13 October, 2013

Fighting taller and stronger

This is an old post I meant to post months back, but I am finally posting it as something to think about.

I had a dream.  The details are somewhat fuzzy, but I think I was bicycling past some guy, who hits me in the back of the head as a I go past.  My male ego flares up, and I stop and ask WTH that was about.  He responds that he thought I was a boxer based on my reaction.  I proceed to try to hit him in the face, unsuccessfully.  I woke up, realizing how stupid this situation and my reaction are/were, and calming down to realize this was a dream and not real.

My reaction to all of this was multi-fold.  First, I need to ensure I always check that ego at the door - it serves no purpose but to escalate primate behaviour with no good plausible outcome.  Second, I need to examine my own technique and be aware of using my own height and weight as an advantage - technique should trump physical characteristics and should work without those advantages.  Third, what the heck am I going to do against someone who has reach on me?

The first point I think is self explanatory - I strive to be a humble person, but there is always an element of pride in one's skills as a martial artist.  Be humble!  Don't rise to the bait.  Best to be more aware, more careful, and avoid going past some smartass.  And if it happens, get away!  The goal isn't to dominate or prove who is the alpha male - it is to get home and protect those I love!

The second requires some clarification.  I am one of the most senior karateka in my dojo.  Also, at 5'11" and 205 lbs one of the heaviest.  It is easy to become complacent with one's skill and (without ego) superiority over others when you have all the advantages (experience training, reach, mass, strength (theoretically)).  I need to strive to avoid that - break down what I do and how I do it so that it will work for even the lightest, smallest person.

The third now also becomes obvious.  If I rely on mass and technique, I just need to find someone with comparative experience and greater height to end up on the losing end of an exchange.  I need to work my techniques and polish up my bag of tricks to deal with those situations.  Case in point, there are probably 4 people in the dojo with greater reach or strength or mass that I would be hard pressed against.  Am I preparing against an opponent like them?  That is the test of my skill I should strive to best.

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