On Choking

I had Teacher around the neck in textbook choke when a pain shot through my arm.  The next thing I noticed was that I was laying face down on the mat. 

We had rare few folks show up last night due to the weather, so we got to work on some very advanced techniques.  Normally this either fun or painful or both.  It was more painful last night than fun, but it went quick. 

Any technique that requires that delicate balance point of action and thought is absolutely difficult to me.  I never realized I was such a strong rote learner as it relates to physical things.  So when we change around things and I start to think most of what I do is plain and fairly unimaginative.  This has a tendency to get me down pretty quick.  When I see the others really exercise their imagination I’m very impressed because I bring nothing to the fight.  I make the ideal Uke because of that quality. 

So the first hour and some we worked on all our techniques from the knees to borrow from some of our Aikido lineage.  This is something I don’t care for at all due to tender knees in the first place and then trying to take folks off their balance from that position means that I have to do the technique perfectly.  That’s the reminder that I’m not as good as I think.  I end up using muscle more than half the times I do the work.  Thankfully I got to work with Dave most of the night so we laughed a lot. 

The last part of class was devoted to escaping holds and chokes.  Teacher likes to utilize a multi-axial approach to escape.  The first point being that the escape needs to start before the lock is fully in place and synched down.  After that he’ll do a draw down on the choking arm with one hand and then with other he’ll work over pain points with the other.  These include the “funny bone”, small digit manipulation, knuckle strike to the back of the hand, and nerve roll on the forearm.  The last one hurts so acutely that  have to spastically try to get a way. 

After a half hour of that I could barely move my arm, my neck was red from gi-burn and fingers barely worked.   When the folks would exit the choke my fingers wouldn’t clear my body and end up getting bent backwards.  Not a fun night in the scope of pain management, but surprisingly educational.  This morning my arm feels heavy and sluggish. 

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