Southern Mantis

The 70-80% level of technical excellence can be achieved relatively quickly; however, to attain the remaining 30% or 20% requires a disproportionate amount of time and effort. Tony Gummerson, "Teaching Martial Arts"

126.0

I’m relieved to not be gaining a lot of weight. Besides the "almost no exercise" thing, I have (as Georgette says) been "craving comfort food"- partly because I’m depressed and partly because it’s really really cold.

JoE wanted to work on the first section of the tai chi long form again, so we did that for a while. Then Southern Mantis.

Notes:

After the first turn, the stance is a cat stance, but shifts into a front stance with the strike.

The first backfist- look at the target over the right shoulder, but do not turn the shoulders/torso. Torso remains facing south.

Just after the cat stance with curving-up topfist: as you skip forward with that circular punch, the left hand is doing a southern Mantis-handed clearing motion in front of your body. (This is *HARD*- it doesn’t really seem to make kinetic sense- yet)

The low splitting motion just before the head grab- these are also southern Mantis hands.

Head grab and knee up: the reason I was having trouble getting my rt knee past my inturned left knee to do this knee strike is that when JoE does it, he pivots on the posting foot as the knee goes up, so that the toe is no longer turned in. While I had barely been able to squeak out the technique with my toe still turned in, I needed to stop and clarify that- because the next move has you turning to the left. If my toe had remained where it was, the next move would have rotated my left leg 360 degrees at the hip and busted the thing right off.

New part: after you smash the bad guy’s head on your knee, turn to south in horse and chamber left hand at waist. Right hand describes a small counterclockwise circle and ends pressing toward the floor palm-down at groin.

Without stopping, bounce out of that strike into another small counterclockwise circle and Mantis-fist strike rt hand across your waist to the east. Torso does not turn- remain facing south.

Without stopping, bounce out of that strike and turn east in cat (left toe in front), rt forearm across chest and palm warding toward north just under left armpit. This had should be all the way past the body. As it snaps into place, left hand comes over it and strikes to east at neck level with poking southern Mantis-finger. This strike begins at centerline breastbone and the arm follows a looping corkscrew path, curving a bit to your rt and ending with the palm facing north. Very southern-Mantisy, it looks awesome when JoE does it- I am clumsy with it. I can see how it’s SUPPOSED to be, though.

JoE is not happy with my flow in this form (a perpetual problem for me, especially in Mantis material). He doesn’t like the pauses. He made me try to do it really fast, to get rid of the pauses.

We then did some Box form, at JoE’s request. I was able to confidently answer all of his questions. I feel pretty good about most of my Dragon material. *He* looks clumsy in *this*. I couldn’t criticize his motions (well, I could, and did, a few- but then he fixed them), but the flow needs a lot of work. He was pausing too much (ha ha… I’m totally serious!) It’s good that we have different strengths, so that we can help each other learn.

We ended with a little sparring, slow-mo because I didn’t feel like putting my contacts in. The slow-mo- with him- really points up 1)where I leave holes, and 2)how I let him tie up my arms (often getting one or both actually crossed over my centerline). I didn’t let him take my back and knock me down to RNC me this time, although he did take me down once, and then perched on top of me and punched me in the head. I was able to mime ripping his testicles off, but eventually had to cry uncle and admit that although he may be neutered, I was dead. I wish my sweep skills were good enough that I woudn’t get pinned with him on top like that all the time.

As usual, I had a hard time dragging ass out to do this this morning. My body was happy afterward, though.

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