Ah! Good question.
Well of course, they all suck. But boy they suck way better than I do! I had hands on with Chris and Mert the first night doing push tests. I started out with Mert, he's the kind of guy you'd hear described as a "delightful chap" in a Christmas novel. He was very stable in unstable positions against a push and was able to explain what he was doing when he was doing it. For example, he crossed one foot, ankle over the other so he was basically one footed, you could say that one foot was resting on top of the other. I gave a firm push and he remained stable. His arms were up and out to his sides during this. He was not touching me with his hands. Did a double take on that.
As for Christopher Li, well being the White Wizard and a Dark Lord of the Sith (wrong Christopher Lee!) he demonstrated a high degree of stability against pushes as well. On one push against Chris I actually skidded backwards (Note, I am 6 feet 5 1/2 inches tall, abt 250 pounds give or take) a little, though I'll admit the rain may have helped a little with that.
One constant with all of the Hawaii folks that I trained with was that there was no sense of "push back" during any of the stability tests, since the object of the exercise was to "split force". They all maintained a relaxed disposition against different pushes. This is an important point, one of the more difficult things for me to work through during the weekend was ignoring pressure at the point of contact, whether it be a grab or a push. This is harder than you'd think, especially at very slow speeds with constant pressure.
For the second day I had chances to work in with several other of the Oahu crew to similar effect. I'm shamefully terrible with names so I apologize to the good folks there. Except Henry. (Ho ho, hee hee) Everyone knew and could perform the exercises very well, always with that deep stability and no pushback. Feeling the instructor's stability and what he could do to manipulate incoming force led me to conclude that yes indeed they were on the path to learning something reproducible.
The third day it was newbies with newbies working on basics and the Oahu guys (I guess I could fairly call them the intermediate students) working together on different exercises and some fighting applications. So no hands on with them on the third day but they were definitely moving on to more advanced things as a group.
As to how I felt to them, guarantee you two words: I suck.
(OH, almost forgot! I'm not an Aussie but an American living in Southern Japan. The Aussies were nice folks too)
Thank you Scott,
very much appreciated.
In my book, you're one of the rare guys who has the guts to share not only his enthusiasm but also his experience and stand for it.
After reading this post of yours and having a second close look at everything else you have written about this event so far, the photos Chris and Mert have provided clearly begin to speak to me for themselves.
Sucking this way isn't a bad thing at all.
My sincere apologies for taking you for an Aussie, don't know where I got this from, but I'm sure they would be proud to count you in.
Season's greetings and best wishes for the New Year!