Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Formal Training Week Eight

Week eight of training at Equa Do. My how time flies when you're having fun, right? No school Monday and Tuesday this week, because of Labor Day, although I still arrived at the dojang early. Even though the lights were on and the door was unlocked, no one was visible inside. I soon figured out that Master Eric was there, but in the back office/equipment area. I went back there to say hello but unfortunately I found out that that is just about the one place in that building that is not wheelchair friendly. Miss Linda came in and said hello while I was extricating myself from where I had gotten stuck and I returned to the front waiting area.

I got a few minutes to relax and then Master Markus arrived, and as is proper when greeting another martial artist, particularly one whom you respect, we bowed to one another. Then I got the surprise of my life. Not only was Master Markus genuinely interested in how I was doing, he wrapped me in a one armed hug. Looking back at what I just wrote, I am ashamed that I am still so surprised and awed when I receive praise or affection. Perhaps my wounds go far deeper than I realize. I am proud however, to report that I actually leaned into the hug. Shortly after, the Tae Kwon Do class which meets before ours began, and Sensei arrived.

He knew what a difficult weekend I had, so he made sure to snuggle me, and tickle me a few times to make me smile. Then he decided to walk over to the dollar store around the corner from Equa Do, so I took a walk with him. I purchased 3 Bic Lighters, to use for meditation purposes. Sensei and I then came back, and prepared for class.

Class was a little different last night, since Anthony wasn't there, and there was a higher ranking black belt than Sensei present, so he led class instead of Sensei. I found this difficult to handle from an anxiety perspective because the person leading class was focusing mostly on exercising the lower extremities, something I cannot really do from my chair. I was also unsure how to modify the exercises so I spent part of warm ups just sitting there. I still stretched when I could, and did half jumping jacks.

Then we paired off for the night. I was lucky to be paired with Sensei. The first drill we did was a simple punching/blocking exercise, where you and a partner face each other and spar. One hand, usually dominant, throws strikes, the other focuses on blocking the strikes thrown by your opponent. This is something Sensei and I have worked on before, and so it wasn't long before we drastically increased our speed. The objective to this obviously is for neither partner to be hit. It also helps you learn to divide your attention and stay alert.

Next, we did ten repetitions of Brush-Trap-Strike on each side, for each person. I was doing very well, and found myself naturally responding with not only precision but speed. I believe Sensei's words to Master Eric were "I feel bad for whoever decides to piss her off and try something stupid." :)

Finally, we moved onto our main technique for the night, which expanded on the Brush-Trap-Strike --> arm bar. I learned to bring the opponent all the way across my lap, then reach around over the arm, grabbing the head and taking down the opponent. A variation was also added by Master Eric. He showed me if I have access to the ear, striking with a cupped hand will cause the ear to pop, rendering the subject temporarily deaf and also disrupting the opponent's balance allowing me to roll them off my lap.

That was really all we did in class, though once the others had been dismissed, Sensei and I did show Master Eric the modified Tiger's Maw combination that I had been taught the day before. Sensei asked Master Eric if he felt I was ready to test for my white belt, and I was officially given approval.

I have so much to look forward to.


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