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Showing posts from August, 2010

Aches And Pains

Teacher called me up yesterday and asked if I could run the class from the “doing” standpoint.  He lost a filling and apparently when right to infected.  His jaw is swollen and misshapen and appears to be fairly miserable.  However he still showed up at class and taught a fairly normal class.  I only led a few things that required jostling so he could avoid moving his head.A remarkably small crowd last night: The Wonder Twins, Swimmer, Me and the Tall new guy came in late. Swimmer is a 16 year old girl who looks perpetually exhausted.  She is a competitive athlete at our local high school that requires her to practice two times a day in two hour blocks.  For whatever reason she’s pulled into our class and appears to enjoy it fully, but hasn’t really mastered controlling the strength she applies.  I notice this is a common factor with a lot of female new comers.  Weird.  During our four on one attacks (weee!) she would be set upon by all of us and would deliver the most brutal counters…

Drop The Hips

After what seems like years we are finally having some semblance of Summer weather.  This usually has a negative impact on class size because you literally don’t know when you’re going to get a chance to get outside.  So the hardcore (read dumb) come to class no matter what.  In our case Teacher, Trucker me, Beard and the new girl got started kind of late.Near the end of warm-ups the Wonder Twins, Robot, and Tall New Guy showed up to fill out the class to it’s normal 8 folks.  Teacher kept things pretty basic because of the new gal and had us really focus on some very beginner items – most specifically the chamber (the fists ready position previous to a punch).  After a lot of practice we did the first kata/hyung to check ourselves.  Nice exercise.  Afterword we did the basic locks and grabs I partnered with Beard.  Normally I’m a bit trepidatious of his heavy handed approach to locks, but we actually had a very informative session.  His blackbelt in Judo turned out to a very good thi…

Back on Track

The remnants of my slight back strain are fading away, but they always make me wonder about the extent of the original injury. I can almost track the healing process after the lockup.  Even after I’ve got back to full mobility I feel that deep muscle ache down through my glutes and into my hamstrings.  As usual when one part hurts I end up thinking about everything else that hurts and start feeling really old.  Add being tired from work and not enough sleep and I get maudlin.  Thankfully in the middle taking some hard floor falls I realized that I didn’t hurt at all and felt pretty good.  Thanks adrenaline and corticosteroids!
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We got a new gal last night and since I’m the sempai it was quality time with the new person.  I know I wasn’t the most physically gifted new-comer, but I was really impressed with the lack of ability she brought.  Even warm-ups were a start and stop adventure of hand-holding and explanations.  Punching was a new experience with her as well, but by the …

Whitewash

I took the week off last week due to a slightly tweaked back and felt relatively good to go last night.  Of course being up and around is way better than sitting for long periods so I drug myself to class and led the warm ups.  Once class got started I had a tremendous run of negative thinking to tend with.  My neighborhood could be considered borderline anywhere South of the 58th parallel, but in my rural town you could say that it’s relatively nice.  My wife spends a lot of energy working on our gardens and our neighbors spend a lot of time on the upkeep of their homes.  So the ‘hood looks fairly nice and things like old spa tubs, abandoned cars and heavy machinery in front lawns tend to get overlooked.  Our neighborhood is also very nice because people have a lot of friendly pets, but tend to let them off leash to wander freely. That hasn’t turned out to be a problem before, but my wife pulled me aside after I got home from work and gave me the bad news about our neighbors cat.  Th…

Relax

Teacher let us know on Tuesday that he wanted to work on meditation last night.  This usually means that he wants to do energy work as well or what I call “feats of strength.”  After a short set of blocking drills we refocused using a circular block that really requires relaxed shoulders and arms.  Teacher will occasionally take a foray out of our hard-style comfort zone and attempt to get us to relax portions of our physique that should be relaxed no matter what.  I mean that a cross-block in TSD (Tang Soo Do) is also a strike to a certain degree and requires muscle tensions in all sorts of directions.  So not only are you blocking, but you are also striking.  As I’ve mentioned before dynamic tension in the move is a shockingly difficult concept to get my head around – something best felt rather than intellectually encapsulated.  What Teacher is trying to show us is that certain things need to be strong and other things need to be relaxed.  My ignorance of the physiology involved mak…

Steamrolla

Beard’s been out for several weeks so his arrival filled out the ranks quite a bit (we had nine!).   Any more makes the space a little close.  For instance during the second hour we practiced kata/hyung and we had to be very careful or we’d end up clipping each others heels.  Our technique for the evening was a cross block that leads to a behind the elbow grab.  This is integrated with a step forward with a hooking step.  The uki gets his/her shoulder bunched up, balance disrupted, and then falls.  I started out with Tall new guy and found out that whatever flourish he uses ends up knocking me on my butt.  He doesn’t know what he’s doing so it yet so we were just appreciating the fact that he was effective without too much fuss.  We then rotated and my new partner was the new gal, Swimmer.  She’s about my wife’s height (a foot shorter) so automatically has an advantage in certain spots.  This was definitely one of them.  Once she had the basic dynamic we tried our first variation (I p…