Monday, April 21

Rondori Round Up

There are two elements to this story. Rondori is an art where you have multiple attackers come at you all at once. his technique is only done at tests. It requires great focus and extending ki for a long time -about forty seconds. If you don’t think this is long have four of your favorite enemies come and grab you at once and time how long you last. I also happen to have a artificial left eye which will be relevant in a moment.

We were doing rondori practice at the Portland dojo. The brown belts testing today get four attackers. I get five for my black belt practice. We are all having various levels of success from complete dog pile to keeping people at bay like a mobbed rock star. I go up for the second time to practice and like the other times it’s a slog- not good. Suddenly a body part crashes into my left eye and I reflexively cover it with my hand. The sensei asks if I’m alright, I assure him and we go on. I’m sure many were concerned if my vision was affected.

The truth is far more gruesome. I was worried the damn thing would to pop out from the force of the impact and land on the floor. This would be a) totally gross causing someone to puke. Eww. b) totally embarrassing “Sorry” I say as I scurry to pick up the errant prosthetic. Undignified. c) totally distracting “Don’t step on it!” they would shriek and back away in horror. My sensei suggested I use this tactic in the future, like a lizard who drops their tail to confuse a predator. I don’t normally mention this peculiar feature -most people don’t even know about my eye-but this event reminded me of another incident.

I was stage manager at a local theater doing a vaudeville show and during the audience warm up the juggler got me to toss his juggling pins back and forth. One hit me painfully in the left eye and he was understandably mortified.

“Oh my God are you alright? Can you see my hand?” he waved his hand before my injured eye.

“No” and he looked even more horrified “But don’t worry I’ve never seen out of this eye.” I chuckled. The look on his face was priceless.

Hey this might be worth exploiting after all.

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