Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Natural...

From what I understand, it is very rare to have someone start martial arts and be considered a “natural” by those teaching the class.

We have a girl in our class who started last session and I had not really paid much attention to her before she and I paired up a few weeks ago as partners for kicking drills.

I’m going to call this girl “Roxy” because when it comes to karate, this girl ROCKS. I don’t know her exact age, but I’m guessing about 16 – 18. She is very quiet and polite. And, no, she’s not an Amazon either - She’s of average height and weight.

Like I said, until about 3 weeks ago, I had seen her do a few drills, etc. and thought to myself that she was good. But that is about as far as it went. Then, she and I paired up to do walking, kicking drills. I struggled. She didn’t even flinch. She was great. She has balance, technique and power (as evidenced by the red stinging flesh of my forearms under the focus pads I held to which she administered her walking roundhouse kicks!)

I told her she was great and that I really felt bad about my own performance in partnering up with her. She giggled a little but kept on ploughing through the focus pads and encouraged me to do the same. Once when I was extolling her martial arts virtues, Sensei walked by and said, “Yeah, she’s a natural.”

We had a good workout. I think I tried a little harder with Roxy as my partner. I knew I was not nearly as good as she, but it didn’t stop me from trying!

We paired up again a little over a week ago for self defense drills. I liked working with her because we were on more of a level playing field with self defense drills. We practiced as close to reality as we could without actually hurting each other. Sensei had us get out of different holds, including if someone was choking us up against a wall. Really great resources to have stored in your brain! And we both saw the value in this.

And although we were on that level playing field, Roxy excelled at this exercise as well. She didn’t blow me out of the water this time like she did with her kicking, but she paid attention, took it seriously, questioned why we did it the way we did it and if it would work another, but similar way. She and I exchanged ideas and thoughts. She always seems ready to learn. I really enjoyed training with Roxy. She can be my partner any day.

Even though I am not by any stretch (pun intended) a “natural”, I do have motivation. I really and truly WANT to learn and improve my performance. I will never be a “natural” and I don’t think it will ever come easily to me. (I’d like to be wrong about that though.) but I will never give up.

It goes to show – It takes all kinds – from “The Natural” to “The Motivated”…(And in Roxy’s case, she has BOTH…a winning combination!)

Go Roxy!

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