Monday, April 17, 2006

After a week or so away, here I am, as the ATA was closed pretty much all last week due to the Passover/Easter holidays and the fact that pretty much all the public schools in the area had off.

So today, I went back to the ATA for a special private lesson to go over my form and get some kinks out of it. I had to bring Drew with me since he doesn't go back to school until tomorrow. Immediately upon entering, something seemed different about the place. While I didn't smell the fumes at all (maybe after doing my house enough times, I like the smell or something), but the place had been completely repainted, with a fresh coat of white paint. It looked sharp. All the photos and paraphenalia that had been on the walls, for the most part, were down and had to be put up. Even Drew noticed it. Also, the mats had been cleaned and repositioned better, and a new wood border to hold them in was in place instead of the metal strips that would keep coming up and injuring people. It was painted the same blue as some of the mats, so it looked really sharp.

So anyway, Ma'am went to work with me. It started immediately with her correcting how I would do my "joon-bi" (or however you spell it) stance. Oops. Well, no one showed me correctly before today. We picked the whole form apart. She said overall, it was pretty good, but agreed that some changes were in order to make it better. And while she could really pick it apart big time, (of which I have no doubt), she felt that if I could fix at least the stances and the arm positions, that would clean it up immensely. So, that's what I worked on. Part of my problem in doing my stances right is that I need to bend my knees more. That's a BIG problem. Due to my chronic knee problems, I have a feeling that I'll be hitting the CVS pharmacy this week to find something to tape up my kneecaps better to stablize them. Otherwise, it's going to KILL. I sometimes think that surgery is the only option for this if I am to continue this, but I guess time will tell. Anyhow, once I made some of the corrections, she felt that I had the hang of them, and hand positions and stances were plenty to work on for now. I felt like I really got a workout today in controlling my muscles more closely. I asked her about weapons, and she said that I had that down, and I just had to concentrate on where my target was when I did stuff, and I'll be fine with that. Then I asked about sparring, asking the rules of where can I hit if I do hit, where I can't hit, etc. She said it's pretty much like graduation sparring, and if I make TOO much contact, that'll actually be points taken away. I said I have to watch, because accidentally I sometimes want to punch towards the head area, and she understood, and said it's because most of the opponents I have are usually significantly shorter than me. ;-) Glad she doesn't hold it against me! She said she wasn't looking for me to place, especially in sparring, but at least get a good experience out of it. She even mentioned that when I did the last interschool tournament, there were those who wondered why she even put me up against the kids, etc. since there weren't any other color belt adults competiting, and she said that the way she does the interschool tournaments is just like the regionals, so that way, I understood the methodology of how they do them for the future. Well, I'm glad she defended me, and at the same time was preparing me too! I do think I will be doing interschool next week too, and then I know that I will be doing the regional one that Ma'am in sponsoring in July. I have to tell her that I want to help her with that where I can. I know she already asked if I'd like to donate something for the silent auction, and of course I said yes.

On a slightly separate note, I know she considers me an instructor now, as I signed our family up for the annual summer picnic and water fight, I was filling out the form and I had to choose something to bring to the picnic. I asked her what they are usually lacking the most of, since any of the suggestions there were fine by me. She said that what she always asks her INSTRUCTORS to bring (and implying I was one of them), was ice. I said, that's easy. So I have it marked on the calendar that I have to bring ice. I think I will have to clean out the cooler we have too, just to make sure it stays frozen! That should be a fun day.

During the whole time, Drew played quietly and nicely. I think he got bored a little bit after a while, but overall, I was pleased with his behavior. And just to catch him in the act of doing something well, I said outloud that I thought Drew had behaved well, and Ma'am actually said that she felt he had behaved extremely well, which is a complement coming from her. Drew has his moments, especially these days, but I was glad this was one of his better moments instead of his bad moments.

So, I have my work cut out for me. Gotta get that medical tape to bind my knees, and I have to practice those stances, and dream about my form, so that, as I said to Ma'am, I want the judges to say, "Ms. Winter, are you sure you didn't enter a ringer for this competition?". ;-)

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