Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I feel like a bad car radiator

Why do I feel like a bad car radiator? Because I overheat and break down very quickly, at least at high temps. More on that in a moment.

Drew was being antsy today in class. I wasn't watching the whole time as I was trying to be a little helpful behind the desk, although I didn't do much. Nancy was too flustered and busy, so I just offered my help if she needed it, and I did a few piddly things. During class, Drew was acting up a few times, that he was instructed to sit down until he could cooperate. I even had Alex S. intervene (when I pointed out to him that Drew needed some direction), and Drew balked at that, but he was taking away from another kid's time to learn, and that's not right. And evidentally, during the sparring part of class, he acted up enough (although I didn't see it and the other mothers missed it too due to chatting) that Mr. A asked him to take off his punches and mouthpiece early because he wasn't participating appropriately. I was disappointed with his behavior, and that he had to be singled out like that, although I knew that Mr. A wouldn't have done it unless it was necessary. Mr. A is usually pretty easy going, and understanding and patient, so I knew he wouldn't do it without good reason. Drew also had finally earned 10 paper stars for good black belt behavior in class (got the last 2 today), so he earned a star patch for his uniform. I even put it together for him, being behind the desk and got it ready for Mr. A. But Drew didn't get it. I asked Mr. A why he didn't get it, not sure if he didn't see me put it there or not, and he said that Drew's behavior in class today didn't warrant it, and Drew could try next week, and I accepted that. Again, I knew that Mr. A wouldn't withhold it without good reason. He's not like that. He's much easier than a lot of them, so if he's pushed to this limit, then Drew had to have really been not that cooperative. Oh well. :-(

During Drew's class, a phone call came in that Senior Master Dunn, who is a 7th degree black belt and the highest ranked in our region, was making a pop visit of sorts to the school. Well, you can imagine, CRAP! So everyone was in a slightly nervous hustle if and when he was to arrive. Due to that, knowing that I am an instructor trainee and trying to have a good black belt attitude, I made sure that I had my heavyweight lettered uniform on tonight. More on how that became a problem follows.

As for me, I was a kamikaze student tonight. Two classes in a row. First, regular class. We started with a good exercise that for the most part, I can do, but there were circumstances that made me feel like the overheated radiator. Simply, it was an exercise where we had to do a "pyramid" of roundkicks on a pad. What I mean by that is that you start with 1 kick, then 2 kicks, then 3, etc. to 10, and then back down again to 1. On both sides. Well, Mr. Uhl and I were partners, so we each did a side then would take a break holding the pad for the other. The problem with this whole exercise was multifold for me, and this is when my inner radiator started to malfunction. First, I was wearing that heavyweight uniform. Versus the medium weight or lightweight, it truly bears out its name, and it was really keeping me warm. Too warm, especially considering I was working out big time. Second, even though you'd think that holding the pad in between was a break, it wasn't. Mr. Uhl is taller than me, but he insisted that I hold the pad lower than what was comfortable for me standing, so that was a physical struggle which just exacerbated the problem. It also didn't help that the thermostat registered at 75 degree F, (as I happened to look at it), and the doors of the place weren't opened nor was the A/C kicking in. Add all those factors together of working hard in a heavyweight uniform in a hot room, you can understand why I felt rather ill and almost faint. After the exercise was over, I asked Ms. Chunko (who was leading the class) if I could have permission to get a drink. Hopefully she could see how flushed and ill I looked, and let me go. I went to the water fountain to take a drink, thinking the liquid oxygen would help. It wasn't, and I felt a little ill in my stomach. I ran to the ladies room immediately since I thought I was going to be sick, and tore off my belt and jacket, and lifted up my shirt just to cool off. I really thought I was going to barf, but didn't. I could overheard they were just doing stretches, which would have been fine, but it would've still be physical work for me, so I needed those few minutes to recoup. When I felt well enough again, I put my jacket and belt back on, splashed my face and neck with some cool water, and then went back to class. Not fun, and this is the second time that I've had some sort of a meltdown in as many days.

We reviewed the form with Nikki (aka Miss Kawaski), and my problem is transitions from one section to another. I generally have the form, it's again getting the finer touches in, and learning ki-hap placement as well as making those transitions more smoothly. Our least favorite person, Malachi, was in class again tonight, and one thing that he and that young Indian boy were both doing that Nikki was pointing out was not rushing through and really making power moves, which is more of what I do anyway. Heh heh, serves them right for trying to be little Jackie Chans ahead of their time, and not even black belts at that.

I learned a new move with the ssang-jeh-bahng (numchuks for the non-TKD reading population), which was a 360 move. It looks pretty fancy, and it will take some practice, but I got the basic gist of it tonight. Essentially, it's crossover like the start of a triangle, but then you grab the connecting string in the middle, then grab the other connected stick. So you are going from one stick to the other utilizing the string uniting them. It's a pretty cool move to see it really fast going in several different directions, but I'll just work on the basics for now.

