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back in the dojo

injuredthe last year has been difficult for me due to other areas of my life pulling attention away from my kenpo adventures.  last september i took a pastorate position an hour away from my home in addition to my regular full-time job.  it was a challenge to work about 80 hours a week and still stay focused on kenpo.

then i started dealing with some health issues that needed to be ironed out and it didn’t allow me to get in and “bang” the way i had become accustomed.  it also slowed down how much kenpo i could do without putting undo stress on myself.

i had surgery in july to fix the issues and recovery is still ongoing, but with clearance from my doctor, i was able to don the gi and belt and take to the mat.  so yesterday i was back in the dojo and working techniques.  it felt good.  rusty, but good.

i was amused to see the last three months off due to surgery and recovery didn’t clear my mind much, though.  i had plenty of opportunities to hear my instructor, Mr Jenkins, tell us what to do only to (re)discover my body hears, but does not obey.

“the jab comes in and you pat it down.  when the cross comes in, parry the punch while moving up the circle and follow it with a backfist with the other hand to the bicep.”

rhinoand like a stumbling rhino i don’t do anything remotely close to that.  it’s as if i had never used these long stick things hanging from my shoulders before.  i think they’re called arms.  i’d like to say their faulty, but i think it was my sub-processor that was having the problems.  it reminded me of my early days in kenpo when i was continually being told …

“no, your other left.”


my goal is to be that student that hears, anxiously absorbs, and repeats the given instruction.  but i think i inadvertently find myself being a source of amusement to my instructor.  that’s not my intent, but the result, nevertheless.  it does help in keeping a humble spirit while attempting to learn.

it makes me laugh to realize my pledge for my next rank includes the line, “… to learn the skills of a teacher which will enable me to teach my skills … ,”  but my skills, by my own opinion, are junked-up.  my skills.  MY skills.  HA!

edparkerthat’s why the pledge goes on to say, “… in the prescribed manner outlined by Mr Ed Parker.”  i just have to make sure to concentrate on how he taught and not how i learn.

i found the picture on the left and it just seemed to encapsulate how i think Mr Parker would look from heaven as he’s watching me attempt to learn his art — amused.

but i am learning.  i realize that.  it may take me longer to recognize my left from my right.  it might be some additional weeks before i understand what some terms mean not just in my mind, but my body’s reaction to the instruction.  it might take me months longer than most to attain my next belt.  but i persevere.  if anything, to prove to myself that i can do this.  i can learn.

it was a good night.  it felt like old times.  good to bang on my fellow students and to be banged on.  this morning wasn’t too bad.  a twinge here and there, but not enough to reach for the kenpo kandy.  i’m sure next week will be much different.

but i’m back!!

— chunky ninja

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