Thursday, June 10, 2010

Karate kids ;)

Chad's got some old friends in Bar Harbor who got into karate quite a few years ago and do it as a family activity (the couple has two sons).  We've talked about how fun it would be to do something like that, and when we arrived in the UK, I looked around at karate classes that were in the area.  There is a dojo in Keynsham, but since we didn't have a car then and were beholden to the train schedule, I was never back in town early enough to attend.  When we moved closer to town, I thought I'd check to see if there was a dojo around here, and lo and behold, there is!  We got in touch and attended our first class a little over a month ago.  They were really awesome allowing us to come for a whole month to see if we liked it, and like it we do!  This past Tuesday, we finally got our gis (pronounced gees with a hard "g") and our white belts!  There's something very satisfying about doing something so physical and regimented together; it's nice to have something like this to share.  When we got home on Tuesday night, we were the weirdos out in the street practising our katas, but it was really fun!  We also got to see our instructors pass out belts to two members of the dojo, which was pretty awesome.  There was a real sense of giddy pride in the room, and it was great to see them rewarded for all their hard work!
The type of karate we're doing is shotokai, which is a  lot less aggressive than the traditional shotokan karate that most people are familiar with.  It just so happened that this is the one that's available to us, but it's also by far my preference - it's really beautiful and graceful, but also full of strength without being so combative.  It's very similar to yoga in a lot of ways, and works with lots of the same principles, particularly work with energy and a sort of sixth sense.
As you can see from our sweaty selves in the photo, it's a heck of a workout, but also really social as well.  We all went out for curry after practise on Tuesday since it was the anniversary of the Bath club.  There are about five other classes that we can go to during the week as well, which is super, and we might go to another one on Sunday.  Will post more photos when we have them over the coming months, hopefully with new belts of our own!

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