Friday, June 26, 2015

Boy Have I got it Wrong

Private Training with Dieter
I picked up my friend Dieter Knuttel from the airport last night, after having a light meal on the way home we came to our house and Dieter asked what our password was for the WiFi.  Duh I don’t know, I racked my brain, I couldn’t even remember setting up the password, so for the next 20 minutes or so I try and figure it out to no avail all the while feeling like an idiot.  Emily and Holly get home and we ask them and Emily’s says “Oh I got this” and gets him connected.  I was shocked but then Dieter said kids know this stuff because when they bring their friends over they all want to connect to the WiFi.  Simple statement and true, very logical and straightforward.  I had no clue that this simple straight forward, logical approach, to problem solving would set the tone for my arnis lesson later that night.

Dieter was use to traveling so he knew to push through wanting to sleep when crossing time zones, so when Holly needed to excuse herself to head to bed she warned me “He looks tired don’t keep him up!”  It was about 11:00pm or so.
“I won’t honey he wants to watch some videos, I’m not keeping him up.”  So I got the computer and we watched some videos I recorded at some recent camps.  I tried to set up the sound but Dieter says “I don’t need the sound I just want to watch.”  This should have been my first clue but I thought how will you know what we are doing?  (I’ve never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed, well aside from my family but….)  Anyway that’s when it hit me or I should say the stick hit me, obviously I still didn’t get the lesson cause it hit me again and again and again for the next couple of hours.  He just wanted to watch how I did things and help me do them better, he didn’t need sound, he just needed to observe what I did.

It started off with releasing his hand from grabbing my stick hand.  As we watched the video he said, “I teach it differently, we call it Stopping #1 and #2.”  I figured I saw this lesson at an earlier training camp so I had the correct answer to the problem.  Dieter says “Why do you release my hand?”
As I’m staring at him holding his stick above his shoulder I reply “To defend against getting hit on the leg.”  This is a standard response in the Tapi drills and we were just drilling on this Wednesday night in class based on his lesson from the Brevard camp in 2005.  “OK release my hand” he says.  So I go for it, WHACK he hits my hand, “Try it again” he tells me; so I got for it WHACK he hits my head.  It was a painful lesson cause he keeps telling me to go for it, so I do and I keep getting hit.

“Why do you release my hand?”  Now I’m confused, if I don’t release the hand I get hit in the leg, if I go to release the hand I get hit on the arm, if I go to release the hand and even make it I get hit in the head.  Dieter turns it around on me then.  “You release the hand only because I’ve given you a problem to solve (as in defending from an incoming strike), otherwise you don’t have to release the hand.  If the person has their stick up here they haven’t given you a problem to solve so you need to not provide an answer to a question that hasn’t been asked.  So why do you need to release the hand?  Hit me with it.” As he shows me that his face is open.

Dieter explained that they train with a different attitude, a different training methodology.  The feeder, the leader, or the driver in the above example is the one who is in control and must give the student the proper problem to solve, otherwise what happens is the student in going for the hand release is actually leading the drill at that time, because the instructor then would automatically feed the low strike since that is what is expected in the drill.  So everyone (as feeder’s) waits for the student to release, when actually the feeder is open for a counter, like the head hit by waiting.  So then he starts explaining to me their hand release and it starts to make sense but I’ll cover that in my next post.
Folks don’t make the mistake of missing the opportunity to train with Datu Dieter, we have him for a seminar for two full days this weekend and he showed me just the tip of the ice berg last night.  We are going to have a blast.   

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