So, Saturday was Spar Wars. My son and I were signed up for the 1pm time slot. We got there in time to watch some other matches and we stayed for a while after to watch some more. I had never seen Kyoshi spar seriously before yesterday. He is a big man. He is also very fast and very powerful. He teaches while he spars and if you're paying attention you can learn a lot. If you're not paying attention you will hurt a lot. Now, it is also important to note, that he only goes as hard (or a little harder) as you do. So if you go into the match in full attack mode, expect to get taken down a notch or 2. There were all ages sparring him. Some of his opponents only came up to his waist. I love watching those matches. One of these kids was doing back to back spinning hook kicks. Not even coming within 2 feet of landing any of them. But Kyoshi would pretend to dodge them all and praised the boy for his efforts. There were lots of cute little kid matches. Kyoshi is known for his powerful spinning hook kick. He got everyone with at least one. His speed and force depended on the size and skill level of his opponent. For the little kids he was slow motion, ending with a tap to the kid's head with his foot. I did pretty well in my 2 minutes. I took a decent hit to the head , (I'm thinking that was because I hit him in his head) but all in all I dodged his kicks pretty well and he was obviously very kind. Next came my son, C. C is 15 years old. He has been going thru a rough time. Those of you who have teenagers know what I mean. They want to make their own decisions and sometimes you have to let them. He stopped going to karate a couple months ago - I said he could take a break but not quit. This is his freshman year in HS. He has ADHD. He's having a hard time making the right decisions. Anyway, long story short-Saturday was his first day back at karate. Kyoshi has missed him and knew about what he was going thru. They bowed in, shook hands and sparred HARD. The first spinning hook kick Kyoshi threw landed squarely on C's jaw-POW! Knocked him off balance, and then Kyoshi got him in a headlock and took him down to the floor. My friend M is looking at me saying "are you okay mom? are you worried?" I was fine, I knew he wasn't going to end up at the hospital or anything like that and frankly, he needed this. C could not get out of the headlock. Kids watching were yelling "Elbow him!" but Kyoshi also had his arm trapped. After a bit, Kyoshi released him. Finally, they were up on their feet again sparring and Kyoshi executed 2 more speed-of-light spinning hook kicks and C ducked under both of them. Good thing to, because they would have sent him flying. But he learns fast and is quick and agile. Finally the 2 minutes were up and the bell went off. They bowed, shook hands and Kyoshi gave him a HUGE hug, told him he was glad to see him back and that he had missed him. C walked out of the ring with a bloody lip and a big smile on his face. It was great to see. Now, that is tough love!