Thursday, May 2, 2013

Martial Arts Fix

 Sorry I'm not posting much.  School and life have been rather busy lately.

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One of my defensive martial arts teachers is more aggressive with me than the other teachers.  He’ll push me and tell me I can do better and won’t accept the timidity I sometimes have when I don’t know what I’m doing.

And he doesn’t mind if I get hurt a bit.  If my finger was in the way when he was using a practice weapon, he’ll hit my finger and then I’ll learn to move my finger faster next time.  And he’ll throw me fairly hard when demonstrating some of the defensive moves.  One time, he pinned me with his knee on my back and surprised me by twisting my wrist under me so it hurt.  I really liked that.  And once, after he threw me, I was lying on my back getting my bearings and catching my breath, and he just told me to get up because I was smiling which meant I was fine (or, you know, for other reasons).  But he was amused with the situation, too.  I think we both enjoy the dynamic that’s created when we work together.

When he was teaching me how to hit, he showed me a few ways to do it.  One of them was using the hand as a sort of whip and making the impact with the fingertips.  When he showed me that one, he actually hit me.  And it stung and was awesome and I spaced out a bit.  And then I tried to focus because he’s my favorite teacher and I wanted to please him and do what he was asking.  But it took a minute to get focused after that.

A lot of times, our punches get weak because we know they won’t connect with the person before a defensive move happens.  Our teacher doesn’t like when we do that, though; he wants us to actually give a good attack.  So sometimes when he’s supposed to defend against us, he won’t do the move until we’ve actually punched him once.

It generally takes me a few tries to hit him because I’m so used to giving bad punches.  But something about his attitude and how he’ll push my hand away when I do it wrong stirs up competitiveness in me, and once that is stirred, I am going to hit him as hard as I can.  And I’m going to pull my hand back as fast as I can so the force can double.  And my intent is to cause as much pain as I can because I’m allowed to and because I feel competitive and because I just want to.  My focus narrows to a point.

I think he finds it amusing when I do that.  He finds it funny that sweet little Sonja can be aggressive.  Sometimes, he’ll jokingly warn the other students he pairs me with.

Anyways, this class has been an interesting place to explore power dynamics.  Sometimes I get the chance to be aggressive, and I really like that.  And other times, when I’ve been thinking about submitting a lot, I just relax into the feeling of someone taking control of my body and putting me into a pin.  And I’ll wait to tap the mat until the pin hurts me as much as I want it to.  It’s a nice outlet to have for the time being.

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