Trips, Flips and Whips
The first thing they need to teach you in taking a fall is that your body must land as a unit. So no falling by piece, i.e. shoulders, lower back, buttocks and then legs. By the time your legs get to the ground they resemble the end of a whip.
Normally, we practice breakfalls and rolls before we do any mat work, but for whatever reason Teacher moved into throwing the Tater around first thing. Ostensibly, I should be able to take those falls without warmup, but Tuesday proved to be an exception. That first trip into a throw led to a brutal whiplash. When my eyes retained focus I saw the gang look a little concerned.
Cherub said, “Wow, you should have seen your eyes!”
I gather they rolled around a bit. Even today my neck is telling me a story. Ouch.
The second part of class was very close in-fighting. This is very difficult for me since it means that I need be able to pick off strikes when they are just a foot away. Not my best place.
I noticed the week before that those punches were way easier to pick up when my opponent is shorter than me. The eye gaze down makes it easier to see more. When I have to look straight across or even slightly up I miss so much more.
Of course in close the use of elbows is strongly encouraged and I took one from Dave between the Ulna and Radius that we both heard clack and crunch. Big bruise on the inside and nothing to show on the outside.
The final lesson was around controlling balance to prep for a throw. Fun fact – if someone comes at you to clench (not at the waist) drive you hand up and move that head back. The rest of their body keeps moving forward and, boom, the easiest throw you’ve ever done, because you didn’t do anything.
In order to keep track of the class progression and prep for testing I made a cheatsheet of what is expected for the 5th gup test. He liked what he saw and wanted me to write out a syllabus for all ranks. Yikes! I have some work to get out of the way.