This relates to my original post about someone very close to me that has been looking to start karate for a very long time now, but has backed out for various reasons and the advice I have given to try and tip that willing soul over the edge slightly in to the unknown in to a life changing experience. If you haven’t already read the first Blog, it may be worth a look which can be found here.
Well I thought it was time for an update; After writing the previous post and showing it to the lady in question she again came down prepared. A determined mind laughing and joking about her first session. All kitted out in comfortable shorts and t-shirt to start her 20th “first” Shotokan karate training lesson. Again she got to the door, but unfortunately it was to no avail. After seeing the huge array of people ready to train, coupled with the daunting effect of so many people in such a small training area; fear inevitably kicked in. Like I said before, to me it is frustrating. Not because I want her to do it for me, but for her to do it for herself. I guess it’s easy looking in from the other side seeing it from both perspectives, knowing both sides of the coin. One, a scared, but curious beginner venturing in to the unknown. The other, seeing the benefits of not only learning a self defence, but also an art form, a mind set, a focus and a fitness regime all being rolled in to one.
For another evening we went home, so many thoughts going through my head knowing that if only that first step was taken it would be the start of something spectacular. My hopes raised just before each lesson thinking this is it! This will be the time that when LINE UP is shouted, there will be an extra addition to the family.
Tuesday comes and another karate lesson, another window of opportunity, again she arrives with me, tshirt and shorts all ready to go. This time i’m asked to start the lesson and look over to see a firm shake of the head. By now I’m used to it, I’ve accepted the fact that this person may never give it a go. As I lead the warm up I see her talking with Sensei and a minute later he’s off out of the Dojo. Where he’s gone I haven’t got a clue. Minutes later and Sensei returns clutching a brand new Giko gi in its plastic wrapper and complete with compulsory white belt as standard. Now I know what’s coming, off my friend trots gi in hand and minutes later the Shotokan family has its’ newest member. At last! It’s been a long time coming, but as they say, better late than never. I held back the smiles whilst completing the warm up with the need to be professional and during the lesson I couldn’t help but look over to check on her progress. I must say she did pretty well for her first lesson.
After the hour lesson was complete I asked her about the conversation with Sensei and it transpires that it was my fault for not bringing her my spare gi to train in! Apparently it was a fear of looking out of place compared to the rest of the group. It has never crossed my mind that a little thing like this would have been an issue. For me personally I’ll train in anything and anywhere, but then again not everybody’s the same are they? And so the journey for another has begun, Sensei’s final welcoming words on handing the Gi? “Hurry up and get in line.” I wouldn’t have expected anything less.