Monday, August 5, 2013

Greed: is it good?...

Yesterday I attended a class on point sparring. It is not something I spend a lot of time doing, so I took the class for that reason, and was quite fortunate in the caliber of instruction I had during the session.
We did a lot of counters, especially from reverse punches and roundhouse kicks. I caught on fairly well, largely due to the direction given to me from the highly experienced fighter I was paired up with. It was a good workout and we had a laugh as well.
But of all the help I received yesterday, one of the most memorable comments came from the teacher's uke/assistant instructor, who strolled around the training area, offering bits of advice and guidance.
"You're doing it fine," he said, going over the form and movement of my counter attack. Then he hesitated, and his face became animated. "But you need to be greedy. Take the point by being greedy."
And he demonstrated--with speed and decisiveness--what it is he meant by these words. The block and punch were all in one motion, and it looked like his will itself was overpowering the attacker.
Sure enough, he seemed, well, "greedy."
I paused for a moment, thanked him and bowed, and returned to the drill to try emulating this greed: a state of being we normally associate with bad behavior; a way of acting we usually feel needs to be suppressed or ignored.
But he summed up, really, what can make the difference between two combatants in the cat-and-mouse game of sparring: The desire and will to just, "Take the point."