Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dreams Lead to Butterfly Knives

If you've been following my blog for a while, or at least read some archived entries, you'll probably know that most of my dreams are violent. If you asked me what I dreamed of just a year ago, I'd most likely say that I was either being pursued or attacked and that I was unable to do anything about it. My limbs would go weak like noodles or too stiff to move, stuff like that. Lately I've been having a concentration of dreams in which I'm attacked, but I get to fight back. I can practically feel it, and it feels great, I'm always beating up the bad guys.
I'm not entirely sure what it means. Could it mean that I'm slowly learning how to fight back on all the things I struggle with? That I want to get back into training with José? That my inner badass is coming out?

I'm leading all this up to a dream I had just last night.
I was playing with a big, black dog when his owner comes up and tells me not to mess with it (even though the dog was so cute and friendly). I tell him all right, I didn't want any trouble. Then he moves forward, trying to mug or attack me or whatever, and in self defense I throw a punch right to his face. I turn to run away, but he grabs me and stabs me in the arm with a knife.

Not so powerful now, huh?

I woke up with the strangest urge to learn how to use the balisong, or as it's commonly called, the butterfly knife.

Mind you, I used to be terrified of knives when I was small. But looking up YouTube videos of people goin' at it with the knife got me more and more excited. I wanted to carry one for self
defense! Show it off like a party trick! Intimidate muggers by doing it before lashing out at their harmful asses!

I knew my dad had one, so I called him up and we started talking about it. In California, balisongs are illegal to conceal and carry, but legal to own as long as the blade doesn't exceed 2 inches in length and it's dull. My dad told me that the knife he had in the office was an original Filipino handmade balisong that he got from the Philippines, around when I was born. The knife's about as old as I am (it was meant to be!). Filipino handmade also means that they don't give a flying fork about dullness, that baby would still be sharp. I told him that I knew to always hold the safe side while opening it and doing tricks, and that when practicing I'll tape down the sharp side of the blade and wear shoes. While talking to Jason about it, I also realized something my mom would undoubtedly bring up once she finds out I'm doing knife tricks: that I could harm my hands! My career depends on the use and skill of my hands, namely for drawing and painting and designing! How could I be so reckless! So even with the safe side, taping the sharp side and other precautions, I decided to learn how to use it with my left hand... mainly because it isn't my drawing hand. I'm fairly ambidextrous, and this is a "new" skill, so it shouldn't make too much of a difference. If it sucks, I'll switch over to the right. I mean, how much damage could it be? If the sharp side lands on me, I drop it, maybe a small cut, but nothing horrible like tears.

Well, I found my dad's old balisong and sure enough, its tiiiny! Looks way tinier than the crazy Benchmade ones in the videos! The handle is wooden and the blade is actually pretty dull, and dirty, too. I joked with my dad, "What did you use this as, a letter opener?!" It's small so it's not overwhelming to my own small hands. I'm pretty happy with it, I tried flipping it open and manage to do it quite slowly. I wish I could carry it around for self defense, but I'd get in more trouble by just doing that (and being caught). I mean, José's teaching me eskrima, right? Filipinos used these knives for that! Just tryin'a maintain solidarity here :P

Anyway, there's my random skill to learn for the year. Butterfly knives.

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