I’ve had three karate classes so far at the Feminist Karate Union on Jackson St. It’s challenging and fun. The teachers are very patient and consistent in their instruction.

I’m going on faith that I will be able to memorize moves one by one. I was shocked, the first class, at how blank my mind was in trying to remember something that was just shown to me seconds before. In my second and third class, we repeated most of what we’d done, so I did see a little progress in remembering. I still had to move slowly and talk myself through the blocks we practiced.

They lent me a DVD that I looked at last night. Watching that instructor repeat the blocks over and over helped me remember them. Today I practiced by myself in the gym and I was able to remember how to do the up block and the down block. (We’ve learned three others as well that I can’t remember, such as inside and outside block and… what’s the other?… knife hand block — I had to Google it.) Today I also practiced the front kick, the roundhouse kick, and the back kick a little bit. I practiced them slowly or used only parts of them. I held something for balance if I needed to. I tried to kick with and without paying attention to keeping my hands in position. It is hard to recover/maintain balance after a kick, when you have to chamber the foot before putting it down.

It’s really fun to find something new for which I can use my conditioning and fitness. I value being fit for its own sake, but it’s fun to go into this hard new skill with a good conditioning base. I hope that as my ability to remember and hit the positions improves, that my power will be good. I’m sure that will also depend on whether I can be tense versus relaxed at the right times and whether I have the fast-twitch ability that is undoubtedly needed.

They gave me a barely-used gi for free last time. That was nice of them. It will feel strange to work out in something other than shorts and a tank top.