So far, being a brown belt is fun. We worked self-defense from multiple attackers last night. Hanshi started off by pulling 4 blackbelt guys and one brown belt guy onto the mat and positioning them in a circle. Then he called one of the blackbelt girls into the center of the circle. He said for the guys to attack and for her to defend - but he didn't tell her what techniques to use. I was thinking oh, no...he's gonna make us all fight from inside the circle and I have no clue what to do! Fortunately, by the time he called me out there, I had been able to watch a few blackbelts and work out a battle plan. Don't wait for the attackers to make the first move. You are surrounded, and the guys are obviously aggressive. Take out the biggest threat first. Go for a kick to the knee to take him down. It'll make the others think twice about coming after you. Don't stop moving. Rechamber and keep kicking. Defensive side kicks are a beautiful thing. Throw that baby up there and watch the guy run himself right into it. Don't be worried about keeping kicks high - on the street you'll want to aim for knee or groin, not head.
So anyway, I did pretty well. I know I suprised myself...and I'm pretty sure I even suprised Sensei-Hubby and Hanshi, too.
But of course, after we all had a turn, Hanshi took the center. And reminded us that "best defense - no be there." Size up your attackers. Pick the weakest link. As they move in on you, you slip past the weak link. You are no longer in the battle zone, and they are tripping over each other. It's actually rather amusing to watch - especially when he gives you the slow motion instant replay.
One of the blackbelts took a pretty tough kick to the floating rib while playing the part of an attacker. He's a fairly new blackbelt, and only 10 or 11 years old. And he tends to be a bit of a...well, ok, forget bit of a, he tends to be a big fat crybaby. So of course, the minute the kick landed, we all braced ourselves as he doubled over, screamed, and hit the floor. But then he did something that suprised us all. He calmed himself down and picked himself up. Hanshi reminded him to breathe. And he was good to go in under 2 minutes. I was so proud of him.
We have a tournament coming up soon. I don't know if I really want to compete in this one or not. It kind of sneaked up on me. Last tournament I picked the kata I wanted to run and worked it nonstop for over a month. Took second in my division. This time, I'm not even sure which kata I want to do. And I'm really nervous about being in the brown belt division. I don't know that I'll really be able to compete.
One thing is certain - I am not the slightest bit unsure of whether or not to spar at tournament. That's a great big resounding NO. I know I'm trying to better my sparring, but that's gonna happen in our dojo, not at a tournament where everyone is out to prove themselves and nobody cares about showing control. Besides, I've seen too many sparring matches at these tournaments that were not called fairly. "Point here for the perfected 'stop foot with chest' technique!" No thank you. I'm trying to boost my confidence in my sparring.