Friday, December 21, 2007

Just What I've Been Missing

The thing I miss the most about Illinois is my karate class.* As a child, I'd always harbored a secret desire to study the martial arts, and I was able to fulfill my dream by taking shito-ryu karate through the park district. I was a very slow learner, but I was determined, and by the end of my three-year tenure, not only did I have a brown belt, but I was teaching children's karate and even giving belt tests. Not bad for a person who used to trip over her own shadow!

One of the most disappointing things about moving down here was that I really couldn't find a replacement for that class. Nobody taught anything that resembled shito-ryu, so if I took a class I would essentially have to start over completely. But then, life got in the way (baby, elbow surgery) and I gave up my quest for the perfect martial arts class.

On Monday, I looked in my workplace's weekly newsletter, and saw that there was going to be a women's self-defense class offered by the Other Division Martial Arts Club (where Other Division is the name of another division in the lab). Why had I never heard of this club in the 2+ years I've been here? And, I saw that the instructor for said self-defense class was a man with many martial arts credentials, including a 4th-degree black belt in shito-ryu karate! I thought I was going to die of excitement!

So I emailed the instructor for the class, introduced myself and my martial arts background, and inquired about the martial arts club (in particular, was it open to people outside that division?). He replied that it was open to everyone at the lab and he invited me to come to one of their classes, which was held at noon yesterday, where he was to be teaching muay thai.

So I went. I don't think I've had that much fun in a long time! It's not that blocking, punching, and kicking are a barrel of monkeys, exactly; it's just that moving my body in predefined sets of offensive and defensive moves is something that has been missing in my life for over two years. As the endorphins rushed through my body, I felt a certain bliss that I had nearly forgotten existed.

They meet on other days and at other times, and some of the other members teach different martial arts at those times, including kung fu and some flavor of karate. So I definitely plan to go back again, and sample some of those other classes, and maybe pick two that are my favorites and go with them.

* A close second is missing my aunt and uncle and their kids, but this is lessened by the fact that we have Vinny's godparents in town, who may as well be family.

1 comment:

Laura said...

That is so awesome! Yay! I'm so glad you finally found good karate there!!