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Attempting a Bojutsu Class for the First Time

Again, as an Adult

By Samantha PoppPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

With starting Jiu Jitsu lately, I had been searching for another sport to try as I love a challenge now. Playing around on Google and Facebook, I was looking for a martial art that I might want to try, and what's offered here in the city. "Bojutsu."

Hmm, sounds similar to Jiu Jitsu. What is it? I look at their Facebook page and decide to message them to see when they have classes and if the times would even accommodate my work schedule. After finding out what time and days they offered classes, I went to go to their Wednesday class. I was ready to go and then I got a text from my sister that she'd been having a rough day. She needed to talk... Okay. I grabbed my stuff and headed out, called my sister, and I missed the class.

I came back the following week to try it out and Wednesday was again the class I could make, as the Monday was cancelled due to all the snow we had from the weekend. I finally make it to the Wednesday class, and I was greeted by the head instructor, Nathan. He was welcoming and friendly instantly. He was looking at how tall I stood for a rattan Bo staff, and then came back with one about my height and two sai.

Rattan Bo Staff

Aluminium Octagon Sai

I was excited to get some cool weapons for the class, but also nervous, as I've never really played a sport with a stick of any sort. I attempted lacrosse and that failed epically back in elementary school. Anyways, we were going to start off with the Bo staff, and we all lined up with our Bo staff by our sides. As Nathan called out each person's name, they would respond "yes, sir." I thought to myself, oh right, all martial arts are very respect based for the teacher/instructor. I thought this was really cool. I've always been taught to call someone that is older or superior to me by their last name. Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. whatever their last name is. It's just a respect thing that I was taught by my parents.

When we got to starting class, Nathan paired me up with Jean, a fellow classmate, just to help me with some basic moves. What the class was working on right now was slightly advanced for a newbie like myself, so Jean went over a modified version of the overhead rib strike for me to learn. It felt super awkward, weird, and like I was doing it completely wrong. Jean assured me I was doing it right and I was doing very well for my first class.

Next, Nathan reviewed the strike, and this one I could try. After we practiced a couple as a group in front of the mirrors, he brought out a dummy and other punching dummy. I'll admit I felt a little silly, as I've never used a stick in a sport, so this was weird for my body to adapt to. I tried to take it pretty seriously, but would end up laughing quietly at myself. I thought it was fun and kinda silly. My body thought it was funny. I was slightly uncoordinated for this. I got some feedback from Nathan about where the Bo is supposed to go, and I wasn't bringing it up into my armpits as I was supposed to. After making the change, it didn't feel as weird and funny.

After we had tried it a few times on the dummies, we moved onto the second kata with the Bo staff. As I haven't even learned the first kata, Jean went through a couple moves from the first one. As I felt I was getting each part, we would add on something else. Before I knew it, we were moving onto the Sai. The sword-like things.

I was shown how to properly hold them and we got right into the first kata. Oh boy. Here comes the fun and danger. I swear I dropped them several times when you practically fling them forward and out of your hand. I was having a rough time, but I thought it was quite fun.

At the end of the class, I was sold. It was a really cool "sport," if you want to call it that, and I was really enjoying it. There was no question I was ready to snatch up the last spot in this class and join in on all this fun stuff. I love weapons and learning techniques. What's next? Karate? Taekwondo? The options are endless with me.


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