Dancey pants and Krav Maga

This evening I attended an event with my wife. This event was a celebration at the end of a 4-week cross country journey to bring dance to the masses. Quite the endeavor indeed. In the back of a restaurant on the street known as Front there is a dance floor with a high ceiling large enough to fit 30 or 40 dancing bodies.

The music was a bumping rhythmic sound of a specific flavor that tastes like spiritual dance practice. The people were expressing their energy by moving their bodies to the beat of the music. It was wild, hot, chaotic and strange.

I understand this work. I get how people can get into the music and feel through their bodies into something that can bridge with other people. Watching these people connect with each other and sort of communicate with their bodies was mesmerizing.

Of course, I stood on the sidelines perfectly still just watching the bodies connect and flow. I was being very honest with myself this evening in my body language. I had no interest in dancing this evening. Sometimes I do, but it’s so my wife can see me participating. I’m not afraid to reach out and do something new if she’s around.

However, tonight was different, tonight I was sort of rebelling in my own way. My body was stiff from my workout this afternoon. I did super heavy squats and deadlifts. I was working with my trainer, Jeff, which allowed me to go deeper and heavier than I’ve ever gone before. Also, I was doing proper form as well, which can sometimes change the effort required for a workout. My hour with Jeff is something I look forward to because it’s all about doing the form properly and working up to heavier and heavier weights. I sleep like a log after these workouts and my body feels amazing.

Tonight my body didn’t want to to move, I wanted to repair. At first I actually blew off the event, but as I was driving home I decided that I was being selfish and decided to swing back around and head in. I did my best to fit in, and the crowd is usually always accepting of people regardless of what they’re doing. I figured they probably weren’t judging me, and most of them know me as someone who’s just into different things.

What I’m into has more to do with hitting heaving bags. When I was living in San Jose I would attend 3-hour sessions at the Krav Maga Institute ( KMI ). First was SPEC ( Specialized Physical Endurance and Conditioning ) then Combat Cardio and finally an hour of P1 ( Practitioner 1 ). This is just absolute ass-kickingly good shit. SPEC is usually like military style crossfit, lots of weight training, buddy carries, reverse stair crawls, shit like that. Combat cardio is more about endurance building for a real fight, so lots of bag work and sprinting stuff. P1 is pure technique, basically all about how to survive a fight.

Sometimes I would go into a session all pissed off about how I had everyone’s problems solved, and if these idiots would just listen to me, their lives would be soooooo much better. Such drama. After 3 hours of this I’d walk out wondering where I put my feet. I had just enough brain power to get myself home, showered, and into bed.

Dance is weird, I can never make my body move right. There is no “right” way, but it never feels right. But when I’m hitting a heavy bag, it always feels right. It feels good, it feels like I’m channeling an energy that starts at my feet and radiates out through my hips and finally connects at my fist. It feels like a sort of dance. Like my dance, like my right kind of dance.

Dance and Krav are similar in that they are both giving people channels to express the energy that we have inside of us. But I would argue that both forms of energy are coming from the same place. The energy is going to come out one way or another, maybe it’s good that we each have our own way of expressing it.

I’m sure that some people would look at the dance people and think “well that’s just stupid.” If I’m being really honest, I do think that sometimes, but then I realize that it’s no different than me punching a bag or rolling around with someone on a mat. My thing might be more functional if anyone in this world is actually dumb enough to throw a punch at me, but dance is beautiful and therefore functional in it’s own wonderful way.

I don’t know if there’s a point here, other than I felt kind of silly being stuck in my own head wishing there were heavy bags to play with. I think maybe Santa Cruz needs more heavy bags to play with. I’d love to see a dance sessions where the entire place is just heavy bags and people just do the dance with the bags and just see what happens.

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