Imagine the surprised look on my wife’s face when I came home from karate, proudly announcing that I had fought with everyone in the dojo (barring Sensei, of course) and won every single bout!
Yes folks, I have found my forte. Sumo. (stop laughing…I can hear you sniggering)
For those of you who know me well, this will not come as a surprise. After all, my physique is well, errrm…heavy boned, shall we say? Ok, so I am a chunky monkey, but I am blessed with the shoulders of Atlas, the chest of a bull and a pair of extraordinarily well-turned calf muscles. It’s a pity I have about as much abdominal definition as a Tamworth pig and thigh muscles that are not even half as well-turned as my calf muscles. Oh well.
So this is how it happened. Last night was a small class – only six students in total, ranging from yellow to black belt. At one point during the class we used a square of mats on the floor to simulate a competition space. Sensei took us through several ‘games’ for a bit of ‘fun’. Games and fun in a karate dojo don’t subscribe to the kind of games and fun I am used to. They are usually a thinly veiled workout but not using karate moves.
I was completely rubbish at all but the sumo wrestling. This consisted of two opponents kneeling down back-to-back in the centre of the square. Upon Sensei’s command the fight would begin and each fighter would spin around on their knees ready to engage. The winner was the person who could wrestle the other on to their back or out of the square, but staying on your knees the whole time. So it was a kind of half-Sumo, without the ritual salt throwing or leg-stomping.
I just kept on winning. I even changed my tactics for each bout, spinning different ways, pushing and pulling. Our resident black belt, Rob, was the toughest. He took a little longer to beat than the others, but I did it. Get in!!! I swear I could hear the theme tune “You’re the best, around” that accompanies the classic montage in Karate Kid. A little later on, Rob got his own back by catching my nose with a swift left hook – ouch.
I had to sit out the next couple of rounds of exercise though, I was so shattered. My athletic ghost struck again! It’s never good when you get tunnel vision and the world starts appearing all grey and sparkly around the edges. Next stop, Passing Out on the Floor. Luckily, I managed to avoid such a fall from grace.
I learned a couple of major lessons last night. Firstly, if I’m ever in a fight with another opponent and we both happen to be on our knees, I’ve got a better than average chance of winning. Second, I’d better practice harder than ever with my Karate because most fights I’ve seen start standing up plus I’ve got no intention of emigrating to Japan, staying in a Sumo Stable and wearing a nappy for the rest of my life.