Sunday, January 11, 2015

Update: The Intimidation Factor

Just a quick update on yesterday's post.

Well, like most things, the fear of  a thing is worse than the actual thing.

Yeah, basically.

I got to the Aerobics Center where they train (and that place is about the nicest place I've ever trained in - it's amazing).  Ran into a few friends that I've met either via my daughter's participation in this organization (my daughter is very popular, as she's known as "the girl who smiles" when she fights), so that made me feel a little better.

I jokingly told my friends to take a picture of me wearing a white gi, as it doesn't happen often.

We got into class - and it's a big class, over 30 people.  We are supposed to line up by age and rank, and we didn't quite get it right, but nobody worried over it too much.

I must say, they did a great job in explaining the etiquette - which is, after all, more based in safety than anything else,  They spent enough time there that it really helped me get over the fear of the unknown.

So we learned the traditional grip on the bo, how to hold it, how to move it from side to side and bow with it, basic movements, and finally, a seven count drill that is pretty cool.

One lesson I learned - we all learned - is that this class requires the good Japanese white oak bo.  None of this spinning-behind-the-back trick stuff was going to happen.

We were having our grips "checked" by the instructors hitting our bo with some force. One classmate's bo apparently was a cheapie, because after a couple of strikes, the tip broke off and flew across the room like a missile.

It looked a lot like this.

It was a sharp, deadly missile, that tip, and we're all grateful it didn't hit anybody.  His bo became a spear and useless for class.  I bet that was 40 bucks or so down the drain!

After class, friends introduced me to some of their students I hadn't met yet, and to a person, not a single person had any idea what Filipino Martial Arts or Modern Arnis is.  That tells me we have a LOT of work to do (it's another reason I'm so glad that we have +Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance gatherings - it's gotta help with this in the long run!).

So, class was actually pretty nice, and while I still don't think it'll ever be my favorite, I am a lot more comfy swinging a 6 foot stick around than I was.   I enjoyed class, and I'm looking forward to the next one.