Getting My Butt Kicked

Everybody’s schedule has been wonky with the holidays coming up, but I managed to make it uptown to spar with the kickboxers. Only one other guy showed up. His name is Andre and I was happy to see him, cause he’s about my size (they have weight classes for a reason). Well, after squaring off, I took another look and realized he’s not my size. If I had to guess, I’d say he has a 30-40lb advantage. It turned out that he had a slight reach advantage as well. Needless to say, I took the worst of it (they have weight classes for a reason). Spent most of the time (about 40 mins) getting pummeled. It wasn’t all bad though. I did get some good shots in and have a really good idea of what I need to work on. I realized my jab is not only fast as hell, it’s solid too, and I pulled off a crazy spinning hook kick that put my heel right on his jaw. I really didn’t think it was going to work, but was being pressed hard and felt the need to do something crazy. It was really sweet, but I’m afraid I’ll have to put it down to luck. I don’t think I could rely on it. Despite the obvious disadvantages, I enjoy sparring with Andre. He’s fast and has good technique, plus he’s bigger which removes all temptation to use my size against him (wouldn’t work anyway). He’s also real aggressive, which gave me plenty of opportunities to find ways of dealing with him charging in.
Yes, yes, I know, side-step, roll-back, etc… What no one tells you is that these, indeed all, techniques depend on timing. Which is why I’ve been going uptown. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. What I’ve found to make the biggest difference (between a technique working or not) is my footwork.
He was leading with the jab to measure range, then following through with combos to get me moving back. And of course, if I did (and I did repeatedly, much to my own surprise), he would leap on me like a rabid gibbon. At that point, covering, folded in half, with my back turned I was pretty much f&*^#d. Not much to be done at that point. Maybe a take-down? Quickly decided it would probably be best to avoid that situation all together. So when he led with the jab, I responded by kicking him (hard) in the armpit. So he started leading with a kick. Not a real kick, just enough of one to keep me from kicking. So I started stepping forward and to the outside and countering. Worked well maybe 50% of the time. At this point I was getting worn out and was tired of being hit, so I figured what-the-hell and started circle-stepping. Wow. I have no idea why I was so reluctant to try it before, cause it worked really, really well. Just kept going round and round to the outside. After awhile he started to look like he was getting dizzy, so I single-palm change in and whack. He’d step to hit me and I’d whirl and be 3 feet away, single-palm change and whack. I’m definitely going to try it more often in the future, but just so nobody gets the wrong idea (while the circle stepping was a definite improvement) he totally kicked my butt. I suppose it’s just as well, if they didn’t pose a challenge, I probably wouldn’t mess with them.

Don’t suppose anyone knows a ‘cure’ for black eyes?

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~ by aedhcarrick on December 13, 2009.

3 Responses to “Getting My Butt Kicked”

  1. […] Chinese draws a crowd, and the mood can turn nasty very easily. I was also spurred by Aedh’s recent post about using circle-walking against a bigger, heavier, […]

  2. Black eyes take up to two to four weeks to heal, depending on severity and how well your body heals. Healing depends on circulation and, as you probably know, cigarette smoking doesn’t really help your circulation. Ice packs or packages of frozen peas can help keep the swelling down. If it’s relatively minor, a warm compress (washcloth or paper toweling soaked in hot water) can help.

    Any blow to the face/head carries the potential for concussion, even light blows. Watch for any of these symptoms, which might be an indication that you should seek medical help:

    Changes in vision (e.g., sensitivity to light, blurring)

    Moderate to severe pain continuing over a period of days

    Forgetfulness or lethargy

    Nausea, vomiting, and/or dizziness

    Swelling does not reduce after a week

    These symptoms of possible concussion are a good thing to remember as you continue playing with kickboxers, boxers, and other fighters. Take care of those eyes and that brain. ZMQ’s admonition to invest in loss doesn’t mean winding up like Muhammed Ali.

    I’m not trying to being a smart ass here, just expressing genuine concern. Folks want to get out and mix it up with other styles and people outside their usual training group–that’s great, even essential. Most taiji practitioners’ training doesn’t include concussive blows or learning how to recognize and treat injuries. Shit happens–it’s good to learn how to heal yourself and others.

    • Thank you for the advice, Tom. I actually have a pack of frozen peas in the freezer for this very reason. I guess my real question was how not to get one in the first place (other than not getting hit). My friend’s wife is an acupuncturist and she told me it was a function of the ‘wei qi’. Not sure what that all means, but she gave me some dietary recommendations and they appear to be doing some good. The first black eye I got took two days to show up and lasted almost three weeks. The last one showed up the next day and was gone in four! Sardines and baby spinach in case you were wondering. Oh yeah, not smoking was the other suggestion. I’m down to maybe half a pack, but just thinking about quitting fills me with anxiety, so I’m going to have to trick myself somehow.

      The kick-boxing instructor, Karl, has a great deal of experience. The way he has things organized, from three minutes on, three minutes off, to only sparring once a week, is, I’m told, to minimize risk of concussive injury. Besides we’re only going ‘50%’. Nobody’s trying to prove anything. Which is just as well, I decided before I even started, that if someone ‘rings my bell’ I’ll have to take a week or two off. I think the body is fairly good at fixing itself, if you let it. That said, my training has slowly expanded to include cooking/nutrition and what-ever scraps of medical/first-aid knowledge I come across. I see the results of my practice bleeding over in to almost every aspect of my life. Taijiquan as a discipline covers so many fields of knowledge it boggles my mind.

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