As you knew thanks to my previous post, I was struggling with my depression. That continued into last week and when I got to Equa Do I was so mentally exhausted I almost opted out of training. I wasn't very talkative before class and pushed away Sensei and Erin. Sensei knew how I felt and convinced me that a night of training might help, so we warmed up.
The week before this one, I had demonstrated skill in all of my strikes but revealed my tiger's maw and tiger's claw strikes to be particularly powerful. In response Anthony and Sensei suggested basic Iron Hand training. This would involve deadening the nerves in my fingertips slightly and forming callouses. I worked at that for a bit, and then was asked to run through strike repetitions. I started to, but then lost my focus and motivation. Sensei believes this is due in part to how much training I do on my own time.
In order to give me a break from the monotony and show me how far I have come in my training, Sensei had me do an exercise I have done in the past, but demonstrate improved skill. That, however, will have its own blog post.
Master Eric came over at this point and Sensei said he would like me to have a formal sparring match. At first I suspected he meant that he would spar with me, and Master Eric was there to referee so to speak. Boy was I wrong. When I asked who I was to be partnered with it was Master Eric who stepped forward. Needless to say I was a bit nervous. He is a fifth degree black belt after all.
We began our sparring match circling warily and Master Eric struck out first. I attempted to use brush trap strike but he is much too fast and I was forced to modify the technique. I linked my arm through his and yanked his elbow to a bent but immobilized position against my shoulder. Because I am at a lower vantage point pulling and locking him in this position gives me full access to his head with my other hand and I landed several blows successfully, including a few to his ribs and sternum as well. Master Eric kept striking for my head when he could and made several efforts to get behind my chair where I could not retaliate as easily, but I repeatedly either twisted out of his grip or allowed him to get behind me and then ran over his feet. One chokehold he did was moderately successful, and he was able to start moving me toward a wall at high speed, with the intent of simulating ramming me if I could not break free. However, I was successful and Master Eric conceded the match at that point, earning me a victory.
Just because I was victorious once however, didn't mean the sparring match was not without its own lesson. I had responded to the moving choke too slowly for Master Eric's liking and he requested that I work on it with Sensei. I did but not for very long as class was almost over. We discovered that I am able to use the momentum of my chair, an off handed push and my body weight combined to wrench my chair away from my attacker and usually run over his foot in the process forcing him to let go. I did this with Sensei and indeed ran over his foot, nearly breaking his toe.
Once that happened Sensei decided it was time we bowed out and class was finished.