Monday, July 16, 2007

Lessons from under his wing

Marital arts practice has been growing in students. It’s a nice change of pace to have my one-on-one practice time with Sensei T and then have a group of student come learn the basics. It’s a great review for me!

Yesterday three students came and two prospective students watch as we learned a new form and reviewed rolls and falls and covered some grappling techniques, as well.

Every week we meet at the same park, so there are some regular onlookers. One of them was a group of “gangster” looking folks that live on the corner. While Sensei T was grappling with one of the kids one of the “gangster” came up and told Sensei T that he wanted to wrestle with him and would be back in a few.

Sensei T has had a lot of experience in both school setting and real-life fights. He has four black belts and is up for another one, has over 18 years of martial arts experience, was a bouncer, used to cage fight and wrestle professionally, so the only thing this young kid had on Sensei T was endurance.

This gangster came over with a bunch of his buddies, took off his shirt, was very cocky, and was showing off his muscles as he stretched. Sensei T and all his students just sat in seiza and waited for his opponent to be done with his showing off.

Watching them wrestle was a great learning experience for all Sensei T’s students. We watched as he humbly hand this kid his a#%. It was great to point out moves, see where I could improve and areas to focus on.

After the wrestling matches Sensei T did not boast, he shook the guys hand, told him good job and invited him to learn with us then came back to the group and instructed the students to start back up with their rolls.

It was funny, one of the students commented to Sensei T “Man! You were easy on him! You are a lot harder on us.”

Honestly, I felt very proud of Sensei T! It was the first time that I had seen him grapple/”fight” anyone besides his students. He handled it so well and was a great model for the students on how to handle a situation like that. I feel honored that he has taken me under his wing.

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