Crouching Lion; Hidden Ibex

Sometime we surprise others. Sometimes we surprise ourselves, when lambs become lions. When we demonstrate such skill and proficiency that we never knew we had. It makes us feel inspired, jubilant and strong, like we can achieve anything. But two things we should bear in mind: 1) We must stay grounded and humble; cockiness leads to laziness. 2) Our abilities need time, practice and work; they don't come out immediately.

A few weeks ago, I basically got whooped by Tim. With an axe kick and hook kick to my head. Surprisingly, I didn't get a nosebleed!
Some would take comfort in the fact that Tim was a black belt, a First Dan, but a black belt none the less.
"Train harder you must!" I imagined a little green alien saying to me. So, I embraced the unique opportunity to go to a sparring workshop run by Robert Tetmar.
Mr Robert Tetmar, 6th Dan Black Belt, our grading examiner who normally wears a suit and sharply scrutinises you like a hawk. Today he wore his do-bok, which was like seeing your most respected professor in pyjamas!

As we worked on the training exercises for for point-sparring, I began plotting my "revenge" against Tim. Eventually, we all separated into two groups: juniors and adults. We were going to have a mini-tournament, winner stays on.

It was me against Tim. I knew his sparring style, I refused to run, so I strafed aside dodging his kicks, landing some blows, blocking his punches. Until I got my two points! I had no idea how I did that!

Next was Rae- an ideal movie villain gangster boss, but a loving father, I'm sure in real life. Still, having trained and sparred with him before, I knew that he was a very tough opponent.
I strafed, dodged and kicked- winning a point with a stepping side kick. I conceded a point, when he punched me. Our legs locked- not a clean point, I fell on by backside, must have slipped.
But I got back up, delivering a roundhouse as he just landed.
I realised that, despite my two points, my lip was bleeding, so I excused myself.
I hadn't even realised it. I just plowed on, had Tim not told me I would have carried on, but hygiene and safety first.
The tournament had continued, as it should, and I watched the fighters attack and switch, until I was against Tim again. I can't remember how, but I lost, probably because Tim kept his leg up for some mean inside to out axe kick.
I heard Mr Tetmar talk to Vicki (a Second Dan) about how to defend against Tim's high leg, as I'd seen her confused at his stunt, only to be kicked and concede a point.
I remembered this as I faced Tim again. He raised his leg and danced, until he got tired, that's when I shot my kick for my first point.
We took many shots at each other, but none of them were clean enough to warrant a point. I took a leap of faith. I spun around for an almighty and swift back kick, catching Tim's arm with deadly accuracy. No point but a lot of motivation. I fired a side kick, catching his chest and winning a point.

Next was John, a 6 foot 2 60 year old. There was no way that I could ever do a fancy kick at him, but maybe my height could be an advantage. I'm 5 foot 5, but I was more agile than him.
"Use your speed!" Tim rooted. He was right.
I had to keep moving sideways, dodging John's every kick with his long legs. Occasionally, we would clash but retreat. I managed point with my signature stepping side kick, and I ducked his punch and tapped ( OK, boxed) his abdomen. I had no idea I could do that with the tallest black belt in our class!

I was up against the 6 foot orange belt Dan, not as scary as his father Rae, but very agile and young (17 I believe), which made his legs very flexible. But I was more experienced, and lucky before delivering two points against his one. The first was a roundhouse in the stomach, the second was my signature, when he was tiring after a missed round kick.

Barry told me to take a break; I obliged having done way more than I thought I could. I breathed a sigh of relief as I watched the others slug it out. The only person that I didn't go up against was Vicki. She'd probably win, despite hating sparring (women!). I would not enjoy going up against her; she was the first person to take me through the bare basics on my first day as a white belt all those four years ago. Plus I would feel bad for every kick or punch I inflicted on her, before she would floor me!

Mr Tetmar publicly noted that I had surprised everyone, including myself, I felt really jubilant and strong, yet tired. But my faith, my training and my upbringing have taught me the vof humility.
"Thank you, sir," I replied simply.
I know that to maintain what I showed, I would need to train harder and work. I also know that point sparring and real life self-defence will be different, if I'm ever unfortunate to have to fight. Even though I can quickly react and counter, I hope that, should that day come, I have the fortune to successfully defend myself and protect others.

Until then, I'll just do what we all did at the end of our training: go back to being the sweet and gentle people that we are.
MoonGuardian MoonGuardian
22-25, M
Nov 28, 2012