Friday, May 26, 2006

Self Defense Is Ouchy

(Or, how I ended up covered in bruises that in no way involved alcohol).

Yes. Self defense. This, unlike just about everything else in my life, is not a gym thing, but a work thing. And through a strange combination of our new EEO Director and her neighbors and their friends, I am now engaged in a 10 week self defense course taught by an awesome crazy man.

No, for real. I LOVE this man. He is like the actual living, breathing, STANDING RIGHT THERE personification of Jack Bauer. I really don’t know how else to describe him. He has done all sorts of scary undercover work in other countries and has defended himself against attacks by entire gangs at Union Station. Plus he carries a gun, which to me is kind of awesome.

So this class is not so much the litany of “Don’t wear headphones, keep your keys in your hands” that women are generally taught. This is far more, “It takes only 8 pounds of pressure to break the top of a foot, and it really, really hurts if you hyper extend an elbow, and now grab your co-worker and twist their wrist around until they corkscrew around the floor whimpering.”

Y’all, I’m not even kidding. So yesterday he used me as an example, which on the one hand is awesome, because he is awesome, and it’s even better to learn it from him. But on the other hand, it is not so awesome, because OUCH, jackass! My entire right arm is bruised all along the nerves (because when someone chokes you, you need to apply pressure to the nerve centers in their arms to get them to let go.) This is basically how yesterday went for me:

Instructor: “Lay on.” (this means to “attack” him).

Me: (Lays on. I am an idiot.)

Instructor: (Grabs wrist, jerks, bends, and twists wrist.)

Me: (whimpers, twists body into unnatural position to relieve excruciating wrist pain.)

Instructor: “Do you feel that?”

Me: (Glares as angrily as possible under the circumstance.)

Instructor: “Ok, now, if someone tries to choke you, turn your head and dig into the nerve.” (Chokes me from behind).

Me: (twists head, gets nerve.)

Instructor: “Good! Now, you’re actually kind of screwed if they do this.” (I… I don’t know what he did. I just know I actually could not breathe.)

Me: “Squawk!”

Co-Worker: “Wait, where exactly is the nerve in the arm?”

Instructor: “I’ll show you.” (looks at me.)

Me: (hating co-worker. Gives instructor my arm).

Instructor: “Ok, HERE HERE HERE HERE.” (Each here punctuated by sharp pain as he digs into my nerves. Man does not know his own strength.) “Feel that?”


Instructor: “Well, also, look at someone’s pants.” (To me: “Do you mind?”)

Me: (sighing, because still hero worship man and also do not want to look like wimp.) “Nope.”

Instructor: “Well, see, right where the pocket forms a point… Hmm, you don’t have that, so I’ll have to sort of guess, but there is a nerve center right about…” (Makes fist, hits me in hip.)

Me: (Falls over, hits table.)

Instructor: “Did you feel that?”

Me: (Hating instructor.)

So that is pretty much how that went. My wrist is sore, my hip is bruised, my arm is bruised, and… I LOVE it. The class is SO. MUCH. FUN., even with the pain.

The only problem is that some of the other students think that we really ought to practice more. And by that, they mean we should sneak up on each other at work and attack. Yes. My office is now a bunch of Stealth Ninja Attackers. I just can’t wait to see the look on a Commissioners face the first time they turn a corner and watch two normally well mannered attorneys throwing down.

Turns out kicking ass? Is kind of fun.