That Time I Got Stabbed: A Love Story

Tonight began my training for the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship (ICMAC) event next Saturday.  I’m working on a form called Xiao Bajiquan.  Roughly translated, it means “Small Frame Eight Extremes Boxing.”  Roughlier translated, it means “NANCY SMASH.”  Things are going pretty well, but I can’t help but think of the last time I participated in a tournament.  The story began last October.  It was a love story between a girl and her dagger.  A sort of abusive love story, but a love story nonetheless.

After last October’s ICMAC tournament in DC, my kung fu teacher decided to give me a present: a dagger form called Wind Dragon Single Dagger.  Oh, happy day!  I looked exceptionally ungainly with a weapon in my hand, but I was so delighted to be swinging a knife around that I didn’t even care.

During my first unsupervised practice with the dagger, I thought I would try to do some figure eights.  This is because I am a reckless idiot.  I plunged the point of the dagger into my left wrist…and it stuck there.  When I pulled it out, I noticed that the cut was only about a centimeter long.  “Wow!” I thought stupidly, “I would have expected a stab wound to be much more gory!”  Then I bent my wrist and the tiny cut opened up to flash some subcutaneous fat layers.  After that, I had to sit down for a while.

My next encounter with the blade occurred in similar fashion, except this time, dagger met thigh.  I was practicing my form and as I hit a stance, I also hit my leg.  The cut was deeper and uglier, but far less distressing because I couldn’t really see it.  When it comes to stab wounds, ignorance is bliss!  Or something.

It thirsts for my blood.

Flash forward to December: I looked cool and confident flying through my form with as much grace and poise as can be expected from me, and I was ready for the small local tournament where our club basically cleans house every year.  My name was called, and I strutted out onto the floor.  Spectators watched with bated breath, judges assessed me with fascination, and my teacher beamed with pride.  Then…  Well, remember that stance that previously resulted in a stab?  I hit it with a vengeance.  This time, however, I didn’t get off with a simple stab.  No, not at a tournament!  Everything is much more theatrical at a tournament!  I felt the blade slice down my thigh and the subsequent burning as the injury registered in my brain.  “Well,” I mused, “as long as the judges didn’t see, they won’t take off any points.”  I continued on without flinching, then waited for my scores.  First place!  I shook hands with the judges, who all had lovely things to say, then walked gingerly to my coach.  He escorted me to the hallway, where we assessed the damage:  no rip to the pants, so it couldn’t POSSIBLY be bad, right?  I pulled up my pant leg to reveal quite the hideous gash.  To this day, I have a lovely scar to remind me that, no, I’m not a cool kung fu master.  I’m that awkward jerk who cut her leg open at a tournament with a blunted knife.

From these experiences, I have learned three very important things: 1) Never, ever flinch, 2) Yoga pants from Target are suitable for battle, and 3) I love my dagger.  I love it so bad.


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  1. #1 by Dave Trumbore on March 1, 2011 - 1:39 pm

    This is why I stick with blunt objects…like cudgels.

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