Thursday, June 29, 2006

The gauntlet has been thrown down

I will explain the...challenge in a moment. First, a recap of the night.

Actually, most of it was nothing extraordinary. MZ was teaching tonight, and I get along with her a lot better than most of the other younger instructors. But then again, I think the only one that I have any REAL issues with is Victoria. Victoria is a nice kid, but as an instructor, I don't always like her methodology with adults. MZ is a little better, and so are most of the other kids, because they understand their place as an instructor, yet still respect me as the adult. Anyhow, we went over the form, and I was with Matthew, who is now my "partner in crime". His mother Julie seems very grateful that I make a fuss over Matthew and help him out. Matthew is a good kid, Downs or not. And while my son's special needs are not as severe as Matthew's, I can certainly appreciate where he's at, and how to redirect him, and keep him on task, and treat him like a normal person. I think that's part of the reason that my son has done as well as he has, and that's why Matthew is doing really well. I'm challenging him a little, but not so much that he can't keep up. So, anyway, we reviewed the form, then we did board breaking. Another first-- I attempted my first knifehand break. JZ (aka Jodi) felt uncomfortable showing me it, as she admitted that even as a 2nd degree, she's never done a knifehand break. That's understandable and I respected that, and she recommended that Mr. A or Ma'am show me. Well, sure enough, Mr. A is taking a quickie break from his Aikido class (they share studio space with us on some nights, so Mr. A takes that martial art too), and he came over and showed me how to do it. Once he explained it, it made sense. It's essentially the reverse or kickback from doing an elbow strike, so if you were to do an elbow strike, then the reflex returning back would be the knifehand strike. That made sense to me. Didn't do it on the first two attempts, and then Mr. A recommended that I try it with a closed hand first to get the hang of it. On the second closed hand attempt, I got it. Hooray! I even got cheers from Julie and Matthew. :-) Sparring went on as usual, and then we bowed out for the Basics, and two of us just practiced weapons for a bit. I didn't need much practice, and MZ and I ended up chatting about Worlds and tournaments and such. Ironically, she said that when she competes locally (in our region), then she never places, but at Worlds or Nationals, she always places. She got 3rd in forms at Worlds, which is still pretty great to me. Anyhow, that's when it happened. We were talking about ATA Xtreme (aka XMA a la ATA), and we were talking about how Drew loves the Power Rangers, and the original Blue Ranger is the one who developed it. She said that she's done it, and she said, "Hey, why don't you?". I explained that I'm way out of shape to be doing it, and I think I should probably have a class or two under my belt or watch it more or something. MZ knows I have a big dance background, and that I am fascinated by it. She told me the age breakdowns are much different for ATA Xtreme, as for women it's something like ages 17-34, then 34 and up. Of course, I'd be in the latter category. And she said when she did it, it was just a friend at the tournament said, "Why don't you try?" and she just said, "OK", and she said she only had two other people competing against her. In my age range, there's next to nobody. And even at the time she did it, she had never seen or been to a class, and she made it up as she went along. All I need is 3 minutes of music, and just, well, go to it. Hmmmm..... this is getting me to thinking. She's right-- why not? I have almost 20 years of dance background, and being that I'm a purple belt and have taken just a pinch of a class during that big workout with the Chief Master that one time to have an idea about it (and I've watched it a little too), what's stopping me? I don't necessarily have to do the gymnastics of it that much. A couple of well placed jump kicks, a little dramatic flair, and a lot of yelling, (I can do that!), maybe I could actually get away with it. I have to think about it, and maybe ask Mr. A what he thinks (since I've hardly heard or seen from Ma'am in weeks). I feel like although it really wasn't MZ throwing the gauntlet down really, and she wasn't exactly daring me or challenging me to do it, it was a mild encouragement to try it, and I don't think she'd suggest it unless she meant it. She's not like that.

So I have to think about it....and see if I can find 3 minutes of music that will get me pumped up enough to move for 3 minutes straight and inspired to try!

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