03 September 2011

My Spacing Thumb is Down

It's been a while since I've been to sparring class for Kempo. Sparring always happens on Saturdays, and half of the time I'm meeting with my writing group, and the other half of the time it seems the world is ending and I can't possibly get there in the middle of the day on Saturday. Yes, yes, I am full of all sorts of excuses. Things like:
Family stuff.
Mercy mission for friends.
Work. Yes, it's happened several times over the past few months.
Out of town.
I'm teaching class because Sensei is out on a secret ninja mission.
Hair appointment. Hey, this is important.
I had to take a shower so I could go do (insert activity here) and didn't want to get all sweaty only to have to get ready again for the day.

Okay, I've never used that last one, but I might. Some days the thought of doing my hair twice is about as much as I can take. No idea why. Just not girlie I guess.

So anyway, I don't get to class much. Today not only did I get to class, but we actually sparred. A lot of times we go over really cool drills, but don't get to do full speed sparring. Both are good, I just usually manage to hit the drill days.

In my mind a sparring match goes something like this.

Ugh, it's (insert name here). They're so (Pick one: fast, tall, big, young, old, mean, nice, slow, obsessed with kicking, grabby . . .)

We bow. Get on guard. Sensei says go. I wait.

You see, I'm not a tiger to the throat kind of a girl. I prefer my prey to come to me. Saves energy. Most people classify me as a tiger, because I do fight in a linear fashion usually, but I'm not aggressive enough to be a real tiger. I lean towards a tiger/snake style. Wait until they get close enough (which is pretty darn close considering with my fun sized arms and legs my range is about a foot) hit them in a couple of key places and then back off. Snakes only have one weapon, so they have to make their strikes count. That's how I like to play. And yes, once in a while Sensei reminds me that I have two hands AND two feet I can use to attack. Not just my left hand. Lefty is mean.

Oh, sorry, we were in the middle of a fight. I'm waiting. They get closer. I might fake. They follow it in and if I've got the speed on my side I get them before they get me. I'm okay with my hands. My legs, on the other hand (haha) are pathetic. First they're short, and a lot of people can still hit me as I kick them. You have no idea how frustrating that is. Second, they're heavy and slow, so I don't use them for much but moving around.

Today I got squared off with a kicker. She's tall, thin and all about kicking. I can block kicks. My thumb will tell you all about it. Not that I remember when it happened, but I've got a great bruise going on under my right thumb nail. It went like this:

Ack! Stupid kickers, I hate them.
Ooh, knock that kick aside and jump in there. Go for the head!
Ouch, that hurt.
No blood, no foul.
Eeek, duck. Back up. No, go forward. Punch, punch, punch!
Block another stupid kick. I swear I'm going to elbow her shin next time.
Drat, missed.
Hah! Get her. Freight train her into the corner until she . . .
Darn it, she got another kick in. How is she doing that? Oh, she's running away. Get back here, you yellow bellied (insert favorite insult here)
Hey, why does my hand hurt?

And that's how it goes in sparring class. I've got another nice bruise on the top of my foot, and a couple on my shins.

Still I got a good workout, and sparring someone with an entirely different style than mine is always both fun and educational. And sometimes painful.

Go Ninja Wannabe!

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