, of course (or whatever the equivalent is that you’re supposed to use when talking about sporting activities.)  This is me we’re talking about after all.  The fact that I’ve never had an instinct for which foot is left and which is right is not doing me any favours here.  And there seems to be this basic expectation that we should be able to do things without falling down, which I think is entirely unrealistic.  Also, while I am doubtful about my abilities when it comes to push-ups, I am now 100% confident in my lack of abilities at the crab-walk, as evidenced by a recent performance that – fortunately – no one filmed.  (Lack of paparazzi is just one of the many joys of being me.)

The school has a special seminar this weekend on…

(wait for it)…

Nun-chuck skills! I did not know this was something you could actually take seminars in.  The idea alone delights me to no end.

Unfortunately, I am going to be spending Saturday doing tax returns.  Stephanie: Tax Ninja!


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