Las Manos de Piedra y Sangre

What with all the hullabaloo around the last couple of UFC fights in which the winner employed a front kick to end the match, has made me dying to integrate the move into our sparring. It’s not that we don’t use it all the time, but the simplicity of the move and my innate flexibility in that area really calls to me.

The only problem is that Teacher has been somewhat reticent to reintroduce sparring because of the plethora of plebeians (I love alliteration). For some reason we had a very light class last night and it was mostly experienced folks. That means that we’d have a better possibility to spar if Teacher ran out of energy making up class content. Luck was on our side as we had ten minutes of class left after practicing kata for 30 minutes.

I got to spar with one of wonder twins and found to my dismay that a slowly performed front kick is easily blocked. What made it worse was his block was horrible. Normally performed the downward block would be more than adequate to stop my half strength kick. However the Twin either didn’t see the kick starting or he started the block really late. Regardless, the top of my foot met up with his elbow while it was faced downwards.

It’s not that this kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time, but for whatever reason my foot got his elbow just right. And by that I mean wrong. When I was getting out of the shower this morning I noticed the obvious swelling and tenderness. Even my wife took a second glance at the apparent blob on top of my foot.

The second match was with the new guy, Storm. He holds a black belt in TKD and doesn’t really used his hands very much in sparring which makes me think he must be from a sports based school. Anyway our interactions would go between badly timed hand exchanges or hopping up and down closely waiting for an opening for a well placed kick. His youth and vigor definitely won out.
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The title of the post is supposed to say “hands of stone and blood”, but I’m really unsure of my Spanish. But you have to admit even if incorrect it sounds great. The rationale behind the title is that I’ve been going through a hand hardening regimen for a couple of years now. Not that it’s much, but I was hoping to lead to a more solid foundation for my mitts.

It’s three steps now days. I have a brick that I backfist and punch (very lightly) 40 to 50 times, I do all my push ups on my first two knuckles (also the same striking spot) and finally added in finger pushups in the last year. I presumed that it would lead to a harder hand and stronger wrist. Since I’ve neglected the knife hand edge strikes in this regimen it appears that it’s the weakest link. During the sparring last night where our blocks seemed poorly timed I ended up blocking with the back of my hand toward the knife edge. Now I’ve got some nice hand bruises to go along my skins, forearms and foot.

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