The Blue Ninjabi

// June 2nd, 2008 // Blog

I am quite tired… pooped in fact. And not just from all the typing I've been doing in the last couple of hours in relation to the kaffiyeh event (which got posted on the front of WordPress.com btw! Māshā’Allāh!).

The main cause of my sore muscles was the most intense hour of physical activity that I have so far experienced in my short life, that took place between 10.30-11.30am this Sunday morning. Otherwise known as: my blue belt grading. Guys, I now have a belt in kickboxing – woooohoooo! Alhamdulillah!

It might not sound like much, but this is a real achievement for someone like me. This is my first significant sporting achievement since I came third in the 200m sprint, in my last year of primary school. As pathetic as that sounds, I DO NOT KID! I feel like calling up my old P.E. teacher and telling her the good news:

“Remember the tubby geek who couldn't throw, catch, jump, run or even stretch properly to save her life? Well, in your face Mrs Taylor – I'm a martial artist now. Ner!”.

I swear, I was on the verge of tears whilst waiting for the examiner to tell us whether we had passed or failed. I didn't cry in the end (thank God!), but it was definitely a strange emotional experience. Especially as I was close to giving up half way in! I now call this achievement my “second PhD”, māshā’Allāh. :D

Apparently it is tradition for graders to wear their new belts around their heads after they pass, while they celebrate down the pub. Of course, I wasn't going to join the other graders in their alcohol-fuelled frivolity… but the belt-round-the-head thing sounded cool enough to try out!

We started the session with 30 minutes of aerial work, where we were given a sequence of techniques to perform in the air (as opposed to onto focus mits – or another human being!). That was by far the hardest part, especially when we got into the kicks; kicks really take it out of me. By the last set of calls, I was ready to throw in the towel! But God answered my numerous inner-voice prayers, and we moved onto focus mit work, which is a piece of pie in comparison. Firstly because you work in pairs, so only one person is performing at a time, while the other person holds. And secondly, it is so much easier to perfect your technique when you have a target to aim your punches and kicks towards. Plus I got to work with my long-time KB/self-defence buddy, who also passed, alhamdulillah; we've practised together several times, which helped us to coordinate our efforts during grading, and provided some much needed moral support.

To end, we did a minute and a half of shadow boxing, followed by numerous calls where we performed one or three techniques of our choice. That part was pretty cool; the calls were coming every second, with everyone shouting “tcha” in sync. The atmosphere was charged with a shared anticipation that any minute the whole arduous experience would finally be over.

Now that this has been ticked off my “to-do” list, I don't have any immediate plans to start working towards the next belt. For one, I would have to start sparring, which involves a hefty investment in protective equipment, that I'm not sure I can afford to buy right now. Plus I may be taking a break in training for a few months – though I hope I can do some other kind of class during that time, in order to maintain the low level of fitness I currently possess, inshā’Allāh.

But for now, I am happy with my blue belt – a small reminder that I do not totally suck at all things sporty. Yey me!

11 Responses to “The Blue Ninjabi”

  1. AnonyMouse says:

    Yay you indeed! Mabrook on your great achievement :P
    I don’t have any coloured belt in kickboxing… yet… but I totally bet that I’ve achieved that kinda level anyway through my regular practice on my brothers :D

    BTW, I recommend making sure that you keep up physical exercise EVERY DAY so that your muscles don’t turn into jelly while you’re taking a break! Stretch… take a walk/ jog for at least half an hour… beat up a younger relative (preferably siblings, but in your case a cousin will have to do, I guess!)… etc. :D

  2. Mabrook habibity :)

  3. Farzeen says:

    Assalaamu’alaykum

    Yeaaaaa boy! Good for you! Masha’Allah ‘alayki habeebti.. Now if that isn’t an inspiring story to never give up.. I’m not sure what is ;).. *high five*

    Keep at it sunshine, insha’Allah and remember.. it’s all a’bawt da chi :D.

  4. Tuba says:

    Salam,

    Hey, congratulations! Mubarak, mabrook, whatever you call it, you did great masha’Allah. Now you’ve just gotta stay fit!:D

  5. mcpagal says:

    Mashallah! Well done mate :). What next, iNinja?

    (I’m doing Muay Thai right now, but it’s really just for fun (though I’m a lot fitter from it!) – and I’d be terrified of sparring! Also, I had a really hard time undertanding your photo – just thought I’d share!)

  6. Shawna says:

    That’s awesome! I remember getting my yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. I always wish I were still doing it, but I didn’t like sparring and the class was heavily spar-based. I think it’s so amazing that you’ve worked for and achieved this, masha’Allah! Alf mabrouk!

  7. hema says:

    congratulations:) very inspiring!

  8. Lucy says:

    The most physical activity i get is when my husband and i both realise that there is only one cornetto left in the freezer and then it is a fight to the death. Well not death but certainly to the first one to collapse in a heap with lucy shaped bites to the back of his head.

  9. iMuslim says:

    Mouse: Maybe we could spar together at your mendhi? hehe

    Organica: Jazakallah sweetness.

    Farzeen: Wa ‘alaykum salam wa rahmatullah. Welcome back to my blog, princess Farzeen! Yes, never give up… it may take 16 years, but eventually you’ll show your old gym teacher what for, haha. ;)

    Tuba: Wa ‘alaykum salam wa rahmatullah. Umm… stay fit, or get fit? I barely survived the grading! I need to be much fitter (and slimmer!). :D

    McP: What’s Muay Thai? There are so many different martial arts! Did you know there is even a Brazilian martial art? It looks quite funky actually… yeah, the photo isn’t so great. I took it myself, and after numerous attempts, that was the best shot I got! :( It’s a profile shot of me with the blue belt tied around my head.

    Shawna: Sparring is optional in the class, but you have to have done at least 3 months worth before going for a green belt (next one after blue). It looks fun, but also a bit scary. I think it would be an excellent way to improve one’s fitness, technique, and reaction time, insha’Allah, even if you never plan to spar competitively, or even grade.

    hema: thanks babe… I have to respond to your FB message! Will try to later in the week, insha’Allah.

    Lucy: Ouch! We don’t fight over confectionery in my house… my parents know that the last of it always belongs to me! hehe :D

  10. HFM18 says:

    Congratulations!

    I love how you ‘Ner’-ed your teacher, it really makes me wonder how our teachers really thought we may/may not achieve something and then we do/dont’.

    I dont know if I’m making any sense…Congrats anyhow!

  11. Khadijah says:

    wow now that’s an awesome achievement no doubt! :) Congratulations sis.

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