Yet another milestone has been reached on my Hapkido path. Yesterday was the first chance I had to do any sort of formal promotion for Equa Do Martial Arts, the dojo where I am a student.
We participated in Gurnee Days, this sort of local carnival/festival held in the town where the dojo is located. The school had a booth where we set up some of our training equipment and were able to demonstrate our skill and invite others to give things a try under the guidance of an instructor.
Chad and I were invited to participate by Master Eric, and at his suggestion we brought our weapons along to be able to work with those as well. The heat was awful, and between that and clouds that threatened a downpour, Chad was uncomfortable coming out in the open for long so he mostly stayed inside our booth with a few exceptions.
One of the best things about yesterday was being able to finally meet the rest of the instructors from Equa Do, who teach on class days other than what I attend. What Sensei said about us being like a family is so true. I feel so blessed to have "Black Belt Chad", Anthony, Will, Miss Linda, Master Eric, Master Markus, and of course Sensei in my life.
It seemed that the sight of students working with instructors or sparring really attracted attention to our booth, so in total I would say I was actively sparring or training for about 2 hours. But of course Sensei and I passed much of the remaining time playing Sticky Hands (See post "Formal Training Week Four") both with and without the benefit of sight.
I learned a new four-point sequence for weapons strikes which Sensei believes will be easier for me to execute than the fanning technique. The cane is held horizontally with one hand palm up, one hand palm down, and maintaining horizontal orientation one strike is performed with the tip and head of the cane. The same is repeated with vertical orientation though the grip does not change. Obviously right now I am working on technique, but once I am more familiar with the sequence and begin to increase my speed...yeah...ouch.
Sensei and I also worked on everything else I have learned in my training so far (Brush-Trap-Strike, arm bars, wrist releases, joint locks etc) including, near the end of the day, choke holds. Unfortunately for me, Sensei had been sparring with me using my weapon and so when he choked me from behind after getting it away from me, the choke was more difficult and painful than I was used to. This resulted in me gagging horribly and Sensei quickly moved me off to the side where I spit up a couple times, though thankfully I managed not to vomit.
Also thankfully this occurred at the very end of the day so once I was calm Chad and I said goodbye to everyone and left. All in all, a pretty good day.