Wimp Lo

August 4, 2011

“I am bleeding, making me the victor!” ~Wimp Lo, from the movie Kung Pow

Frequently, a friend of mine will ask how my training is going. I never mention specific techniques, tricks or forms, but instead I only ever seem to talk about the recent injuries I’ve sustained.

“How’s kung fu?”

“It’s great, man, I’m loving it. My shin is bruised and I landed hard on my shoulder last night, but the ankle and wrist are good today.”

My friend usually says something like, “Ha ha, I wouldn’t want to mess with you!”

I’ve known him a long time, and we both know that I’ve been in very few fights while he has been in many. He’s a far more experienced fighter than I am, he’s in much better overall health, and he’s a much, much stronger guy than I will ever be. He’d most assuredly beat my ass in a fight unless I got some very lucky, very damaging strikes in, very early, and even then, they’d only have to be damaging enough to buy me enough time to get my ass away from him. We both know it. But, when he says these obviously untrue things, he’s not trying to be a dick – he’s trying to be a good, supportive friend by encouraging me to keep at it. It made me stop and think, will there come a time when I’d be able to take him? It can’t be all technique, can it? What else am I missing?

My friend is a very confident guy, he always has been, and it seems to me that with that confidence comes a certain comfort with aggression that can be held in check or let off the chain at will. He knows he’s fit, he knows he’s capable, and he doesn’t boast or brag about it – it’s confidence, not bravado. A huge part of self defense, then, must be in building that kind of confidence. I’m a middle belt, usually happy with where I am if eager to continue moving forward, but I also know that, practically speaking, where I am likely provides me with little real protection from someone who’s strong, experienced, and aggressive. Skillset aside, I simply don’t have the confidence.

My friend is more than just confident, he’s also very strong. Unfortunately, I’ve not committed myself to any kind of bodybuilding or weightlifting program, and I absolutely could stand to build some upper body strength beyond the usual 30 pushups per class. I have not yet, to date, been able to sustain the level of commitment for, say, a P90X regiment. I am officially a P15X graduate because I simply did not have the discipline to stick with the 90-day program. I made it through those 15 days just fine, I enjoyed it and I actually saw a wee bit of improvement in there, and then on day 16 I just – stopped. The truth is, I’ve never had the desire to ‘pump up.’ A friend recently sent me a photo from 25-odd years ago of a bunch of us sparring with boxing gloves – or more accurately, a bunch of them. I was the skinny kid in the background, with no biceps and no abs, drinking beer and having a great time while everyone else was working out. Minus the beer, it seems like not a lot has changed since then.

That being said, I am commiting myself to doing something more substantial than the everyday warm-up exercises. Now I just need to determine what that is – if it’s only the upper-body P90X workouts, then that will be what it is, and off the top of my head, that sounds like a good start. I think the most important thing right now, though is that I start doing something. I may just find a little more confidence within myself , and that, as they say, is how it starts.

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One Response to “Wimp Lo”

  1. Nick said

    You will learn over time so much that it wouldn’t matter how big the other person is. You wouldn’y really realize this until your a under rank and someone new comes in and when sparring its so effortless not to get hit and easy to get them. You train and spar with people that are trained what I like to call Elite. So when regular Joe comes in its not as hard as one would think.

    I have seem people half the size prevail over the bigger and stronger person. Experience, technique, and knowing the proper time to us them gives you a advantage. Also through training you will learn how to take all that abuse.

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