In the back of my head I was wondering how careful I needed to be to remain safe after a lot of intense one on one with consistent sparring. Our last session on Saturday left me with a slightly tweaked pinky toe, so I thought I was doing good.
Everything in moderation – even moderation. I’m not sure Ben Franklin said that but I love the sentiment.
With that in mind I figured I’d try to keep the current pace set on Saturday and just add some features that came up. One of those was teaching Dave to fall. Being taller in class comes with a frustrating component – I don’t get to throw very often because it’s hard to get low and the less experienced students are terrible with their break-falls. I also can’t remember who knows what in class, so some can do a fair fall and others are horrible. Since Dave seems so good at other things I presumed he’d be good at the falls. Our first night months ago led to a partly separated shoulder because he reached down instead of slapping. Now he’s tentative, but motivated to get over that.
After a nice warm up where I was surprised that he didn’t have experience in punching drills (where have I been?) we moved to punching and moving at the same time. Another area that was very tough on him. It gave a us a nice scale of measure for what to work on.
The next area of work was taking falls. Since he has a really bad knee and I’m always watching mine the normal set up to learning the back fall was a bit tough. We have the uke kind of do a one legged squat and then fall into the landing position. After they are comfortable with that we have them go higher and higher till they can do it standing.
We practiced that for some time and I tried to show him how to do a shoulder throw, but that was a bit beyond his skill. Never the less I felt pretty excited because if we can get him up to speed then I can work on throws!
We finished up the evening with sparring again. This time I wanted to make sure we kept breathing as the most important thing. We were able to last ninety seconds on first round and used a 1 minute timer on the second. Although shorter we weren’t even huffing.
Because he doesn’t have a lot of flexibility yet his kicks are low and that meant my knees kept “getting in the way.” At the time it just stung a little, but today to top edge of both of my knee caps are fairly bruised. Ouch. It makes bending down very unpleasant. Thankfully we’ll have Thursday off so I can have an extra day to heal.