Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doing it Backwards

We finally got around to trying backwards shaping for kata. For once there were three of us ready to tackle a weapons kata (T, Sensei D, and me), so Sensei started us on the end of Tokumine No Kun. I had asked him a while ago if I could learn this one backwards, and he was intrigued by the idea, but didn't seem to follow up on it. Well tonight he said that to give it a fair trial, a bunch of us had to try it, so he showed us Tokumine no Kun, and then gave us the first chunk (from the last head block to the end). It's good so far. Sensei didn't seem to have any problem teaching that way, and learning the last chunk didn't seem to weird T or Sensei D out particularly once they got past the initial round of blinking. The real test will come next time when we learn the chunk preceeding this one.

It was a weapons' night tonight. Bo and sais both came out. It was one of those rare nights when only upper belts came to class, and as much as we need more new students I treasure the nights with the people who have been doing this for a while and are in this for the long haul. No having to make everything fun lest someone be bored into leaving - we all already think karate is intrinsically fun. No having to explain terms or make minor corrections - if someone does make a basic mistake a quick mention and they're back to form. It's delightful.

In other exciting events of the day, I got to break up a fist fight today. A pair of HS boys got into a serious knock-down, drag-out fight in front of the elementary school just as it was letting out. Big boys - roughly 5'10" and 6' respectively. I don't know what started it, but they were really trying to hurt each other (fortunately neither one of them had a clue as to how), and they were so focused on each other they weren't hearing or seeing anything else. One of the elementary school mothers was screaming at them and they weren't paying any attention at all.

Fortunately for me, they were really easy to break up. All it took was a wrist-lock on the shorter boy to spin him away from the fight and make him notice what was going on. They both stopped immediately and took off on their bikes in opposite directions. Thank goodness. I really didn't want to get seriously physical with two boys too young to have good sense and significantly bigger than I was. The odds would have been way too high that I would have to hurt somebody to keep from getting hurt myself.

I talked my tactics over with Sensei D afterwards - he's the most experienced person in our group in dealing with real life fights. His only negative comment is that he thinks I should have gone for the bigger kid instead of the smaller one. His reasoning being that you want to go for the aggresor, or the one who's winning, and while I was certain of neither, the bigger kid seemed likely to get the upper hand soon from what I could see. According to him, if you can control the one who wants to fight more, the other is more likely to break off, which makes sense to me. I went for the shorter kid simply because he was closer, and I wasn't sure who the instigator was.

I'm wondering if I'll ever find out who those kids are, or what they were fighting about. Given HS kids it's possible even they don't know .


Miss Chris said...

Good for you! You showed those punks who was boss!

Becky said...

Mmmmm, I love when only upper ranks show up. I actually get to be a student instead of a teacher.

m.a.l.s. (him) said...

Awhile back I had mentioned to one of our instructors your idea of teaching a kata backwards. This week my wife and I were to start on a new kata and he asked if we wanted to try the backwards thing. We said sure, we have no problems being guinea pigs. We're just starting on it but so far, so good. Please keep us posted on how it works for you.