Monday, April 2, 2007

Love and Blows

My schedule was knocked out of whack last night. Ordinarily, I would have put in my hour of treadmill time, and then taken a shower, but we were standing by, so I wasn't free.

This morning, I got up later than usual, but earlier than my body would have liked. I decided to eat before getting on the treadmill, and walked by our little gym on the way to the chow hall. The cooks were outside doing their best to punch a punching bag hanging from the pullup bar. Now, you have to understand: though they have lots of heart, the heaviest of the three is probably less than 130 pounds, and they have no idea how to punch. I walked over.

The most obvious problem with their punches was the tendency to throw very circular punches (losing power), and to let their elbows fly up and out (also losing power, and risking injury). I spent a few minutes showing them the vertical punch, and how to go through the target instead of just glancing off it.

After I ate, I spent some more time with the cooks. I demonstrated a simple but effective front and rear kick. I also showed how to punch or kick while still protecting yourself, and how one could evade a punch while still using the same hand position for offense or defense. I then tried to get across the idea of throwing body weight into a target when punching. The guys had a great time, and obviously enjoyed themselves. They were wearing wide grins as they attacked the bag or threw punches in my general direction.

No, no. At me. Hit me. Go slowly, but punch through me. Good.

This is no land for a pacifist, and I was showing my love in one of the most powerful ways I knew. They were having fun, but also learning how to move when they were down to only the equipment they came with, and in a bad way- and it doesn't get much more serious than that.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend. Personally, though, I'd prefer to teach that friend how to stand for him or herself, because while I might be delighted to take the hit for a friend, I can't always be there.

True love breeds independence, not co-dependence. Strength is being able to choose to be with people, not being forced to be with them because you're incapable of function by yourself. I'm preaching again, so I must be tired. Mea Culpa.

1 comment:

phlegmfatale said...

I like this post, about you teaching the cooks some real technique for defending themselves. They all look so young (you do, too!), but tell for me them an American woman said they are nice-looking men. :)