Thursday, November 3, 2011

she slices, she dices

One of the worst parts about getting a black belt of any degree is the Demonstration. It's not enough just to perform the required moves and show your instructor you've mastered the knowledge. No, you have to DEMONSTRATE your skills in front of a live audience. To music. In public. Did I mention that this demonstration is performed to music? It's like some kind of sharp-edged pom and dance routine executed in snazzy karate uniforms instead of the more Fredrick's of Hollywood-inspired dance team uniforms. Oh the horror.

We'll agree right now that the latter uniform would make this experience even more humiliating for me, so I am thankful to wear the former.

Let's dig into the psychology behind why I dread Saturday night when I'll finally FINALLY get my brand new 2nd degree black belt: I am the only adult in my group. I hate performing in public. I feel stupid. I know I'll look like a total dweeb. It's one thing to do karate in the dojo for fun and fitness, it's another to do it in sync with a tune by Big Time Rush. Yet the Demonstration is part of the karate world in which I circulate.

As it happens, I'm also a bit quiet about the karate stuff IRL. Let's face it, the geek factor is pretty huge and while I'm not normally prone to giving a crap what other people think about me or my interests, I also don't go grocery shopping wearing a t-shirt that says "Ninja Princess."

I'm supposed to be a good face for the school, for martial arts. As the only adult in this graduation, I'm supposed to inspire other grown ups, be a great role model for the kids, promote the school, be proud of my own achievements. Mr. O expressed a bit of disappointment when he learned that I haven't invited all my friends and family to come watch me. This also made me feel a little bad, but it doesn't erase the fact that I don't want to do the Demonstration.

Here's where the funny part comes in. I'm in the back of the stage for most of this business, I planned to blend in and keep a low profile. This is mostly working out except for in Weapons Demonstration where I am to begin the whole thing solo, doing some XMA stuff with a sword.

Solo. Sword. Performance.

But wait! There's more!

As the grand finale to this little XMA combo, I have to THROW the sword into the AIR and then CATCH IT.

To this end I've been tutored by Mr. K, the XMA guru at the school. He's loaned me his gorgeous sword (so light! shiny! sharp!) to use. I brought it home Saturday and Team Testosterone went wild with weapon lust, each taking a turn holding it and admiring its beauty.
Then I began practicing. Throw. Catch. Throw. Catch. Throw. Drop. Curse. Throw. Throw. Catch. Throw. Drop. Curse.

Reader, one of two things is going to happen Saturday night. Either I will look like a bitchin' karate goddess, slicing, dicing, spinning, throwing and catching the sword OR I will look like a complete moron slicing, dicing, spinning, throwing and dropping the sword.

I keep telling myself, Chin up, buttercup. Just do your best.

And now, dear reader, I'm off to throw a sword into the air 100 times.

On a bright note, the weapons demo is to a song of my choosing: Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz.


  1. I'm sure you'll do great!

    BTW, you TOTALLY need a Ninja Princess tee ;-)

  2. Oh my gosh!!! I haven't been around in so long that you are now getting your 2nd Degree Black Belt!!! You.totally.ROCK!!! I agree with Lisa, you need to rock a Ninja Princess tee.

  3. Good luck Saturday, and just consider it yet another way karate stretches you ;-).

  4. I had no idea that karate required recitals, like learning piano or dance. I can totally understand your stress.

    One good thing about stress, though, is that it can help us focus and do a great job for that one time.

    I'm sure you'll do great :-)

  5. I think you need to video your Demonstration and have Mrs. G post it as Good Shit. You're one of those people who is Doing Stuff. Rock it, sister.

  6. Horror? Humiliating? Dread? Stupid? Dweeb? Geek?

    Why are you being so negative? You need to drop that nonsense NOW or I will come up to Wisconsin and do a little butt kicking. And by "little" I do not mean only a tiny bit. Oh no, I mean that I will kick your little heinie a WHOLE LOT.

    You can drop guys way bigger than you. Hell, you can drop guys, period.

