Flow and Mantis

Thursday night Kung Fu.

Although I was doing some badass tabletop horse stance at the beginning of class, I was dismayed to find halfway through the class that my knees were hurting pretty bad. They had been hurting on Sunday after class; I assumed from all the twisting and hard landing involved in the Tiger-Versus-Cane crescent kicks. The right one is noticably more painful than the left- it feels like there’s a swollen fruit stuffed in there- and that’s the one that twists in that sequence that I repped a million times on Sunday. However, I have done literally NOTHING for the last three days but lie around and read books. It seems that this particular malady is not helped by bed rest (or needs more than three days of it…. which is never going to happen).

We spent the entire class time tonight doing a slight variation on the build-a-form game. Each person in turn added one move to the sequence, but we were supposed to stick to mostly hand techniques- and mostly stay in one place. Stance shifts were okay, but no travelling or going to the ground.

Also- special emphasis on continuing the energy of the previous movement. I assume SK did this because we are currently working on Tiger Versus Crane. One of the main concepts of Tiger Versus Crane is keeping the energy flow unbroken through the entire form. Of course that is true for ALL forms…. but with all the flying kicks in TvC, it makes a very noticable difference in both power and exhaustion level whether you are doing that or not.

I eventually noticed that all of my contributions to the sequence were Northern-Mantisy. I had to chuckle when I realized that I had done that because I’ve spent the last two weeks doing everything with the index finger on my dominant hand stuck stiffly out to the front- essentially a modified Mantis Claw. My subconscious was either in Mantis Mode from doing that…..or…… I was subconsciously choosing techniques from the style that was least likely to reinjure my bad finger. I hope it was the latter; it’s neat to think that my subconscious fighter-brain is at a level that it automatically makes adjustments for handicaps. Ideally, in a real fight, that would mean a greater ability to continue fighting efficiently in spite of injuries that are serious enough to hamper physical function.

We did beaucoup reps of this, since we were in drill mode instead of the circular build-a-form formation… thirty reps of the sequence after each addition. As usual, it was hot enough to bake an apple pie in the classroom- so it was a sweaty cardio workout.

After the reps, we took turns being the defender and doing the apps.

Individual forms time. I did a few reps of Cannon Fist, then some Bung Bo Kuen In the Mirror. I didn’t really have the energy (or the knee function) to work on TvC, but there were just a few minutes left to walk through the setups for those two tricky flying kick sequences a few times.

My finger is mostly functional at this point for light-to-medium tasks, although it still hurts some when I try to do certain things with it. If there was anything on the schedule except COMPETITION TRAINING, I would want to go in this weekend. However, I am anxious about putting the finger through the Trial By Fire that is Competition Training. I’m going to be really torqued off if I took two weeks off and then I reinjure the flippin’ thing even worse on my first class back. I should probably do drills for a bit and ease carefully into the actual rolling, depending on how things go. Thus it is probably wisest to delay till Tuesday. Sigh.

(pic- Nate’s promotion)

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