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Nidan

 

I never expected when I first joined the SAA that I would one day be a Sensei.

Whether it be the countless times I did techniques wrong and thought I would get no better, or when I use to grapple with Sensei Thompson and he defeated me with ease, I just didn't expect that I would achieve a position where I was considered a legitimate teacher to the point that I could train someone from the ground up nearly to where I was in rank.  

 

However, power comes with responsibilities, and I know I have only begun my training(particularly after seeing Sensei Crisp's Sandan test the other week and being beaten up for it).  While it is true that as we go up in rank our techniques seem more smooth and strong, what to me is one of the most important elements is efficiency.  Why waste all of your strength on one technique on an opponent when you must face several more?  Get the job done, don't try to gloat.  

 

As I have moved up in ranks in the SAA, one thing I have learned to do is see what the body can and cannot do.  For instance, Yonkyo Jo  places one hand on the uke's elbow.  Why is that?  Not only for control, but why else?  Because the elbow does not bend that way!!!  You must learn the limits from the human body not only by the techniques you do on others, but knowing what hurts you.  While it is true that some people are double jointed and blah blah blah, no matter how strong someone is, if you do an advanced Kote Gaishi correctly, you are going to do something really painful to your opponent's wrist no matter what.

 

At the risk of sounding pretentious, "know thyself," as the ancient Greek philosophers would say.  Which means, know your limits and you will understand your opponent's limits.