Sunday, October 30, 2005

Brutal! That's how I'd describe sparring at TKD so far. Today, I still didn't have all my sparring gear, but I put on all that I had so far, and had to spar with a green belt, and a black belt. The black belt, Dr. Albani, is one of the instructors who helps Ma'am out during the adult class on Saturdays. He is brutal! I hadn't really sparred much before, since I only got my equipment the other day, but Dr. Albani was just making me move and move and move and making lots of strikes to the point I was sweating and exhausted and having a mild asthma attack! I was learning stuff, but it was learning a little via the means of trial by fire, so I felt a little intimidated by it. Then when we had to switch partners, the green belt, Evelyn (I think that was her name), went a little easier on me, insofar as since she had pads on (Dr. Albani didn't), she let me practice kick/punch combinations on her, but she got me quite a bit too. She even hit one of my gloves so far that even gloved, she hurt my thumb joint temporaily! OW! On a positive note, we had to do these double jump kicks today, and I was doing them okay. Ballet years are paying off again. Dr. Albani had me kicking the xray paper again instead of the pads, and when my buddy Laura was holding the paper, I kicked it right out of her hands! I told Dr. Albani that I think I could handle the pads just fine, thank you. (Heck, Ma'am has never used the paper with me, or at least I never had to use it by myself like today! It was kinda insulting, but I brushed it off, because in the end, it's Ma'am who ultimately makes the decision how well I'm progressing, not Dr. Albani.)

The ironic thing was that since it was Halloween weekend, Dr. Albani had dressed up like a scarecrow. Originally, Laura's son Harris made a funny comment that he didn't take instructions from a guy with no brain (referring to Dr. A's costume), but later, Laura commented to Ma'am, quite correctly, that Dr. A was more brutal when wearing the costume, and I chirped in, what do you expect with a scarecrow with no brain! :-P

Oh well. And it was the day I had hoped that it was going to be easy going, as I had to go directly to a show to work, and my shirt, which I was going to wear and had worn for class, was drenched. Brought some linen spray, thank goodness, and washed up as best as possible for the show, but MAN, sparring, I don't think, will be my forte unless Ma'am starts showing me some more stuff. Dr. A caught me out of nowhere, and I kept expecting him to make the first move. If I have to spar with him again, I'm gonna have a heart attack-- literally!

In other news, JC (the hubby) took Drew to Tiny Tigers today, and he said that Drew did fine. Drew also attended Drop and Date, where we drop him off at the ATA, and we go on a date. He had a blast and didn't want to leave! Tomorrow, we have the ATA hayride, so it's a busy weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Drew is officially a Tiny Tiger now. ROAR! and HOORAY!

I took Drew for a class today in the Tiny Tigers class. It's a mix of kids just a pinch older than him to kids twice his age. They do the basic warmups together, then split the class in half. It's a big group, so I was a little concerned that Drew would goof off too much. I was also concerned because it would be a class where I couldn't do the work with him. If he goofed off, there was nothing I could do really to keep him out of trouble. He was there on his own. Well, he held his own just fine. Very few reminders from the instructors to straighten up or stop being goofy. Some of the older kids were being goofier than him, so I thought he held up pretty well. He had earned enough paper stars to get a fabric one for his uniform, and I had instructed that he could not get it unless he behaved today. Well, obviously, he behaved well enough to earn it! And what was the icing on the cake (no pun intended as it was Ma'am's 40th birthday today) was that Ma'am, when awarding Drew the star, announced that he not only earned it for his 10 paper stars, but also because he did very well for his first Tiny Tigers class that he took on his own, stressing the latter part moreso. You can imagine how proud I was at that point, and how relieved as well! He still has to get the hang of how things are done, but considering it was only his second Tiny Tigers class, I think he did great. Hooray!

(crossposted to my LJ journal)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Oh boy.

