Over-and-in or under-and-in? That is the question


Baked chicken with cheese and garlic salt for breakfast {buck-buck}

Beef with garlic salt, onion and cheese for lunch. My former housemate left several packages of Mystery Meat in the deep-freeze when he moved out. I’m not sure what it is or how long it’s been in there. I just know it’s beef of some kind- he is a meat-and-potatoes; hold-the-potatoes kind of guy. So I figured I’d toss it in the crock pot (crock pots make up for a multitude of sins), and if it came out looking/smelling okay, I’d eat it, and if it didn’t, I’d feed it to my rats!

Private lesson with CC today. Part of the problem of seeing him on such an inconsistant basis is that we end up wasting way too much time catching up and other verbal digressions… and he always kicks me out at one hour on the dot- so I hate seeing the clock tick away while I fill him in on what I’ve been doing since I saw him last.

I would have liked to work on Leopard At Dawn; however, he always starts by asking me, "What have you been working on?" And we wind up working on *that*, whether I wanted to or not. Next time, I shall have to just take 15 min before I drive over there to run through Leopard At Dawn half a dozen times; then I can legitimately say that’s what I’ve been working on. But since I am a very poor liar, I threw out Southern Mantis- I decided I wouldn’t mind working on that.

First he wanted to see Hurricane Hands- then he wanted to VIDEO Hurricane hands. Gak. I had time to zip through it twice to warm up while he went to get the camera. I messed up a couple of things just because I knew I was being filmed, and that freaks me out- but I think it was okay.

I confessed that I had weedled JoE into teaching me the first bit of the Southern Mantis basic long form, and to my relief CC did not object. I thought he’d want to see it, but he wanted to see Three Step Arrow. Of course he wants me to weed out the pauses… Right now, there are still some "hmmm-what-comes-next?" pauses, so that will take some time. Southern Mantis energy flow is staccatto, and when students are first learning it, there are pauses built in between rat-tat-tat sequences. Once you are advanced enough to KNOW how the energy flow is supposed to be, you are expected to eliminate those learning-aid pause crutches. CC has little patience for me doing what he refers to as "beginner level" work, even though I *am* still a beginner, and especially in Southern Mantis! That’s pressure, but it’s a good thing- and it’s nice to have someone expecting more of me as if he thinks I’m *capable* of more.

So we worked on apps for the beginning sequence- he didn’t like the apps that I learned in the other class (more beginner-level, I guess). Gods, this guy is scary-fast and powerful. He’s carrying a few extra pounds, and he doesn’t stretch out or anything; he wanders out into the yard for our lesson with his floppy hat and lemonade and cell phone, and sits there in a plastic lawn chair to watch. But when he goes to demo an application, he moves literally too quickly for the eye to track, and suddenly there’s a Mantis fist in your ribs- stopping abruptly as it touches the fabric of your tank top, but the continuation of the energy makes you want to double over and WHOOF your breath out… and after a minute for the shock to wear off, you give a sigh of relief that that didn’t really HIT you. It gets the heart pounding, that’s for sure. I hope I can do that someday.

Then we came to the Epic Question of which direction the two three-strike sequences rotate- over-and-in or under-and-in? In CN/SK’s classes, we had spent a lot of time waffling and squabbling over this. Of course every move has multiple applications, and the direction is going to depend on the application you are using or visualizing. Of course it should work both ways. Of course the FLOW is what matters, not minutiae of mechanics. So when the question came up and we started discussing it, I was thinking, "OMG, I do not want to spend another forty minutes of my life bickering over which way these strike sequences are supposed to rotate… Just tell me which way they are SUPPOSED to go, and I can just start repping that and move on with our lives." I asked him point-blank which way they are SUPPOSED to go… I asked him several times. I should know better by now than to ask any Shaolin Kung Fu instructor to "just tell me how it is supposed to go". You get back an answer that is an hour long and still doesn’t give you a definitive judgement on the either/or question you are asking. But we discussed and demo’ed a number of applications, and how they might be better or worse for me in particular since my theoretical opponent is always much taller than me, and how they might be altered in case of this or this or that. I decided in the end that both sequences should rotate over-and-in. Unfortunately, I have been practicing the first one as under-and-in. Wouldn’t ya just know it. Back to the drawing board! But it actually did turn out to be a very useful discussion- it really made my mental gears turn a lot.

Repping the rotating three-strike sequences is something I can do at work and other places in idle moments… It’s not one of those things that I have to be in the gym, and wearing my workout clothes, and all stretched out beforehand to do. So I’ll work on that a lot this next week.


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