Every once in a while, I am struck by the joy of kumite, the fighting part of karate. I'm not particularly good at it: I'm not quick, I can't really kick, I only have a couple of moves, I don't bother with defense. My only advantage is that I'm fearless—I'll fight anyone & figure I'll do OK. It's not true but I feel that way & it is an amazingly strong trick to have in the book. Today Senpai Mike was there, the first time we'd fought in a long time. He is so patient & helpful & can really see what would help. It inspired me to want to improve, to try some techniques, to get my footwork classier. I really do love fighting—it's the one of the few times we get one-to-one interaction, & you get to know people intimately & quickly. I feel so much love for the people I fight, & always leave high as a kite on the fourth of July.