Ju-Ju Women

Ever since I started in karate I've been surrounded by women karateca, starting with my sister who began with me and who, incidentally, graded black belt with me many years later. They were treated as any white belt, the exception being that they stayed with their tops or halters on during Sanchin Kata. During the many ins and outs of my karate journey I've trained under senior woman senpai, so I had no excuse for being the fool I was and not learning the secrets of the karate that being women they had a natural access to until as I got older I had to let go of the Go and enter the Ju of things. Ego goes with being young as it goes with being stupid. There is a Golden Rooster Kata solely taught to black belt women in Goju Ryu. It does not appear in the syllabus. There is, as well, a knife kata practiced only by sandan women black belts. So why didn't I see the obvious? Macho karate blinded me, top-dog dojo dynamics held me back. Somewhere along the line it dawned on me that I would never be as strong as most of the other guys no matter what I did and it was well into my "second" brown belt that I focused on my woman senpai, how they moved, deflected blows, and used their bodies and height to their advantage, keeping low shiko dachis and lateral, almost 90 degree moves into my attacks. I think about this now as I plan soon to get together with my sister to do katas under the shade of a tree close to her home.

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