Betting you have no idea what that word is, right? (or maybe you do and I just don't know my audience!) What if I spelled it like this? Hi-YAH!! Today I went to my first Shotokan Karate Lesson. I had a blast! Shotokan is a Japanese style of Karate. The Kiai is that sound or yell that you hear in the movies. When I was 10 or so, I took Karate lessons. They did wonders for my self-esteem. Until... Until the Yellow Belt Test.. the psycho who was teaching thought it would be fun to have me up against a green belt to spar.. Kristin was awesome because she was a friend of mine. But he made her put me in a headlock and told me to try and get out of it. We never covered this! WTF? Kristin actually let me out of it and he told her that wasn't acceptable.. He had her hold me in a headlock until I cried. Nice, huh? Sadist. Oddly, I passed... That was the last time I went back. But I do remember how it felt to be aware of my body and to be able to trust it to do what I ask it to. A few months ago, I was searching for a local Tai Chi class and was unsucessful in finding one that would fit my schedule. I've always been drawn to anything Japanese. I think it's part of the reason I took to Reiki so quickly. Instead, Karate came to mind. So I thought I'd give it a shot again. I contacted Sensei Medina via email and set up a time to watch a class. I actually had the opportunity to watch a test and saw two people test for yellow belt. The difference was amazing! Sensei was respectful of his students and they obviously respected him. And his son is his student. I was able to watch his son's demonstration of his black belt skills... wow... this kid was maybe 12 and was so gentle and kind in his actions until he turned on the Karate. I would NOT want to be the person who tried to mug this one.. Anyway, Sensei gave me a free one on one lesson today to get me up to speed for his beginner class. I think he was trying to feel me out to see how serious I was... after class, he said he would like to have me back on Monday for another one on one (yippee!) before class starts on Thursday. I feel like I passed a test of some kind... but boy does my body hurt.