Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This conversation totally happened last night...

On Tuesday nights, our normal instructor allows us to learn from his instructor, Gat-Kuya Peña (who has his own dojo, Street Smart Self-Defence Systems). I don't think could explain in one post how awesome he is—he's patient, funny, and wicked talented in the Garimot Arnis system. 

Gat-Kuya Peña is losing his voice, so it fell to me to take most of the instruction—at least as far as the talking was concerned. We have a lot of new people in our dojo at the moment, so I was tasked with going over the basic strikes (there are five), calling out the names of the strikes in Tagalog as we went along. After we felt the students were comfortable with the  strikes, we paired up the kids so that the advanced belts were partnered with the new kids. 

During this time, both Gat-Kuya and I walk around and help the kids with corrections to their stances, or their strikes, hand positions, etc. One of the stances following the first overhead involves holding the stick outside your left arm, similarly to the way you would mimic holding a baby--like a cradle.  As we walk around, he notices that some of the kids are putting the their sticks under their arms, and stops the class.

Gat-Kuya: ok, the name of this stance [shows stance] is calon. what does that mean
various students : cradle
Gat-Kuya: exactly, it's like you're holding a baby. You don't hold a baby like this [puts stick under his arm], right?
various students: no!
Gat-Kuya: ok. let's try it again

(at this point most of the kids go back to partner work, with the exception of my oldest son, who's working with one of our newer teens)

Son: SIFU! 
Gat-Kuya: what's up?
Son: my mom held me like that when I was a baby; under her arm.
Gat-Kuya: (trying not to laugh) did she really?
Son: oh yeah, I was really small, so she could totally hold me like that!
Me: dude, shut it.
Son: um, I'm supposed to be not talking as much. I'm going to go back to teaching.

As we walked away, I explain to my instructor that I did indeed hold him that way, when he was a toddler, not a baby but he just laughed and went back to working with the other kids.

which is all to say: if you hold your babies under your arm like a football, it may come back to haunt you someday--and in the middle of a stick fighting class.

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