Before you get the wrong impression, I have a fantastic sister.
She’s like a lost baby lion. She’s soft, loving, adorable, and innocent. She gives me hugs when I don’t want them and laughs at my antics. She’s willing to tell me the truth about pretty much anything and lets me rant to her about storytelling (which means a lot to a writer). In the end she’s the best older sister ever.
But baby lions, no matter how cute and lovable they are, still have claws.
My sister would never hurt me on purpose.
I take that back. She’d never hurt me outside of karate practice. During karate….
I’ve mentioned in previous posts my sister is a scary fighter and it’s absolutely true, at least from my perspective. When it comes to sparring, I’d rather face someone else. I’m taller than her, which in theory, should give me some advantage or at least a feeling of security.
Let me tell you it doesn’t.
Despite her scariness, I asked her if she wanted to spar one night. I honestly didn’t want to spar (because it hurts), but I knew that if I didn’t practice, I wouldn’t improve. She said yes.
It was a decent spring night, so we headed outdoors. Looking back I realize I made a number of mistakes:
Mistake #1: We decided to fight with fists only.
My one small advantage during sparring is my long legs. When I kick I can often hit my opponent while keeping my distance. Punching, however, brings me in close where they can easily hit me back.
That night we decided not to kick. Why? I’m not sure. I think Hannah’s foot hurt or something. Anyway, mistake numero uno, we decided not to kick. There goes my only (slight) advantage.
Mistake #2: We didn’t wear gloves.
At the Dojo we attend they require us to wear punching gloves while sparring.
Hannah and I decided we’d go all tough girl and spar without gloves. I didn’t have a pair in the first place, so the next logical solution was for her to go without gloves as well.
Because two novice karate kids throwing punches without gloves is logical.
Mistake #3: Telling her to “go all out.”
We started sparring and settled into a rhythm: I’d punch and circle and she’d block.
I noticed she wasn’t punching back.
So, despite my inner cringing, I told her to start fighting. With a growing smile on her face, she asked if I was sure.
I said yes.
She threw herself at me.
I told you before that Hannah is scary. When she really starts fighting, she’s terrifying. She has me backing up, trying to fend off her strikes.
Two punches in she’s looking into my eyes, not at my chest, which is where you’re supposed to look when sparring.
Her fist accidently follows her gaze.
It happened in the space of a split second, but I can still remember her fist growing in size then filling my vision before landing solidly on my cheek bone. It stung.
I stumbled back, completely shocked.
Hannah was as surprised as I was. She stood there, mouth hanging wide open.
It took me a while to register what had ensued. Hannah actually punched me in the face. That’s never happened before. What was she thinking? And so on and so forth. It just wouldn’t sink in.
As I moved from disbelief to reality, Hannah and I laughed about it for a good half minute. Then I recommended we stop.
I survived the night with a fun story to tell, a good laugh, and believe it or not, no bruises.
Even so, I’m glad Hannah hadn’t accidently punched me in the nose instead.
I hope you found my story entertaining! I’ll see you next week!
-Gabrielle Pollack (A.K.A. the Great Rising Puzzlement)