Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Night And Day

I was drifting off to sleep last week and my wife mumbled to me, "you need to go back to class."  Wait, what?

Living in the far North has a depreciating quality on my well-being.  On one hand you can have an incredible summer in which the sun never sets and you have such boundless energy that it never seems to end.  On the other you have a soul-sucking winter that never seems to end and the chance to see the light of day comes once every couple of weeks.  When the winter starts my mood becomes quite labile (mercurial maybe?).  I'll watch those Hallmark ads and burst into tears; I'll over-dramatize pretty much everything; I'll walk around the house in sweeping robes, with the back of hand on my forehead bemoaning my outcast fate.  

Okay, I don't do the last one, but I'm sure my wife gets pretty tired of stretches of depressed whining.  She noticed the correlation of beatings and me having having a relatively decent mood.  I'm still not sure I understand it myself, but I can actually tell the difference when I come home.  No matter how much of a shit class it might have been, I usually skip up the steps and sing mindless songs as I get ready for bed.  

So the winter hasn't even started and I haven't been crying too much over puppies and kitties on TV so my wife's comment caught me off guard.  It's true I've been dodging class for a bit, but I must have been outwardly showing the signs.  So with some sense of renewed vigor I went to class last night with a smile on my face.

Class was creative and interesting.  Closing in on the other guy and working the legs in a variety of ways; heel shots to the other guy's calves, etc.  I was paired with Teacher the whole time which was fun, but I'm rue to throw him because I'm not as smooth and he's got aches and pains.  Then I get partnered with Cherub who fights every move.  I've told him that it's training for me and that at times he's going to need to let it happen so I know I'm doing something correct.  It's a tough concept for someone that fights everything.  

It was just four of us which depresses me to a degree.  The vitality of the adult class got bled off in the last year.  I would say that the class hits it's equilibrium at 15 members and then fails with more than that because it can't address the disparity in levels of experience and skill.   

I slept well and woke up reasonably easy which makes for a good day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Speaking of Krav Maga

I went to a birthday party on Saturday.  

I love parties.  I am a social butterfly.  I love social lubricant.  However, I am old and careful, and dare I say, responsible.  I was on call last weekend and I have been called too often in the evening, so I took the high road and became the designated driver.  

This is a predicament for me.  If I'm not drinking I get a little fidgety and end up not really enjoying myself.  Luck found me and I became the bartender for the evening.  So I was able to drink by proxy, as it were.

Through the course of the evening I was able to meet a great deal of people, but I also saw them get blurrier and blurrier as time progressed.  One of the folks at the party was a guy from Israel fresh off six years with the IDF where he practiced Krav Maga the whole time.  

He noticed my costume with the gi top (I was dressed as zombie hunter and posted my resume on my back) and he obviously felt that simpatico that a lot of beer can bring on.  So for the next two hours he had to discuss his philosophy with me.  After the first 20 minutes I realized this was going to be agonizing  - no one was going to rescue me. The problem was the repetition of the stories.  Sometimes he would slip in a bit interesting info, but it was mostly the same thing over and over again.  

Barring the drunk babble, I was able to extract these similarities in practice to TSD:

- Always close in on your opponent.
- Shorter folks have an advantage.
- Strike at the knee, if the guy that can't walk he can't chase.
- Never, ever use your skills; unless you have no choice.
- You always have a choice.
- Every moment is a moment to reduce escalation.
- Every moment is a moment to get away.
- You can eat insult and take a punch, but if you main or kill it's forever on your head.
- If you get into a fight you take responsibility for you and your opponent.  
- Always treat your opponent as if they are an expert. 

It just dawned upon me that these are things we should be repeating in class once in awhile.  I'd say that the incident of conflict for anyone is pretty much nil, but it's nice to cover philosophy of practice once in awhile.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Falling Behind

I'm going to straight up admit it.  I've been avoiding class.  I'm not totally sure of my motivations, but I think I might just need a rest break. 

For awhile I've been trying to find reasons not to go and conveniently work has become so tiring and labor intensive that I working late and very stressed out.  So I text teacher about an hour before class and let him know I'm not coming. 

As I'm writing this I know part of the problem is that I'm trying to get ready for another race and my ability to focus on multiple things is totally limited.  I've also been gradually becoming self-conscious about my physique - not that I'm gaining weight; although that is an eternal struggle, but the loss of muscle tone.  Ever since I started running in some earnest I haven't had time to go to the gym.  I've been telling myself that the cardiovascular benefits are more important that throwing around weights, but I've spent so many years trying to be low-end body builder and fearing physical aging that I can't let it go easily. 

So I'll go to the gym and run on the treadmill, which doesn't seem to have the same training benefits as road running, and then I can lift some weights.  But three miles is still 30 minutes and then trying to do a workout is going to add all kinds of time I don't have.  A conundrum for me.  So beatings has been left behind because of all this and the dwindling time I have at home with my wife. 

My wife, in addition to a 40 hour plus job, as taken on two board presidencies so her downtime is extremely limited.  We knew it was going to be tough, but the reality is that she's exhausted most of the time and we don't get a lot of time together.  Mostly we talk about the day and then fantasize about our next vacation in December.  Sad.

So I practice my katas (hyungs) and make sure I'm flexible, but that's about it for this month.  After the race I'm going back to less running, on the treadmill, lifting the weights and then back to beatings more regularly.  Or so I'm telling myself.

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  At 6:05am I looked at my phone quizzically while trying to wake up.  My SaBomNim (master teacher), who is legally blind, sent me the messa...