The Semi-casual Aside
The room was sweltering, which I didn’t think would possible in September, but the crowd of 13 bodies drove the humidity through the roof. None of this was helped by the new addition of finger pushups during the warm-up. Teacher is one of those guys who can get to two fingers (thumb and pointer) during push-ups and is encouraging us to strengthen our hands the same way. I was able to do five with all fingers which surprised the hell out of me. Nothing I’ve ever tried before. I felt bad for all the new kids in class.
For the first time in a long while, or as long as I can remember, we actually have more people new to class than old timers. Beard and I are the most senior, followed by the Twins and Robot who just started within the year, and the rest are all sorts of new within the last two months.
After warm-ups Teacher placed me with Tall J, who I presume is in high school and is very pleasant. We did one-step sparring and he obviously knew what he was doing so I finally asked and found out that he was Brown in Shito-Ryu Karate. Hah! It’s awesome to have folks in the know. Teacher was spoiling me instead of taking lumps with all the new folks.
Dave came in a bit late and joined me and Tall J and we noticed something sweet in Tall Js punches. Both Dave and I are taller than Tall J so his middle height punches come in at that range between a middle and lower block. It slides in 9/10ths of the time. Phenomenal! The fact that he used a casual speed at the start of the punch completely threw us off every time.
At the end of class Teacher pulled me aside. I should have known this was coming, but he wanted to find out what I was doing for Thanksgiving. Was he going to invite me for dinner or ask to get invited to my house? No, he was telling to get ready for a test. After he gets back from vacation it’s going to be go time.
I asked him if I needed to study something in particular. Other than doing everything with exceeding polish he said he was going to test my “control.” He didn’t want to give me anymore than that. I don’t even know why I asked. Anxiety powers activate!