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Let's go back to the 5th grade briefly. My parents wanted me to do something physical for exercise. Scouting went bad when I changed troops, soccer began to suck. In looking back on things, I really was a lazy and unmotivated kid. (Yuck, don't like admitting that one!)
Anyhow, since they insisted on something and I had an interest in martial arts (Bruce Lee... YEAH!) then I guess I'd have to tolerate doing that. 50 bucks later I'm enrolled at the all knowing and all powerful YMCA Tae Kwon Do class! Me, a 70 year old lady and a dozen of so others all in our white belts wandering around looking at the posters thinking "Wow... neato!"
About 3 months tick by and I learned: snap kick, roundhouse kick, reverse "mule" kick, side kick, punch from the hips and "KI-AH!" Yup, I was bad! AND... I get to test for ORANGE BELT. Yes! er... rather, no. I screwed up and missed one more turn, ended up facing away from the judges instead of facing them. Still say that I counted right! Oh well, so down in flames I went and so did TKD.
Advance this another month or so. There we are outside class at the school waiting for the teacher to show up and unlock the door to let us in. (Our school halls were exposed to the elements.) Anyways, "Emillio" starts picking on me. Now, this in itself is nothing new. But in front of everyone I know??? Now that was just wrong. I did my best to turn the other cheek, but that got slapped and laughed at to.
*SNAP KICK!* YEEEEEAH!
Down went Emillio. Wow! Didn't know that really worked! Course, any guy getting kicked in the nads is gonna go down. Neadless to say, it got really quiet, really fast. Teacher started down the hall, Emillo suprisingly kept his mouth shut... and no one messed with me again, till next year: 6th grade, and so on through school.
AND... the guilt set in.
I didn't want to hurt anyone. Why do I have to hurt people just to get them to leave me alone? Didn't seem right. Over the years I went back to turning the other cheek, and that NEVER worked. Fighting back didn't either, but it didn't suck as much as repeated humiliation.
So, April 2002 comes and I see a sign on the side of the road: "AIKIDO." I stopped, asked questions, found this website and guess what? This time, it worked.