Low Blows

In the first round, the kickboxer, in track pants, totally dominated the Thai boxer who wore dark shorts. There were two knockdowns in three minutes and it also appeared logical as the kickboxer looked stronger and perhaps more stylish.

In the second round, the diminutive Thai stubbornly continued the fight that he appeared to have lost already. He raised his right leg and tapped the kickboxer on his calf, who, in irritation, swung a massive fist that hit the smaller man’s raised gloves.

The kickboxer had a variety of attacks that included front or side thrusting or rotating kicks, elbows and jabs. He aimed at the head or the body.

The Thai attack was repetitive; The low kicks were hardly spectacular as he hit the kickboxer’s calf and thigh again and again while absorbing deadly blows on his gloves.

The low kicks had the cumulative effect of wearing down the kickboxer who just didn’t know how to block or prevent a low attack. He was a champion kickboxer, the best in his style. But he was up against something new.

The tap on his left leg just couldn’t be blocked. He had never faced such attacks and even when he had seen it on television, it just didn’t appear significant or something to be impressed with.

The kickboxer didn’t manage another knockdown in the second round, in fact he kept trying to save his leg from getting hammered. The kicks on his shin and thigh became more and more vicious and he was swept off his feet time and again before the match was stopped.

What do we do when faced with a situation like the kickboxer faced? Starting out confident in our ability to face the world, what do we do when we first experience the unexpected low kicks in life?

Can we cry foul and go on fighting the same way? If you do that, you’re not learning from experience.

First, the acceptance, then the learning.

Before we can learn from the experience, we need to overcome ill will that a loss may generate. Our opponents are only human, as are our teachers.

One thing that we lose when we are first hit by the low kicks in life, is a sense of innocent infallibility.

With an open mind we can quit stubbornly clinging to disproved hypotheses.

We can accept that there are other ways to defend and attack.

Sometimes the incessant tapping that is hurting us is too innocuous on the outside. Maybe we don’t even realize that it’s an attack.

We need to identify any attacks to stop blaming the pain on providence.

Having experienced, identified, survived and accepted low kicks, and myriad other blows, we can step out and go beyond the known, with increasing confidence.

And perhaps we shall someday decide to grab a biting toe with one hand and smash a shin with the other.

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