Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Formal Training Week 15

Week 15 saw me truly struggling, as cold set into the Lake County area. It was already dark by the time I reached Equa Do this week, and the cold that seeped into my bones despite being wrapped in my warm dobok was none too pleasant as it aggravated the spasms that were already present from the Cerebral Palsy. However, a hug from Sensei when I arrived quickly warmed me up, and he also used energy manipulation to reduce my pain so that by the time it was class time, I was ready to train. We did jumping jacks and minimal stretching, then got on the mats again to continue with the training using our crutches.

We went through simple striking and blocking as we had been taught the week before, and then Sensei taught us that our crutches could be used to execute brush-trap-strike, and so we learned that. Once that had been completed, Sensei called a halt to our physical training. In light of the way that Chad had been acting, he felt the time had come to give a short philosophy lesson.

During our white belt tests, we were asked what the duty of a martial artist is. Because of my extensive training with Sensei, I was able to answer easily and confidently but Chad had a harder time. Sensei reminded us of the duty we have as teachers and protectors, and then expanded that to say we should be looking for ways to assist others, and build them up, rather than tearing them down. This is what Chad had not been doing, shirking this duty by insisting that I should lie to Sensei and Master Eric for him, and basically give up all dignity. Chad knew the lesson was directed at him, and at least had the decency to look ashamed.
Following the philosophy lesson, Sensei had Chad and I up and striking at him as though sparring, incorporating movement and dodges with our strikes. This is something I had asked specifically to work on, as I had discovered the ability to do this while training on my own. Once I demonstrated being able to strike with enough force to injure, Sensei backed off and had us strike at the two soft foam targets we had used during our white belt tests.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear a very familiar voice just as I was about to begin doing strike repetitions. Anthony reappeared at the dojang! I ran over without waiting for Sensei's permission, I was so excited to say hello, but I didn't even get in trouble...Sensei was right behind me. Anthony was very surprised to see me out of my chair, and we demonstrated my ability to use my crutches as effective weapons. Anthony gave me a few tips on how I could improve, and then had to leave, so I ran through strikes with Sensei. After this, Chad got back in his chair, and I continued to work. Guess that distinguishes us from each other as students. I stayed standing even after we bowed out, intent on showing Master Eric what I had been able to accomplish, and turning in my first homework sheet. I had completed training daily, bringing my total hours much higher. Master Eric was proud of my ability to learn new things, and my commitment to my training. He was quite disappointed with Chad's lack of motivation.

More soon,


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