Sunday, August 9, 2009

Humor & Karate

The Buddhist Blog recently posted an article on Humor and Buddhism. I recommend you read it...which got me thinking about Humor and Karate. If you practice Karate, or any martial art for that matter, you will have moments that are hilarious for a variety of reasons.

One of my most memorable and funny, if not awkward moments, happened when I was a young Brown Belt. The year was about 1974 and one of Sensei Dean's Black Belts, David Rumpf, was doing a Karate demonstration in a town 45 minutes away. He was planning on opening a Dojo there. He invited me to come along and help.

Now, back in the 70's, the gear for martial artists wasn't exactly designed for our use. To use a protective cup, like the one in the photo, all you could do was slide it behind your jock strap. Nowadays there are pockets for them to slip into. Why would I mention this?

Well, to get to the moment. Sensei Rumpf and I were demonstrating how we do Kumite. Sensei Rumpf kicked me in the groin with a loud 'whump'. I stopped the action, shook my right leg, and my cup came sliding down my pant leg, making a grand appearance upon the gym floor. It was the loudest applause we got all night!

The next biggest applause was after I had to turn my back to the audience, undo my gi pants (traditional draw string) and replace the cup in its respective place. I turned and bowed. I believe Sensei Rumpf attracted a lot of students after that, but for probably all the wrong reasons.

How about you? We all have had some fun, and or awkward moments. I would love to hear about them, if you would care to share. Oh, yeah, never do a front snap kick standing on a small throw rug placed on a linoleum floor. They don't call them 'throw rugs' for a reason.

Love to hear from you,


  1. Nice post.
    I have a long list of these types of moments. Bob Contrarez was a green belt in my old Dojo, I think I had to be about 11 years old, holding the heavy bag for Big Bob.
    I was distracted by something else and stepped out a few feet from the bag, Bob hammered away, the bag came flying, knocked me about two feet on my a$$.

    Then there was the Nunchaku; I was about 13 and started playing around with these things, thought I would try a passover, caught myself just behind the ear where the jaw meets, knocked myself cold.

    We also had a cat in the Dojo, apparently he had been stalking me during one drill and waited for the opportune moment to jump three feet in the air and claw onto my back while I was mid-kick.
    His name was Musashi for obvious reasons.

  2. Those are hilarious! Thanks for sharing. I had a similar experience, not with nunchakus, but the 3-sectioned staff. One of the swinging sections nailed me in the back of the head so hard I was seeing stars. After that I used my brother's motorcycle helmet until I got better at missing my head.

    Musashi sounds like a cool cat!