Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Shihanisms with my Dad

I make this kick look pretty
My father's upcoming 64th birthday will include a surprise reunion for his martial arts students. We're expecting 60-75 people in attendance with 10-15 joining us via Skype from their various military locations. Many of my dad's students went on to join the military in the 90s during Desert Storm and were (some still are) part of the Navy Seals, Green Berets or Special Forces.

My dad, as the senior instruction and 10th degree Black Belt, has always been referred to as Shihan in the dojo. He's also a Shuseki Shihan but I won't go into that now. Anyway, we have put together a Facebook Page for his dojo, American Open Karate and asked his students to post their favorite Shihanisms: the phrases he would use to motivate them in his drill sergeant ways and remembering them has been a great blast.

The student becomes the master
So here are a few:

"Don't look at me! I know I'm good-looking!" - usually said while waiting for you to do the kata he's spent the last hour going over.

"Don't cry! Girls don't cry in Karate. They get even!" - self-explanatory.

"You're not having an asthma attack. You're just not breathing hard enough!" - as he's tossing you the inhaler and watching for any signs of oxygen deprivation out of the corner of his eye.

Orange Blossom Classic 1991
And the one all of them remember because it's how he'd calm the little ones before going to their board-breaking ceremonies:
Shihan: What's behind the door?
Student: A dinosaur
Shihan: What color is he?
Student: Pink and purple polka dot.
Shihan: What's he playing?
Student: A piano
Shihan: What's he playing on the piano?
Student: I feel good by James Brown
Shihan: Now, go break that board.