Doing the form of martial arts that I'm doing is pushing me so far out of my comfort zone, its not even in the same universe :)
When I did karate before (way before), we focused mainly on 'kata' (patterns) and kicking, punching etc. We didn't do a lot of contact stuff and when we did, it was mostly light contact sparring. I should've realised that something called Defendo Close Quarters Combat would be different lol. Especially with the motto "KISS - Keep it simple and savage"!
I've never been in a fight. I don't have brothers. My sister and I were far more effective with words than fists :) So its quite confronting to be placed in situations where you have to fight and be savage - where hair pulling, eye gouging and nose hooks are perfectly valid techniques (no eye gouging in training though!)
At training on Saturday, we were doing a technique where one person had to lay down, and three - get that, three - people lay across them - one across the head, one across the stomach, one across the legs. The person underneath had to then fight their way free. Unlike a real fight though, the people laying on top weren't trying to fight back in this instance.
I was training with three lovely young men, but my sensei reckoned they were being too soft on me. So he put me in the middle of the room, put three high level belts on me (including one big, solid guy) and made everyone stop to watch.
My first reaction was panic. I felt like I couldn't move - was being crushed, couldn't breathe. They were too big for me to push - I had to use elbows, grabs etc to get them off me. It was quite scary until the adrenaline kicked in and as Sensei put it - I unleased my inner mongrel :) Boy was I exhausted afterwards though - it was probably only 30 seconds - it felt like 10 minutes.
Apart from the physical, its also mentally out of my comfort zone. I'm a perfectionist. I hate doing anything in public that I haven't practiced umpteen times by myself until I know I can do it. I hate looking inadequate and think people will laugh at me. Unfortunately this leads me to sitting on the sidelines a lot, watching. People will invite me to do something - even as simple as playing a game of pool - and I turn it down, meanwhile thinking "Oooh that looks like fun. But I can't do it, people would laugh at me. Maybe if they ask me again, I might try it. Or maybe not. Oh damn, they're stopping." *sigh*
Sensei Bill also made me demonstrate another leg sweep technique in the middle that we'd just learnt. I sucked at it. I get left & right confused when I'm under pressure. I pretty much stuffed it completely up.
But guess what - no-one laughed at me. They were all wonderfully supportive and encouraging. So its quite good for me (I think!) to be forced into demonstrating something in the middle and not knowing what I'm doing, getting it wrong.
This could be the start of a more confident me... (maybe)