CK and I met at 9:45 and worked until after 1. Well, we worked for about 2/3 of the time and had uncomfortable discussions for the rest.
We did more of the same type of light sparring that we’d done the other day- some with strikes, some with no striking (like Contact Improv), some with just me striking. We also did a variation which focussed on circles and spirals. Sort of a Dragon/tai chi mix of energies. I really liked that. It let me play with connecting techniques together and letting the energy continue and flow through more than one technique. That is a skill I would really like to cultivate and work more on.
The pace and intensity we were working at was allowing to me to analyze my opponent and pick the best targets by looking for what was open- something I have also wanted to improve upon. It was also allowing me to experiment a little with different techniques, since I wasn’t in frantic-mode and feeling like I needed to stick with the small handful that I am most comfortable with.
I told her what I had been observing about how she seems to always know where my weight is and be constantly guarded against potential kicks from the lighter foot- but that I am often getting kicks in when I hop-switch to kick with the other foot, or when I do more than one kick without setting the foot back down. She thanked me. Then after that I didn’t get so many of those. Darn. Oh well, I owe her some feedback to allow her to improve as well…. then we both get something out of this.
She also mentioned how much of an adjustment it was for her to focus on my center, compared to the center of her most common sparring opponent- who is over six feet tall.
Still having a lot of trouble relaxing, especially when we first get started. Ten minutes after we began, my shoulders and arms were tired and there was an ice pick of pain under my left shoulder blade. I did better as we kept working, but when we were done and got back in the car, that ice pick came back and hung around a while.
CK insisted that we sit down and talk some more about issues in the Shaolin group. She said that the last time she had visited, I’d been in a very angry state about banging my head against the glass ceiling, and that by contrast I now had a "palpable aura of sadness". We talked some more about the same issues; not really any new material except that I did discuss with her how having a certain more junior student assuming an informal "assistant teacher" role was causing me problems in class. To my relief, she validated that 1)I’m not a horrible person for resenting that, and 2)that’s inappropriate behavior on that other person’s part. She thinks that CN and SK should be putting a stop to that kind of thing, but we both agreed that neither of them is likely to address or even recognize that particular problem. The informal nature of our class makes it easy to let such things slide. She says that I need to set boundaries…. sigh… that would be difficult for me in this particular situation. Although I *have* resolved to start asking for individual forms help again, and be firm that these be private one-on-one interactions. CK also mentioned that she suspects this behavior on the part of this person may likely be based in hir own insecurities- which is the same theory I was musing over myself a few weeks ago in my training blog.
We also discussed Nemesis and his dangerous lack of control. She has been saying for the last few trips that she wants to get a chance to work with Nemesis a bit and do some push-hands, and maybe a few other things, to see if she can help out at all with this issue. She never seems to get time because she spends all her time with JB and me. So I told her that I am putting in a formal request that she do that at the earliest opportunity and that I will sacrice some of my own time with her to ensure it will happen. It’s worth a try, and this problem is just going to get worse the longer it goes unaddressed. She can work with JB, JM and I forever on issues related to our being intimidated by Nemesis, but it’s still not going to help much if his habits remain the same and he just continues to injure us.
After the lesson, I gave CK a ride to run an errand and head off to her next appointment of the day. We ended up getting lost after being diverted by construction- which forced us to drive around till I was losing my focus from hunger and we had to stop for food. I do not want to eat out while I’m dieting, but there was no choice. I ended up inhaling chicken teriyaki on rice. I would have liked to take half home in a doggie bag, but I wolfed every last crumb. I used to eat a lot of rice and pasta… I have had neither for a month. I have also avoided anything as sugary as teriyaki sauce. It was so good, I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. I have been thinking about it all the rest of the day, and will surely dream about it tonight. And it wasn’t even particularly GOOD teriyaki… it was mediochre fare from a skanky strip-mall teriyaki/burger takeout joint…. but oh….. yum. I’m weak just reliving it now.
Later in the day, we met up again, with JB, and went through the Catherine Dao form a few times. CK didn’t have a ton of nitpicks, so it must not have been too bad. We did work on that ending, which JB and I had been struggling with. The actual movements are a lot easier than what we had been TRYING to do!
Then CK worked with both of us on the light sparring. It was JB’s first time with this particular style, so she got the lion’s share of time, which was fine. Then CK had JB and me work together on it. Both of us were VERY VERY stiff! We tried to slow it down and lighten it up several times, but it didn’t help much. We are kind of competitive, and we also have a hard time restraining ourselves from having it all become about "Gotcha!". She was also being quite aggressive and driving forward a lot- which had me struggling to restrain myself from a knee-jerk reaction of going harder myself and having it just turn into a grudge match. When I saw myself starting to answer force with headbutting return MORE FORCE (I’m a Tiger, this is what we **DO**), I made myself back down and start moving defensively. Lo and behold, lightning didn’t strike me down because I backed off. The hope was that JB and I could work on this more on our own. I’d like to try, but we didn’t do very well tonight with the relaxing part (which is most of the point of exercise). Well, any attempt at easing into some sort of sparring is going to be better than the big fat nothing that we are currently doing in that realm.
JoE showed up for part of this, and I did a little of the light sparring with him (after warning him to go light and slow). JB attempted a turn with him as well.
There’s never enough time with CK on her visits, even though she is nice enough to give JB and me second priority after her own MA teacher. She will be back next month for only a weekend, for the Chen seminar. We may or may not get any time with her then, depending on schedules.
I have to work another 11am- 8pm workshift on Monday, but I am going to BJJ on Tuesday morning come hell or high water. It will have been seven straight jiu-jitsu-less days in a row (not counting JB’s and my informal rolling at kung fu class on Thursday). Someone on the jiu Jitsu Forums has a sig about "missing BJJ like a crack addict misses the pipe"…. I am relating to that feeling right now. Although if you offered me a roll vs another plate of that chicken teriyaki……… that would be a painful decision. I’d make the correct choice- but it would be painful indeed.