I've started going to Yoga. What I mean by that is, I've been to one class. It was good fun but I was the only bloke there. I'm also currently very fat so I quickly discovered that there are only so many positions into which you can stretch a body that is is essentially a spherical blob. I took the advice of the instructor and did the moves at 'my own pace'. However some of the women were really pushing themselves. It was quite eye-watering. Then while we were bending against the wall pulling our knees and "breathing into the stretch" the whole class heard an almighty snap!
I couldn't look. This was exactly what I'd worried about when my paranoid mind heard I was going to yoga. Some goon had clearly popped one of their legs! But, when the expected screams didn't come and laughter followed, I worked out the noise had come from the fabric of someone's pants. Two girls ran out of the room giggling with one of them fixing their jogging bottoms. The horrific accident that had been playing out in my mind started to die down a bit. Thank god I didn't have to see a limb that'd popped out of someone's socket.
It reminded me of a time when I was about 14 or 15 and learning Karate*. The whole class was watching two of the adult students having a little practice fight when the "sensi"** got very annoyed with one. He grabbed the student he was angry with and said:
"Don't have your hands open like that! I'll fight you in real life if I see you doing that again!"
The atmosphere in the room went a bit sour and the practice resumed with the general feeling that this "sensi" was a little highly strung. The student in question had been fighting with his palms open and his hands outstretched instead of the usual fists.. The fight re-commenced and he proptly ignored the advice from "sensi," went in to block one of his opponent's kicks and SNAP - broke a finger. It was his middle finger and it almost snapped in half.
There was a silence, the man looked at his broken finger, holding it infront of his face and then running up to the "sensi" to show him. All of this happened in stunned silence and it was one of the most surreal things I've ever seen. Everyone in the class just looked on in horror as the guy who was known ever since as "banana finger" ran out of the room followed by some of the other class members and of course "sensi".
*Have you noticed that no one calls it that anymore? It's "Ju-Jistu" or "Mixed martial arts". Both Karate and Kung Fu seem old fashioned these days. I got something like an orange belt and was told that now, in the event of a fight, I had to warn any assailant that my hands and feet were deadly weapons. Even then that seemed laughable and I wouldn't be surprised if I discovered the bloke who told me that was taking the frozen peas. Nowadays I think there'd be nothing less likely to make a situation worse than proudly announcing to a potential attacker: "stand back, I know Karate!". Unless their laughter gave you the chance to make a getaway.
**"Sensi" - means teacher. Why do people insist on using foreign words like that when teaching an eastern discipline? It was the same in meditation. The woman in charge kept telling us to get into our "arse err...". According to google she must have meant "asana" which means pose. The way she was saying it left her open to misinterpretation. Why not just say "pose" & "teacher"?