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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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why i quit karate

Congrats to Mark Osier, who got his purple belt in Kempo the other day!
Allison is especially happy about this because purple is her favourite
colour :-) (see blatherchat).

I took karate for three months back in university, got up to my yellow belt (which is just one above white belt, which is no belt). It was fun, and great exercise. The only sensei (teacher) kept yelling at me because -I- didn't yell. You were supposed to yell "kiaii" whenever you did something particularly strenous, like a punch or a kick. Helps focus the energy, you know. I've never been a particularly aggressive type, so I'd let out wimpy little yips that would drive my sensei crazy. Eventually I DID learn to yell properly, and you know what? It was WONDERFULLY SATISFYING. Sometimes I wish for the equivalent outlet now. :-)

So why did I quit karate?

Because at a certain point, you have to start sparring with other people. I suppose I should have realized this, but the thought of physically fighting with someone else was horrifying! Yelling was one thing, but actually fighting?? Of course, you were never supposed to make actual contact with the other person in sparring. In fact, there was supposedly great pride in the fact that one could get extremely close to the other person (with a fist, heel, whatever) but not touch them. You lose major points if you actually make contact. Yikes. I'm outta here... (stop laughing at me, Marko!)

By the way, it's RAINING here in Toronto right now. Yuk.

Going to bring that Christmas tree up from our locker today for sure, yessirree...

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