Sunday, October 23, 2011

Formal Training Week 12

I can't believe I have actually been training at Equa Do for four months already. Yet, as you can see by the title of this post, that is most certainly the case. Last week was my second week learning to fight in a dobok, and I am pleased to say it was a good deal easier this week. But before I get to that, there are some other things I should perhaps mention.

My landlord Cindy, who struggles with alcoholism, lost her temper when we got home after the belt ceremony and in a drunken anger ripped some adaptive aids Chads mom had put up off the walls, complaining that it made the house look like crap. Obviously she was completely irrational, and when Chad's mom said as much she grew very upset and a screaming match erupted. What she said is not appropriate for this blog, but let's just say she revealed her true feelings about those with special needs. She hates them, because they don't fit into how she wants her world: perfect. Needless to say, we moved out. I had a quick meeting with Master Eric before class this week as a result. Cindy does know where Equa Do is located, since she drove me there a few times over the summer. I was concerned that she would show up there one night while we are having class and if Master Eric didn't know about the situation he could welcome her in as a student and inadvertently create a bad situation.
I met with Master Eric and he did not take the news well at all, stating that should she ever show up, he would reprimand her for what she put myself and Chad through and promptly throw her out. This reassured me, as did his acceptance of the fact that I view Sensei in a parental role. This is something Cindy was not able to ever accept, and at one point she had expressed a belief that if Master Eric knew, he would not condone such a relationship.Once he had me calm, he asked me to go take Spike for a walk outside while I waited for Sensei.

Sensei arrived shortly after the Tae Kwon Do class began, and was drafted into helping, so I didn't get as much time with him as I would have liked. Robbie arrived with Chad about ten minutes before class was supposed to start. This was the first time he had worn his complete dobok and belt, and I can tell you he looked good. But just as that thought crossed my mind it was time for class to begin.
There are three classes that meet during the 7:30-8:30 time slot on Thursdays, something that caused a bit of an issue once class had formally begun. All of the techniques used by martial artists require ample space, at least when you are first learning them, Fighting in close quarters is something that is only emphasized after someone has demonstrated true mastery of a technique. So, with that in mind, we moved a table and chairs aside in the waiting area at Equa Do and literally trained in the back corner.

We did our usual stretches and sixty half jumping jacks, which earned praise from Master Eric. Then Sensei brought over the foam blockers and I immediately knew what we were doing.Chad and I were going to be tested on our blocking. I found this very difficult to do when I was in such close quarters with Chad, but somehow we made it work. We did go beyond my initial training in this that I had done with Anthony, as Sensei worked with us not only on blocking unfriendly weapon blows, but how to take control of an opponent's weapon and then use it against them.

Chad continues to struggle with defending himself while still adequately protecting his body from auxiliary attacks. He brings his elbows too far out from his sides, and leaves his ribcage open. Sensei and I felt that he was having trouble grasping the types of consequences that can arise from making those types of mistakes in a real life encounter, so Sensei grabbed two of the training blades typically used in teaching the basics of knife combat. One was a standard knife, the other was a karambit. The karambit  is a small, curved, hand held blade, particularly effective when used for evisceration. In demonstrating with the blades exactly how devastating Chad's hesitancy and inability to multitask can be he really drove the point home.

Sensei may have had more planned for this training session, however, thanks to him teaching us about the use of the karambit there was not much time, and so we ended class by bowing out.

More soon,


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