My best friend in school took Karate classes. Seeing her, I very much wanted to join too. After throwing many tantrums, making false promises to be a good girl and begging for a chance, my wish was granted finally when I was 12. I was ecstatic.
I had joined in the beginning of the academic year. That was the time tournaments happened and that was the time coach taught fighting (Yes, teaching to fight and officially getting the licence to fight sounds like music!) Since I had joined just few days before, I couldn’t participate in the tournament. So along with few other novices, I underwent regular practice sessions which had no fights; just the basics.
The belt exams fast approached and since I was a good student, I was allowed to take it. Within 3 months of joining, I was a green belt holder. Yay! Apparently, I was very good at learning (or maybe sir was being nice to me), so I was allowed to take the next exam soon after 3 months of my first exam.
I was so happy. I entered the venue of the exam beaming. And what I saw took away my breath for a minute. People were practising fights. If you think I was awestruck, you are most definitely wrong. I was nowhere close to that feeling. Seeing them, I had just realised the final round of the exam will be fighting round. It wasn’t there for white belt exam but from this exam, it was there. Like those compulsory question in exam that you dread; the question you can’t skip and don’t know the answer for either! Tournaments were the only time I we were taught to fight and as I hadn’t part-taken in one, I had no idea how to fight! “Manage it somehow. It will be easy” the coach replied with a a smirk Suddenly the good student feeling disappeared and was replaced by the feel of a goat readied for slaughter.
I went through the whole exam thinking about the impending fight. And when it was finally time for it, I was convinced that my luck wasn’t bad; it was worst. My opponent was a guy who was twice my height and thrice my size. Now all my thoughts were focused on staying upright instead of passing the exam. And I was right in doing so. My tiny feet or hands could get nowhere close to his huge frame. He dismissed them with the slightest effort like swatting an annoying mosquito. After a few tries, I understood I would do more damage to myself trying to attack him and hence resorted to defending myself.
“No luck with the fight?” The coach taunted as he passed by, checking each pair of opponents. I was so lost in thought, preparing mentally the conversation I would have with him and SLAP! The huge guy’s right foot connected with my left cheek! I was in a state of shock, disbelief, humiliation and anger all at once. I had to do something. I couldn’t let someone who slapped me go by easily. I wasn’t taught to fight, not officially, but I had spied so many times on my crush practicing the moves. There was one kick he did so effortlessly and beautifully, that my heart did somersaults every time I saw him do it. I invoked him inside my head, mustered all my strength and shouting a cry of victory, I spinned and right before the kick, I stopped. I saw the opponent was ready to block it. He was amused when I stopped. I took that fraction of second to change my move and finally kick him, in the gut. And he staggered back. Yes! I did it! He was caught unaware. I could see the shock on his face too and my effort was worth it. Coach had seen only the part when my foot connected with his gut and he was surprised I had managed that!
Thankfully, time was up and the fights ended. I quickly moved away from my opponent whose eyes were still throwing daggers at me! When I was handed over the orange belt that day, I couldn’t have been more happy!
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Until the next post,
Keep Smiling 🙂