Monday, 26 March 2012

It Ain't Worth It If It Doesn't Bruise

Shihan caught up to me in the middle of my warm ups before karate. "Good news! You get to keep these." He hands me a pair of padded shin guards for sparring. "They're second-hand, so...half-price."
"Wonderful!" I stop and correct myself, "OSU! Arigatoo gozaimashita!"
"And don't use mine."
 I try to picture myself trying to sneak off with Shihan's shin guards tucked under my arm, to no success. I'm not sure why he pegged me for a black-hearted thief, but you can't blame a man for being perceptive.

The shin guards did come in handy. I was missing my sparring partner when 7.45 rolled around, and Shihan stepped in to help me to my sudden but inevitable demise. Everyone knows you work at 150% when the boss is watching, or in my case, when the boss is trying to kill you. (Let's just say I can no longer lie on my left side.) I did get in one good, but unfortunately cheap shot. Shihan stepped back to let me catch my breath (or so I assumed) and I hit him right in the solar plexus.
"Oh," he groaned. "I had bowed out!"
I bow in deep shame of great distress. "Doomo sumimasen."

Forgiveness has never been so sweet or so necessary for my survival.

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