Zen Martial Arts Center

Sacramento Martial Arts and Karate

It's been a while since I've written one of these. Six weeks, actually. But that doesn't mean I haven't been practicing kata and continuing to exercise and actively find time for meditation. Today, while I was carrying groceries home, I realized just how much of my life karate involves itself in.

At some point a while ago Sensei and I learned a self defense from our friend Sensei Deboard. It involved a block similar to number ten upper body basic, but instead of the talk on the phone, backfist bit it went in a more circular motion as you raked your knuckles across the bridge of their nose. Sensei Deboard called it a bucket hand instead of a talk on the phone sort of thing. The phone thing might not be something Sensei Oliver uses anymore, but it's stuck with me. Anyhow, when I carry groceries in my re-usable cloth bags I do that bucket hand thing because Sensei Deboard described it to us and told us how people would carry buckets with the rope over the back of their wrist while they made a fist and kinda bent the fist out, and they could carry buckets for hours this way because it just hung there with their shoulders taking the weight, and it didn't make anything go numb like when you carry things with your fingers can. I don't know why, but carrying twenty pounds on each hand like that is a breeze, and whenever I do I'm always imagining how I'd defend myself if someone wanted my bags of cheese and crackers. Maybe I'd refuse to put them down like that one master with his chickens. Ask Sensei, he knows that story. Or, maybe I'd drop them as I blocked making my hands shoot up like hydraulic shears lopping off the bad guys fists.

The point is, I think about karate a lot. I'm always watching people around me for trouble, knowing full well there won't be any. So far, living here in the city I've had to use karate all of zero times to defend myself. Whenever someone has wanted to start something I've always been able to smile my way out of things, or otherwise disarm or disengage aggression. It's the best way to use karate. I prefer the daydream fight scenes to finding out what would happen for real, I think.

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Comment by Mike Oliver on September 6, 2016 at 11:59pm

I carry my groceries like this every time I go to the store, especially with multiple bags, sometimes I can manage four bags on each arm this way. Multiple trips are for white-belts. :)

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