Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Martial Moments

Training: He swung the shinai and I entered, getting inside the blade... my opponent's momentum perfectly meshed with my short left to the corner of his jaw hinge.

Jail: The kid lunged- maybe he was going for a wrestler's shoot, maybe trying to slam his head into my groin. I was completely flat-footed, stance square to him, with a clipboard in one hand and keys in the other. My mind went completely blank and the kid sailed through the air, landing on his back wedged in a corner. The clipboard somehow had dropped under his chin and made a small circle- his own momentum spun him through the air. A technique I'd never trained arising from a perfectly blank mind.

Training: At the old Community Center my sensei threw me hard. Stupidly, I twisted out of a good breakfall to deny him the point. My shoulder popped out of it's socket, loud, a full posterior dislocation with the ball of the humerus behind me under the skin. I grabbed the trampoline at the edge of the mat and pulled, feeling and hearing it slip back into the socket and turned and attacked, back in the fight in maybe a second.

The Street- It started with a classic interview and I saw it coming maybe a minute in advance. Two threats, both bigger than I was. Just before it went physical a little voice in my head said that if I injured anybody, I would lose my job and the new baby needed insurance. In a two-on-one attack on a dark street, I made the decision not to fight to injure. Nearly fifteen minutes later it was over. My face was a mess, but I was uninjured. I'd fought my plan and fought well- both were arrested, my damage was cosmetic. At different times I'd had them both down, had opportunities to end it, but it wasn't the plan. It was a stupid plan.

Training- Bull in the Ring: a test of heart more than skill and endurance. Four fighters on the edge of a small ring with kicking shields, one in the middle, everyone in armor. The four are allowed to strike with the shield, the one in the middle is allowed to strike into the shields. At this session nine of twenty-seven who played were hospitalized. It was my first time fighting since knee surgery and I was scared. Being in the middle is a pounding chaos. One of the four went to raise his shield for a strike just as I threw a perfect right hook. I hit armor instead of the shield and he went down with two broken ribs.

Bouncing- We were escorting the individual out of the casino when he spun and swung. I ducked and he clocked my partner. We wound up rolling with him under the gaming tables, two hot young martial artists trying to figure out how to get a street fighter to give up his hands.

Training- sparring and just for a second it's right there and I snatch the fingers out of the air and sweep and my training partner hits hard and it felt so effortless.

Jail- the big criminal is choking the other criminal out and the first deputies on the scene are yelling and fumbling for OC. I pull him off with a philtrum peel and spin him to the ground with an effortless spine twist. Afterwards, the reports look weird because none of the witnesses can figure out how I put a 220 pound guy down that fast without hurting him.

Tournament- The first Sports Jujutsu tournament in the NorthWest and I entered on a whim. After the semi-final round as I was walking off the mat, someone ran up to shake my hand and congratulate me on the "great kicks". WTF? When I watched the tape later, on slow motion, I had ducked a punch almost putting my head on my knee and hook kicked with the other foot to the back of the kid's head. I'm a jujutsu guy. WTF? Where did that come from?

Booking- I was patting the arrestee down and felt a cylindrical object in his belt right at his spine, "What's that?" I asked. "Let me show you," and he spun, going for the draw. His head bounced off three hard surfaces in less than a second.

Training- "I'm a ninpo blackbelt," Blue said, "what civilians call ninjutsu. I hear you jujutsu guys think you're pretty good on the ground." "I can always use the practice," I said. Roughly a half hour later, Blue had tapped out roughly forty times. As he was leaving, he told me I was almost good enough to be a ninja. God I hope not.

Jail- During dress-in, the arrestees take off their street clothes and put on jail uniforms. One started complaining. He didn't get his ass kicked, so he started bitching. He didn't get his ass kicked so he started screaming... then he took a swing. I caught the fist in the air and and twisted it into a san-kaju wrist lock and marched him naked and screaming out of the dress-in room, past the holding tanks and into a separation cell. Never put down my coffee cup.

Training- The new kid had trained in something else. He was fast and flexible. Sensei had specified kumite style sparring- only hand blows and kicks and the kid was doing well against me. Too well and I let my ego get involved. I asked the kid if I could 'use jujutsu'. He was confused. Since he was in a jujutsu school, he assumed I was doing jujutsu. The next engagement I passed him and put him in a spine immobilization/strangle. Sensei chewed me out- rightly.

There are decades of memories- rooms soaked in blood and pepperspray; suicidal inmates who wanted to kill and die all at once. Shanks and bangers and crazy little guys with homemade maces. Barracks brawls and attempted domestic stabbing... and even more memories from training: good friends and terrible injuries; hitting the zone with Simunitions and doing moving headshots at ten yards, front sight on target like a laser; staff fighting balanced on railroad tracks; and stance work waist deep in the cold surf...

I thought it would be fun to write down a few, but there are far too many and most are much longer stories than I could write here and now.

1 comment:

Mac said...

Since we are displaying ego here, I thought I'd contribute one of my own. Cops chasing a guy just robbed someone at knife point; guy runs into a apartment complex. Car radios blaring so loud the bad guy can hear where the cops are going and where they think he's going. I amble up to the other side of the complex and lean against a post. He rounds a corner and stops, knife out in front of him, about 10 feet away. I point at the ground and he goes face down so fast he bruises his cheek. He slides the knife over to me. I almost said over the air, "one at finger point" but don't think the other agency would have been amused.