It was hand week for board breaking. So I decided to do something different. I decided to try a basic palm heel break. Turns out that it's pretty much the same thing as the elbow one I've been working on, but the only different is that it's the palm heel instead of your elbow hitting. For me, it's that simple. I didn't get it from the first try, but I did break it on the 3rd try, so that's pretty good, considering it took me months to get the elbow one. It's definitely progress that I see in overall technique as a result.

I was feeling okay enough to spar. I first paired up with Nina, as she too was feeling tired, so I encouraged her that I'd be her target practice, and we could spar but just go easy, and that's what we did. So that went well. But then, I found I had no choice but to spar evil Malachi. I think he's been getting in enough trouble that he's trying to watch his Ps & Qs a little more if he has reminders. I was not happy about this, and I told him point blank, "Look if you get too rough, I am walking off the mats and I will refuse to fight you. " It happened to be within hearing range of Mr. A, who said told Malachi that I had every right to say that, and he instructed me that if he did get too rough to tell him. Fortunately, Malachi behaved himself, and I did wallop him a little bit within my tired abilities. I love the fact that I can corner this kid in a moment. But he did behave himself, and so when Mr. A asked, I could honestly tell him that Malachi followed through correctly.

So that was regular class.

Leadership class was good tonight. While those testing for their collars practiced, the rest of us learned some new stuff with teaching weapons. Ma'am just got back from a ProTech (weapons) camp, so she was fairly psyched about it. Evidentally, from what she was saying, and I've heard this from some others too, that they didn't used to teach weapons until you were a full black belt, and now they are starting to teach them starting with your white belt. I'm one of the beneficiaries of that revolution, for sure. So, I was paired up with Dan T., little brother of Ben T. whom some of us moms wished that he was about 25 years older and we were single. ;-) Actually, both boys are really nice and sweet. Ma'am was teaching us a strike and blocking exercise that helped all of us with our bahng-mah-ee forms, and Dan and I had a good time trying to get the exercise pattern down. I think we really worked as a team, as I would remember the pattern better than him at first, but then I'd always forget a part of a block that I was supposed to do (with my sacrifice hand, hence why I'd forget it), so we truly supported each other. It worked out well. I have to say that I really enjoyed that class, as I'm finding that I like weapons. I just have to learn a lot more and get better at it.

After class, we all had a sit down, as we usually do. Ma'am was bouncing off this idea that she had for the summer and Saturday scheduling, where she is thinking of doing half hour classes that are specific to certain ranks and certain skills. So for example, 9:00-9:30 would be1st degree forms, 9:30-10:00 would be 2nd degree forms, 10:00-10:30 would be black belt weapons, 10:30-11:00 would be all ranks sparring, 11:00-11:30 would be color belt forms, etc. You get the idea. You could come for just a half hour session, or for a few half hour session, and just spend a half hour of true concentrated time on one aspect of forms, board breaking, weapons or sparring. Overall, the idea went over well with our group. I think it's just a matter of adjustment. Ma'am thought it'd be good to try during the summer as that's when enrollment is generally down, so it wouldn't be too bad. Heck, I'm willing to give it a try. As it is, Ma'am said every Saturday in July will be Tournament prep, and I want to kick butt in this next tournament, so it's going to be a challenge, and I want to be ready. I will probably attend all the specialty classes for myself on Saturdays when I can, since there are things that I want to not only do well, but when it comes to time to test for my black belt, things like board breaks should be easy this way. The more I master now in the early stages, the more comfortable it will be later to allow me to advance.

It's been a long night, and I want to go to sleep. I'm getting nervous about Friday and Saturday. Friday is the workout/business seminar that I signed up to do at Ma'am suggestion. Tonight I found out that I.H. Lee, 8th degree black belt and brother to the Grandmaster, is going to be not only at the seminar, but also at the Saturday class. Yikes! It's one thing that he'll be in class on Saturday, as that's intimidating enough. But I am guessing that, as usual, I will be one of the lowest ranked people at the seminar, and I will be rather lost in there among all those black belts. I'm starting to wonder if my medications are making me do crazy things now. :-S I think the nerves are just going to be progressively building up until Friday arrives. :-(


John Vesia said...

There are still some schools that will only teach weapons at the dan level. What's ironic is that weapons came first in the martial arts, the empty-handed systems came later. I don't know about teaching weapons to white belts, though. Most weapons are difficult to learn, especially the nunchaku (ssang-jeh-bahng).

Windsornot said...

Well, I don't know if they are actually going to go THAT far and starting them with white belts, but I know currently they can start with the orange belt level, the first after the white belt, if needed. My son wasn't allowed to get his "punches and mouthpiece" for beginner sparring until he was at least at half-white/half-orange.