Peg Kerr (pegkerr) wrote in karate_do,
Peg Kerr

Dante and Karate

My daughter Fiona (bookloverfio) has been studying Dante's Inferno in English. She really really LOVES Dante's Inferno. The students in the International Baccalaureate program have to do an oral presentation on it, 10% of which goes to their grade in IB Honors English.

Fiona, deciding to get creative, approached her teacher with a rather novel suggestion.

Yes. Her oral presentation on Dante's Inferno is going to be...get this...a karate form, which she's choreographed by herself and will be performing today.

She will be depicting, in her form, the various torments of the damned in each of the circles of hell, and the ways that the demons punish them. She'll perform it, and then go through it again, explaining to the three teachers assessing her why she used the particular karate technique for each level. 'Gluttony' is all about deep stances, low to the earth. For 'Lust,' the circle where the damned are blown by unending winds, she'll circle the bo with helicopter movements. For 'Heretics,' where the damned are tormented by fire, she'll pretend to strike a spark with her steel kamas, and then use the kama motions to suggest rising flames. Etc.

I'm sure her teachers will have never seen anything like it before.

One little bobble: it occurred to her, belatedly, that, um...she'd be bringing weapons to school. She told her teacher that she wanted to do a karate form, but she didn't mention that weapons were involved. She emailed her teacher yesterday but didn't get a reply back. So she decided to use a meter stick instead of the bo. She's bringing the kamas, but I wrote a note for her, explaining that we had tried to contact her teacher but hadn't gotten a response, that Fiona is a black belt who is trained to handle the kamas, and that the kamas are not sharp. And if there were any questions, they can call me.

So I don't know. I may either hear tonight a report that her form was a complete triumph, that she awed the judges with her originality. Or I might hear today from the school to come pick up my daughter because she's been suspended for three days.

I'm crossing my fingers.

Her karate instructor was delighted with the idea when Fiona explained it to him, and he suggested that she might try refining it and then presenting it as a tournament form for competition.

Crossposted to girlfighters).
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