    You can break stuff with your hand and your foot. Most people would just break their hand and foot.

    You can do fancy lightening fast moves with a bostaff.

    You can ran faster than most people. Hell, you run, which is something most people don't even attempt. And on your "off" day, you run faster than I've ever managed on my best day. (Although, that said, I am working on it and I will pass you one day.)

    You have a yeti in your back 40, for heavens sakes.

    YOU KICK ASS. You are a SECOND FREAKING DEGREE BLACK BELT in karate. I'm thinking about getting you a tiara and a fancy pageant sash for you to wear all the time.

    So chin up, buttercup. You're going to impress the hell out of everyone at the Demonstration. And I really, really, really, really hope that you'll post some video so that I can watch my dear friend with pride in my heart and possibly even a tear in my eye.

    Love and kisses and maybe a little ass kicing.

    - me

  7. You know you'll receive several Ninja Princess tees for Christmas now, don't you?

    I so wish I could come see you this Saturday. Go Green Girl!

  8. Yeah. Here's the thing. All that stuff you are doing on stage? Only, like, what? A fraction of 1% of the population can do the stuff you can do. SO, even if (and that is a big IF) you drop the sword, ahhhhh, who the hell cares? You could still kick EVERYONE arse in the audience and make them look super silly if you wanted to. All those moves you are doing? Yeah, no one in the audience will be able to do them. So even if you think you might look silly I bet everyone watching will be complete in awe and jealous of your fabulousness.

    And, I'm sorry, which part of 2nd degree blackbelt is geeky? Cuz I think it kicks some major ass!

    (sorry for all the cussing)

    You ROCK!!!!!!

  9. I'm in girl awe of you. And in adult awe.
    Also, how does one ensure that the sword doesn't slice and dice, say, your head?
    In addition, BIG TIME RUSH?

    I would pay huge money to see this in person.

    You inspire me.

  10. Oh, to be there and see THAT! :D
    Why do you deny your friends and family this awesome experience??? Ha ha ha. I hear you. I hate doing that sort of thing and looking like a dweeb. But, hey, it can be fun too. Embrace your inner exhibitionist and you'll be fine. Good luck!

  11. I am picturing Uma Thurman's The Bride in Kill Bill. Rockin' that sword, killin' the audience!

    Really, really impressed, Green Girl, I mean, Green Bride, with this Black belt side of you. So many years, so much dedication.

  12. Drop it or catch it you are a huge inspiration to us all. Really. Best of luck Saturday night.

  13. You CAN catch a sword. Somehow, I expect you will catch it when the action counts. If not, you will still have reached an additional level of cool with your misters for bringing home the shiny, sharp, awesome sword.

  14. Wow, good luck. I'm having a hard time imagining a karate routine to music.

  15. You are totally going to be a ninja goddess. It really takes dedication to get to where you are. Be proud and know that you can kick the crap out of those snickerers in the grocery store.

  16. Wow...sword throwing??
    I'm concerned about your practicing seems you had a throw throw catch in there and I'm not sure about double-throw. That seems advanced...

    You are going to do awesome, because you are awesome! Good luck!!

  17. I have no doubt you'll be a Bitchin' Karate Goddess and the crowd will go wild when you catch the sword. I'm cheering you on and thing it is very, very cool that you're doing this! High Five.
    xo jj

  18. Sending you good thoughts and positive vibes!

  19. You should ABSOLUTELY wear a t-shirt that says 'Ninja Princess'. Your boys will love it.

    By the way, when I clicked on your comment link to rebuild my magical disappearing blog list, it took me to an old site of yours with one post from 2008!

  20. a few words of advice:

    don't screw it up..


  21. You should have invited me! I would have totally been there! Hope it went well.

  22. I'm hoping you'll youtube - at least the sword toss - that is really cool :)

  23. Well now tht you're like a Ninja...will you be changing your name to Invisible Assassin of Wisconsin ? lol Really awesome on your accomplishments !! Sending Hi-ya Honks from NYC !! Cheers !! ~ Edward


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