Showing posts from July, 2008

Bumps and Bruises

Oh how I ache. I'm used to seeing these types of pictures on Striking Thoughts because Bob does TKD. Those bruises are just from knife hand blocks.

Brown Day 1

I think I felt different. Kinda like, "Am I good enough for this?" and "Oh hell yeah, I went through the gauntlet!" The gang was giving me a lot of respect though, which was nice.

The brown belt against my red gi looked gross. Oh well, at least the little kids won't be calling me Santa Claus anymore.

Class had six last night and we worked very hard. I'm still drained from Tuesday so class felt very difficult, but I swear everyone was working harder than usual. Lots of knife hand blocks and spinning back kicks. Got some great pointers that I was able to immediately work on.

Still tired, still sore today. Not much to write about..

New Brown!!!

I thought it lasted an hour, but I was told it was only 40 minutes.

I thought I was going to puke about halfway, but I didn't.

I thought I was going to remember some strategy, but I couldn't remember how to spell Tang Soo Do.

Teacher called me earlier in the day and told me the basic format of the test, but I can honestly say that it didn't prepare me for what was coming up. We had a standard class for the first hour which I found exhausting anyway. My notorious bad breathing (breath holding) exhibiting itself right away. We broke for a fairly long time (20 minutes) which I didn't realize I should have been appreciating a bit more, then it was test time. Teacher, Teacher Slim and Teacher G sat in chairs at the head of the room. Teacher ran me through every kick, block and strike, sometimes mixing them with movement or not and then I did our first kata/hyung, Kecho hyung Ill Boo and our seventh, Pyung Ahn Sa Dan. Might I add that I was incredible.

Teacher then passe…

Test Prep Interlude

I met with New Guy yesterday for a test tune up. He's got a great eye for detail. We went over my kata and refined as much as we could. We also discussed kumite strategy. I feel a lot better. I think just talking about it with an informed party reduced a lot of my anxiety.

I asked about his background. He has five Brown Belts! He's been studying since his early teens and never got to stay in one place long enough to get his black belt. Dang.

Test Prep

The test is in two weeks.

I totally wasn't feeling any anxiety about it until I started writing about it. Thankfully Teacher appears to be constructing class to address my weak points in order to prepare me. We worked on a deceptively simple/complex forward chained attack. If I didn't come out of the kick properly balanced then the rest of the chain fell apart due to bad distancing.

We worked on Pyung Ahn Sa Dan, which is the kata he wants me to perform. Super critical eye time. He pointed out a few things that cleaned up some moves, but I found even more that needs to be addressed in the next week. Yikes. I tried it this morning and I totally fell apart. I need to warm up more maybe...

The last part of class was dedicated to Rondori and he partnered me with New, new guy. I may have mentioned before that his presence is about the most awesome thing to happen in class for a long time. He brings in a vitality and energy that is incredibly refreshing.

At the end of class …


That was a break.

You know when it happens, but you deny it because in only hurts for a few seconds.

We were practicing roundhouses with focus mitts as the target. Teacher was holding it at whatever distance he saw fit and it was a bit too close for me so my foot went under the mitt and my pinky toe did not. Crack.

I feel like I'm walking with a eggplant in my shoe.

The news - we got a new guy whom I'll call NNG (new new guy) until a name surfaces for him. He's got a Brown Belt in Kenwa-kai karate. I'd forgotten how nice it was to have someone to do stuff with who actually knows what to do. Insanely pleasurable.

At the end of class Teacher says that testing will occur in the next couple of weeks - gulp. That actually sounded specific.

Ah hah

When I got my green belt, Teacher pulled me aside and said that all the "ah-hah" moments I'd been experiencing were going to become less and less frequent. Sure enough the plateau of experience vs. refinement set in and over the last year or so things have slowed down significantly enough to allow me to focus on improving all the small things.

Last night I got a new version of the "ah-hah." We were do a move that looks simple and is very effective, but the execution took two hours to learn. As usual anything with taking someone's balance and keeping your own is something I find very challenging. Last night was no exception, but Teacher was able to break down everything I wasn't doing and give me a metaphor or some correction to constantly refine the work. But the end of the night it was if I had 20 little ah-hahs. Nice feeling to see and feel such quick progress.

The move was to block a straight punch, move in a bit and get the blocking arm to gra…

Bruise Randori

On Tuesday I could only attend half the class as my parents were coming in that evening so I came early to the kids class to help out/participate. After enduring that for awhile (you have to really take the long view on their progress) the class finished and I was doing jumping jacks when Nilon came in and, I swear to you, only did two stretches before he came up me all bug-eyed.

He was ready to go and I figured it would be a nice warm up, so on to Randori. However, this wasn't our regular slow, light impact kind. His first two strikes were pretty powerful and after that I knew I had to be careful as well as pay sharp attention. Nilon is hyper-aggressive and almost half my age so his advantages lay in his ability to produce a continuous attack and excellent fitness. His weakness is a lack of skill and virtually no kicking. I've never seen anyone so allergic to stretching their legs, but it's to my benefit in this case.

So we started and I have to say in all fairness …