If you're looking to learn how to do any sort of martial arts, make sure you don't take these classes in the garage of a stranger. Back when I was about 11 or 12, my parents told me they signed me up for a karate class. I excitedly got into the car believing my parents were going to drive to some sort of dojo. This, unfortunately, was not the case. We arrived at a small home on a lake in Palmetto Bay, Fl and proceeded to head towards the garage door. By this time I was thrown off enough to get worried, and for good reason. Once my dad pressed the doorbell by the garage door, the door slowly opened a few minutes later and my first glimpse of my "Sensi" was the bottom wheels of a wheelchair.
Many years ago, Sensi had gotten into a helicopter accident in Isreal and lost feeling in both of his legs. However, did not stop him at all from teaching and practicing karate. Once the door fully opened, Sensi stood up and greeted us. I was amazed by his ability to walk even after losing feeling from the waist down. For the first class, we did some basic moves and learned to make a sort of grunting sound after each strike on the punching bag. This quickly got old after hearing about five other kids grunt loudly after each punch. Once the class ended, Sensi had us all stand in line and put our hands on the back of our head. Interesting, I thought. He went inside and pulled out a 5-foot long bamboo pole.
I had been wary about the class from the start, but now I was about to need some new pants. I was second down the line and the kid to the left of me started clenching up as soon as Sensi approached him. Before I could even react, he was smacked in the stomach with the pole and took it like Tyson. Me, being the small 12-year old I was, instantly decided this wasn't my forte. I looked to my dad with a look of helpless of my face, my dad's expression read "too bad." When Sensi pulled back the pole, I dipped my hands down real quick to block the blow. This did nothing but make Sensi angry for he yelled at me to put my hands back on my head. He pulled back again and I once again put my hands down to block.
This time, Sensi didn't stop and decked the back of my hands. I, like any normal 12 years old yelled and tried shaking the pain out of my hands. Within seconds, another strike came right down on my stomach sending me to the floor with empty lungs. This process continued on for two years before we finally moved further south. The lesson here is, if you want to learn some martial arts, maybe try youtube or check the venue before making a commitment.