My family is getting very martial art-y of late; my daughter takes Karate as part of an after school educational program and my husband has gotten involved rather deeply with Jiu-Jitsu. I was attempting to help my daughter with her Karate curriculum last night, as there is a chance that she may advance to a new belt and she needs to practice. What I discovered is that she does not know her stuff very well. She is supposed to have memorized a number of standard moves, but only with a listing of the moves (and sometimes not even then) can she perform the actions required. She kept asking my husband for help, but Karate is nothing like Jiu-Jitsu, so he was of no help whatsoever. She is supposed to be able to count to ten in Korean, which is a complete wash because she can only remember the first four numbers and I can’t pronounce the rest of them. Every set of movements culminates in some kind of block named after some kind of animal. If she is to be believed, all of them involve making claw-like motions with the hands, and all of them are amazingly similar. There is a monkey block and a Statue of Liberty block and a panther block and a praying mantis block and they all seem to involve the same clawing gestures. Then they do splits, all kinds of splits, and she makes me nervous with how far apart she will try to pull those little legs. I guess I’m afraid she will just flat get stuck, and we will have to take her to the ER with her legs sticking out into the air.
My husband’s Jiu-Jitsu is a little more involved. He’s been in it for over a year, and he’s advanced, I think, to about a blue belt. The thing is, he keeps coming home injured. It doesn’t happen so much in class; it seems to happen when he practices with this brown belt Mike fella. He came home with a broken toe, and a cheek bruise, and a pulled shoulder. The most interesting injury of all was when he got kicked in the head and split his scalp open. This happened at Mike’s house, and apparently he bled all over the floor. I got this text saying, “Meet me at Hwy 67 and 31 and tell me if I need stitches.” Well, it is never a good sign when you get a message like THAT. I told him that since he was close to my hospital, that he should stop by the ER, because if he had to ask if he needed stitches, he probably did. Well, the husband didn’t feel like waiting around in the ER, so he went up to Labor and Delivery where I work. He showed the nurses his wound and asked what they thought about stitches. They thought maybe the skin could be glued, so they gave him some Dermabond and sent him home. So here he comes home, with a great big goose egg on his head with a bloody gash in it, clutching his tube of Dermabond. Well, I had him hold together the skin edges while I squeezed on the glue. Unbeknownst to me, the glue ran down a bit, and next thing we knew, his hand was glued to his head! I attempted to fix this by using a scalpel blade to slice the hair between the hand and the head, and I guess we know where THAT went. So our next try was to get some fingernail polish remover and saturate the area. Needless to say, that made the gash on his head really burn. I wanted to take pictures of his hand stuck to his head for Facebook, but for some reason, he didn’t seem to think that that was a good idea. The fingernail polish remover eventually worked, and his head healed up great. You can’t even see where the gash was. I did have to call our daughter and our babysitter to come take a look while his hand was glued to his head. He was quite indignant and it was really hysterical. So we all eagerly await his next maiming to see what kind of ersatz medical treatment I can offer. Hopefully it will not involve an ER, stitches, casts or gluing of body parts together.