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Home > Columns > Paul Schweer > August, 2005 - Sucking Air

Sucking Air by Paul Schweer

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I'm out of town, visiting family. Saturday morning and I could be lazy, but there's a dojo down the street. Been there before and liked it. Brought my trash. No excuses.

Get there and get on the mat. Training's good. I'm enjoying it. Near the end of class we do a little free style, working with the class's theme. I get one of the senior guys. We're going at it, having fun. And I catch a knee in the balls.

I could have stayed on the couch. Made a pot of coffee. Watched TV, channel surfed until my eyes watered. Sat on the porch, admired the view until lunch. Wandered down to somewhere I could sit and relax. Someone would bring me food, something cold to drink. Would that have been so wrong? Doesn't sound so bad.

I'm down on the mat, and part of me is saying, "He kicked me in the balls!" Another part is screaming, "Get up! Get up!" And I agree with both parts. I'm on my feet again. I'm gonna hurt curled up or walking around, might as well be on my feet. Might as well keep training.

And my partner looks worried -- I probably looked a little crazed -- but if aikido is all about breath, which I've heard, then aikido I did. I attacked him again, trying to breathe. Then I received -- breathe, damn it, breathe. I sucked air and blew it out. And then we were done.

I had my coffee and some lunch. A day has passed. I've slept. And I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned from groin-catching a knee, but the only one I can think of is... don't.

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