This week I got intimate with some sticks.
Full disclosure. Last week a new startup called Vimbly reached out to me about experiencing something new. Vimbly finds activities, classes and date ideas in New York City, Seattle, Maui, Las Vegas and Chicago and compiles them in one place. They asked me to try out their system and engage in the activity of my choice.
I’ve actually never accepted any type of sponsorship before this. Nothing until this felt like it was aligned with my blog or mission. (Thanks for reaching out – gardening company and tattoo equipment re-seller – I can’t wait to introduce the self-airbrush kit to the blogging community)
However, new experiences, pushing the comfort zone and knocking things off my personal bucket list?
I browsed my options and thought seriously about laughing my ass off at an off-Broadway show, taking a glass-blowing class or learning to DJ. But what really caught my eye was the list of martial arts and self-defense classes.
I’ve ALWAYS wanted someone to show me how to kick some ass. And since this opportunity allows me to try anything (in Vimbly reason), I immediately committed to the Filipino martial art of Weaponry Stick-fighting.
Now, when I say I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I didn’t know what to expect.
So when I got to class, took off my shoes and was introduced to the other three long-term members of this semi-private class – Richie, Ryan and Matt – who have each spent years with bamboo stick in hand and was given the following demonstration… I thought – WELL OF COURSE.
My first partner was Ryan, a tall 20-something who quit his job and started his own law firm so that he could have the flexibility to practice stick-fighting as often as possible.
so, NO BIG DEAL.
I’ll use my ballet-influenced figure skating maneuvers to my advantage.
Really tall Ryan: do you want to attack first or defend?
Me: I would like to trade in this bamboo stick for a real sword.
Really tall Ryan: okay I’ll attack first.
Me: sir who is in charge – any qualms with my arrangement here?
The good news is that Ryan didn’t take my head off.
We started class by going through five attack maneuvers in standstill, then we added footwork, then we did the same with defense techniques. We tried these attack/defend moves on each other then added footwork, allowing us to fight while moving back and forth, attacking and defending with our bamboo-swords.
By the end of class, I had figured out the entire coordinated fighting dance. I was able to perform the attack and defend movements in correct sequence with the correct footwork.
The build-up of the class alleviated any intimidation. As with anything that appears difficult, breaking down the movements makes it extremely manageable.
I love new experiences because there’s nothing to lose.
From the moment I took off my shoes and walked through the door, nothing else was on my mind. I left work, stress, busy schedules and deadlines in my neon pink sneakers and injected effort and excitement into my bamboo stick (still petitioning for real swords).
I’m pretty sure there were times where I looked like Monica on that episode of Friends where she tries to learn to tap dance (OK no one is THAT bad), but it felt good to be out of my comfort zone for an evening.
Plus, now I’m prepared the next time I’m summoned for a duel or I need to protect myself and I have a bamboo stick.