Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Continuing the Journey

A few weeks ago, I wrote about re-starting my To-Shin Do training. I thought that perhaps a good way to stay motivated and keep up with my training would be to blog about it here.  So, if you keep an eye on this particular topic, you'll hopefully see an update now and then.  It's not meant to be a "brag-reel," even though it might sound like one .. it's just a way to get my thoughts out and maybe hold myself accountable.  And hey, if it manages to get one of my devoted readers interested in martial arts, that would be a nice bonus.

Anyway, the journey got off to a rough start. I was not actually able to start until last Thursday, a week after I had planned.  Tonight, I won't be attending class because I've got the Martian Death Flu or something. I hope I feel even slightly better by Saturday so I can go to class that day. Sometimes I wonder if the universe enjoys screwing with me like that when I commit to doing something that's going to be challenging anyway.

The one class I have attended so far, though, was really good!  I got a good work-out, managed to not get hurt, and even learned a few things. I was actually surprised at how much of the stuff my body just remembered to do, even though I hadn't thought about it for a couple years. We concentrated on various ways of applying a choke-hold, and getting out of one.  I was once again reminded that as physical as this art is, it is still mostly mental.  Let me explain.

As is usually the case when I'm learning something new, I screwed up the first few times I tried the technique. It felt difficult, un-natural, and ineffective. However, once my instructor pointed out what I was doing wrong and my mind was able to apprehend the science behind it and allow me to correct the mistakes, I was surprised at how physically easy it actually was!  The real challenge was not having the physical strength to brute-force something - in fact, using my strength with incorrect body positioning and alignment proved difficult and futile. The hard part was comprehending in my mind what was actually happening and how to respond to it. Once that part clicked, the technique itself became easy, natural, and yes .. very effective.