Taught my first class today; was very impromptu.  On spur of the moment, I was invited to go to a remote village (it took about one and half hours to drive 15 miles because the roads here are so terrible) where there were 13 school girls between the ages of 8 and 13 from underprivileged families.     ‘Underprivileged’ here means the family makes less than 50 cents a day.  This puts the girls in an ‘at risk’ status.  So we get there, and a computer demonstration was cut short as internet reception was not happening.  So I asked the girls to raise their hands if they liked karate.  All of them raised their hands.  I then asked them what they liked about karate.  “Because we can protect ourselves,” was their answer.  So I then asked if any of the girls, who have been taking karate for just 10 days, if they would like to show me anything.  three of the older girls got up, in their school uniforms, and demonstrated a hopping-type warm a little more vigorous than what I do back home, followed by a punching demonstration.  I then asked if they would like me to show them, and they all said yes.  So, I performed tournament-style Heian Godan, with bowing and announcing.  At the kata name, there was a collective suck-in of breath.  At the first kiai, I made a child cry.  They certainly hadn’t seen anything like it, and there were giggles and laughter.  But it was great.  I then asked the three girls to line up in front of me and punch me in the stomach.  They looked at me like I had five heads and fire coming out of my mouth LOL.  But they did, and I showed them how to punch keeping their elbows in, and how to reach their target.  And I have to tell you:  these girls were STRONG.   And they were like sponges, absorbing everything in spite of the language gap.

So I will start teaching formally on Monday.  Am going to a girls’ hostel and living there for a week or two, depending on how the classes are being received.

I am borrowing someone’s computer because have been uanble to get internet connection earlier, so must go.  But more later.  And I’ve lots of pics – stay tuned!


  1. Sandykins said,

    August 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Wow, nice improv… will leave behind so many seeds of encouragement and possibilites….Mwah my sweets.

  2. katie mckeever said,

    August 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    That is soooooooo cool!!!
    I was scared of punching people when i first started to.
    We are all supporting you:)
    have fun- Katie M.

  3. John H's mom. said,

    August 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I’m enjoying your blog, Belle. Very interesting and look forward to the next installment.

  4. Shannon said,

    August 9, 2010 at 3:13 am

    That is such an awesome experience! That’s great to hear that the girls were picking it up fast, and that they were so interested in learning. I hope the rest of your classes go well!

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