New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Fighting Mowhawks

It seems like the Mohawk hairstyle is back, along with the Faux-hawk. I've seen several solid examples of both in New York City over the past couple of weeks. Trend spotted.

It's another very pleasant spring day in New York. We at Esquire are wrapping up our August issue this week. So much for summer. It was good while it lasted. I wish the weather was nice like this all year long, but then I probably wouldn't appreciate it as much.

I had a good time at black belt class last night. It was a tough workout. We did some "pad work" at the end that succeeded in wearing me out in just a few minutes. You take two kicking pads, and, working with a partner, hold them in different positions so your partner can try different techniques. Then you switch.

We were doing three techniques: low leg kicks, knee kicks, and elbow strikes.

For the low leg kicks, one person would hold the pads low, one over the side of each thigh, while the opponent threw a right and left low roundhouse kick.

While not very glamourous, low leg kicks are one of the most effective fighting techniques, because they have tremendous power, can be thrown from a medium distance, and are difficult to block. Getting out of the way is really the only protection, and is easier said than done.

For the knee kicks, the pad holder would cross the pads over each other (to make a doubly thick cushion) and hold them at chest level, while the opponent would throw a right and left knee kick while grabbing the opposite shoulder each time. Knee kicks are very common in Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing). Knee kicks are a powerful technique for close-range fighting, and can be darn nasty.

For the roundhouse elbow strikes, the pad holder would hold the pads a bit higher while his or her opponent threw right and left elbow strikes, also a strong technique for close range fighting. An elbow to the temple or chin can be a knockout blow.

I wasn't holding the pad very well and took a hard elbow to my left eye. My opponent's elbow hit the pad, but then the pad smashed me in the face. Worse was that it was my fault for not holding the pad right.

One good thing about learning a martial art: The lessons tend to really stick with you. I can almost guarantee that I'll hold the pads properly in the future.

Last night at the dojo was another example of clean sweating. For whatever reason the air conditioning at the office wasn't working right yesterday, so I felt sweaty and disgusting just from being in the office. After an hour and a half of karate, however, I felt more sweaty and less disgusting. I actually felt cleaner than I had been before. Of course I did take a shower, but it was a very cleansing workout, in its way.

Today is Thursday. If there's no work for me to do there's a good chance I won't be in the office tomorrow. Tonight Jenn and I have tentative plans to go to the grand opening of a trendy nightclub called Salon in the Meatpacking District (the second coolest New York City neighborhood name after Hell's Kitchen).

Two words can describe our attraction to tonight's fancy, celebrity-studded event: open bar. Combine that with the words low-level magazine worker and you've got a potent cocktail.

We might skip it out of sheer laziness, but if we go, I'll provide a full report right here on New York City Diary.

My name is Victor Ozols. You hear that, Google?

I'll speak to you later.

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