I finally caved in and got the basic package for equipment for TKD today. It's $299 for the Black Belt Club level for weapons, protection gear, etc. It's a lot of money, and I asked if I could get stuff online, but since it's not official ATA stuff, if I go to a tournament or whatever, insurance won't cover me if I'm injured for not using approved gear, so I'll go with that. When she said that I didn't have to pay for it all at once, but do it in payments, I finally broke down to do it. So I have my first two sets of weapons, my chest pad, my mouthguard (hate that thing), my sparring gloves, my bag to carry it all in , and my official "Black Belt Club" t-shirt. At least for a little bit, I got a chance to spar, albeit I could do kicks or towards the head since I didn't have headgear or footgear yet (should have that next week). It wasn't bad, but I need work, and I don't feel I'm still ready, but I guess I have to start at some point. Oh, and I got my breaking board, I like that.

So, here it goes-- I really need to be committed now! Yikes!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Is it too early to consider entering a tournament?

Since I had a cancellation for a GNO on 11/19, there's a tournament in Lincroft that the Grandmaster is supposedly attending. Not that I know this guy from anyone else, and he's not SOO revered to me (although respected for his position, nonetheless), I'm wondering if I should be thinking of going anyway, just for my first tournament experience. Of course, there's probably a cost involved, so I'd have to see about that. Heck, I'm only an orange belt at this point. I'm pretty sure the I can get most of the form figured out by then, and my one-step spars figured out. Maybe if I buy the mouthguard, Ma'am will let me borrow the sparring pads (or I can get them cheap online like at eBay), and I can learn to spar PDQ. Then again, who would take an orange belt working on Songham #3 seriously at this stage?'s something to ask about. I'm sure Ma'am would be thinking that I must be out of my mind, but I'll ask nonetheless. The worst she would say is no, but I'm invited to come watch.

Class was a little tough today, but nothing I couldn't handle. Mr. Anderson was instructing again since Ma'am is in Florida at Fall Nationals. He's helpful, but I think he feels a little out of sorts since I can't do the sparring or weapons to be able to help out, so he gives me kinda pendantic drills to do instead. But part of the drills he had everyone do was 10 push ups (regular or modified) and then run and do 10 punches. Well, of course I can jog and do the punches, but 10 push ups? I can't do one, and can only go halfway with the modified ones, if that. I assured him that I've been trying to do *1* pushup for 20 years, and I can't, especially because I'm so topheavy. Stick boy didn't seem to care, but was friendly about it, encouraging me anyway. Can't say this place doesn't reek of positivity, that's for sure. Otherwise, I was happy to get another small chunck of the form today, and I definitely have my first one-step down pretty well.

The other challenge for the day was Drew. Today he and I took his first Tiny Tigers class. He was the youngest one there. While he did pretty well with the last tw0 Bear Club classes, one of which I took with him, so it was a little disappointing when he acted up a little for even me. The best thing to do was threaten him with sending him back to the "baby" class again if he didn't comply, and that usually whipped him into shape. Man, if he only paid attention and focused, he'd get so much more out of the class. I can say that he did enjoy learning the new jump kick that we have to do. He's learning the beginning of Songham 3 too. Except even he got more in his first day of the form than I did! Maybe because he's little and not expected to have perfect form like I am. I think he was being a little trying because he was getting a little overloaded with this being a new class and a new way of doing stuff. Hopefully he'll start to comply a little more again, as long as he's reminded that in order to stay with the "big kids", he has to do this.

I have class at least 3 times this week. Man, between days the place is closed and times I can't make it, I can't seem to get a regular schedule going in class. Oh bother. But at least I'm getting it all in!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's all in the arms for me, I think.

I'm looking over the form again that I'm supposed to be working on, and I think the trick for me will be more figuring out the arms stuff. I was watching the DVD yesterday, and I think that I can easily do this form, especially when I realized, as mentioned yesterday, that it's only got two sections that are different from doing right and left combinations. (If that makes sense.) I was just "walking" through it just now, and I think I can do this. I have to figure out the correct vertical spearhand, which to me looks like a punch but with an open hand, like a knifehand strike, but forwards instead of to the sides. I think having jump kicks is cool, but we'll have to see how my knee holds up. The other day when I kept practicing my first one-step sparring move, Ma'am told me that I didn't have to jump it every time, but I could mark it. Thank YOU!

