Returning student, returning writer

March 2, 2011

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything online about my journey, so I figured I’d better start doing that. So, here it goes.

I’ve been sick as a dog and missed the last two weeks of class, and I’ve got a test for my blue sash coming up on Saturday. The truth is, knowing what both of my sifus have gone through over the last couple of years, I feel like a punk for not showing up. Still, I didn’t want to share this crap with my fellow students and my sifus. Bad timing to be hacking, congested, aching and generally run-down. I stopped in last night to speak with them about this Saturday and Sifu B. mentioned that it might be a day where I feel exactly like I did just then when I need to use the tools I’ve been given, so it’s time to step up and push myself. Saturday is the day to do it. Both Sifu B. and Sifu T. have told me that both the skills and the knowledge are there, and what I need to do is to show up and push through it. That’s exactly what I intend to do.

If I pass this test, there is a chance that I may be invited to train with the advanced students a couple nights a week. I was told by an advanced student that the invitation to train with these classes is not based solely on rank, but instead a student is invited based on skill, drive, and the ability and desire to push to the next level of training. I was told to think of to like this: the basic classes are where we’re training to defend ourselves from a drunken buddy who’s being a jerk – we’re protecting ourselves and those around us, but we don’t want to cause them serious damage. The advanced classes, where the contact is harder and faster, is where we train to defend ourselves from a violent attacker, take him out of action quickly and certainly, and are ready for his buddies. I like the sound of that. The advanced classes are in addition to the basic classes, where we drill the basics over and over and over, and the Tai Chi classes, without which Kajukenbo Tum Pai is not close to what it is supposed to be.

I guess we’ll see if I have what it takes to step up. I have a feeling if I don’t feel better very soon, I’m gonna get my ass beat on Saturday. Weakness and an inability to breath is no condition to be in starting a test, and in Tum Pai, it’s not really the condition you want to be in afterwards either. My goals are to conserve energy, stay alert, not force anything, and breathe, breathe, breathe. Oh yeah, and not get my ass beat. Wish me luck.

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