I had a wonderful karate class this afternoon, the final segment of which was devoted to freestyle sparring.
Today, I didn't get as caught up in thinking about what my opponent was about to do. Rather, I allowed myself to react more to what was being done. As a result I didn't take as many hits and scored a few points of my own.
But Sensei pointed out that I move in a linear style, rather than attack from different angles. He compared me to a Redcoat, a British soldier during the American Revolution: Advance inexorably forward, stand tall and unflinching, and be peppered by potshots.
If I were 6 foot 3 and 250 pounds, perhaps I'd be formidable in this approach (at least for a few seconds). But at 5 foot 7 and 142 pounds, it ain't gonna work.
A very close friend of mine once told me that we manifest ourselves in everything we do, from the way we play chess to the way we cook dinner to the way we practice karate.
Taken to its logical conclusion, I would say that in my case, linear thinking leads to linear sparring in karate.
Just one more thing I need to work on. Where to begin?
After class, I felt physically as if I had run into a brick wall and could go no farther. All I wanted to do was go home and take a nap (which I did, having gotten up about a half-hour ago).
Yes, the class was pretty intense, but I've had even tougher classes and have felt full of energy after them.
Fatigue is a symptom of high calcium levels in the blood, one of the calling cards of my parathyroid cancer. Other symptoms include depression, lack of appetite and forgetfulness.
Yet those are also symptomatic of a score of other conditions. So, I'm never quite sure what my body is trying to tell me.
I think the lesson in linear thinking may apply here, too.