Oh, I didn't mention that I got my first stripe already for my progression to Yellow belt. The requirement is mastering the Double Knifehand strike (easy), the Vertical Spearhand, and Crescent kicks #1-4 and Jump Front kicks #1-4. I dunno why she gave it to me, since I technically don't know some of this yet, but maybe Ma'am sees in me that they'll probably come easy to me. Who knows.

I'll have to start posting some photos here. I only have stuff of Drew, like his first tournament, and him getting his belts. The last photo I took of him getting his camo belt this week, he made a goofy face, but oh well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hmmm...this might be more difficult after all.

I got the "cheat sheet" listing what I need to learn for yellow belt basic yesterday from Ma'am. You know, basically what the new form and one-steps are, nothing for weapons or sparring. Of course, I've only gotten the first one-step given to me, and the first two moves of the form. I'm looking at this sheet to get an idea of what's up. I don't mind that it's longer-- that's to be expected, I would think, in moving up to the next level. I think the first thing I have to ask and figure out is what the difference is in #1, #2, #3 and #4 in various kicks. It looks like the other thing I need to learn or figure out is the vertical spearhand. I don't think I've seen that, and evidentally, it's different from a knifehand strike. I'm also noticing in reading this that it shouldn't be TOO difficult. Moves 1-6 are the same as 23-28, but 1-6 are on the left majoritively, and 23-28 are the opposite. Same with the groupings of 11-14 and 15-18. So that should help a lot in figuring it out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Moving up is what's going on at my house. While I received my orange belt last week, I got the certificate of acheivement yesterday, and my official membership to the ATA card yesterday as well. So I am literally a card carrying member! Which is, as my son would say, sweet-cool.

And I might as well post about his quest for his black belt too. It was a day of joy and great relief today in his hopefully last Bear Cubs class. He was instructed that if he behaved today, he'd be allowed to graduate and then try the Tiny Tigers class on Saturday with me. Well, he behaved, and he got his junior Camo belt today. My son is two ranks higher than me, but that's okay. On Saturday, he's going to start learning the same stuff I'm doing, but we'll do it together to ensure that we can keep him in line. I'm excited about it, and I think he is too. He didn't take off his uniform and new belt until after his dad got home to see it. I think he' s pretty proud too.

In my new quest of Songham #3, I wondered why Ma'am wasn't teaching us more of the form. It's because I really have to get my stances down better and my hands better at just what I'm doing right now. Everything is very bent in TKD, which I'm not used to. Many years of ballet where I had to do everything long and straight now has to be undone. Oh well. I've got the main gist, although I will say that there is more concentration in hands than in ballet, which I have to be aware of. Legs are less of a problem, fortunately, but that needs work too.

One problem I'm having is that my knee is starting to act up big time. Kinda hard to do weight bearing bent knee stuff with a messed up knee. OUCH! Supposedly, I will build up quad strength, which will help, and I do hope that is will, because I don't want to have to deal with the pain.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I originally started this ID because that way I could post comments to a friend's blog. But I'm thinking that maybe I should double blog here about something. I think originally I was going to blog more about my business ventures, but for the moment, I'm thinking that I might do it regarding my journey through Taekwondo whichI just started learning. In fact, just tonight, I made my first promotion to orange belt. I did it pretty quickly, if you ask me. Everyone kept saying, "Oh, the orange belt-- that first one-- is the hardest one to get. " I'm thinking, hmm, I only did it in a month, if not a little less. I was ready a week or two ago with it. I'm thinking the next ones are going to be harder. I haven't started with weapons or board breaking yet, so I feel like this was the easy first step. So now I have to work on yellow belt. I already got the DVD to watch and learn from tonight. I think the next testing and graduation isn't until December, so I think I have some time. Forms and such get longer and more complicated, so I'm sure it'll take me some more time.

Thus begins my journey towards my Black Belt in Taekwondo.