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Showing posts from December, 2010

Black Stripe Test 1b

After getting my notes on Tuesday night I was really struck with a case of the nerves for the Thursday observation.  I went to class early as usual and started vacuuming after I changed.  I thought I might as well take advantage of the OCD and anxiety and put it to good use.  Teacher could tell I was ramping up and pulled me aside to do some very light sparring.  After about two minutes he said, “now do it with breathing.”  Ha ha.  He told me before class that I could continue teaching the kids class until I improved.  Since I was fairly anxious I immediately starting reading into that.  I figured that meant I wasn’t going to get the belt tonight because I had to grow so much more.The class went smoothly and in retrospect I’d say that I tried very hard to put the notes Teacher gave me into action.  Afterword he gave me some more notes, but it started with the fact that I had, in deed, improved vastly.  He added that I needed to refine a few areas and, frankly, I knew when I blew it mo…

Black Stripe Test 1a

As part of my testing criteria for this stripe I’m required to teach two kids classes while being observed by two black belts.  After the class completed Teacher pulled me aside to give me some notes.  “Tater” he said.  “If you get into a fight with five guys and you focus on only one guy, what’s going to happen?”  “I get my ass kicked by the other four guys.” I replied.  “Well, that’s what happened in class tonight,” he finished wryly.  Apparently my OCD nature got the best of me because I spent half the class fixating on the one new kid who couldn’t do anything while the rest of the class started to wonder away from their lines or lose their attention in some other fashion.  I was kind of feeling good about the class, but after he pointed that out I started to realize that I had let a lot of stuff go poorly because I’d focus on something either too long or try a concept that was too involved for their ages.  Later Teacher gave me so more notes which I think will be the hardest of al…

Grumpy Knees

I was having this internal conversation with myself yesterday. “I completely exhausted from work and poor sleep for the past couple of nights.  I’ve got a second job that’s sucking the life out of me.  I should probably skip beatings tonight.”“The whole point of beatings is that it’s something you do no matter how you’re feeling or what state you’re in.  So you should go – it’s not just for your physical fitness.”“I know I’m in a foul mood though.  It makes for a tough night.”“Right. Whatever.  You’re sounding pretty whiney now.  You’ve got to go early and work with the kids to show proper spirit and also get ready for next week’s observations.”  So I went.  I’m my own worst and best litigator. 
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As usual the kids class blasted by at high speed.  I only started the class off and Teacher didn’t have any notes after words so that was nice.  The rest of the time I walked around doing corrections and holding a pad for the kids to kick.  Another Blackbelt was helping out since his li…

More Bruises

I showed up early for the kids class again based on a hint from Teacher.  My observations got moved back to next week so he wants me to keep up with the kids so they can continue to keep comfortable with me as well as me being comfortable with them.  I wouldn’t say that I was doing very well with them, but neither was it horrible.  I’m still using words that are too big and trying to describe concepts that are too much for most of them.  Teacher also pointed out that I might be using a bit too much humor.  It gives the really frisky kids permission to do the same. 
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Adult class was packed.  17 people!  I wasn’t quite awake and feeling somewhat stressed about work and the kid’s class when Teacher announced that we’d be working on blocking kicks.  If there’s anything that catches my attention it’s that.  There is nothing in our compendium of exercises that causes so much soft tissue damage in a single event.No one else seemed terribly concerned which I think is absurd, but it coul…

Subdural

I remember this scene in the movie, Constantine,  in which Keanu presses his forearms together and the audience gets to see a nifty tattoo of a star from two merged designs.  I have this now, but completely composed of bruises.  Not like this hasn’t happened before, but I’m really having a hard time placing my forearms on anything.  So typing is a challenge because I have to do it correctly – with no contact.  At least I’m foiling carpal tunnel.  --- I went a little early again in hopes that my presence might be a motivating force to move my class teaching observations up in the priority list.  Instead I got teach the kids round house kicks and run around with a focus mitt.  Honestly it was a good warm up for me.  Teacher’s notes:  “I think you’re still being a little too nice to them.”  During the adult class I covered the basic one-step sparring that is inherent in TSD and demoed the standard – left middle block, punch, punch, side kick.  In my mind this is the easiest exercise ever…

Wishbone

Life Lesson 42:  Heavy squats at the gym and while fighting a cold is a really bad idea the day before class.I went early for the kids class in hopes that I could warm up my legs a bit.  Squats the day before had left me stiff and inflexible.  Dealing with the sniffles on the side also made it hard to get my blood pressure up and going. The kids class went by quickly, but I never really warmed up.  Teacher plainly has a good time teaching that class, but I was totally out of it.  The adult class went by quickly, but during the second hour we were knocking each other off our feet.  The standard move being that we slide our leg in behind the Uke’s calf and simply straighten our leg.  The Uke’s leg goes flying out.  As Uke with my neophyte partners I’d end up crashing to the floor to save ripping my groin muscles.  More experienced partners would do the “pop” and then catch me to reduce the odds of doing a split.  Near the end of the night Teacher came around and started working on refin…