Dipping My Toes Into the Flow

graduation-hat-cap-md5/2/16 – College Dojo

Pushing hands.  Hubad-lubad.  Sensitivity drills.  I’m not quite sure what the Karate organization I’m training with calls ’em.  The label doesn’t really matter – as Grandmaster Remy A. Presas would say, “It’s all de same.”

The first time I did anything like this was in a black belt’s garage-dojo.  She had invited a few of us out for training and lunch, and I was by far the lowest ranked.  I was introduced to this fun game of deception, luring, escaping, trapping, and generally, as my stick-playing FMA friends would say, “going with the flow.”  We started out with arms only then moved on to using our whole bodies.  Now I have a better idea of how to work when someone is in my space!

I found out very quickly that trying to use brute force and strength only gave my opponent a huge advantage.  I had to stay loose and keep in motion – adjusting and re-adjusting as needed to work towards a goal.  I also learned that sometimes it’s OK to yield to my opponent – that in doing so I might set him up for what I want to do to him.

In College Dojo today we did a little of this as well.  College Sensei only had us use one arm today.  I smiled as the young man I was paired with tried to overpower me with strength.  It didn’t work.  I figured out which direction he was “aiming” his strength and simply directed it aside and tagged him.  Patiently I started working, getting him into a rhythm, then abruptly broke the pattern I’d woven.  Tag again.  We didn’t have time for more because class ended.

After class, another young man of low rank challenged me to a one-armed match.  A challenge from a lower ranked karateka is a breach of etiquette.  I chose to deal with it indirectly and with a good bit of mischief, grace, and humor.  I said, “I’ll do you one better.  Let’s play this with two arms and the goal is to trap one another.”

Sometimes being Sempai is a lot of fun.  I found out he is good at this game.  Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the few minutes we had to play.  I think we are equally matched skills-wise, so if we play together more we’ll both get better.  I learned that rather than yell at the kid for daring to challenge his Sempai, it’s a heck of a lot more fun to “punish” him by challenging him to grow in skill.

Click here for a great article on going with the flow!

Author: Joelle White

I began training in Karate in June of 2014 after a 27 year hiatus.

7 thoughts on “Dipping My Toes Into the Flow”

    1. Starting to get an inkling, Brian 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement! And you’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    1. Oh wow, thank you for stopping by, reading, and commenting RoseAnne! Thanks for the compliment 🙂

  1. A very important lesson, actually – etiquette is actually not something that is taken lightly in the more formal martial arts. I like very much the gentle way in which you taught it.

    1. Thanks, Kouhei Tsukuda – I’m learning to appreciate the depth and richness of etiquette, including the unwritten rule that seniors really shouldn’t be jerks towards the juniors.

  2. ps. dont think im hating on Ghetto up there, if you know me or check out our site, yo#8u&217;ll know im one of the biggest Ghetto fans out there, im just being realistic in the sense that a lot of people find it hard to understand him when hes goin on devilish mode

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