I am taking a martial arts class. A fortnight hence I had my test for my orange belt. This was an experience unlike any I have ever had before. All those testing assembled in an auditorium much akin to a gladiator arena. We, the soon to be pugilists arrayed ourselves by belt. The spectators flanked the edges of the theater. The show commenced with all known white belt blocks. It continued through the orange belts, purple, green, brown, and black belts each participant stopping when they no longer knew anymore blocks. The process was then repeated, for kicks, punches and katas or forms. As you might imagine, being an orange belt [pronounced American Kenpo Noob] I spent much of the night standing at attention.
After passing this ordeal, round two was levied upon us. Sparring. Everyone else is thinking Sweet! Sparring. I am thinking, $#!+ I don't even have a Gi let alone a cup. Yeah I felt like the kid not in scout uniform at the national jamboree. First round of Wednesday Night Fights: Me vs. A Gent from class. Ok cool I can do this. Round 2: Me vs. feisty red-head. BTW she happened to be an entire belt above me. BBTW her sensai was judging the fight and kept offering such sage advice as, "Don't think, just fight" and "Go for the Groin!" Me: $#!+, $#!+, $#!+ I don't have a cup! Needless to say I blocked well that night.
I had two things working for me against the fury known as Burgen. One, I was twice her height. And two, she had a slight twitch that cued me off every time she was about to kick. Kick number three I picked up and put her on hold. Once in my arms I "swept" her off her feet. My gentlemanly nature quickly went out the second story window though (She was in my defense trying to kill me.) for at that point I went on the offensive and backed her into a corner where the sensei called the fight.
Wednesday Night Fights Round 3+: My next fight was much easier, I fought another orange belt--easy fight he was too timid. I also spared my sensei. And the coup de gras of the night was a fight pitting me against a black belt. I did well, I held my own. I even landed a few punches. [Kendell points out that me sparring a black belt and all ending welt is strangely reminiscent of my bout with Amy in High School, but that was just for kicks.] Importantly, the black belt did land one good one right on the lips--a punch not a kiss. Anyway a split lip from a black belt was a battle wound I could be proud of. Here's the irony you have all been patiently waiting for: later that night, I made myself a peanut butter sandwich. I cut my self on the jar. A split lip from a black belt is an injury to be proud of. A cut thumb from a peanut butter jar--that's just stupid. I hurt myself more fighting a jar of peanut butter than I did fighting a black belt.
Morale of the Story: Don't mess with peanut butter--it will take you out.