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2012-366 Day 342 – Karate VII

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been so busy and forgetful that blogging slipped past midnight. But hey, at least one of the things I did tonight gave me the blog topic for today.

I started training in Tang Soo Do just over a year ago and have advanced several belts, but I had a first today. I had been putting it off as long as possible, as it was something I wasn’t particularly comfortable with, and also something that I felt I was sparing others by waiting to participate. Sadly, I could wait no longer, as I need two of these classes before my next test in January, and December is already nearly a third gone. What is this mystery class? Grappling.

Now, for those that don’t know, grappling is not the same as sparring. Grappling is actually what would happen if you let sparring matches go to their natural conclusion, because most real fights end up on the ground. Since American Tang Soo Do opted to focus more on self-defense, one must also learn to defend themselves on the ground. Why did I wait so long to participate (you know, until it was actually required of me)? Well, that’s mostly a function of two aspects of my body: 1) I’m big and 2) I sweat a lot. Now those two aspects give me an advantage in an actual grappling match, but actually inflicting those on people I like?

So, unable to stall any longer, I arrived at class not quite knowing what to expect. I did not expect the composition of my first class, with only three students (including myself) and Master K. The other two students were one of the women Black Belts and a pre-teen Purple Belt, although if you put them together I still outweighed them. After some warm up stretching and exercise, it was time to learn my first grappling techniques.

The details of the class aren’t that important, we learned a bit about how to deal with someone turtling and the over and under grips trying to achieve a choke hold. My size and weight were definitely to my advantage, but Master K was still able to fold me like a pretzel once I got my arm into a position where it wasn’t supposed to be a couple times. Never was quite able to pin him down, but I think I acquitted myself fairly well for a newbie. I wore my middle weight uniform to help with the sweating problem, which definitely helped the body, but I need to find something for my head/hair.

The funniest part, to me, was when we were practicing getting out of a spot where someone is sitting on your chest. The two main parts to escaping were to get their arms off of a straight line so their balance is thrown off, and then try and raise your hips to try and get onto either side so you have some space to maneuver your arm down by your leg and use the leverage to roll them off you. Seeing as my legs and hips are the main beneficiary of all my running, when I had to try and escape Master K I was able to throw him off of me with my hips (I’d say, conservatively, that Master K weighs about forty pounds less than I do). After trying again, he set up for a third time and wanted me to work on the arm to leg technique, and thus looked at me and uttered the line of the night that still makes me laugh when I think about it.

“Okay, now pretend I’m heavier.”

Weight: 222 Loss: 18 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 360.7 miles
Fitocracy Level: 26 ID: disciplev1

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , .

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