Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Stonemason’s Hammer







The next round of Practitioner level gradings is looming ever closer, like a dentist’s check up or an optician’s appointment. At my Krav class now, we are doing “normal” training for about an hour then splitting off into groups relevant to experience and level.
The P0’s (or those who don’t want to/ aren’t eligible to take a grading) go in one big corner, while the rest of us make our way up the badminton hall in groups of ever decreasing size.

The lads going for G1 make up one corner, although their grading isn’t until later in the year unless they want to go up to Scotland. This is still, for me, a mythical level of utter badassery and mysticism. I had to look at the curriculum before I realised it DOESN’T involve powers of levitation and the ability to breathe fire over an opponent. Maybe that’s at E level.

As me and two other guys started working on our P4 techniques, one thing became clear to me very quickly. I am, at the moment, a rough block of stone and need a stonemason’s hammer and chisel to chip away at the block in order to make something recognisable as a level 4 Practitioner.

The techniques at this level are much harder than the previous levels (sounds obvious but the curve is fairly big) and mastering them is taking me a bit of practice. The wonderful thing about this practice though, is that when you get the technique right it makes you feel that you’ve achieved something special.

While initially perturbed by the difficulty factor it is now a reassuring facet of the P4 prospectus for me, as it means I am fully aware of the responsibility and accountability that come with the higher grades.

Escaping from bear hugs.

Stick attack defences

Scissor kicks.

Sound ominous when written down, but working through them slowly but surely with a good instructor (and the help of my P3/4 fellow trainees) the chisel began to fall on the block of stone and slowly a form began to emerge.


It’s going to be a few weeks before the work is completed, with a lot of stone chippings on the floor but I know the effort will be worth it.





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