Infection And Review

I haven't posted in the last week due to a lingering illness.  As the cold/flu season rolls across the US I thought I had escaped the clutches of fever, chills and snots as my friends and co-workers were laid low all around me.  Alas, not even my robust immune system could fight off all of it.  Instead of snot I ended up with lung problems.

It's been two weeks since the beginning of the symptoms and there hasn't been much change.  Any movement induces coughing jags that last up to five minutes.  I found some old bottles of codeine cough syrup and I'm disappointed in the lack of progress.  I apparently developed a tolerance in one day.

Anyway, I decided just go to class and cough my way through.  I mean I'm going to work so I figured I might as well go and cough on my fellow students.

When I got to class Kyle let me know that the last three sessions were dedicated to preparation for Celebration. Celebration being the name for the testing gathering.  I have been told that in years past that the whole region collected for these quarterly events.  This would include 50 blackbelts and everyone's family, making a fairly massive event.  Obviously  this has scaled down.  Only the grandmaster (10th Degree Morris Mack) and another instructor come and visit the class to review the testing.  I keep wondering if this is a trend.  The TKD schools just seem to have the business model ironed out.

I think as a nod to my general hacking Reed Sensei had me act as a judge to our brown belt.  Mark did ten kata and I was supposed to be keeping notes on his acumen.  I had absolutely no idea how these katas were supposed to be performed so I would bother Reed with observations while he watched another student preparing for her 2nd Dan.

In my old class we were constantly nagged about head turns.  "You should always be looking where you're going!" they would tell me ad nauseam.  My guy didn't really make any particular effort in that area because his kata were complex enough that he was really concentrating on the next move.  Reed Sensei pointed out that as a rule there should be, per kata, two fast head turns for 90 degree and less turns and two slow head turns for 180 degree moves.  Neat rule.  My guy wasn't quite there, but Reed didn't appear to think that was a quick fix.  More of a long term correction.

I was bothered about my guys kicks.  He was just flinging the leg out.  Granted he's 62 going for a black belt so I don't think I can judge too harshly, but when I mentioned to Reed he was nice enough to bring it up in the review.  He actually had me stand up and perform a front kick so Mark could see how it was done.  I did one of my best.

Reed gave me some interesting information about the Kata section of the test.  Apparently, some of the kata performed are Shūdokan only and considered secret!  The doors and windows are actually covered so no one can see!  However, Reed did point out how funny that was because anyone walking by can see us practice them.  Still I liked the nod to traditionalism.  I find comfort that there is a connection to the past.  

Class finished up with jump rope.  Two instructors tied some belts together and we were to run through the rope.  They started with it not moving and we jumped.  They went one way and were to time our run to get through.  They went the other way and we had to jump to clear the rope,  and finally there were two counter-rotating belts (ala double dutch).  Kyle told me to focus on the front belt and I cleared without any problem, but after than I fell apart in the timing.  I would forget to pick my feet up after clearing the first rope.  Durrrr.  However a nice light way to end the class.


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