Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quantum Jujit-sucked

Last semester, my friend Brian and I happened to notice a flier on one of the bulletin boards in the White Building. It was an advertisement for Quantum Jujitsu, a Martial Arts class that met three times a week and welcomed beginners. Brian suggested that we attend not only for the extra fitness, but get improve our self defense. The latter was particularly attractive to me, as my current self defense strategy is as follows:

1) Be approached by belligerent stranger
2) Soil myself
3) Sue someone

Flipping someone in a controlled throw onto the cold asphalt of Calder alley was a much more pleasing outcome to my psyche.

So, we both concluded that come Spring Semester, we supplement our current exercise regimen with thrice-weekly sessions of Jujitsu. But it's always much easier when you're PLANNING to exercise in the future than to actually go do it.

Leading up to the first class, I became more and more reticent. It sure as shit didn't help that I had a meeting for Onward State and that LOST was premiering. But I reassured myself that I don't stray from my comfort zone often, and it may be good to be open to something new for once.

Once we got to the IM building, the hallway was lined with somewhere between 60 to 80 other students. Not a great first sign. Eventually the Akido class that was using the wrestling room before us ended, and all of us moseyed on in.

We were all instructed to take off our socks and shoes to protect the mats, and eventually circled up to warm up. The next bad sign: I had a cramp during stretching. I knew I was out of shape, but we're talking 2 minutes into the class here. Jogging ensued, and with it, more cramps.

Ok, this is unpleasant, but this is something that will become more enjoyable as I get in shape, I thought as I rested on my hands and knees while the rest of the class did push ups from their fingertips. Just don't stand out as a slacker and you'll be fine.

Eventually, the Sensei has us all line up against the back wall to start the class. You know you're in trouble when you aren't even capable of doing the proper sitting position. I wisely didn't speak up to ask for instructions on sitting on my feet.

It certainly didn't help that the Sensei - whose name I didn't catch - looked remarkably like Derrick Comedy's Dominic Dierkes. So when I was supposed to be hearing "pull your partners left arm across your body to restrict his movement," I was hearing this:

Sadly, "pull out your gun" was never part of what we practiced.

When we started the first technique, which was essentially to have our partner break an invisible plane twice, grab them by the neck to headbutt them, and put another hand on their neck to bend their torso over our knee, I had already garnered the attention of one of the more experienced students. He saw that I was completely hapless. In their defense, they were very patient and kind considering my ineptitude, but it was an instant flashback to my first experiences with all other sports:

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: OK, so you need to position your body like this.

Me: Like this?

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: No, put your hand here.

Me: OK, so now what?

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: Now you're doing [insert appropriate motion for sport] wrong.

Me: Is this right?

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: No.

Me: I know that there is a different end result...but I'm not quite clear what I'm doing differently in the process.

Sensei /Basketball Coach/Soccer Coach/ Baseball Coach/ Rugby Coach/ Snowboard Instructor/ Ski Instructor: Alright, keep practicing with your partner.

I now know what Dyslexic kids feel in reading class.

As if my unintentional exposure as a Martial Arts special needs student within the first 15 minutes wasn't enough, the excessive contact with partners did the trick.

Now I may be being incredibly immature, but pretty much every technique seemed a little too much like a big ol' man hug. Even when we practiced a choke, it ended in us leaning our head forward to rest it next to theirs. This lead to thoughts like, You know, if the only way to overpower an enemy is to straddle him like this, maybe throwing the fight isn't so bad.

Every single partner I worked with (including Brian) was very nice about my disability (I can't say the same thing for former teammates, but I many first practices of sports as a child are blocked out), but honestly, I really didn't feel like putting my body against theirs that much.

I had run into a guy I had freshman seminar with - whose face I had all but forgotten - and the awkward moment of him saying he knew me after I introduced myself was enhanced by the bath house soundtrack of groans and grunts as we walked through a hold technique.

By the end of the 2+ hour session (almost 3 when considering the dressing/undressing and drive over), It was clear that I wasn't cut out for Jujitsu. It was also clear why I rarely tend to leave my comfort zone - especially for matters involving physical fitness.

Brian has already said he's planning on returning to the class. Me - I'll save the $100 in dues and watch how things turn out with the Oceanic Six next week.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Jesus you didn't miss LOST for that did you?