Texans return karate to Russia
longtime martial arts instructor, Grandmaster Kim Soo, with a troupe
of a dozen top students, was as welcome as a warm summer day in Siberia.
Or it's like calling the preacher "Stanley" instead of "Reverand Howerton."
Or like calling the mayor "Bob" instead of "Mayor Bob."
So, anyway, the GM ( I think abbreviations are OK) is opening up some branch schools in Russia.
Isn't it funny how things work out sometimes? Here is a man who majored in the Russian language at the University of Korea, but then for years, while living and teaching in Houston, it looked like Russia would be closed to him forever.
And then suddenly the Iron Curtain was drawn back and now that Russian major is coming in darned handy, with people all over that huge country now allowed to learn what he can teach.
One of his students who went along on the recent trip was Kristin, fitness director at St. Hohn Sports Medical Center in Clear Lake.
She said she had the time of her life, even though the bathroom where they stayed in Omsk left something to be desired.
"Take your worst (portable toilet) experience and double that," is the way she described it.
Aerobics was main attraction
Kristin said she won some medals in the tournament competition, and she was named the Goodwill Ambassador of the games by the other 350 contestants.
But she really became a celebrity over there when she gave the locals what apparently was the first aerobics demonstration they ever had seen. The Russians loved it and had her signing autographs.
Oh, and in those martial arts demonstrations and competitions, a couple of the Russian men she met wanted to marry her.
Both the GM and Kristin said sparring is a lot rougher in Russia than it is in countries where teachers and competitors have more experience, and where they understand the "arts" side as well as the "martial" side.
"The tournament was full contact, with no equipment," said the GM. "They don't have much equipment, but also they seem to think that competition is always full contact, with many punches and hard contact made th the head and face."
But many of the Russian participants in the two-day tournament gave one another black eyes and broken noses and injuries requiring stitches.