Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sparring practice

Remember back in January, when I noted that I might just be a little crazy for going into martial arts training, since it certainly meant I'd get hurt sometime or another? And then I said that it didn't matter, because I needed to know whether I could handle it when somebody's punch or kick got through?

Well, I did. We had an optional scrimmage match in sparring today, and the only other beginners who stayed behind were two athletic guys at least six inches taller than I am, but I sparred with both of them anyway. Both kicked my butt pretty soundly, but I also got a point in on both of them. One of them knocked me over because my balance was off, but I popped up again and went right back at it. Then he accidentally smacked me a little silly when I blocked one of his blows and it ended up hitting my faceguard, but I wouldn't let the judge stop the match.

The major criticism I got afterward was that I was being too aggressive and bomb-rushing my partners without paying enough attention to the openings they were leaving for me. So that means I've gotten over hanging back too far. Now I just need to get better at standing my ground and learning to strategize.

Tell you a secret? I like sparring, even though I am absolutely terrible at it. And I think that's a first, because one of my most ingrained personality flaws is a tendency to avoid doing anything that might make me look foolish.

But, when I'm sparring, all I'm thinking about is trying to land a kick or a punch. I am not fretting about my low bank account balance or my high credit card and student loan balances. I am not obsessing about deadlines or unfolded laundry. And I am not thinking about being a short, clumsy, pudgy braniac who has no clue what she's doing. All I'm thinking about is fighting.

And I like it.