Sunday, March 05, 2006

I surprised myself yesterday...

I was instructed to take one move from any kata that I wanted to.. and find an application for it.

I decided to take the opening move of the kata, Jion. I stood there, holding my hands in front of me. My mind swirling with "O.K... which way is the power going? What am I doing? Why am I doing it?" All of my thoughts were blank.. just blank.

So.. I decided that since my feet, knees, and hips will help give me a hint as to what I'm doing.. I paid extra attention to what they were doing. My left foot went back, and my body sunk down using gravity as a force. The power of the technique was heading down.. not sideways.. but down..

Yet.. my hands were doing a circular (almost sideways double block).. I suddenly asked myself "What if?" "What if the power was actually being sent inwards, not outwards? That would mean that I was going in, and down strong enough to break something.. "

I gave myself permission to entertain the thought that I was stronger than I really was, and I realized that if I grabbed my opponents oncoming wrist with my left hand, my right hand would do a hammerfist strike on his elbow at the same time that my left arm was violently pulling the arm twisting, and downwards against the power of the hammerfist strike. Adding my body weight dropping with this move.. the chances are that I could break, or horribly hyperextend the arm of my opponent.

I stood there in a state of elation that I had figured this out.. even IF it was not actually applicable... I was also shocked that I could think so violently with such calm reserve.. almost like a doctor describing surgery. Is this still "Me"? What happened to the person that I remember being.. the one who begged her father to release one of the fish that he had caught from the line because she thought that the fish was looking at her so sadly?? I still remember the frustrated growl that my Dad gave as he released this fish so stop the tears of his daughter.. and then we saw it floating on the water a couple of feet away from the boat.


[Mat] said...

Hi there.

Well, that person grew.

Defending one's life is a thing. The fish is another one.

That's what they say, when they say you begin learning karate at shodan...

Stephen Irwin said...

Sounds good! Worth practising in slow time.

Or perhaps it is a cross hand grab and tie up?

I think you are right with the idea of the stance offering a subtle clue as to what's happening.

[Mat] said...

About the trip to Canmoore,

We'll see how it ends up, but it'll probably be by plane.

I'll find the link soon for the event. I left it at the back of my mind, someplace. :)

Right now, I have a bit too much on my mind.

good day to you.

supergroup7 said...

Hi Mat,

I agree.. once you have the basics of movement trained into your body, then you can start learning how to apply them. I would say that start to understand what you are doing at Shodan.

So, if you are flying overhead on your trip, just send a wave my way. I'll be thinking of you.

supergroup7 said...

I was thinking that very thing, Stephen.. that perhaps it is a cross hand grab, and tie up. That thought was the first thing to pop into my head... there are two reasons that I had to discard that application:

A) The opening movement of Jion does not include the swirling of the hands clockwise to tie up the opponent's arms... it is a straight down, and almost forwards feeling.

B) The movement following this technique is at a 45 degree angle to your left.. so obviously you have handled the threat to the front effectively, and with conclusion. Just tieing up your opponent would not finish that person, you'd have to throw them at least. IF the application of the first movement of Jion is a hidden throw.. o.k... yes... We cross grab, tie, and throw.. sure.. it's possible. I had to think what the main ideas of the rest of the kata Jion contained.. Were there alot of hidden tie ups, and throws within it? My limited assessment said that Jion is mainly a moving into your opponent, and striking type of kata. The tie up and throw didn't seem to fit the pattern. I am more than ready to be awakened to another possibility.

Colin Wee said...

It's not uncommon to be surprised that you can fathom such a solution. The fact is that if one requires to, you can easily think of other more devastating or debilitating or downright sinister moves.

Much of my work as a self defence instructor is to make this 'surprise' go away. A lot of my participants come into class thinking to learn some cool moves and be done with it. But during class they're lectured about the importance of visualisation - thinking about your enemy and the worst case scenario. Then they've got to make the decision to defend themselves when required.

They have got to be able to send their fingers into the attacker's eyes, bite his ear off, go for that groin strike, etc. And they've got to do it without hesitation. There is little luxury to stand there wondering about the possiblities of a move. All they have is an interminable few seconds and ... POW ... they've got to make it happen.

If you've surprised yourself, that's a very interesting place to start understanding more about martial arts. Martial arts is shocking. All techniques on a certain level are shocking ....

A good defence is a good offence!
A good offense is a good defence!

This should intrapolate to each of the techniques you use. :-)

Good luck!

supergroup7 said...

As I started looking more deeply into the Bunkai of a kata, I started seeing the amount of damage possible. I believe that some of the surprise that I feel is how clinically logical I am about the violence inherent in the techniques. I had an impression that one had to be a violent person to be able to accept, and persue such violent thoughts. I have always been, and still will be a very compassionate person. It seems ironic that I can balance both the violent, and pacifist within me so well.

Colin Wee said...

Violence and aggression are two concepts that we deal with in our self defence class. The self defence definition of violence I use is that of unwarranted aggression. The definition of aggression is warranted physical force. The class needs to know that violence is what a would be perpetrator is about to commit (or has committed). THe force could amount to the same thing, but self defence tactics are aggressive yet are appropriate to defend oneself against violent encounters. Make no bones about it, there are some people in the world that have no qualms in hurting you. You must protect yourself against that, even if it means employing techniques you'd feel mostly uncomfortable using for real. Colin

Alberto said...

Hi there

My name is Alberto and I'm taking my Shodan test on Saturday, July 18 2006. Your stories are a motivation for me as I'm preparing my sef for the test.



supergroup7 said...

Welcome Alberto! I'm thrilled to hear that my words are uplifting you as you journey towards your Shodan.

Thank you for coming to visit my weblog, and for leaving a comment.

I will be sure to think of you on your testing day, and send as many pleasant energies your way as I can.

Just do your best, and leave the rest!