Monday, January 10, 2011

How to Choke a Yogi?...Harmony by Karate Style

How to choke a yogi? Actually it's more like how to teach a Yogi to choke, and escape from a choke hold. Growing up my older brother enjoyed practicing wrestling moves on me, and I admit I loved being "airplane spun in the air" and various other activities that big brothers put their baby sisters through. Physical challenges have always excited me, last year I was happy to do the Fire walk with the Tony Robbins UPW event. This year, I challenge myself with the ongoing physical challenges in my weekly Karate class. I find myself slightly nervous when I enter the class. The instructors and classmates at Harmony by Karate are awesome!!! They are so helpful in the process of educating people in martial arts. Kudos to Sensei Oscar who guided us in a beautiful breath work movement based class in December, it really was awesome. Kudos to Sensei Adam who introduced Choke holds this week. WOW, was I nervous! I am not a fan of choking, kicking, hitting etc, and I am challenging my limits by diving into this awesome weekly class, so I am still working through the nerves! I cam sing in front of crowds of thousands, no nerves, teach group and private yoga classes to just about anyone, and no nerves, but ask me to spar with another person, and a different energy starts to spark inside me. It really is not in my nature, and I love the challenge! If I had the choice of styles of battle, I would prefer a battle of wits over anything physical, but unfortunately wits cannot get you out of every situation.

Once again, we partnered up and practiced "choking" and escaping. Sensei Adam demonstrated many methods and had us go through the movements. Towards the end of class I was partnered with my friend, Sensei Joseph. Sensei Joseph is no joke, he is an accomplished Black Belt, and while he is my friend, he is not afraid to challenge me. He could see my intimidation, and talked me through, pushed me to use my body and escape. While I tend to giggle in excitement/mini celebrate when I do the given task, especially because I consider myself still very new to the world of martial arts, I quickly learned it is more than just going through the motions. The amazing thing about Karate is "focus". A situation can arise within a second, and if you lose focus, you can lose a lot. Sensei Joseph literally flipped me over, and I did not even see it coming!!!?? It reminded me of days when my big brother would flip me over! I have to admit, it felt awesome, but it taught me the importance of "focus" in Karate and martial arts. In Yoga our focus in inward, observing our spirit, mind and body, inevitably becoming detached to the world, which is beautiful. In Karate, we have to have focus inward and outward because we are dealing with another persons spirit, mind and body, which is also beautiful. Karate teaches you to maintain focus in order to be ready for any circumstance. In true Sensei Adam style, we ended the class with grueling drills, that apparently someone does to him??? Maybe that is why he enjoys putting us through the gauntlet? Thank you so much to the family at Harmony by Karate for enlightening me, challenging me, and teaching me to deepen my focus.

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