This is possibly my first attempt at starting a thread, and as there isn't already one for this subject perhaps it will die on its arse but here goes.
Me and my lad Joe, 6, have taken up karate, we've had two lessons and we've both really enjoyed it. It was his idea after seeing this particular instructor give a demonstration at a local school fete. I've always had a yearning to do either kung fu or karate (as these seem to be the most spiritual and anti-violence martial arts (if thats possible)) so I was more than happy to go with him to the sessions which are aimed at families. Parents (so far only dads) train alongside their kids along with pupils ranging from 5 to whatever. I've been pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere at the class, which is anything but macho and full of knuckleheads. Its actually full of a few adults and a range of kids from 5 to 16 who all seem like thoughtful, quiet types. Its also a good even mix of boys and girls. Its clear that whilst there is a nod towards the spiritual side of things its treated as more of a sport in this class. The sensei did say though that no-one has to compete in tournaments unless they want to and its perfectly acceptable to concentrate on learning kata etc.
The weird thing in the first lesson was watching the sensei demonstrating punches on a senior pupil (in slow mo). The whole thing is 'light contact' in that its about technique and learning the movements, not whacking people, so you aim to make very light contact with your hits in drills, and barely any harder when sparring with mitts on. In the first lesson, we watched the regulars have scored bouts which were all about using the proper techniques, not hurting your opponent. But watching those first few punches made me feel a bit uncomfortable, punching isn't something I've done much of since I was about 11 and a silly boy at middle school. But I got into the idea that this is about learning techniques that you will probably (hopefully) never use in a real situation, but which I hope will give Joe self confidence and keep him fit (me too). I'd like to think it will also contribute to teaching him to be respectful and to be a generally happy lad.
We get our karate kit and white belt at the next lesson, Joe is really excited*
So anyway, this is a thread to talk about Anorak martial arts, whether you're like it or think 'Down with that sort of thing'. Kind of struggling to end this post aren't I?
* so am I.
football, cricket, darts, athletics - the lot
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