Monday, December 8, 2008

Young Punks

Isn't there always some young punk that wants to screw around with you because they hear you practice martial arts?

Myself and two other Dojo Rats had a very nice Tai Chi Chuan application class Saturday. It's a long day trip, involving two ferries both ways (four boat rides) and a fair amount of Beer afterward. Our instructor, Michael Gilman is very detailed in his instruction. I kid you not, we spent three hours on just the first four or five moves in the Yang long form. That's the difference with internal arts, there is a microcosm of structure and alignment, especially when you put it in action against an opponent. The study of these postures explore many of the concepts that carry on throughout the form.
For instance: in the first opening for Ward-off left, do you pivot on the weighted foot? Or do you shift to the stationary leg, turn the unweighted foot, shift the weight on to the foot you just turned - then step forward into ward-off?
The first method, pivoting on the weighted foot is very Yang. The second, shifting from one leg to the other is very Yin, dealing with an unweighted leg. This method tends to be more "old school". It does buy you a little time while you are neutralizing the opponent, but you are not in as strong a position if the opponent is powerful. All this stuff makes a big difference in freestyle push-hands, and of course in self-defense. This kind of study gives us fresh, new ideas to experiment in our solo form practice.
Later this week: a review of a new DVD - "Yin Style Bagua - Seizing And Grasping Attacks"


Hand2Hand said...

I like your comment about young punks.

Back when I still drank, I got invited to a lot of parties. Often, I was expected to act as a bouncer in exchange for beer.

It's one of the reasons I don't drink anymore.

I don't get challenged often, but when I practice at one of the local parks near my house, I get a lot of people doing Bruce Lee yells or singing "Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting."

Those don't bother me anymore. The worst are those nosey busy bodies who think their idle curiosity gives them the right to interrupt my workout with annoying questions.

"What is that?" "Is that some kinda kerrotty?" "Do you give lessons?" "Hey, I'm a yellow belt! Can we practice together?"

I do my best to ignore them because I don't want to encourage rude behavior. But I do get some guys who are persistent. One guy was so offended that I wouldn't stop what I was doing to answer his annoying questions about my tai chi that he stood in front of me and blocked my progress.

Bad idea! I left him on his back, rolling in his own puke. I make no apologies for what I did. Some people's rudeness doesn't deserve a polite response.

Another time, two teenage boys were heckling me. One wanted a demonstration and I was in a shitty mood so I offered to oblige him.

"Here! Take this staff and try to hit me with it!" I said, offering him my staff.

"You're not going to hurt me, are you?" he asked.

"Nope," I replied. "If you're dumb enough to take a swing at me with a deadly weapon, I'm going to kill you."

The kid also claimed to have a black belt.

"Really?" I asked. "What style?"

He looked puzzled and asked, "What do you mean what style?"

"You're a black belt and you don't know what style you have a black belt in?" I replied.

"Hey it's whatever style Mr. XXXXXXX teaches," he said. (Instructor's name withheld).

"So if I go to Mr. XXXXXX's school and ask him if you're a student and you have a black belt, he'll say 'yes.' "

The kid looked worried and said, "You know Mr. XXXXX?"

"I should say I do," I said. "I know he's a very reputable instructor who wouldn't be stupid enough to promote someone to black belt who didn't know that he taught Tae Kwon Do and Shorin Ryu."

As I was getting ready to go home, the kid then asked, "What would you do if I pulled a gun on you?"

I gave him an honest answer.

"Well, if you don't finish me off quick, I'll get my gun from the glove compartment and see how fast I can empty a magazine into your fat ass!"

The kid said "I've got a gun. I'm carrying a .22 in my pocket. I'll show it to you!"

"Okay," I said. "Show it to me."

If he produced a gun, I was set to pound him unconscious, throw his fat carcass into my trunk and drive him to the Tampa Police Department.

Thankfully, he was just bullshitting to me.

A couple of weeks later, I was relating the story to a few friends. One of them was a student of Mr. XXXXX. She said that Mr. XXXXXX would want to know if one of his students was acting up. She invited me to one of the kids' classes to see if I saw that fatass and his friend.

Sure enough, they were there. Fatass was a green belt. Mr. XXXXX took all of us into the office and chewed that kid out until he cried. From what my friend told me, it was the last time Fatass set foot in that school again.

And those are my young punk stories.

Wim Demeere said...

That's pretty good one! LOL!

I have a less impressive one, but still fun.

About a year or two ago I get a call from a guy. Asks info about my Sanshou class. During the conversation he mentions he's a EUROPEAN CHAMPION CAGE FIGHTING! I congratulate him and go on explaining about the class.

Then he says his TKD teacher is afraid to spar him anymore since he became ECCF! (Gonna abbreviate a bit, it's easier. :-). Again, I say, good for you.

He asks some Qs which I answer. And then he repeats that he is a ECCF!!!!! (his emphasis, not mine.) Again, that's neat, feel free to drop by.

A week or so later he does. Scrawny looking dude with a potbelly. During warm up, he's already out of breath. Can't lift his leg higher than his hips (impressive for a TKD black belt and a ECCF!!!!) He seems to have some training but nothing all that impressive, and I'm being kind here.

When we spar at the end of class, everybody goes easy on him because he's just out of his league.
Class is over, he asks how much to enroll, I explain, he pays for ten classes and leaves; Never saw him again...

In case you missed it, I trained a EUROPEAN CHAMPION CAGE FIGHTER!!!!



Hand2Hand said...

By the way, DR, I've always loved that video. It reminds me of when I introduced my stupid calico cat to my 20-pound ragdoll.

Meena, the calico, was only half the size of George, the ragdoll. But, she persisted in challenging him.

It further convinced me of something I knew all along - calicos are dumb!

Dojo Rat said...

You guys crack me up.
My young punk stuff usually happens at drinking parties, often outside around campfires when half the crowd is pretty lit up.
You can't hurt people you care about, but you can have a little fun with them!