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The Perpetual Fail That Is My Life.

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A few days ago I received a coupon in the mail for one free Karate lesson, as a sort of trial thing, and I thought "Hey, Ash, you live alone right now. If someone broke into your house your only options would be to hide or get beaten up." So I decided that given the lesson was free, I had nothing to lose.

When I arrived at the dojo/gym/whatever I realised fairly quickly that I was the oldest person there who would be participating. Initially I was worried that I would be joining some kids class, but I decided to stay because beating a bunch of preteens in a few mock-fights would likely do wonders for my self confidence.

Things were going quite well. I copied all the overly exaggerated air punches and kicks and stayed (almost) in time with the loud, and frankly unnecessary, yelling that accompanied each imaginary blow. Once the warm up was over, however, things took a noticable turn for the worst.

I suppose in hindsight I should have known something wasn't entirely right when I saw the smug, self satisfied grins on some of the parents' faces as we lined up to begin sparring.

20 minutes later, I returned to my place in the line, my confidence having been shattered after being sent sprawling to the ground in 3 out of my 4 mock-fights, with the single win being gifted to me by a boy who sprained his ankle while I desperately dodged around him.

After the obligatory end-of-session speech where the instructor informed everybody that they had done well, he came and spoke to me about continuing the instruction into the future. When I informed him that I had no intention of investing in further exercises in humiliation, he responded that it was "probably for the best" and that if self defence was a concern for me, I should "pick up some pepper spray".

Overall, I rate that day an 8/10 for humiliation, and a 10/10 for something I need to remember never to do again.

Updated 14-Dec-2013 at 05:13 by Ashton



  1. Trevor's Avatar
    While it's an understandable blow to the ego, really it just indicates the legitimacy of those classes as self defense. They have used their skills to defeat a larger, less skilled opponent. Maybe you should suck it up and pursue it further. Regardless, it's an interesting experience and there's always pepper spray.
  2. Marka's Avatar
    However enlightening...humorous (granted at your expense...sorry)... So long as you weren't physically hurt...much...

    Remember, though they don't possess the equivalence in strength and knowledge...they (the littles) have much less mass to negotiate with gravity (and air resistance)...and they tend to 'bounce' better, or at least with more

    As a 'slight' one myself, I used to achieve alarming speeds in movement...though quite 'puny' and vulnerable once subdued... You haven't lost to much more than mass, and perhaps some greater unity within yourself...all is not lost...

    If you otherwise found it an interesting experience...the ego flattening, need not deter you...

    You lost nothing more than fallacy..."grasshopper", it is a good thing!

    oh, accuracy comes in practice, with practice (or practise, if you prefer)...

  3. quattrus's Avatar
    As a kid, I was put into a Judo course. Even if it's not as tough as Karate, you have my sympathies for what happened.

    What Trevor and Marka said is true though: if you're interested in learning Karate you should not be put down by this little defeat. Without barely any experience of the technique, going up against someone (even if smaller than you) who is all but new to it leads to a very predictable outcome. Personally, I'd have expected the instructor to be a bit less defeatist in regard to your (lack of) skills, even if training energetic kids who already have the fight in their genes may be easier than having to start out with someone who doesn't show a great inclination.

    But yeah, who am I kidding, myself I left Judo as soon as I could, so nothing to object about your decision ^^ I just hope you didn't come back home too bruised!
  4. Maxx's Avatar
    That's really unfortunate you had a bad experience. Martial arts can be a great way to build confidence and coordination. Like any new skill, you can't judge your eventual performance by the first attempt. Did you learn to swim by jumping in the deep end? Did you shoot par the first time you played golf?

    Not saying you should take it up.... the self defense value is questionable unless you devote considerable time and effort. Just sayin' that at a different place with a different instructor it could have been much better. There's probably a reason that dojo and instructor needed to hand out coupons.

    I've learned (over a lot of years and a lot of sports) that there really is no such thing as a born athlete. Most become great because they fall in love with a sport early and put heart and soul into it. Karate, Judo, etc are no different. There's no magic involved where you take three certain steps, say the words, swing your arms around and bad guys fall down. It takes years to get good at it.

    Some of the preteens you were sparring with could have been doing it for years.

    Edit: Sorry. Edited down a bit....I started rambling. Your blog after all.
    Updated 14-Dec-2013 at 01:19 by Maxx
  5. neocarbunkle's Avatar
    That reminds me of every gym class I ever went to... - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.