Sunday morning the bells being were ringing, and not from the neighborhood church, but from the heads of the FCS San Diego Cali Crew in sparring helmets! LOL! The pinging from the helmets was a great sound to hear, and the strikes to the head were a sight to see as our group was in the midst of our first taste of sparring. There was no roar of the crowd, and there was no blood drawn, but we were gladiators if only for a few minutes! Although the way the morning started we did not start in such sure numbers, only a few came in on time at 8:00am sharp for group practice. The handful of that were on time were scratching our heads, where was everyone.... we began to think had my Facebook posts hyping up the weekend sparring maybe scared people off... or was it Holiday hangover from Christmas shopping and parties wherein our participants perhaps preferred to stay in the comfy confines of their warm bed? As we were about to start with only the handful, slowly and surely our usual core group began to show up. Some sleepy eyed, others just getting a late start, but all with a twinkle of excitement in their eye to start GP Sunday morning. We even had another family member from all the way up from Washington come out of the woodwork to join us for a taste of FMA, a shout out to another brother in law of mine - Anthony for joining us, not lick of martial arts but jumped right in there with us!
Focus of our practices have been again Level 1 Curriculum for those that are thinking of going through the trial. More of the usual, mano a mano , knife tapping, forms, etc... However the highlight of GP was the sparring, for the first time out we only strapped on the helmet and gloves, this was mainly just to get used to the equipment, what it feels like to move in such confines, and more pointedly how it feels to get hit up the side the helmet and get your bell rung in such fashion. Personally this was a great learning experience, 1) yes your movement is quite different. 2) field of vision is again quite different, 3) depth perception ( for me) was quite different, 4) things move so quickly, 5) but lastly the great experience out of all this was seeing where your skills was at. I actually did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did, like anything a new, once you have passed the initiation of trying it for the first time, I can't wait to try it again!