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Last night I stepped on to the mat for the first time in almost 6 years. My previous expierience lies in 15 years of American Kenpo. So I thought I was pretty educated. In some aspects I am...but as I discovered last night. In other aspects I am very very green. The class had about 7 students. Most of which were at the shodan level. My instinct told me I was in for a long night. Here I am the new guy, from a different background. I stand about 6'0", solid 180lbs tattoos galore and a bic'd head. A real tough guy I was expecting to get made an example of. Thats the thought process I came from.
What I expierienced was something not just completely different, but on whole other level. I was welcomed with a genuine warmth and invited to work out (I intended on just viewing an advanced class). I obliged. We started with some warm up and went into rolls. Fortunately I still have some balance and equilibrium. Rusty, yes. But not as bad as I thought. We then moved on to some techniques. Old habits die hard...I immediately assumed Kenpo posturing, stance and rigidness withour even realizing it. The Shodan I was working with chuckled and I asked what I came from. I told him and he replied "Oh don't worry about it. We'll fix that." It was an odd feeling being in a dojo and being encouraged to completely relax my body. It felt even stranger when it started to click with me. The more I relaxed the easier the techniques became.
The less I anticipated an attack the easier it was to