I am going to take you on a trip way back to my high school days, in fact, when I was a sophomore. I had always tried to be an athlete, and unlike many of my friends, I was not a born athlete. I was the kid who got picked last when they picked teams. Although I loved sports, and tried to participate in them, I was not good at them. My lack of success at sports was not a lack of technique; I knew what to do, I just could not do it. I believe my lack of success was a result of being a “late bloomer” and also being ridiculed for having a speech impediment.
This was the most apparent when it came to wrestling. I lost almost all of my matches in junior high school and as a freshman. It was not until the near the end of the season that this changed. And it changed in ONE match.
I was in a match where the other wrestler, was stronger and quicker than I was. I remember him being ahead of me by 2 points in the match. Normally, at this time I may have simply kept myself from being pinned, but I would have lost the match. There was something that day that made me not give in so quickly. I began fighting, using my will, not physical strength, against him. I ended up winning the match. This was the beginning of my success, and later I realized that speed, strength, skill, is nothing compared to the will of the individual.
In my novel, "Legend of the Mystic Knights" I describe a similar situation with the main character.
Another aspect of my experience with wrestling and the martial arts that I have utilized in the skill and training it takes to become successful. I have trained with numerous type of swords, both Asian and European types.
This is an example in the novel where the hero is outmatched by his opponent. They are competing with wooden swords.
" If I cannot beat him on technique, use tricks and strength, thought William to himself.
William stood up; his body, arms, and legs had aching pains in them, and he had a pounding in his head. He walked away from Antanas, dragging his wooden sword on the ground, as if he was a wounded bird tending to its broken wing.
Antanas could almost relish the end to the match as he rushed at William, who was sideways to him, his sword on the opposite side and still being dragged on the ground. Playing possum worked, as William swung his sword with a large swinging curve and hit Antanas on the side of the head as he approached. "
In terms of wrestling, understand I am not going to destroy kafabe (this is a phrase used by wrestlers which basically means to keep the mystique about the sport), that a wrestler is a writer inside the ring. They tell a story with words and their wrestling moves.
When a painful hold is placed on you, it is expected that you “sell” the move that is to show some pain in your face or by yelling in pain. If you are a heel (bad guy), and you put the same type of move on a face (good guy), you should sneer or enjoy the fact that you are hurting your opponent. Being able to show giving, or receiving pain, using just your expressions allows us to tell complicated stories. As a writer, I could use these physical accounts and apply them to my stories.
As a martial artist I am able to draw upon my knowledge of fighting to also describe realistic scenes of combat in my novels. In one of the passages from my novel, the hero is facing a larger boy in a boxing match. When facing a larger opponent, you need to be fast with your attack, while avoiding his. This is how I describe a fight sequence in my novel:
So now you know more about my past, and how I use those experiences in my novels. I think it is important for an author to be realistic, and contributing personal knowledge into their writings is vital to establish that realism.
Next time: It is going to be one SCARY Christmas- The Krampus