A Punching Tale

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This is posed. He hardly ever does the mitts.

There were only three of us for dageki (gloves and mitts) class yesterday. One was an old bald guy who doesn’t smile much, the other a woman who has a ridiculously squeaky voice and is completely hopeless at punching.

Sensei made me do mitts for both of them, which was kind of an honor, really, although I do admit to taking a brief nap while the woman practiced her kitten punches. Honestly, Plato’s punches were faster and more accurate. Check the scars on Darrell’s head if you don’t believe me.

After class, Sensei kind of apologized to me because the guy hit rather hard, but I was OK with that. Yamamoto-san, an instructor, was there too, and I told them that I’d figured out that it takes three things to get good at punching: power, speed, and control. The old guy had power and speed, but little control, which makes doing the mitts hard because you don’t know where he’s going to go. (When I first started doing this, one of my partners told me to focus on control; power and speed would come with time. Excellent advice. Thank you, Naga-chan.)

Yamamoto-san said, “Wow! Eda-san, you should be Sensei. You totally nailed it!”

A friend once asked me what my goal is in going to the dojo, and I was a little surprised. Goal? I don’t really have one. Exercise and stress reduction, I guess. But as I stood there basking in the sunshine that praise produces I thought maybe that was the goal. I just want to be good at it. Isn’t that enough?

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