Wednesday, September 15, 2010. I set the
alarm for 5:30 and woke up at 8:00. I don’t remember getting up and turning the
alarm off. It’s rather disturbing not being able to remember things like that.
I did some stick swinging while I watched a film on the lap top. I spent half
an hour repeating the same escrema set of movements again and again. It’s the 7
basic strikes, they are meant to be practiced slowly, trying to get the
movement smooth and in a straight line. If you look closely when you wave a
stick around you will see that your weapon can wobble around on its trajectory,
not traveling in a completely straight line, this of course makes the strike
slower. “The shortest distance between two objects is a straight line”. So if
you practice slowly to get your stick to move in a straight line then you will
make your stick work quicker. The escrema de campo saying goes “slow is smooth,
smooth is fast”. Doing the same techniques over a long period of time is very beneficial(
and sometimes dull), It help to seer the moves into your muscle memory quicker
than if you only do the strikes every so often.
The afternoon session had a few new students;
I assume they were from a different school as they already knew wrestling but didn’t
know the same throws as our school. We started off with a long run. Going round
the small padded training room anti clockwise. The sound of feet like a stampede,
you lean into the left and go round and round again and again until you’re in a
sort of trance. Then we did the basic exercises, one of my favorites is a neck
strengthening exercise where you lie on the floor and arch your back with only
you feet and your head touching the ground, then you slowly move your head
around with your weight on it. After that we had another mini competition, I
was up first and I managed to beat 8 people in a row. I was very impressed with
myself and I saw Coach Ma stifling a grin. In the middle of this I created a
Its where instead of shooting for your
opponent leg and wrapping your arms around then pulling them off balance you
just throw your face, nose first into your opponent arm. Then you utter a
pained but manful grunt which conveys that you have just really hurt your nose.
At this point if your opponent is sympathetic he will hesitate for a moment to
see if you’re alright. This is when you take advantage of his good nature and
also your own shnozz bashed rage and take him down to the matted ground.
Although a very original little move I think it’s not the sort of thing to be
done too often, My nose was very sore for the whole day. It was a satisfying
lesson with Coach Ma pushing us all physically to the edge of exhaustion. Sets
of seemingly endless pushups, sit ups, lunges and star jumps. I returned home
spent and happy. Good exercise take your energy, it also takes your worries,
your anger and your frustration leaving nothing but a vacant shell of a human.
Too tired to embark on any useless thoughts too tired to think. The brain a
house, best left sparsely furnished with only the essentials, uncluttered and
The evening involved a pleasant stroll to
the park and some Taichi forms. I always try and work on rooting and sinking
with my long form. Firstly sinking my shoulders, hands, sinking my stomach then
knees. At the same time imagining that my Chi is flowing from my dantian(lower
stomach area) and coursing down through my legs like water down a drain pipe
and attaching its self to the ground like the roots of a tree. A woman came and
talked to Sarah, correcting her Yang 24 moves form. That’s one of the things
that peeves me about Taiji. Everyone’s a critic. Everyone knows better and they
love to say so. In wrestling you don’t get too many self proclaimed master,
because usually their arrogance is forcefully thrown on the mat along with
their body. There are some arrogant wrestlers but that’s just because they are
bloody good at it. With Taichi many people don’t practice actual fighting so
there is no absolute way of telling who is good or not, the only vague way is
to watch a person’s form and this is method is made murkier by the fact that
there are so many Taiji forms.
I then practiced the Chen fast form which I
always try and do with a lot of energy and low stances. Working on quick strikes.
Sweaty and happy Sarah and I went to the nearby night market along the main
road and had some rice noodles in soup and a plate of fried noodles.