Friday, September 17, 2010

Sera Class With Obstacles

Kind of dark, but you can see we're also doing a bit of dog-fu here ...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I liken my martial arts training (and most everything else I'm learning) to a spiral, a shifting helix, like a stretched-out coil spring that ascends around a core. Each time it cycles, it is at a slightly different angle to the subject. Sometimes almost at the same level, sometimes maybe a bit below; what I hope for is that it is slightly higher than when I passed the same spot before.

Still looking at the same vista, but from a little different viewpoint, you can see things that maybe you didn't see last time. And if you are paying attention, you can add to your knowledge.

So after a long time playing with knives, we are back to basics again -- doing combinations, which everybody knows don't work in the real world, but which we do to learn the ways in and out of them. You may never get to throw that killer nine-strike combo, but you might find yourself in a position wherein one piece or another would be perfect, and you might have it -- if you've played with it a time or twelve.

It's not about going through the whole sequence, as it is figuring out once you do this or that, then what can reasonably happen from there? What if he blocks the first shot? Or the second?

Every attack has a counter, as does every defense. You won't have time to dick around with too many of these, but you might really need more than one.

Where are your balance and focus? How can you get offline, past his attack, to his side, or behind him? (We spend a lot time doing that in platform-based training. You can meet the attack head-on, you can retreat; you can slip the attack by moving offline, and change the relative positions. You can alter the timing -- meet, advance it, retard it.

How you do these requires practice. What tool you use requires experience using it.

Djuru Eleven works if you are behind the attacker; that level change won't do if he's right in front of you. How you get there from here is good to know.

You learn things of limited use for that one time when it comes up. Traps and locks against a full-power attack are iffy for anybody less than really expert -- like those accupressure spots that knock somebody cold with just a touch. Hit it dead on, you are golden, but in the heat of fury, pinpoint accuracy, or reaching for a figure-four lock is apt to get you smacked real good.

If you soften somebody up, rack 'em in the nose with a good shot, then maybe that suddenly-floppy arm or acupressure point will open wide, so it's good to have the tool. Just maybe not so smart trying to use a tack hammer when what you need is a nine-pound sledge.

Um. Anyway, we have some newbies and relative newbies, plus us old guys could use another pass around the core, so we have been mining the first and second djurus again, and there are some real diamonds to be found. Fascinating how I come across the odd epiphany now and then, one of those head-smackers where you go, "Oh! Yeah! That's what that means!"

I confess that doesn't happen as often as it used to happen. At this level, it's getting to be about precision and, I hope, instinctive mastery of this or that. I feel that I have plenty to use if I need it.

Point is, it never hurts to go over the basics. Chances are, if you ever have to use your training, it's the basics that will save your ass. That's why you learn them first ...