Mortality – it never ceases to trouble

We did an exercise in karate tonight where ten students formed a circle and the remaining one student stood in the middle. To start off with, each person around the circle would throw a jab at the student in the middle, and the student would block and counter. Everybody got a turn in the centre, and while not perfect, it was an enjoyable exercise. The next step was more challenging though. The students forming the circle were instructed to kiai (shout) and strike at the same time at random so the person in the middle would have to sense where the attack was coming from and try to face it in time. That was a lot harder. You only had enough time to turn and face the attack before it was upon you, forcing you to block by reaction. Only one of the black belts remained controlled throughout the exercise- as each person tried to catch her by surprise, she was ready enough to block and counter with ferocity I have never seen. Her strength awed me, and even though it was 10 on 1, I would not have wanted to attack her.

The short version of this story is that I didn’t do as well as I thought I would have. I messed up a few times and would have gotten a good beating. I’ve always believed that I am more or less invincible in a fight, because of my speed and now, power. I can anticipate moves or cut them off. I can kick faster than most people can punch. But in that circle, surrounded on all sides, I do not think I could have fought my way out. If they hadn’t been kiaiing, then they would have crippled me for sure. So that was disappointing. If it had been a street fight, I don’t think I could have beaten more than two of them before I was overwhelmed. That said, no one (other than PJ, the above mentioned) did particularly well, even with so simple an attack as a jab or stepping punch. Though I suspect sensei could have taken out everyone in the circle with one hand behind his back.

So no, I’m not as invincible as I’d like to think. It’s shaken me up a bit, but I still want to learn to overcome my weaknesses and see if I can improve. Most of all I wish to test myself in a real fight situation, not training or play fighting, so I can test myself without holding back. I guess the only time I can truly find out is if I get jumped some day, not that I want to pick fights. If anyone wants to help me train, I’d more than welcome your help.

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