Sunday, February 07, 2010

Poor Judgement

A recent training session found me as part of a class practising some intermediate level setups for double leg takedowns, and for the fireman's carry.

The fireman's carry is a throw where- one way - you overhook the guy's arm, wizzer to make him step with his outside leg, dive underneath him, and roll him over the top of you. A beautiful throw when executed well. However, safe practice of the throw requires your training partner to know how to roll with the throw and break his fall correctly.

On this occasion my partner was a beginner, and by his own unsolicited admission, a bit out of shape. I asked him several times if he was comfortable with me throwing him, and having to roll over his shoulder.

I threw him a couple of times, repeatedly asking him if he was OK, and to ensure he was happy for me to throw him again. I threw him tentatively - a recipe for a crap throw - and he said he was OK with that. I found the tentative throws unsatisfying and frustrating, and so, advising him I was going to do so beforehand and being assured he was OK with it, executed a smooth, fast, throw.

My partner lands awkwardly and injures his shoulder.

I get him an ice pack talk to him afterwards - he says he is OK, but is holding his arm and is obviously not OK. He tells me he moves refridgerators for a living. I feel like a prick.

While I was not in charge of the class and was following the instructor's directions, I am unhappy with my behaviour in this instance. I should have made sure my partner understood the throw and knew how to fall and roll properly. I should have taken his assertions that he was OK and comfortable with the throw with scepticism - he was an unfit beginner and couldn't possibly have known enough about the fireman's carry.

The situation for him would have been full of conflicting emotions, the desires to be seen as cooperative, and not as a wimp, overriding any reticence about the unknown and instinct for self-preservation.

I was concerned with my own desire to practice than his well being. I could and should have practiced only partial reps, or worked on a less risky takedown.

I have been doing martial arts for over 25 years, and have a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu. I should have known better. Hopefully I will do better in future.

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