Saturday, July 16, 2005

From green to purple belt, a kick to watch

Take that, stranger
Originally uploaded by Brite Lights photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Arnold Schwarzenegger is lucky he was born before this generation of young women coming along.

One grope and he would find his magazine muscles on the floor and his voice squeaking as a soprano.

These girls might play with Barbie dolls and be entranced with Shrek videos (and Hilary Duff, don't forget Hilary Duff). But many of of them are also taking martial arts training, learning fantasic self-defense moves and perhaps as important, a whole set of values about self-control, taking care of yourself, being kind to the less fortunate and a code of ethics.

Granddaughter Samantha moved from a green to purple belt last night in a ceremony/demonstration of about 30 kids who all were climbing the ladder to the black belt.

The black belt itself, I learned, comes from the earliest days of such training when all belts started out white and after years of training, turned black from dirt. That's how you could tell the tough guys - their belts were black with grit.

The schools that teach such things now don't let anybody get that dirty, but the belt hierarchy gives all the kids something to work towards.

One demonstration about dealing with strangers was particularly compelling as the lead teacher approached a student and told the student to say when he got too close.

Too close is defined as close enough to be grabbed and the young man being tested was a good 10 feet away when he said "Stop!" to the instructor/would-be assailant.

The next move, of course, is 'run-away,' and after that, well, give'em a good kick.

It reminds me of that old cheer from high school:

Rah Rah Ree!
Kick 'em in the knee!

Rah Rah Rass!
Kick 'em in the other knee!

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