Friday, April 14, 2023

Accidents will Happen.


Because of years of practice my finger tips are a pretty formidable weapon.  Having spent years playing the Bass Guitar because I'm supposed to be some sort of Jazz musician, and purposely plummeting my fingers into some rather hard materials such as gravel, sand, and rock type objects, because I'm supposed to be some sort of Martial Arts dude, my fingers have become some pretty hard, weaponized bundles of sticks.  

I'm constantly telling my students that striking a hard surface, such as the head with a closed fist is a good way to guarantee breaking the bones in your hand.  Hard on hard breaks, soft on hard gives and penetrates.  If you want to become one of those fellows that breaks large blocks of ice to get the crowds to go, ooohh, and aaahh, first you must spend a certain amount of time toughening up your hand, and second you don't use a closed fist.  You learn to place a soft cloth or pad on top the the block of ice berg and you employee an open handed strike, such as a palm, knife, and or hammer blow.  All of these strikes are considered soft strikes and absorb more rebounding mass that a closed hand strike such as a punch.  More times than not, using a closed hand strike will end up with a broken hand.

Boxers don't wear 16 oz. gloves to protect their opponents, they wear the gloves to protect their own hands.  Generally in a professional bout, especially the heavy weight class, boxers break their hands.  I haven't unwrapped a pair of hands yet that haven't been broken in one form or another.  

Like I wrote earlier, I've spent a formidable amount of time toughening up my fingers, in particularly the finger tips.  My advise for self defense is to strike with the palms to save your hands.  Unless you have spent years toughening up your hands and or digits, I have.  I can if need be, break a brick with my finger tips, but being an advanced sort of fellow I don't show off, nor do I brag about my secret super powers.  

Accidents happen.  Last evening during my Taiji Quan class of all things, I was demonstrating a technique that comes out of one of the Taiji sets I teach.  The idea was to parry a block, flow like water and shift the weight at the same time you move forward and strike out with the opposite hand.  However, teaching a class employees a certain amount of talking and explaining while being able to keep your focus on your partner as to not injure he or she.  I got distracted while moving. Not a good combination of things. My partner was standing in one position and my mind told me he was in another, well there was some unwanted contact with my toughened up finger tips.  There was a rather dull thud sound, no noise from my partner, he just happens to be a master of the arts himself, but my other hand was holding him up.  Apparently, according to him, that was a knock out blow.  

The face bleeds allot.  A cut above the eye and just in front of the temple from finger nails can cause an amount of goo.  The need for tissue and some re-direct time was in order.  The rest of the class was spent in conversation as I made sure there was not serious injury to my student.  He was talking and laughing so I guess not.  He didn't fall and his eyes didn't glaze over, so no concussion is expected.  I apologized profusely several times feeling like a dope.  But, was given the green light.  

After class I returned home and confessed my sins to my wife.  She likes my student and gave me a tongue lashing for being absent minded, etc.  I called him at home to check on his well being, his wife hadn't seen the owie yet.  This morning I received a text that said, "She like's to mother me."  That's code for, John's in the dog house.  I texted back more apologies and got an, "All's Good" response.

So, the moral of that story is: regardless of how long you practice, regardless of how strong you think your super powers are, there is always the chance of slipping up and causing harm.  No one is outside the realm of being human.  Next time, "Pay Attention."

Peace and Balance,




  1. It was hard to tell to tell (while holding fingers in a line up) which fingers did the damage.