Training With Arete

On Friday afternoon I got to do a little one on one with the man I call Arete.  He is crazy busy, so I don’t get as much time with him as I would like, but I am grateful for every minute I do.

Anyway, we met and did a quick review of what we had done previously.

He showed me a few new things about leg grabs and choke holds.  Different ways to get out of them.  I am used to the just go limp defense, but he should me several other things I could do to get out of a choke hold or at least get my chin between the bad guys arm and my throat, so I can keep breathing.  I don’t want to explain what he shows me because I am afraid I wouldn’t explain it correctly. I really don’t want anyone to try something based on my weak explanation.  That would not be good, but trust me, what he is teaching me is pretty cool.

He likes to just come at me and do things to see how I will react.  This rarely ends well for me, but I am getting better.  In the beginning, I would stand there and freeze cuz, well, that’s what I do when I am nervous.  I freeze.  I can’t think or process information, but not on Friday.  On Friday, I fought back.

Fought back is probably not the right phrase.  I didn’t fight, but I did defended myself.  I blocked punches and I moved.  I wrestled out of leg grabs and avoided getting taken to the ground a few times.  I still did not throw a single punch while we were “fighting”.

He did try to get me to fight though.  He did his traditional “punch me” line. I stood there for a few minutes, but eventually did hit his chest.  He was not so much impressed, so he got the pad and I hit that a few times and did a few knee exercises.

At one point my back was to a baseball field and he asked me if anyone was on the field and I said yes.  He asked who.  I said 3 guys and he asked me what they were doing.  I said watching me and he said yep.  They were not even subtle about it.  They just stood there watching.  Not that I am surprised, it is not everyday that one goes to a park and watches a chic get the crap kicked out of her.  It was probably a sight.

The good thing was that even though I was listening to him and trying to block punches etc, I was still cognizant enough to remember to look around and see who else was at the park.  Later he was talking to me about a woman that was standing at her car.  I looked and then turned back around to listen to him.  After he talked for a bit he asked me if anyone was with her and I said yep a little boy.  He wanted to know what color the boys jacket was.  I thought I knew, but instead of saying I got nervous and said I didn’t know to which he replied what he always replies…”Yes, you do.”  Usually, he is wrong and I don’t know, but I said red.  Bingo, the boy’s jacket was red.  Apparently, it also had a white strip or something.  He is way more detail oriented than me, but I am making progress. 

At the end he was coming at me and punching and I was blocking and he said you can hit back.  I didn’t say anything and so he said, “I know you hate it, but you have to learn to become the aggressor.”  He does not mean this in the literal sense of me going out and attacking people.  He just means, I need to work on the mental block I have about hitting another person.

Just not there yet. He pointed out what has been pointed out a millions times…it is a process.  Can’t undo years of conditioning in a few months. I did think I would be able to hit him.  I went to the park fulling planning on punching him. I was surprised and a tiny bit frustrated that when it came time to do it, I couldn’t, but I was pretty pleased with what I did do.

I know he is not coming at me with everything he has and that if he wanted to he could stop me in a second, but for what he is showing me, I am learning and I am able to apply it.

I am there first and foremost to learn how to defend myself, but I have a crazy good time doing it.  Even when I am frustrated or nervous or covered in bruises…I love it!

36 thoughts on “Training With Arete

  1. “I am there first and foremost to learn how to defend myself, but I have a crazy good time doing it. Even when I am frustrated or nervous or covered in bruises…I love it!”

    Yup! Been there, done that. Its hard to explain to people who just see the aftermath and think you are just crazy for doing it. Nothing easy is worthwhile after all.

  2. GG Thank you for all your updates. While I have not each and everyone of your past posts yet, the ones that I have a been very well writing and I do understand what you are going through. I feel your confidence growing with every class taken and every post you write. Keep up the good work.

  3. What an asset you have in Arete. My husband and I were just talking about this yesterday. Someday soon I hope to find a trainer like that. I am an old woman compared to you, so I have more limitations, but even at my age (58) I’m sure there are many ways to defend myself. You always give me motivation! Keep up the good work 🙂


    • Yes, I am very fortunate to have him in my life. Your not an old woman…lol. I am sure you would enjoy the training even if it wasn’t as bruisy:)

  4. It sounds like you’re getting very high quality training. Hands on in a one-on-one setting is hard to come by these days, and it’s very valuable and real-world. Soon enough you’ll find your “switch” that will let you become the aggressor and respond to the attack. Keep at it!

