Thursday, March 10, 2011

Entering The Dragon

I walked into the dojo uninvited. Suspicious, disapproving eyes gazed. I said nothing, looked for my fighter and upon non-discovery, I left. I realized for me to return, and survive, I would have to adjust my thinking and find an inner strength. I waited 15 more minutes and returned. I bowed at the threshold, and the sensei addressed me, "welcome, how may I help you?" She was at least 123 years old, face taut, and skin toughened from years of combat, there was some warmth in her almost smile. "My daughter is one of your students, I missed last week, but I would love to see her work out today," I answered carefully. I knew the tension could snap and I could be the one learning a painful lesson. "Let me guess, tall, about 7 years old, brown pony tail, lots of energy, but only a white belt," she surmised perfectly. "Yes ma'am, I mean sensei. How did you know?" she had never met me, I was surprised. "I know enough," she said flatly. "Your daughter will arrive with the others in the shakes of tiger's tail. Can I interest you in a cup of black bamboo tea?" I politely declined and stood in the corner of the room.

Embullient and ready, my daughter entered with her handler, both bowing; she waved to me, then caught the glare of the sensei and grew serious. Removing her shoes and socks, my daughter walked over to the mat and began stretching, climbing rope, thrust kicking a boy err, I mean a bag repeatedly, and then knocked out 350 push ups. Barley sweating, she fell in line with 19 other martial artists; of varying gender (boys and girls), size (45 to 65 lbs), and age (6-9), starting their martial arts exercises. It was all very thrilling and fast paced.  The hour flew by, like a humming bird in the summer breeze. At some point, my daughter defeated Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and that sissy from the Perfect Weapon movie. I was very proud.

What I noticed the most was the smile on her face. Three years of soccer, a short stint in gymnastics and basketball had not produced the joy I saw last night. She is full of nervous energy (I don't talk about where she gets that from), yet her draw to the discipline of the jujitsu class was remarkable. I have to tell her three times to stay still or wait for her breakfast, yet one instruction from the ancient sensei and she was in place, duty bound. I was very impressed with the other young martial artists. None of them were as pretty or as good as her, but they were attuned to the sensei and eager to learn. I was very impressed with the class and the effect it had on my daughter and her friends. She loved it. I hope she stays engaged and follows through for many classes to come.

Tonight when she gets home we will go over the "pebble from my hand" deal from Kung Fu, and jumping over the house vis a vi Crounching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I'm not ready for Bruce Lee's three inch heart punch. But my teenage daughter's friend who is a boy is on notice as well as any boy that gets near my six year old girl. There is a skilled ninja in the house, and no court will convict her.

*blogger's note* This is an exaggerated account of my 7 year old daughter (Lyla) Bug's second jujitsu class at her afterschool YMCA program. I think you know what part is exaggerated. Her teacher is actually older than 123 years old, I was being kind. I realize I am mixing different metaphors, three different cultures, and two or more fighting styles. It's a 7 year old's martial arts class, deal.

Today's song isn't meant to be  pleasing the to the ear but stimulating to the eye and mind. Forget Carl Douglas and focus on the master Bruce Lee. My daughter will perform like him in a few weeks. Now, flow like water .....


  1. Tae Kwon Do was the best part of my teenage years. That shizz gave me confidence and I stood taller and straighter against the haters.

    Good on her!

  2. Far too cool. Sounds like your daughter is in good hands. And I'm not talking about her sensei.

  3. No disclaimer needed. Your flights of fancy were my favorite parts. And this: "None of them were as pretty or as good as her, but they were attuned to the sensei and eager to learn." I'm a sucker for a doting dad.

  4. Enter the Dragon- great movie.

  5. Don't forget to have someone teach her the "Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique" from Kill Bill, that may come in handy one day! :)

    hed hed above water