Crossfit Cindy may have mildly kicked my butt. As yesterday wore on I could feel my triceps and lats slowly getting sore. Between Taekwondo and Praying Mantis Kung Fu, my legs are pretty much numb so there was very little soreness there. Not so for the upper half!
By the time I rolled into class I was nice and sore and also dreading it. I missed last week’s Chin Na so I knew I’d pay the price. Sifu went light on the warm-ups so that was good. Crankage, however, was at an all-time high. Bad weather equaled a small class. A smaller class meant we got more time to crank.
I got to work on some level two and three material that needs a lot of polishing. The only thing worth reporting is a new technique: “lock and turn the joint”. I think there are eight or nine of these. Last night we focused on two — how to attack the thumb and pinky. Man, I have to tell you that these almost made me nauseous. In Chin Na we take the technique to the point where you are “controlled” — part from the correct lock and part from the blistering pain. The problem is that when you get to that point you’re awfully close to tearing ligaments, tendons, or just damaging the joints. A misnomer in our brand of Chin Na is that you are “breaking” bones. Not so. You learn how to displace” them and only under extreme circumstances.
Well twisting someone’s pinky or thumb and taking it to that point is certainly nerve-wracking. If you are the attacker you can’t help but worry that you’ll go too far and hurt them. At least with the wrist, elbow, or shoulder there is a much larger margin of error due to the size of the joint. Not so with your fingers! Also, if you are the defender you can’t help but worry that the next sound you’ll be hearing is your finger dislocating. Thankfully everyone appeared to survive.
“Lock and turn the joint” could work which is good. The two that we focused on where taught as grab defenses. Secondary to that is they are also “Plan Bs” for botched level one Chin Na. This is the cool part and adds another piece to making all this stuff flow together. A good Chin Na practitioner should be able to flow through two or three locks as they adapt to how their attacker responds. So if you botch your initial lock you can try to attack some other joint — in this case the fingers — or you can use the distraction as an opportunity to strike.
Total aside but someone — maybe Dojo Rat? — once told me that Chin Na would enhance Aikido. I’ve not studied Aikido but it’s one of those arts that I keep revisiting. Since Seagal is in the news I’ve looked at more Aikido videos and I think I’m starting to see what he was saying. Who knows? If I’m really lucky maybe I’ll move somewhere that offers both and I could try to combine them!
Sifu Smiley flew threw the warm-ups and calisthenics. He did this to give us more time on forms. The bad news is that my muscles were screaming. We closed with the typical 50 crunches and when I finished them I just laid there looking up at the lights. Smiley walked by me, looked down, and chuckled. Someone else in class quipped: “Hey, we killed Bob!”
I made good progress on Gong Li Quan. I now have the entire form and if I practice the last bar tonight I should be able to remember it. The form is too big for my garage so I have to constantly readjust. This pretty much rules out videoing it (except for the purpose of self-correction). If the weather gets halfway decent I may video it in the driveway. We shall see.