Saturday, October 11, 2014

I visited a dojang for a TKD earlier this week that I've visited a few times before. It's always a good class - especially since they work lots of kicks and stances.

After class was done, as I bowed out and started to walk down the hall to my gear bag, one of the adults leaned over and asked if he could talk to me for a second.

"Y'know - I've noticed that you change out of your dobak in the hallway after class. You do that A LOT. Not sure if Goju is just different that how we do things here, but some folks might be upset with that," he said.

"With what?" I asked.

"Your changing out of your dobak in the hallway."

My first instinct was to remind him that I wear a doGI. My next was to apologize for making him or anyone who might happen by and see my arm uncovered uncomfortable. I did neither.

For the record, it's not like I'm in a push-up bra and a thong in that hallway. I wear a Lycra tank top that goes all the way to my waist and bike shots that don't end until the middle of my thigh under my gi always. I wear those things to absorb sweat (I detest a sticky, wet gi sticking to me when I'm trying to move around the mat) - but also because many of the places I train don't have changing rooms - only bathrooms for folks to change into and out of their martial arts uniforms, just like this particular dojang. And, no, the idea of peeling off my gi while standing barefoot next to a toilet bowl is not my idea of a good time. Besides, since the entire class cannot usually fit into a bathroom at once, it saves me time as I don't have to wait for an available stall.

Then I understood what he was basically saying: HE was uncomfortable with me sitting on the bench across from the bathrooms in that dead-end hallway taking off my gi top to put on my t-shirt then removing my gi bottoms to slip on my sweats. I wasn't quite sure what the issue was about that, but I was pretty sure it wasn't mine.

So no, I didn't squeeze into the ladies' room to change. I just waited until he dipped into the men's room before I slipped out of my gi top and into my t-shirt. I'm all for "when in Rome..." - but I do have a problem with being made to feel guilty about someone else's discomfort. Still his reaction - and that he felt the need to talk to me about it - was surprising.

That I was surprised was kind of surprising as well, but whatever. It's not like I haven't experienced crazy in and around the training hall before.

And I'm pretty certain that it won't be my last time, either.