Ladies of Hive Community Contest #43 - MY ENTRY TO THE CONTEST | My Karate Class Journey

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Ladies of Hive Community Contest #43
My Entry to this Contest

When was the last time you tried something new? Did it change you?

Above is the question for this week's contest. I am a new member of this AWESOME community full of strong brilliant women and I wanted to join this contest in the hopes of also trying to uplift all women around the globe. If you are a woman and also want to join, you may check their contest post below:

When was the last time you tried something new? Did it change you? February 2020. Yes, it changed me.

My answer: The last time I tried something new was way back in February 2020 when I finally enrolled in karate class. Hurray! It has been on my To-Do List since 2014. I have wanted to learn martial arts since I was in college. I want to be knowledgeable in defending myself, should circumstances arise when I have to apply martial arts. With the help of my persuasive colleague and very good friend, Miss April, I enrolled and learned karate. I was so excited to buy my “kimono” for the classes. Since Ms. April and I were busy teachers on weekdays, we attended classes every Saturday and Sunday. During the first day of class which was a “trial” class, I hesitated to continue with my enrollment because guess what? We were the only adults, along with Ms. April’s father and sister, in the classroom! The rest of the students were kids—ranging from five-year-olds to sixteen-year-olds. I felt like I was already too old to be learning karate. However, I reminded myself that since I had a goal to learn a new skill for the year, I have got to pursue this! I also talked myself into it, remembering how badly I wanted to learn karate in college. So I persisted. I kept showing up for the weekend classes.


How did joining a karate class change me?

Firstly, it changed the way I viewed karate. I have always thought that karate is powerful and thus it can make me powerful in such a way that I can use my learnings whenever I wanted. I have never been more wrong in my life. Our karate master and mentor told us that karate should not be used as a violent weapon wherein you challenge people to fight with you just for the fun of it. It is never to prey on the weak. It comes with a rule that a person who knows karate should never attack first. He then went on to share that having the gift of karate equates to having a big responsibility upon you. It should not be used to promote fighting and harm. Instead, it should be used as a means of protection. Whenever there’s a need to defend oneself or others in dangerous situations, which is when a person must apply his/her karate skills. It is to help not just yourself but more so others who are unable to defend themselves. It should be used to promote goodwill. Never did the quote from Spider-Man resonated with me ever so strongly: With great power comes great responsibility.


Secondly, I was changed from being a lazy person to being disciplined. Learning karate takes so much energy, effort, persistence and rigid discipline on my part. From choosing not to sleep on weekends after a week’s tiresome work to waking up early and showing up every class. There were days when my muscles would ache from all the practice and my mind would tell me to be absent from the class. But I would tell my mind to shut up because I have got to keep on learning and persisting so that I can earn a colored belt. It also taught me discipline every class because I had to place my mind on doing all the basic karate poses and attacks without giving up so easily.


Thirdly, my mindset about my capabilities changed. I used to always think that I am not flexible and that I can never be flexible. My body is so stiff and I cannot dance let alone do graceful and fierce karate moves. But learning karate has been life-changing when I started to be gentler with myself. I stopped the negative self-talk I have lived for so long. Our karate mentor told us that our bodies—young or old bodies—can do beyond what we can imagine if only we begin to believe it so and have the discipline to shape our bodies the way we wanted them to function. Every class, my body keeps on surprising me! I can stretch this way and that, I can do these karate poses—I can! I am flexible!


Fourthly, I was changed to be a more patient person—or maybe the most patient version of me, to say the least. I had to start from zero because I never had any background in karate. Being a prideful adult who's used to thinking that I know almost everything, learning karate humbled me and made me extra patient. I had to learn these karate basics and it takes so much patience on my part in order to execute them well. During weekdays when I have time, I used to practice our "kata" moves so that I am able to execute them properly in our next class. It gave me the gift of more patience as I practice.


Lastly, I was changed to be a better person. I had to go outside my own comfort zone. At twenty-five, learning a new skill was a challenge because I was so accustomed to doing the same things every day. Moreover, being a teacher, I was so used to being the boss in the classroom. Now I am a student and I have to change my ways in order to learn new things-- total opposites to my comfort zones! The whole experience has humbled me and made me disciplined-- I never knew I could become a better version of myself.

When the pandemic struck and lockdowns were imposed in the Philippines in mid-March 2020, I was devastated not just with the news of the virus but more so with the news that our karate classes have to stop because of the lockdowns. During the lockdowns, I carried the discipline I learned in my short-lived karate classes. I picked up my body to do physical exercises, HIIT and Zumba sessions and yoga classes in the comfort of my home, with virtual teachers from YouTube. There are times I recall my karate moves and practice them at home too, but it always feels weird without my classmates and sparring partners, so I go back to my yoga and Zumba. Looking back, I am so thankful that I got to learn many things in a span of almost two months of attending karate classes.

I am looking forward to going back to my karate classes when it is declared safe to do so. Please end soon, pandemic, please end soon.


I am tagging my beautiful strong sisters to join this contest, too! Let's empower each other @sassycebuana @swaycanete @morenatravels @eeventuree 🥰💛❤️

‘Til the next post, hivers! Remember that you are loved beyond borders and beyond time & space. Okay? Okay. 💛❤️

Ciao for now! 🤗🥰

Jong CL

Hive-llo, everyone! Welcome to Jong's little buzz-y corner in Hive. Jong believes that every person she meets can teach her a thing or two (or three, or more) about life. She shares her love for life here-- the captivating beauty of life! To be more specific, but not necessarily in this order, she's interested in: wisdom, love, poetry, single life, books, travel, health&fitness, fashion, gratitude, unspoken hurts, heartbreaks and healing. Lastly, she loves Jesus.

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