Saturday, September 24, 2005

Falling down

It's a gloomy Saturday, cool and rainy. Not much going on here. Perfect day to spend an hour or so at the dojang.

But apparently, not everyone feels the same way. Only a small group of people is there for all-belts: a handful of adults and some children.

Ms Pryor is there to lead class, and she says to Justin, "Let's get these mats out."

They pull out the mats, and the rest of us help.

"Oh no, we're going to work on throws," says Pam.

"I don't like this falling down business," I reply. She says she doesn't either.

But we don't start with throws.

"I want everyone to do somersaults," says Ms. Pryor. She demonstrates.

Somersaults? It's been a while. But we do them.

It's actually fun. My inner child is having a good time, and I remember doing rolls in modern dance with Carol. "Floorwork," we call it in dance, and it's fun. Not something we do in ballet, though.

We move on to a few simple takedowns. Pam and I pair up and work on them somewhat hesitantly.

Then Ms. Pryor shows us a pretty dramatic throw. The attacker (Paul in this case) , facing her, grabs her by both arms. She pulls him down with her as she squats, then she rolls backward, pushing him up and over her head with her feet.

Yeah, right!

"That move is completely counterintuitive," I mutter to Pam. The last thing I would want if an aggressive man was attacking me is to pull him down on top of me! That's crazy. I watch as a few people do it, but I'm not about to even try that. What's the point of learning something so crazy.

"There is no way I would do that on an attacker," I say to Ms. Pryor, who wants me to try it..

"But what if someone has you like this?" she grabs both of my arms.

"Um. Run away?" I say.

"You can't. He's got you."

I think about this for a while and watch the others. The only thing that makes sense about this move is that I'd get to use my legs, which are pretty strong.

"You should try this," says Brian A.

I look at him.

"Really. You could throw me," he says.

"Right," I say.

"You could. Here. Try it."

OK. I will.

I stand on the mat with Brian facing me. He grabs my arms. Ms. Pryor coaches me and I grab his shirt, squat, roll backwards, and push him over me.

"And NOW you can run," says Ms. Pryor.

Everyone applauds. I didn't realize they were watching my inner drama!

Then we move on to 3-step sparring, which is good. I need plenty of practice with those moves. Pam and I are partners, and she knows them pretty well, so if I can't do it, I do the "attacking" and watch her. It's a good workout, both mental and physical.

After class, I thank Brian for letting me throw him. "See, you CAN do it," says Brian. Still not sure if I want to, but yes, I can.

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