Minor skin loss

Bizarrely, in the space of a week, I’ve lost a little bit of skin at each of the places I get my exercise, all in consectutive sessions. In the first instance, I was at the gym playing around with this heavy bag I found near the racquetball courts. I haven’t hit a bag or pad in months (no real punching in judo and aikido), so I managed to tear the skin on my right middle knuckle in a few minutes. It’s on one of the “proper” knuckles instead of down near the pinky or ring finger, so at least I’m possibly punching correctly.

A few days later, in the Wednesday morning aikido class, we were doing bokken exercises that were all about taking the center from hasso gedan (tori’s in left hanmi with the bokken down on his right). Uke has his bokken in chudan, and it gets whacked repeatedly by either yokomenuchi or an upwards deflection followed by yokomenuchi. Uke returns his bokken to chudan after each whack. Well, a patch of skin on my left forefinger got worn away by the end of this. I’ve since realized that you get blisters there only if, as uke, you hold the bokken incorrectly, like a baseball bat, rather than with the fore knuckles on the top of the hilt. If the bokken is held correctly, that patch of skin is actually out of the way. But the speed of the exercise made it difficult to do that.

The next day and most spectacularly in judo, I was doing standing randori with a visiting brown belt, a young Russian guy. It’s at the end of our round, and we have ten seconds or so to try to throw. I’m not sure what happened, whether he got some sort of ouchi-gaki or I was sacrificing backwards or we both simply got tangled and lost balance, but we both went down to the mat, me on the bottom and him on top. My right hand is gripping his lapel in the standard judo fashion, in a loose fist a bit below his jaw. My elbow hits the mat and drives my forearm up into his mouth with a bang. He got a bit of a bloody lip, and I got a gash on my knuckle, just below where I skinned it at the gym. Randori was basically over for me at that point, since I would have gotten blood on the mat and on my partners (band-aids don’t stick on sweaty skin), and the rest of class was spent with the alcohol and iodine-laden prep pads they keep in the first-aid kit. Ah, well. Anyway, this is an example of what happens if you punch someone in the mouth: you cut your knuckles on his teeth in an ugly way.

The next day, I stopped by CVS and picked up better-shaped bandages for home, as well as a bottle of Liquid Skin, seeing that my minor abrassions and cuts were in awkward places. I’ve used it, and I’m not sure if it’s all that different from Crazy Glue with a smelly antiseptic mixed in: it stings (a lot!) when you put it on, it’s somewhat discoloring, and you can see the peel marks on the edges of the patches. I’m to reapply it daily. But it’s supposed to be waterproof, and I’ve done the dishes with the stuff on. It’s held out so far, which is better than I can say about the sets band-aids I’ve gone through between the dishes and showering.

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