Today was our second women's self-defence class. It was sweltering hot--"Bikram fighting," one of the other women called it. The other women are becoming familiar to me, not only through their faces and the bits of their stories they share, but also, more intimately, their fighting styles, the strength and quality of the way they shout "no!" the determination with which they meet the attacker.
One woman has a shout that could cut steel. It's so piercing that if she ever is mugged, all she will have to do is yell and the guy will flee, clapping his hands over his ears. Other women's voices come from deep in their bellies. Some are caught in their throats. Some of them are working their way up from a ladylike whisper.
As in the last class, I fought hard; I was passionate, I was determined. I am strong. But my positioning sucks. Turns out there is a yoga to fighting. And just as in real yoga, I am somewhat coordination-challenged. A well-placed kick or blow can knock a guy out. Sloppy technique and the same kick results in a torqued knee for the kicker, or worse.
Today we had to practice dropping to the mat quickly, then rolling on our side and into kicking position. Quickly, that's the key word. I tried to drop and almost broke my own toes in the process. Somehow my feet tangled up under me. By the time I had gotten myself into position, my attacker could have run around the block and gotten a latte, and then jogged back to see how I was doing.
This week I resolve to practice positioning myself, dropping to the floor from each side, over and over and over if that's what it takes. Our instructor can droip like a stone in five seconds flat: whump! Her leg is up and she's ready to strike like a rattlesnake. I want to be able to do that.
The class is six hours an afternoon, for four afternoons. Twenty-four hours total. I'm feeling like I need a hundred hours to get this knowledge into my body. I plan to take this class again, if that's what the teacher recommends, or to move up to the next level. This is a challenge, and I'm loving it, much more than I would have thought., I was the anti-jock of all time as a young person, skipping gym, making fun of athletes. Now I'm working hard to develop a semblance of the reflexes I might have developed back then. And I appreciate them more.