I finally had the opportunity to spar with a new adult lady student. I was looking forward to it because I knew she’d had previous Karate experience. Her brother has been coming to class for a few months and his previous level of experience shows. She herself has only been with us for a short time, and I didn’t know her well. I assumed she had the same abilities as her brother.
I knew instantly I was mistaken. Looking at her was like looking into a magic mirror that showed how I once was. Instantly I knew what she was feeling. It was written all over her face and body. Her fighting style is different than mine used to be, but oh did I ever relate to what I saw in her as the emotions played across her face and body during the bout. She acquitted herself very well.
My new friend is definitely “in process.” Don’t get me wrong – I liked what I saw in her, and really, it was beautiful. I’m still in process too, as evidenced by Sensei’s request for me to ramp down my intensity even further while working with my new friend.
Later the same class I gleefully bounced over to a new sparring partner, a lady who significantly outranks me. I love sparring with karateka who are way better at sparring than I am because it pushes me to the top of my game. Never mind I get my butt kicked, I value the lessons more than my pride.
What did this sparring partner see in me? Did she see anything of herself reflected back? I’m betting she knew how hard to push me based on what she saw. Even still, she once threw something just a shade too hard and apologized (no harm done). I’m thinking she’s still “in process” too. Did I get a good look into a magic mirror that showed me something of my future? I hope so because I liked what I saw.