Friday, September 28, 2012

Another benefit of martial arts



In addition to providing the social interaction that leads to the plot of this year’s NaNoWriMo project (which I’m referring to as the steampunk panama canal community band evolutionary psychology novel) and the frame for the zombie novel, karate has other uses. Oh, besides teaching me to defend myself, improving my character, and being not a bad workout.

Three weeks ago I started taking Chinese Poles at circus school. Strangely, I keep pulling my left hip adductor. Well, maybe I only pulled it once and then aggravated it the second week. The third week, I stretched a lot before class and it was fine.

We’ve learned a few moves: how to climb the pole (hand-over-hand, using our insteps to start though the non-beginners use their toes); koala, where you hang on for dear life once you get to the top of the pole; Buddha, where you stick one leg out from koala straight to the side, and put the same side’s arm in front of the pole, and stick both arms out; and gargoyle, where you do pretty much the same thing except hang onto the pole with your thighs. I should scan the drawings from my notebook so this makes sense.

Anyway, the second week we practiced those skills and learned two new ones: knee hook, where you put one leg straight and swing the other through and hook the back side of your knee, push your hip forward and let go with your arms (I can’t really do this), and upright hold, where you just hold on with your hands and your body upright (I can’t really do this either).

So, the reason I can’t do the knee hook is because I’m afraid, and also I don’t push my hip forward until it’s too late and my support leg has collapsed at the knee. I realized this last night at karate while we were doing basic stance, and I could feel my hip adductors, not because they’re pulled but because now I know where they are. And now I know what joint I need to flex to get my junzuki no sokomi and gyakuzuki no sokomi working right.

So the point is: it’s good to do things I’m good at and know how to do, but it’s also good to try new things.

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