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control, fear, kenpo, Mr Bowley, Mr Jenkins, sparring

hello, i’m with the IRS

if i were to pick up the phone and hear the person at the other end say, “hello, i’m with the IRS,” it would cause me quite a bit of anxiety.  i’ve not skipped out on my taxes. matter of fact, i always file early and haven’t had to pay in several years.  i’ve been getting money back the last several years, hence the early filings.  BUT the kind folks at the Internal Revenue Service have been known to disrupt lives and cause deep despair … even among those who have been paying their fair share.

steve martin in the movie, little shop of horrors

“mr queary, you’re going to need a root canal and a crown.”  that’s another phrase that would cause me great angst.  i’m sure the people who opt to go to dental school are thinking to themselves, “i can help people and make a reasonably good salary.”  but i tend to think they’re sadists who only want to inflict pain on the masses.  just knowing i have a dental appointment coming up causes me to get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  i’ve always hated going to the dentist.  i’ve had tons of mouth work done already, so you would think i would be use to it, but nope.  not one iota.  i loathe dental appointments.

“@chunky_ninja: we’re sparring on saturday. if your schedule will allow it, you are more than welcome to join us.”  i have a friend that lives about an hour away.  he runs a kenpo school and he has sparring classes twice a month.  one is a wednesday and there is no way i could ever make that, but my saturdays are always flexible if i have advanced notice.  so once a month i get that tweet from Mr Bowley and the hair on the back of my neck stands up.

don’t get me wrong here, i’m very thankful that he’s always welcoming me to attend.  i’m always grateful for the opportunity (like this last saturday) to learn at the end of his foot or fist.  he’s always gracious to extend the invite and then merciful when i don the spar gear and take the mat against him.  every class i’ve attended, he’s given me pointers.  i like to think i’m actually incorporating what he suggests, but only time will tell.  and that’s why i go.  i need to know whether i’m improving at the art of kenpo or not.  is my self-defense getting any better or do i still need to hire body guards?

but that feeling i would get if the IRS called; that feeling i would get at the thought of another root canal; it’s the exact same feeling i get when i see that monthly tweet from @SBowley (Bowley Kenpo Karate).

i’ve shared my apprehensions and thoughts with Mr Bowley.  none of this comes as a surprise to him, so this blog is not going to shock him.  i’ve also repeatedly told him i’m thankful he continues to invite me.  i don’t turn down the invites.  i’ve been going up there since november and have only missed one of the saturday sparring sessions. while i don’t like going, i need to go.  and so i do.

but the night before each sparring classes i can assure you is not restful for me.  i toss and turn all night long.  i’m already thinking about what happened last time, what i might expect the next day, what can i do that’s different, and how will i respond with the various attacks.

i’ve talked to several of my fellow kenpoists about my “phobia” and they almost all look at me like i’m some sort of goofy nutcase.  we’re all wearing pads.  we’re all using some self-control (some more than others).  and of course, “dude, you’re in karate, what did you expect!?”

yet i find myself once a month going into this sense of dread.  we have a guy in our class that tends to back away when going through a technique line.  so when you go to do the technique on him, you have to chase him a bit to complete it.  he said once, and the rest of us use his quote all the time now, “let’s get this over with.”  THAT is how i feel every time i make that hour drive.

Mr Jenkins about 30 years ago

maybe someday it won’t seem so troubling to me.  we don’t spar that much in our school which is what prompted my friend, Mr Bowley, to invite me to participate.  every school does things differently.   ultimately i want to improve at kenpo.  my instructor is fantastic.  i’m thankful every class for the great instruction from Mr Jenkins.  with teaching from Mr Jenkins and the help of Mr Bowley, i hope to eventually be able to hold my own if someone tries to attack me, my family, or my friends.

special shout out to fellow orange belt, James, who nailed me with some solid head shots this past weekend.  your hands are fast young man, but don’t judge how well you did by my inability to stop you.  that would be unwise.  😉

— chunky ninja


About rick

my wife and i are praying about being a church planter. until then we're faithful in a local church and helping wherever He leads us. i love my family, writing, web design, reading, baseball, karate, and most of all, God.


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