Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"You Don't Look Like A Karate Instructor"

Did you ever have a flashback to a conversation that suddenly struck you as odd?

I sat among a group of people...some of them I knew and others I did not. A friend introduced me to one of the people I never met. She said "This is Michele. She is a karate instructor." I am not sure why my friend introduced me that way. I shrugged it off and smiled politely. My friend continued by saying, "She doesn't look like a karate instructor". From her tone and the subsequent conversation, I think my friend intended her statement to be taken as a compliment.

This conversation popped into my head a week later. What an odd thing to say! What does a karate instructor look like? I ran through my list of instructors. Can you tell by simply looking at them that they are karate instructors? I am not referring to when they are on the dojo floor or when they are wearing a gi. I am thinking of them in the grocery store, at the mall or in a restaurant.

In another instance, my husband and I were at an amusement park. My husband happened to be wearing a t-shirt with the name of the dojo screen printed on the front. A worker stopped pointed to his shirt and asked my husband if he takes karate. He said "It is my dojo". The worker seemed surprised and blurted, "Oh". I got the feeling from the worker that my husband did not look the part.

Was my friend serious? What is a karate instructor supposed to look like?


Charleyhorse said...

I used to fancy that I could always identify a well-trained martial artist from his or her walk and then I put the theory to the test and began walking up to athletic looking strangers and asking them. I encountered swimmers and dancers, people who didn't exercise at all -- the nerve of them! -- and once in a rare blue moon, a martial artist.

I like your blog.

Geeklet said...

Today, I asked one of my more fashion-inclined friends what I could do about the patch on my belt. I explained the situation, and he looked at me as if I'd sprouted a sixth head, instead of just a second - he informed me that he would 'never suspect me of that'.

He didn't mean it negatively, so far as I can tell, but it was an odd statement - as if karate were something to suspect someone of, like theft or something.

He said he'd, of course, help me fix it if I bring it to college.

Michele said...

Charleyhorse: Thanks for visiting my blog. My Tai Chi instructor mentioned that he could identify a Tai Chi practioner from the way they walk. I am not sure if he ever tested his theory.

Geeklet: What an odd thing to say! It would be great if he could help you with your belt. Thanks for commenting.