martial arts

Climbing leads to Kung Fu

I went rock climbing in April of last year with some friends.  We had a blast, and what a weird sport to get into.  The people who are really into it tend to be hippies, or at the very least like to grow their hair long and talk about their auras.  Regardless, watching someone do some serious bouldering is totally awe-inspiring.  I got to know a couple people there, who warned me that the rock climbing gym is a “meat market,” and to watch out for guys who offer to help too eagerly.  They were right, but everyone else was super cool.

One of the women who works at the gym also does Kung Fu (southern style; that means fast hands, no flying kicks or big fancy swooping gestures).  She and I have become buddies, and when she learned about my martial arts background, she invited me to take a class at her gwoon where she also works.  I took a few beginner’s classes before one of the head instructors took me aside and said, “Why are you in the beginner’s classes?”
me: Uh, I dunno, gotta get the basics down, starting at the bottom…
him: You should be taking intermediate level classes.  You’re obviously having no problem learning the moves, let’s move you up.  You’re picking it up really fast, you have a natural talent for this, so lets get you in some upper level classes.
me: [probably blushing] …Ok.  Thanks.  Sounds good.

[Little-known fact: I blush at the drop of a hat.  You could say, “Hey, nice shoes,” and I would turn three different shades of scarlet.  Ok that’s a little extreme, but I radiate radish red in the face of even a little genuine embarrassment.]

So I’ve taken… three intermediate level classes, and I’m not having any trouble keeping up with the moves or the pace.  But I am… I think the technical term is “really fucking sore.”  Driving to work today, I winced turning on my blinker.  My shoulders are taking the brunt of the abuse (loads of pushups, punching, blocks).  My forearms are covered with bruises from three star training.  Iron palm doesn’t bother me for some reason.  You’d think jabbing and slapping a punching bag filled with sand would cause me some discomfort.

I saw my buddy break a coconut with her bare hand the other night.  Craaaaaazy.  And she’s totally fine today.  So weird.  I told my dad about it, and he said, “Don’t do it.” lol

EDIT: I saw my buddy today, and she pointed to her chin and said, “See this?”  It was a bruise from when I kicked her in the face during class two days ago.  We were doing spinning back kicks, and she was holding the pad at her chest level (being significantly shorter than me, the pad was actually at about my waist level, and I’m used to kicking high, so… yeah).  My foot glanced off the pad, and my heel landed square on the lower left side of her chin.  Apparently the pain radiated up through her skull and ended at the opposite eyeball.  While I feel really bad about this, I wasn’t really trying too hard, so I’m feelin’ pretty good about my kicks, lol.