Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Barbarian Brothers

Our new training meat, nicknamed after these characters:

So we have some new guys that have been coming to the island from the mainland just to train with us. I have nicknamed them "The Barbarian Brothers", after these characters in the movie "D.C. Cab".
Older Barbarian is 36, younger Barbarian is 34. Their father was a pro football player, I can't remember which team. These guys are really big, and they work in the construction trade.
They met us through a mutual training partner on the mainland who we did Kenpo and Tai Chi Chuan with in the past. They did about three months of Tai Chi with him and found us and have been coming up once-a-week to train with us, mostly in Tai Chi since that's what our friend started them on.
As I said, these guys are big and scary. Perfect meat for us to play with. They are extremely tense and stiff, but bless their hearts they are really trying to loosen up. Because they are tense and trying so hard, they sweat like crazy. I'm almost twenty-years older than them and have nowhere near their strength, so it is the perfect test of relaxed power, technique and the physics of angles that I have to rely on. After we did about 1-1/2 hours of drills, I put a couple of skinny island boys up against them in some fixed-step push hands. Our Buddy Zackey Chan is fresh back from Aikido in Japan, and hasn't done push hands in almost a year. He was giving away almost 100 pounds and six-inches in height against old Barbarian, and Zac worked him over pretty good.
Heaven forbid these guys ever cut loose with rage and power, they'd be tough to deal with. But for now, they're putty in our hands.
After fun and games, we cracked the Beers and shot the shit. Younger Barbarian asked what it would take to get him ready to fight MMA. It seems they had just seen some cage-fights at the Casino on the mainland.
As you would expect, I said we don't do that crap. He's 34, has had a grand total of three months of Tai Chi and wants to fight professionally.
This is what I mean about the MMA mentality. I suggested that he had a good job in construction, and that fighting is what a guy does when he has no other job skills. But he persisted. He wondered if he should rent a house on the Island so he could have us train him full time. I couldn't believe it.
So I told him to go down to my friends Brazilian Jujitsu school in Seattle and after those guys work him over I think he would have second thoughts.

It does make me smile however. Regardless of MMA delusions, these guys are great fresh meat to train with, and a real test of our internal art skills and relaxed power. So far we still have the upper hand.


Sensei Strange said...

Aaron Clark from the Jiyushinkai is based in Seattle and is about as good as they get in Aikido and Judo. you might what to pass that on to the barbarians.

Zachy worked them over because he is an aikidoka now. ;)

By the way it is time to change your blog format so the videos stop spilling over into the columns. We had the same format, until I had that problem. A new format will solve that and get the DR blog looking tight!

Dojo Rat said...


Can you e-mail me about the video issue?
It does not spill over on my computer. The thing I see now is that part of the video is cut off. I have wondered about that, but I am not clear on what you see.
In fact, I don't remember your site having any problems with that either.
Could it be the type of computer we are using? I have a little netbook and it doesn't seem to be a problem on that either.

Sean C. Ledig said...

DR, you have my respect.

It's one thing to push hands with other Taiji, Xingyi and Bagua people.

But one of the best sifus I ever had believed you should try to push hands with boxers, wrestlers and body builders to make sure you can make it work with someone who is really powering against you.

The Barbarian Brothers sound like good experience for you and for them. Enjoy.