The Littlest White Belt

I was good about going to the gym in 2007. In 2008, not so much. I managed it some of the time for the first four months; then I was out of the country for May (albeit on trips that involved much walking), and then it was the summer, with the moving and all, and I really didn’t have the time or energy for much of anything in the way of exercise.

Since last Monday, I’ve been to four karate classes and a fencing practice.

To quote my Scandinavian heritage — uff da.

I didn’t plan to dive in headfirst. It’s just that in karate, you pay by the month, not by the lesson, so it behooves me to go to all three practices each week if I can (and I really don’t have much excuse to say I can’t). And I’ve been trying to get my butt up to the city for fencing practice these last two months, so when it turned out I was actually going to manage it this week, well, “but I’ve already worked out a lot lately” didn’t seem like a very good reason to stay home.

Sheer bloody exhaustion might count, though.

On the other hand, if I can keep this up, I’m going to be fit in no time flat. Karate may be only an hour each time, but it’s all-levels, which means that tonight I was chased across the floor in sparring by a brown belt and three black belts. (Retreating is something I’m very good at.) And fencing is technically only for an hour, but if last Sunday is any example, I don’t have to worry much about the heavy fighters showing up and kicking us out of our field; I think it goes until people quit. All of it very acceptable as cardio work, too. Four or more hours of that a week? Yeah, I call that working out.

(Just don’t ask whether I’m really thinking about eventually taking up kobudo — weapons — twice a week, too.)

0 Responses to “The Littlest White Belt”

  1. leatherdykeuk

    I have small belts in Jiu-jitsu and kobudo ans mid level in rapier, side sword and saber. It all stopped six months ago when I broke both legs in Jitsu – I really miss it.

  2. eclectician

    It hurts less if you stand your ground. If they have to chase you across the floor to beat on you, they get pissy and mean.

    No really.

    • Marie Brennan

      The only bit of hurting caused by anybody hitting me comes from when I managed to advance straight into somebody’s thrust during one of the fencing melees. The rest of it is just generalized soreness from stretching and using muscles that have not been working much lately. (Well, that and the bruise on my left hand from when advanced into my thrust, and my blade whiplashed sideways into my off-hand. Still not sure how I managed that one.)

  3. spiral_galaxyrl

    Congrats on taking up fencing! I used to fence intensely until an injury kicked me out. Now I’m a certified referee so I can continue to hang out with fencers at tournaments. Fencers are my favorite group of people next to genre literary types.

    Which weapon?

    • Marie Brennan

      Rapier. ^_^

      This is period fencing, via the SCA. I used to do it in high school, picked it up again briefly earlier this year, and am trying to keep on with it again.

  4. elizaeffect

    Ha, I’m in exactly the same position with karate. Three “free” all-belts practices and a private lesson a week. I tried going to all three of them at the beginning but quickly discovered I don’t have the energy for it. Now I’m trying for two. The practices are a huge help for me because I keep remembering brown-belt things suddenly and being able to sneak them in instead of being told that I can’t do that for three more belts.

    But all that on top of fencing? Don’t die! What kind of karate is it?

  5. ninja_turbo

    Are you fencing with Scadians or Olympians/Collegiates?

    Glad to hear you’re finding an exercise regimen. Martial arts classes are great for that, if they’re run right — which it sounds like these are.

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