Mojo Goes to the Dojo

The Dragon Aura of Bruce Lee

I decided to channel my inner Bruce Lee after my karate green-belt daughter began wearing my shoes last summer.  BTW Bruce Lee was also a Dragon.

I announced my resolution to Mojo.  Afraid the women in the family might use their katas to relieve him of his wallet, he determined it was in his best interest to polish up his blocking techniques.  When the three of us showed up for class, Futureshape’s founder Debbie Al Asfoor was so pleased.

“This is fantastic.  You will never regret studying karate.  It helps you in all areas of life,” she said.

Then Sensei Amr let us into the studio.   For months I watched Sensei Amr teach the children.  He was demanding but he also gave them a brilliant smile when they did well.  But I wasn’t a child.

It only took about a half hour of lesson for me to learn karate was harder than it looked.   When I concentrated on my arms, my legs became weak.  If I focused on my kicks, my arms flapped around.  My thumb stood out sideways.  I tried to keep my balance as I moved my weight from foot to foot.  Although we only practiced the basic joden, chuden and age uki hand blocks and the mae geri kick, I was sweating by the session’s half hour break.

What I figured out was despite attending spinning, weight training, circuit training, yoga, and pilates, my body was not integrated.  I worked out body parts.

During weight lifting class I could be caught watching MTV.  In karate my full attention was needed or else someone would come along and swipe my leg out from under me.  My entire core, through my hips and thighs then down to my feet needed to be activated.

My cat kept coming to mind.  Sasha would crouch on the picnic table.  Then she gathered all her energy and sprang four feet into the air to land on the playhouse roof.   When stalking a bird, her hind quarters bunched up, muscles quaking under the tension, before she dashed.

Sasha instinctively practiced karate.  So I became Sasha.

I got into position and held it. Then using all my body’s energy I blocked and kicked.  Sensei Amr’s hand flashed and boom! – my body was as lifeless as a dead cat on Sar Avenue.

It was a lesson.  Time to change how I worked out.

I concentrated.  As I pumped my biceps, I tensed my core and thighs, imaging Sensei Amr trying to knock out my knees.  I curled my stomach muscles when I did crunches.  By engaging my entire body, without running, I sweated during my workouts.  Because I focused my attention, it only took a month for my strength, especially in my back and thighs, to increase.  As Debbie promised karate changed my life.

Don’t get me wrong I have a long way to go before I can levitate like Sasha.  After participating in one of Susan’s classes, I gladly took Sensei Amr’s suggestion to attend the 4:45 white-belt class.   I knew if these guys got too tough with me, I could tell their moms.

My Karate Class - Don't Mess With Them

And Mojo?   He’s gone missing from the Dojo.  Says he “has business”.

Classes are three times a week – Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.  The Bahrain Karate Association Dojo is in the Garden City Compound behind the Awal Dairy on Budaiya Highway.

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