Friday, January 21, 2005

My new foreign policy: lots of dove, very little hawk

Even though I'm not competing anymore, I still do Taekwondo; I try to go about once a week, but, averaged out over the last few months, my effective rate is probably more like once every 3 weeks. The club I've been going to, CW Taekwondo, is run by two guys that I know from the collegiate Taekwondo league back when I was an undergraduate, Chinedum Osuji and Dan Chuang. They've succeeded in attracting a lot of really good competitors -- Chinedum himself fought in the '04 Olympics; in addition, Fredson Gomes who won the US Nationals and All-African Championships, Michael Harb who was on the Australian national team both work out there and they have a bunch of other young up-and-comers.

Now, all this talent makes for a great workout atmosphere because there's lots of energy and enthusiasm during the workout. On the flip side, that much concentrated ass-kicking-ability can be problematic when it's your ass. I went back to class yesterday after a 6-week layoff and walked into a workout that consisted mainly of sparring because a lot of people are preparing for a tournament that's next weekend. Now, let's play a little Jeopardy. Here is your clue, from the category "Feel the beat":

"This is what you get when you put an over-the-hill, out-of-shape fighter [ie Alex] up against somebody who is younger, faster, in excellent shape and just plain better"

If you said "What is a beating ?", you are correct, 'coz that's what I took yesterday. We did a bunch of round-robin sparring [ie sparring with lots of different partners] and all I can say is that kids these days have no respect for their elders. That, and "Ouch, that hurts. Ouch, that hurts too". I'm pretty much a solid mass of bruises from the waist down. I'd be bruised up top too, but luckily I was wearing a chest protector, or else I'd have footmarks all over my chest and ribcage. Now that's partially my fault -- I kept asking these guys to spar me, thinking "That last shot they got was a lucky shot, that won't happen again ... arrrgh, *cough*, that was lucky too ... c'mon bring it ... ouchh....". You get the idea. In retrospect, it must have been a bit like the Black Knight in Monty Python's "Holy Grail" who insisted that having his arms chopped off was "just a flesh wound".

I learned a very important lesson yesterday: at my advanced age and stage of decrepitude, I should follow a foreign policy based on cooperativity and non-aggression towards people that have approximately the same dimensions as me. In other words, start picking on much smaller people ;-)


Blogger Affable said...

I'm have an awful lot of trouble imagining you taking that severe a beating. You're not exactly over the hill, and the last I saw you were pretty vicious sparring against your former manager :)

7:19 AM  
Blogger Luttu said...

Just had a serious bout of self doubt. If you are out of shape, over the hill and indeed getting the trashing you claim. I surely have no chance of regaining the dream I have of regaining stamina and youthful strength back - not that I ever had it :)

3:37 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

Betting is now open. Who do you take in the Alex against Brandon match up? B might just have a chance now! =)

I retain my humbleness. Now, Alex, if you wanted to see who could win in a bar stool sitting contest involving endless micro brews, I'll take that Pepsi Challengeā„¢ any day!

The Fat Guy

5:39 PM  

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