In which I return to the world of hitting and throwing peoplePosted: March 31, 2007
Today was my second Saturday at a makeshift Judo training hall in a classroom at the Prison Officers Training Center in Accra. It would have been my third but I missed last week because of the competition. Ghana has a tiny but pretty active community in certain martial arts. Most notably Judo, Tae Kwon Do and Karate. Since I’d always wanted to learn judo and had recently had my interest stoked by seeing Johnny To’s Throw Down(great movie by a great director btw) I was pretty interested in finding a school.
Luckily for me an old friend(ok, at one point a bit more than that) was in town after Christmas and happened to know someone who trained with this particular club. Hence, I got the phone number of the coach and showed up at the club.
In continuing with my recent run of amazing luck, I ended up at the school run by Ghana’s national coach and containing a bunch of the guys who make up the national team which recently competed in Mauritius. These guys are far from amateurs. They are very athletic and very skilled. The coach drives everyone hard and classes are physically exhausting even to those who have been with the school for over a decade. By the time they are done with me my general strength and fitness will be levels above what they are now. And I’m having a blast.
For some reason I tend to enjoy situations where I am thrown head first into huge challenges. I guess I like the opportunity to grow and learn more about me. Plus I’ve always been a fan of Martial arts and hard training. Both of which I am definitely getting here. For now I’m starting at the bottom, learning the break falls and school traditions. The akido experience definitely helps here. Plus I’ve been the junior student more than once. The standard protocol never really changes. Work hard, learn, be polite to seniors. Not really excessive for someone born into typical Ghanaian large family politics.
I’ll keep you updated about how thatworks out, but for now its great to be back in that environment again. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.