Trick Dummy

August 19, 2011

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the mat working on tricks, but as the dummy. Lately, I’ve spent a lot more time being the dummy than I have working on my own technique! It’s all good, though, for a number of reasons.

Working with lower-ranked fellow students on beginning tricks gives me opportunity to share the things I’ve learned, and to help them correct errors in the same way that I was helped to correct those same errors. It solidifies my knowledge that I have learned the trick.

With my blue-green test coming up on only 8 days (sheesh!) I had hoped to really work on my tricks, as class is the only place to practice them. You need a dummy to practice a trick, and you need someone who is of equal or greater rank to practice it well. New students or lower-ranked students don’t go as fast or hit as hard, and so are not acclimated to getting their wrist seriously cranked or being taken down aggressively. That’s why it takes an equal- or higher-ranked dummy to really practice tricks well. There is a core group of us of, all close to the same rank, who often stay after class just to work on tricks. During this time, we can work on whatever we need to, and we have the whole mat to flail each other upon without worrying about sending our dummy headlong into some unsuspecting student. We can share different bits of knowledge that we’ve picked up from our Sifus or from higher-ranked students. There is definitely a lot of learning that goes on after class.

Friday is usually a much smaller class, though with test date coming up, I’m betting it will be fairly full tonight. Friday is the day where we generally go a little harder. One instructor that usually teaches Fridays really likes to bang it up when I’m working on tricks with him. I love it. He really wants me to be able to do these things at speed, and I’ve found that working with him is so much harder – and that’s the point. He pushes me to the next level of training, because he really, really wants us to have the ability to do these things outside of class in a real-world situation, should the need arise. The situations he brings when he dummies are real world applications, and they get progressively harder. For example, Trick #3 is designed to redirect the a punch to the head when your attacker and you are literally face-to-face. We practice it face-to-face, and that punch comes faster as we go along. It’s the application of a trick I’ve become comfortable with at slower speed, but it’s an attack that would never actually happen at slow speed, so he pushes me to get it working at a real pace. I love it. It’s freaking hard some days, but I love it.

I am surprisingly not nervous about testing – yet. I always am, but right now, I am not nervous at all. Instead, I’m looking forward to it. Here’s hoping it remains that way.

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4 Responses to “Trick Dummy”

  1. Kathy said

    Good luck on your testing next week. If all goes as planned I will be testing for green in late October. I always look forward to testing, but I’m sure happy when it’s done.

    Going at speed is always interesting. I still need a lot of work on speed with control. I was working with a BB on 3 option and I ended up tossing him across the floor-oops

    • Kajumaga said

      Thanks Kathy! I feel the same way, I always look forward to testing, and I’m happier when it’s over.

      We’ve all been stepping it up lately, and I’ve found that going at speed with a committed attacker is the only way to make some of our tricks work. I love it when it works well, and I dread when it doesn’t. On a positive note, my armbars have improved much since I’ve had some one-on-one time with my Sifu’s, and I’ve gotten many, many pointers to clean up earlier tricks just in the last two weeks. I feel good about going into this test. What I really need to focus on for Saturday is to remember to BREATHE! Sifu calls me a ninja sometimes, ha ha, because I’ll often do a trick and not kiyai on the strikes. What he is really saying, though, is make some noise and BREATHE! It’s a bad habit that I haven’t been able to break yet.

  2. Nick said

    You can learn alot from being on the other end of a self defense and asking the hard questions for your clarifications. What really makes the trick work to your advantage. Doing you trck improper only makes it harder to achieve efficiently. Its one of the things I have been working on for a while is to make the self defense take less effort to accomplish. This is when technique will surpass strength; try doing the trick 100 times in a row and see who still has the energy to keep going. The person with better technique will have plenty on energy to keep going. The person with the strength will eventually run out of strength and the trick will not long work.

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