Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Barbarian Brothers, Part 2

So lately we've had these two big guys, who I call "The Barbarian Brothers", come up to our island hideout to train with us on Wednesdays. (See part 1 Here)
These guys are 15 years younger than me and they are huge. They started doing Tai Chi Chuan with a friend of ours on the mainland, and that's how they found our moderately dysfunctional little training group. With that in mind, we have been mostly working on principles and applications so they can understand what the Yang-style long form is all about. That means, mostly rooting and yielding drills and push-hand patterns.
Last week however, we started doing some defense against hook punches, wild cowboy swings that are commonly thrown by drunks and unskilled fighters. These guys did fairly well, and despite being big, tense muscle guys they really tried to soften up and use evasive movement.
Halfway through last nights workout, I went into our junk closet and pulled out two pair of heavy marshmellow-padded boxing gloves and we had a round of light sparring with them.
None of us had mouth guards, and these guys are pretty ham-handed, so we kept the hitting to the body only. That's pretty hard to do- we all want to headhunt, even if only to open up other targets.
I have to say, the results were pretty good. Even being a 51 year-old half-assed fighter, I could hit these guys at will. They had no lateral movement, and I was able to use some sticking ability to tie up their arms a bit. My training partners can outbox me, and they worked these big guys over pretty good. Probably the most fun was seeing our youngest guy, at 21 and giving away 30 to 50 pounds dance around these guys, smiling and trading punches. That's the first time we threw him into the pressure-cooker and he did really well.
The Barbarian Brothers had a great time also, we worked them to exhaustion. I'm sure they will be back on a regular basis. The take-away from this was that all of the mundane drills and years of traveling to instructors has paid off. When faced with an unskilled fighter, even though they are younger, bigger and stronger, we can still kick their ass. Eventually we'll add light head contact, kicking and grappling.
Lots and lots of fun...


Zacky Chan said...

Yeah Keegan!!!

Sean C. Ledig said...

I think learning to defend against the wild, swinging haymaker aka The Sunday Punch is probably the single most important technique in any martial artist's arsenal.

Trouble is, most instructors other than boxers, don't teach how to fight against it. Most Tae Kwon Do or Karate one-step sparring techniques are taught against the reverse punch. In Wing Chun, I think there's too much time spend defending against straight-on shots.

In short, most martial arts instructors only teach you how to fight against someone of the same style as you.

I think it's a great thing you're doing, D.R., for yourself and the Babarian Brothers.