Well, this week has certainly been interesting. I have somehow managed to pick up my third illness in two months - another sinus cold! I hope this one will go away without the need for medical intervention, but it did cause me to miss my Thursday evening To-Shin Do class. Thankfully I was feeling well enough on Saturday to attend class that day.
Remember how I said in an earlier post that I was worried that "it just wouldn't be the same?" Well, I couldn't have been more right, and it seems like that's a good thing. As it turns out, the training I'm receiving now is more geared towards potential real-life self-defense situations than previously. This is natural since the instructor has worked in law enforcement and private security for decades. Now, please don't interpret this as a put-down to my former school. Those guys know what they're doing, too, and I'm grateful for the instruction I received there. In fact, it's a testament to their awesomeness that I'm doing as well as I am, starting at level 3 at this new place after 2 years off. It's just .. different, that's all.
Now, with all that said, Saturday felt like my brain was going to explode due to information overload. Or was it sinus pressure? Well .. maybe both. The highlight of the class, for me anyway, was the workshop we did on gun defense. I was able to play the role of a gun-wielding defender and an un-armed defender. In both cases, the idea is simply to not get shot, and therefore staying out from in front of the barrel is the main goal - for both people. In either situation, once the un-armed party decides to try to take the gun, it no longer really matters how it started - both are fighting for their lives at that point. It was pretty eye-opening for me in a few ways. First of all, I learned that if you're forced to use a gun to defend yourself, it's not a good idea to let your assailant get close enough to think he has a chance to take your gun from you .. and if he's already that close, you're better off just leaving your gun in your pocket and going hand-to-hand. It was also encouraging to find that I seem to have the skills and intuition to have a pretty reasonable chance at surviving a close-range encounter with a gun-wielding assailant, or an assailant trying to disarm me.
This was an experience unlike any I've had before .. even though I knew the guns we were training with were safe, I still felt quite a surge in adrenaline each time I had to defend myself. I had tried to put myself into the mindset at the time that all that mattered was not letting that thing be pointed at me no matter what, and that I really was fighting for my life. While I realize that there is no substitute for the real thing, I hope that were I ever to face the real thing, I would at least know that I know what to do to survive, and my training would kick in.
The other neat thing that happened in class was that my instructor told me I'd be ready to move up a belt rank soon. This is an especially big deal to me because I've been at the same rank now for 2 years. Just as a comparison, it look me about 2 years to go from a beginning white belt to where I am now. When it happens, my new belt will be solid green, and it will mean a lot to me, just because of all the struggles, internal and external, that I will have overcome to earn it. In fact, I will probably consider it one of my greater achievements over all.