Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Refining the Reflexes
My sensei has given everyone in the dojo a nickname and my son's is "Squirrel" - because he is very jumpy when someone is throwing a technique at him. I mean, VERY jumpy...
But I've noticed that I'm not "jumpy" at all in the dojo, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Like when class is done and we're just sort of standing around chatting before we grab our gear bags and head back into the real world, I've been "sneaked up on" from behind and have hardly reacted at all. Not an empi, not a parry, not a chamber in prep for a strike - nothing. I just kinda turn and smile, not in fight or flight mode at all. Perhaps it's just that I feel safe in the training hall - in that I know no one there is trying to hurt me ever - but maybe that's not such a good thing, either, because how I commit it to muscle memory will be how it will be done if I ever need to use it, right?
An example: since Fall is here, it's now dark as I head to my evening classes on the college campus where I teach. Last night, I really tried to make myself aware of my surroundings, aiming to kinda "feel" folks moving around near the corners of buildings or in the vestibules that aren't too well lit. Too many times, I didn't notice someone was in my immediate vicinity until they were almost close enough to reach out and touch or grab me - especially when they approached me from behind, like the young woman on her bike who rode up on my left and crossed in front of me to get to the bike rack. Didn't even realize she was there until she was almost right next to me. Not good. I don't know how to train to make it better.
Not that I want to whip around and yell like a crazy person when I'm approached, but some awareness would be nice. I'm stumped, though. Any suggestions?
My nickname, by the way, is "Neo" - as in the questioning fella in "The Matrix." Hmmm...
Posted by Felicia