April 21st, 2004

This IS me (by schwitters)Default

Antipodean philosophy

As some of you know, as well as my Wednesday karate class I've started attending senior class on Tuesdays as often as I can.

You never know what to expect at senior class. It might be a high-level kata, requiring as much brainwork as skill, it might be self-defence exercises or sparring, or it might be a long, hard endurance test. Last night was the long, hard kind.

Everyone in turn had to count to a hundred, while we all punched to the count. There were over twenty of us; you can do the sums.

This took us from half past seven to eight o'clock. There was still an hour to go, and the class continued in similar vein. Punches and more punches, with an occasional bit of footwork for variety. By the end, we were all standing in little puddles of sweat.

We finished slightly early, which never happens. After bowing out, Aussie sensei Aaron told us to sit comfortably and made this speech, or a close approximation of it:

"Right, well first of all, you guys did five thousand punches tonight, so give yourselves a little clap."


"You might be wondering why I made you do that. It's because you annoy me. Nah, it's to work on your stamina. Now, hands up who felt at some point tonight that they just couldn't throw any more punches? All of you, yeah. You all reached a point where you had a stitch, you wanted to sit down, have a drink of water, whatever. But you didn't. You kept going through it. That takes courage, and heart. And you're going to encounter situations where that happens, when you want to stop and give up, and you're going to get through them.

"OK, you've trained well tonight. G'day."

So, was he talking about karate? Or about LIFE?
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