Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Karate Kid. (Or that really fat guy crammed into red MC Hammer pants)

I started taekwondo last Thursday night.

I weigh 300 pounds.

Really, that should be the end of the post, and y'all should ideally be lying on the floor in fits of laughter that might actually cause you to have a small stroke, requiring a minimal hospital stay but no permanent damage to any speech patterns or facial muscles.

But I'm going to keep telling the story.

I walk in to a room approximately the size of a bathroom in a really small Wal-Mart. In this room are about 50 people, most of them 5 year olds who are busy kicking the dog crap out of each other in a sparring ring. Behind them are parents yelling things like, "HIT HIM, TOMMY! HIT HIM! HIT HIM!

They were a classy bunch.

I pay for my lessons and am issued a uniform.

Well, half of a uniform. You see, I'm still too fat for a top. So I'm given a pair of pants that would have made MC Hammer jealous, and...

...a 12 foot long belt that is as white as the driven snow.

12 feet long, y'all. 12 feet. I know because I measured it. All I'm sayin is, that belt could probably be helping with the oil spill in some way.


Go dip that belt in the gulf, bring it back to me, I now have a black belt AND some of the oil is out of the ocean! That's win, win folks.

So I get out on the mat and very quickly become reacquainted with my toes. Stretching. So much stretching. Everyone is yelling and saying "YES SIR!" to this 15 year old kid yelling back at us in a voice that I'm sure he borrowed from Michael Clarke Duncan, telling us there needed to be more yes sirs. Then he moved on to knuckle push-ups, and I decided I really hated him.

Finally, the group of experienced kids (yes, I'm in a teenage class. Put the phone down, Chris Hansen, it's legit) moved on to the sparring ring, and left me all alone with a 10 year old ginger kid. (phone. down.) This kid reminded me of the little boy from Calvin and Hobbes, only Calvin would have totally whipped this kid's butt.

The instructor starts yelling at us to do stuff, mostly punching and kicking. Since this is exactly how I throw a fit when The Missus doesn't give me my way, I was pretty good at it. The whole time, she's yelling at us to yell when we throw a punch or kick, which I don't really understand. I thought she was saying "KIA!" so at first it kind of went like this.

Instructor: KIA!
Me: ?? *clumsy punch
Instructor: KIA!
Me: Spectra! *okay punch
Instructor: KIA!
Me: Optima! *really in a groove punch
Instructor: KIA!
Me: Sorento! *this punch had the force of a Sorento driven at 50 MPH into a brick wall

We finally got it lined out when she explained that I didn't have to yell out car models, all I had to do was make a noise. Apparently, when you strike someone, if you yell a lot, it scares them, causing them to run away and call their mother. Cussing and farting don't count as noises though, so I was a tad disappointed, because I'm really good at both of those while doing any kind of strenuous exercise.

I DESTROYED this little kid when it came to yelling, y'all. He didn't even know what to do. He just stared at me, and I'm pretty sure my yelling made him cry a little bit and he looked over at his mom a lot. Guess the instructor was right. I'm also pretty sure I could have taken him in a fight, and I was wicked  upset that I didn't get to spar with him.

What? We're the same color belt! It's allowed!

We did a few combos, and although I wasn't given a bow staff  or numchucks, I think I did alright. I didn't split those pants, the belt only fell off twice, and I didn't hear anyone laughing about the fat guy out on the mat scaring the piss out of a 10 year old. I  think it will get easier, and I think I'll eventually have a lot of fun with it.

The taekwondo, y'all. Not the ginger kid.

*Editor's note: Last night was my second night, and the ginger kid showed back up, so I guess I didn't scare him off. It was MUCH easier, and I totally learned how to do a proper knife chop to the throat with a spinning knife chop turn. I'm like E. Honda, y'all!


  1. First of all, I heart Street Fighter!!!!
    Secondly, I keep picturing you wearing something like that martial arts instructor in Napoleon Dynamite :-)

  2. Way to go Travis! You're going to be kicking ass and taking names before you know it. :)

    And OMG ... E. Honda. Blast from the past! I spent many an hour with Street Fighter. Because I was, y'know, so cool and stuff.

  3. I really am lying on the floor in fits of laughter - hoping to hold off on the stroke, though!

    So funny. You have my admiration for even going through with it, though. Awesome.


  4. Dude! So, when you gonna be featured in the next X BOX karate/street fighter game? I'll buy!

  5. OMG, I was laughing. Picturing myself as the mother of the 10 year old, laughing...and laughing.

  6. Yes! I just started doing work outs at this martial arts acadamy up the street from my house - I wasn't ballsy enough to do the actual martial arts stuff, but they are still kicking my ass pretty intensely. The worst part is the fact that there are teeny-tiny black belts running around who totally give me judgey-eyes for being a sweaty, shaking mess during every workout :)

  7. Travis I am SO PROUD to call you my friend. You my dear are doing somethign I would never do out of fear for the way I look. Kudos to you for going past that and doing what you need to do to get healthy..

  8. Welcome to the fold, my friend.

    And I'm not talking about the one hanging over your white belt.

  9. So funny. I wonder what the kids' parents thought...

  10. Awesome! Love that the Missus kept yelling "KIA!" Great job on the weight loss, too! You're beasting!

  11. You are one brave soul. The end.

  12. E. Honda, huh? I always figured I was more of a Chun Li. ;) LoL

  13. My cousin tried to teach me karate or something once. I had no real desire to learn it, but I went through the motions.

    Apparently, the yelling is supposed to help release any tension that you might be building up when preparing for the hit. Or something like that.

    I kept yelling "donkey dick" until he finally gave up trying to teach me.

  14. that is too funny. I recently started working out again and although I am not overweight i am VERY out of shape. I am doing p90x and it is killling me. Good for you for being brave enough to work out in public, and in children's classes no less. :)

  15. that is too funny. I recently started working out again and although I am not overweight i am VERY out of shape. I am doing p90x and it is killling me. Good for you for being brave enough to work out in public, and in children's classes no less. :)

  16. Trav, Trav, Trav - where were you Monday? Beating up some kid and forgot the memoirs? Oh, Trav...

  17. Um Travis? Can you post a video of you and the ginger kid goin' at it when the time comes? LOL!

  18. That was awesome. Hopefully someone as entertaining as you will be at any classes I have to take my kids to.


The price for my stories is your conversation.