sparring

I was watching an episode of the TV show “Iron Fist” earlier today. At one point there was this scene with a woman training and kicking some bags. The way those scenes are filmed, makes me feel like I want to do it too. That’s what a good movie does- motivates me to do something. When I see a sparring scene with the sweat, the adrenaline, the speed, the impact of the blows, and how they look exhausted afterward, but all refreshed after a good shower, I want to be in the same situation. However, I can’t pinpoint the exact reason for that.

On the one hand I’m telling myself that it’s a feeling of being alive finally. As I go through life following a routine (e.g. go to school, grocery shopping, watch a movie, go out, sleep, wash rinse and repeat), I don’t feel any excitement. So doing something that pumps me up and makes my heart beat faster, definitely makes me aware of myself and my body. It’s like discovering that I have a new limb. On the other hand, I have that rage and frustration I want to let out. Going through life being shut down by people when I had an idea of some activity we can do together, not being heard when I speak because other people are louder motherfuckers, being cut off often while I speak, etc. And now that I’m retaking control of my (social) life, and that I’m taking less and less bullshit from people, I just want to get rid of it. I want to punch and kick a bag as if I was trying to tear a hole in it, destroy a tennis ball with my racket, vandalize something useless like a rusty cars from the 20’s whatever works as a catharsis.

Another reason is that I’m pretty scared to get into a fight. I’ve never really fought. I used to learn Capoeira when I was a kid for a whole year, then some Kung Fu for two years and a half, but never sparred or fought with someone to the point it really hurts or I faced an injury. That’s why I broke my middle finger when I was a kid. Another kid kicked me and I did nothing about it. Moreover, I cried when I got pushed to the wall by another kid in another occasion, and nowadays it’s still on my mind that I might end up crying because I’m ashamed of getting my ass whooped or because I’m not used to be really hurt.

I’m not really confident about my ability to fight and protect myself that my default reaction to some confrontations or potential fights is to do everything to avoid it. I would avoid a situation in which people are aggressive around me. I would take my distance from two people fighting because if it gets close to me, and I get hit by accident, I wouldn’t know how to react: break the person face or apologize for being there. Hell I don’t even know if I’d be able to fight with someone and “win” it. That’s what scares me the most: people seem to be fighting all the time, and therefore I feel like they are more experienced than I am. Would I be able to dodge a punch? Stand up on my feet after a kick? Would I be able not to cry in front of everyone if I get hurt? Or just be able to at least punch the person once?

Whenever I recognize a potential aggressive situation, I’m scared. My body is immediately overwhelmed with the flight reaction, a rush of Adrenalin, sweats, shaking etc.  I think that it might go south and I wouldn’t know how to deal with it- even when someone talks to me with an aggressive tone or get closer to me with a threatening look on his face. All the worst scenarios are rushing through my mind: I’m going to end up in the hospital for a few weeks and miss a lot (I.e. school, parties, tennis training etc.), I might break my arm and not be able to use it to play tennis, I’d have a broken leg and won’t be able to dance, I’d have scars that will make me look ugly, etc. I get neurotic and then I do everything to avoid it. Not because I know better, but because I’m a pussy.

A few weeks ago, I was dancing in a club, and this bugging drunk guy was dancing like a crushing helicopter- no balance, his head was balancing left and right, he was taking way too much space on the dance floor bumping into people. At one point, I was pissed off because he bumped into me a few times and I couldn’t enjoy myself dancing normally without being pushed. Guess what I did… Nothing! I was too scared to confront him, push him, or whatever appropriate reaction. The guy was annoying as fuck, I had my friends to back me up, but I was too scared of what might happen.

Someone told me a quote by Bruce Lee, and I don’t remember it properly but the main idea is, “Always avoid a fight. Best self-defense technique is escaping.” That reflects me a lot. But the main difference between people like Bruce Lee and myself is that my incentive to run away is fright and not because it might get ugly for the other person. However, I don’t want to take martial art classes because I don’t want to go through the pain of getting my ass kicked, be injured, or simply paying for that. I have other priorities for now as a broke student. So while I don’t like feeling helpless in those kinds of situations, I’ve been living like this for my whole life so a few more years like this with some avoidance strategies I’ve developed are still bearable.

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