Tuesday night at the dojo, we worked on ippon kumite self-defense technique "add ons." See, coming through the ranks, the 13 ippons we were required to know were taught to us one at a time - as in only one being done at a time. In the dojo this week, we worked on doing two and even three at a time - adding on, if you will.
"Remember," Sensei S. told us, "ippon kumite techniques are only ONE POINT techniques that are designed to defend from one thing: a straight punch to the face. So, after you've countered that, you've really only disarmed ONE of your adversary's weapons (limbs)." The idea, he continued, is to learn to keep attacking and finish until the adversary is neutralized.
OK - so this made sense to me. I jumped in and got to work with those extra empis, sternum strikes and shoulder locks - only to realize that I stopped the techniques just before my uke tapped out. So I started thinking and fell upon this epiphany: I ALWAYS stop before the person I'm doing the technique on can tap. Even when instructed to "stay the course" and keep the shoulder lock or arm bar on until the tap, I stopped just short. Always. What the heck is that about?!?
I know it makes no sense, but I think the idea of stepping into a technique to grab someone and take them down intimidates the snot out of me. Like every other little girl on the planet, I grew up on fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White where the heroine was kind, gentle, giving and nurturing. Sure their gentle nature almost did them in, but in the end, it all worked out, right? I think that's my hope as far as self-defense goes. Perhaps I may even be a little afraid of hurting my adversary, which really makes no sense at all - so I talked to Sensei S about it.
He said that most likely, if I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time or to protect my child, I'd do what I needed to do to save me/us, not the other person. My concern, of course, is that how I train will be exactly how I actually respond in the face of confrontation. But I'm not sure if that's even the real reason.
So here it is: truth be told, I don't want to be that close to someone trying to do me harm - and shoulder locks and empis to the gut, neck or jaw require intimately close contact. I'm 6'2" with a 41" inseam, so a hook kick to the head or any other wide, sweeping technique will net the same incapacitation that will allow me and mine enough time to get away - and is what I prefer. But Sensei S countered with the idea that an attacker won't really allow me the distance to pull such a technique off as he or she will insist on the closeness as a way to restrict and control.
The something new I learned this week is that I need much work on finishing what is started by an adversary. The learning curve here is huge - but at least the learning continues. Where I'll go from here with it is anyone's guess.