Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Secret martial arts techniques passed along in a Turkish Bath House

Okay, not exactly. It was around 97 degrees on Monday. It's getting hotter. I think this week, Seattle is just getting closer and closer to the sun. Or so it seems.

So, of all things, what do I decide to do? Go into a sub-basement gym, with limited airflow, put on luxurious bathrobes and roll around with a dozen random sweaty guys. At the start of practice the temperature was already 105 inside the dojo. In the end, we pushed up the temperature to about 115 degrees with oh, 100 percent humidity. Needless to say, afterwards we mopped up all the sweat and gave the mats a good dosage of bleach.

So what secret martial arts technique did I learn in an environment akin to a Turkish bath house? Actually there isn't really, after all, with the myriad instructors that I've had, it always boiled down to this. Come to practice and work out.

I keep on reading books, watching videos, looking at forums, and swapping stories. In the end, all that is only complimentary, the biggest thing about learning is one thing: Mat time.

And so, on a day like yesterday, I could've been inside an air-conditioned mall wandering aimlessly ogling at the consumer psyche that built our resource hungry consumption society. Instead, I decided to work out, with good friends and good people.

So practice started with warm ups. Then we moved onto uchikomis. Then practiced throws. After throws, we went to the technique of the night. The technique of the night was a single wing choke or okuri-ire-jime.

Aaron then went to teaching different variations when in position, and how body mechanically one can tranisition to different moves such as a juji, ude garami, knee bar and heel hook.
I like how he teaches, because he focuses on the body mechanics and principles of leverage/isolation/anatomy that makes a technique work rather than just showing the technique.

After the technique of the night, we went to light newaza. Newaza was a killer, and it was during this time, I'm learning more about conservation of energy and the judicious use of burst energy. Essentially, Maximum Efficiency with Minimum effort. It allowed me to grapple longer and look for gaps in my opponents defense and then exploit it.
I'm currently working on the different variations of guard passes. However my personal guard position is not that strong, with my strong position being on the offense, passing the guard, or defensiviely in a turtle. I need to work more on my transitions, and not be just static but dynamic in my thinking, and looking for openings.

Consequently what I need to do is really strenghten my core, improve my endurance, and refine/hone my techniques. This will allow me a ready access to techniques should the opportunity presents themselves. Basically, be prepared.

And so like anything in life, you have to work for it and earn it.

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