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!