    • Yep. I am spoiled. Thanks for the support. I’m sure my brain will switch eventually. There has to be a killer in there someplace:)

  5. You are making lots of progress. Try to remember the little things I showed you this weekend, maybe you can incorporate some if it.


  6. A girl, please don’t sell yourself short you are doing great and even in this short o time you have made great strides. I am proud of your accomplishments and there is always someone faster stronger and meaner out there a very hard lesson to learn when your younger. You didn’t cross your feet or do the rabid flamingo attack


  7. Yet another reason I want to get a CHL…I know that if it came to hand-to-hand, I’d get my butt handed to me (probably by some guy using my own hand). Never been a very combative person, myself…probably should look at some personal defensive classes at some point, though. *sigh* So many things that need doing, so little paycheck…

    • I am not combative either, although in my quest to not be such a puss, I have become a bit defensive and sort of an ass when I am nervous or unsure. Probably not better. The growing process can be painful, but I’m lucky cuz I have good people around me.

      A little hand to hand training is good for everyone:)

    • No denyin that, just know my limits. Mrs.Alien has 3 (give or take) black belts in taikwando. I’ll use my rifle to whittle down the mob, then handgun to take care of those who learned how to duck…then she can finish off the last two while I reload. See? Teamwork!!!

  8. I could provide you with a dissertation on what is inhibiting your ability to strike back but choose not to subject everyone to this. Instead I’ll simply say what you are going through is not unheard of and that you’ll have to come to terms with it or fail. When training please keep this foremost in your mind, by fighting back, punching, kicking, and use of weapons you are not just protecting yourself. You’re protecting others, either your family, the police officer who may be responding to help you or the next probable victim. It may well only be two people who are engaged in the actual struggle but others are affected as well. Put on your big girl pants and stop thinking so much, thought prompts indecision which in turn locks down your actions. Instead just do, every time, just do, practice it, shut down your racing mind and just do.

    • Yeah. Ok. I am not going to fail. Your right. I will do it. I will.

      It was a bad weekend of over thinking.

      I am not going to fail.

    • I disagree, it wan’t a bad weekend for over thinking, instead it was a weekend where you learned what over thinking can cause. Unless you learn and redress problem area’s your not learning your potential week link’s.

    • There’s a time to think thing’s through as you did when the repairmen came to your house. But there is also a time to turn down the static and do what you’ve trained to do. Find your balance, don’t wait to be told to strike every time you train, suprise your instructor. If I were closer to your location I’d stop by and have you beating the crap out of folks in a couple of hours. You would cry but by gosh you would fight too.

    • One more thing though…I have been on the wrong side of the fight and I am not sure just beating me up when I have no skills makes sense. He is teaching me things to do and then I do them and I do, do them.

      I am going to hit him. I might just drive to his work and punch him right now.

    • Nope, beating you up while building your basic skills is not the right course of action. Showing you basic skill sets one step at a time and then having you demonstrate them is part of the plan. Practice, mental conditioning and experencing a positive reinforcement when you use the skill sets is the desired end result. Your on the pathway kiddo, show me your war face…

  9. It sounds like a realistic training session. And yes, you will have to punch back. I have a problem with that myself, I am always defending, and not attacking. It is a mindset thing I suppose.

    • Glad I am not the only one…lol. I guess it is mindset, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with fighting for your life and I think it should be dirty and violent. I want to learn how and so I think it is more, actually I don’t know what it is, but it is annoying.

  10. You know what you need to do? Prepare yourself for a good blow and next time he says “hit me” fire a sharp jab to the sternum. That will make him happy. Trust me. 🙂

    Good job on keeping up with this. It’s awesome.

    • Ha! I know your joking, but he is only trying to get me to do what I asked and what he knows I need. If I am not going to hit him then why bother showing up?? Except it’s fun…lol

  11. Keeping up your situational awareness (e.g.: the kids watching, mom and the kid in the red jacket) even while training as you are is great! Kudos to you for that alone.
    As to the aggression? You’re definitely not alone. Keep at it and you’ll find that balance you need.

    • Thanks Tim!!

      I felt very good about Friday and then I started feel like I should be farther along in the aggression thing, but lots and lots of folks have emailed me and your right I am not alone.

      I let something get in my head and it messed with me a little. Got it worked out though:)

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