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Hinagiku Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 10-22-2009 12:47 PM
Daisy Luu
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Martial Arts Musings
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Status: Public
Entries: 51
Comments: 101
Views: 1,980,716

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In General Martial Arts Daughter Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #13 New 10-29-2009 11:05 PM
It is especially unladylike, my mother believed, for girls to learn martial arts and "wave their hands and feet about." I've always had an interest in martial arts, and I guess growing up watching Hong Kong kung-fu sagas with bad-ass, sword-wielding heroines had a little something to do with fueling my passion. When I expressed my desire to my traditional mother--who still manages to put a three-course meal on the table every night for family dinners--she didn't allow me to get into martial arts. In my early teens, I'd watch my two older male cousins go off to their paid karate lessons and pine away at their freedom.

When I got to college, I wormed my way into two rather unconventional things: 1.) Being an English major, and 2.) Being an aikidoka. My parents had high hopes that I'd select a more lucrative profession . . . they had given me choices of the more acceptable study paths: to become an engineer, doctor, lawyer, or, if I managed to fail at all of the above--at least a real-estate agent. And if I were so incompetent as to give up all that, I had the choice of marrying either an engineer, doctor, lawyer, or--if I must--a real-estate agent. After all, my older female cousins all went into or married men in those fields. A husband like that would protect me financially, keep me comfortable. My parents had no idea what I'd do with an English degree besides teach, and I ended up not even getting that right.

Getting into aikido was an equally amusing experience. I showed my mother my Schedule of Classes booklet, pointing out the necessary electives for graduation credit. "Mom, I need these P.E. units to graduate, and this aikido class is the only thing that'll fit into my tight schedule--you do want me to get a college degree, don't you?" I thought I'd try out different martial arts one by one until I found what I liked and wanted to stick with, but when I was handed my gi and went through the first few aikido classes, I was in love.

When my youngest brother developed an interest in taking up martial arts and I showed him a few techniques I learned, my mother shook her head at my dad and said, "That's it, we have three boys instead of two sons and a daughter." She gave me the stink-eye when I accidentally broke things: an automatic umbrella, a French Press's glass carafe, a few of her porcelain rice bowls that I swear had chips leading to a weak fissure in the first place; she'd half-jokingly blame my "martial arts hands."

I took the offered aikido classes on repeat for two-and-a-half years, long after I had fulfilled all my necessary P.E. credits. I put my training on hold for a while as life took me on its often unpredictable path. And I've just picked it up again this year, restarting the journey.

My mother still doesn't get why I stay out in the evenings past family dinnertime to wrestle with sweaty people and wave around wooden sticks and swords, but she's more tolerant now. She's tolerant, but she doesn't completely understand. Just the other week, glancing at me taking off my blue belt after class, she asked, "So when are you going to be done with aikido?" I looked at her like she was speaking Latin. She didn't ask as if she was hinting that I should stop--she was genuinely curious as to how much longer it can go on (like an exercise class that ends every semester, or a college degree that you'd get after x amount of years). I don't know how to explain to her these things I feel inside, about this other culture that I grew up in, and which she still feels alienated from. That while I do eventually want to get married, I also covet the ability to protect myself, both physically and financially. That if I have a daughter, I'd want to raise her to be strong, too, in mind and spirit, as well as body. That the idea of stopping my training again is like giving up the ability to dream, the desire to fly. And that even at Black Belt, when down the road I am ready to test for my Shodan, my "first step"--it does not end but would have just barely begun.
Views: 2520 | Comments: 9


RSS Feed 9 Responses to "Martial Arts Daughter"
#9 02-17-2011 07:42 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
Hi, Diana, it's good to know I have a friend in this odd "dish-breaking" arena. Thank you for following my blog.
#8 02-17-2011 10:49 AM
Diana Frese Says:
Hi Daisy, I decided to read your first post, since you helpfully added the chronological list. I will be a fan. Our special bond is the dish breaking, it happened to me years ago while washing a wide "ancestral family" soup bowl. My mom probably thought I just dropped it.
#7 10-31-2009 02:44 PM
I understand that creative drive and the wearing process of publication. It's similar in respect to my illustration work. It's tiring to market yourself when you just want to create, eh? Anyways, welcome back to the mat!
#6 10-30-2009 02:48 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
David, wow, I'm honored--thanks for commenting. I've tried sending out work in the past. Coming from a creative writing background, I find it's a long-going process to send out work for the chance of publication. Now I write mostly for my own enjoyment, and to fulfill that creative-writer need to put my thoughts down on the page. I'm glad to see people reading and enjoying my blog entries--this is a great outlet to meet other aikido enthusiasts.
#5 10-30-2009 02:47 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
Ramenboy, thanks for reading! It's great to be back on the mat.
#4 10-30-2009 01:01 PM
David Orange Says:
Daisy, You can get this kind of thing published elsewhere, you know. You should. And you can make some extra money with it. Good writing. Thanks. David
#3 10-30-2009 12:27 PM
ramenboy Says:
great read, daisy. welcome back to aikido.
#2 10-30-2009 11:18 AM
Daisy Luu Says:
Thank you, Linda. I actually get along with my mother quite well and very much admire her for what she has accomplished, raised under similar ideals. She just amuses me sometimes with her suggestions, as I'm sure I do to her. And I know she's well on the path to tolerating/accepting my dedication to training.
#1 10-29-2009 11:35 PM
Linda Eskin Says:
Beautiful story. Familiar, common, sad, aggravating, and beautiful. Thank goodness you have the good sense to follow your dream. Maybe your mother will figure it out at some point.
 



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