Welcome to fight club ladies and gentlemen! Friday was my indoctrination into a heavier practice regime to bring out the Rocky in me. Once a month all the blackbelt students and instructors from the three schools around come in to the main dojo to practice. Everything about this class will be more intense and there is no room (or should I say mercy?) for the unwilling in this class.
I was pretty proud of myself. I was keeping up endurance wise, with little pain to my foot. If I grew tired doing kicks instead of high, sloppy kicks I made sure I kicked low but clean and strong. Head kicks are nothing but showboating anyways, which Bruce Lee has pointed out before. If you and I were to go fist to cuffs in an alley I am not going to bother to kick you in your head I am going straight for your knee (get out of the gutter folks that’s first place men think of and the last place I was taught to go). Tear up your knee and you can’t run after me, now can you?
For the rest of the evening someone got the bright idea to spar. I like sparring, especially when I have had a bad day at work. How great is that to be able to beat on someone without doing any real damage and release all the pent up energy of the day? What worried me was that well, these guys are all better than I. They were mostly adult males 35-45 who outweigh me by about 20 lbs. Yes I normally like to fight those better than me because I learn from it but to be pummeled by 5 adult males, 1 teenage boy, and 1 female was not my idea of fun. So I geared up and psyched up.
This was my first time fighting with a mouthpiece. Since I hate wearing headgear I was told that I better wear a mouthpiece or deal with having a hockey player smile. I can’t stand the feeling of my ears being covered so I don’t wear headgear. If you’ve never worked with a mouthpiece before it takes a little getting used to it. I should had remember it but didn’t. Your airflow is reduced even with a breathing channel so you have to not panic when you think you aren’t getting enough air. So down the line we went, 3 minute (tourney) rounds with only a 1 minute break in between if at all.
I made it through 5 out of the 7 rounds. If I started having issues breathing I would stretch my arms above my head to expand my rib cage. I wasn’t freaking over the reduced airflow and was remaining calm to keep from hyperventilating myself. I took few good hits to the face, a nasty hit in the ribs (from the teenager) which I ended up with making an audible grunt heard across the dojo causing Sensei to remind the teenager not to pelt the adults too much. I was getting into a groove on reading my opponent. I changed my fighting stance after getting kicked in the ribs – like hell I was leaving that exposed again. The next few kicks he tried I grabbed his leg and hit him in the gut. You can get a foul for grabbing but hey they do it all the time. In fact my last opponent was tricking me into throwing a low punch. He then would grab that arm and smack me in the face. I got him back with a fake; I turned my low punch into an upper cut and tagged him good! One other blackbelt was trying to make me dizzy. He kept moving in a medium circle trying to force me to spin; I moved only in quarter turns to keep the movement down and reversed turns to be ahead of him.
Well with all this physical activity, I realized that maybe I didn’t eat enough. In the 5th fight I felt nauseous in the last 30 seconds of the round. I tried to fight it off but didn’t want to hurl in the dojo. I signaled to stop (half of them only speak a little English). When asked what was wrong and I told him, Sensei barked for me to go lie down using the front/shrine area to prop my feet above my heart. R. Senpi who is a volunteer EMT went into “fix the broken girl” mode. He held my feet up in the air and after some colour came back he starts untying my belt and gi top. I was laughing as he checked with me to make sure I was ‘properly dressed’ before he did anything that my reveal anything he was sure my husband didn’t want seen. It was cute how respectful he was of my dignity.
I sat out the last two rounds and after the nausea left me, I rolled over onto my belly. Slowly I moved into positions that raised my head farther from the ground and from being below my heart. I finally got into a standing position just about in time to line up for bow out. I had the shakes, hard core. My blood sugar bottomed out, I hadn’t eaten enough for this kind of workout. I sat there thinking to myself “Holy shit, if this is what Miss T feels when her sugars get screwed up I NEVER want to be a diabetic!” It’s an awful feeling, you are conscious but I felt detached from the room like I was sort of floating above the whole thing. I couldn’t really control my muscles to the manner in which I was accustomed. I didn’t have that far to drive home so once I got there I wandered to the basement, cracked open a large can of pineapple chunks and downed the entire can of the juice. I then picked at the fruit waiting for the shakes to subside. At least I was hydrated, I still needed to use the potty my standard 20 minutes after drinking water.
So for future fight club rounds I bought a six pack of pineapple juice in a can and placed them in my karate bag. If I ever need a quick fix I’ve got natural sugars at the ready. So when can I challenge Brad Pitt to a fight in a parking garage? I think I’m ready.