I woke up this morning in pain, pain around both of my eyes. Last night I managed to not only get my first partial black eye, but to go one better and give myself two black eyes.
I’d like to say my first came with some kind of fantastical tale of martial arts bravery, but it’d be a great big lie. No, instead the first bruises came (to my good eye) before I’d even got in the Dojang. I was chatting to my instructor as we were taking our kit bags out of the cars, and had forgotten that my boot door has a tendency to slip down a bit, especially when there’s a winter hurricane happening as there was last night. I was distracted, the light was dim, etc. etc. Basically I turned without looking (you’d think I’d have learned better by now with my training in the dojang) and caught my eye on the door. Ouch. Just as I was told that we’d have at least two new students starting that evening, what a great impression that would give, a student coming in holding a bruised eye before any kind of training even started!
I managed to get through the normal lesson unscathed and was trusted enough to take one of the new guys for the evening, showing him the ropes and trying to explain the ettiquette, and trying to make sure I could do everything asked of me. There’s not much point in demonstrating a technique if you can’t do it yourself. I think in some ways it helped me to be honest, the modicum of pressure kept my standard pleasingly high. We did some work last week on our kicking, building stronger and higher tollyo chagis, and it’s already paying dividends. My hips tend to be very tight when kicking, but yesterday I was able to go straight to head height and to the best of my knowledge, lock them out (hopefully!). The latest form I need to know, Pyung Ahn Sa Dan, is coming along nicely too. At the very least it feels stronger than some of my previous hyung have.
After the normal lesson we had one of the fortnightly training sessions for the competition team. The theme of the year so far with regards to training has been stripping everything back down to basics, and the same’s happening with our sparring. Most of us who compete have a style which has been built and adapted since we first started, which means there are some pretty fundamental problems inherent in the way we fight, so this too has been torn down and is being rebuilt, and with great results. I think nearly all of us are feeling at least some kind of benefit. Anyway, back to my tale of shiners. One of the drills we worked last night was building a decent backfist strike and one of the drills was reflex and response building, one person throwing a quick backfist to the head, the other covering up with a decent reverse guard or just plain getting the hell out of the way! This moved on to random timing, as opposed to the ‘one-for-one’ patterns we’d started building up the speed with. At one point my training partner (who happened to be my brother and I’m sure took no satisfaction from it) and I both chose the same moment to blitz and dive forward. My fist was slower, there’s no excuse, and the penalty was a fist in the eye which wasn’t softened any by my own diving in at the same time. It was my bad eye* this time, so I wasn’t overly concerned, but it meant I had to haul myself off the mat after being unceremoniously dropped.
I had the good common sense to get something cold on them when I got home, so thankfully all that remains in the way of evidence of last night’s misadventures are small bruise to the corner of my eye socket on the ‘boot’ side, and a couple of blood blisters/bruises on my eyelids coupled with a bit of swelling on the ‘fist’ side.
Off on a total tangent, here’s yet another song which has been on pretty much constant repeat in my car over the weekend. I’ll certainly be looking out for a studio album.
Glamour Of The Kill – Rise From Your Grave
*bad eye – I have a condition called Amblyopia in my right eye. It doesn’t affect me in day-to-day life, but it means I’ll never be able to do some things, like fly a jet fighter. It’s very hard to describe what it’s like to someone with 20-20 vision, but here’s the closest way I’ve found. Look at this page and notice how you can see things in your peripheral vision, maybe a mug or picture or something. You can see they’re there, you can see the shape and colour, but you can’t see any detail. That’s what it’s like over my entire right eye, even where I’m focusing. Unfortunately there’s no fix. I’ve never known any different, so it doesn’t really bother me, but there’s times when I wish I knew what it was like to see through a pair of normal eyes.