Yesterday, for the first time in eighteen months, there was a fighting class in our dojo.
The recent apocalypse has played merry hell with karate, but we’ve managed to keep things going. We did virtual classes last spring, then switched to hybrid classes over the summer. The dojo policy has been that masks are worn during kids classes, while adult classes masks are only required for the unvaccinated — though the new NYC regulations mean that unvaccinated adults can’t train in the dojo anymore.
In any case, since most of our kids are 12 and under, and therefore are unvaccinated, we’re still not doing a kids fighting class (which was my responsibility back in the before-times). But last night, we brought back the adult fighting class, vaccinated folks only.
We took it easy on our first night back to it. Of the nine people sparring, four had never taken a fighting class before (they all joined last spring or later), and me and the other black belts present spent a lot of time working with them and showing them the ropes. We were also easing back into it ourselves, doing 1.5-minute rounds instead of our usual two-minute ones, avoiding any below-the-belt or above-the-neck contact, and generally keeping it lighter than normal.
I’m pleased to say it went great. I didn’t die, the new students all did well, and a fun time was had by all.
I used to hate fighting class, and it’s still not my favorite part of karate. But last night, before class I was feeling the same nameless dread I used to feel before fighting class when I was a color belt and would keep making feeble excuses not to come to class. That feeling passed by the time class started, though. Thank goodness.
It’s good to be back….