Saturday, September 23, 2006

Drafted against my will

Saturday is always a big day for Drew and I to go to class, as it's specialty day. I forgot to bring something for Drew to do in a certain interim when he wasn't taking a class and I was, but he behaved himself, and that's what helps.

We both took sparring class. It seems that in the martial arts blogs I've been reading and discussions that I've been having, the issue of control when sparring is a hot topic. Well, sure enough, one of those people that I was having such a conversation with this week about that topic was Mr. A, and during the specialty class today, it was the theme of the day: CONTROL. He wanted to be sure that we understood the difference between executing moves fighting style vs. sports sparring, and at our school and in the ATA at large, we do sports sparring. So he showed, for example, a #1 front kick on a pad with full force, vs. tapping or not even touching the pad, but still maintaining the speed and power (e.g. wrong way vs. right way). So most of the class, we did some drills with each other working on that. I concentrated on my own stuff, so I really didn't pay attention to how Drew was doing. I figure if I ignore him and the other instructors work with him, that's better, because how often does anyone listen to their parents? It's better if he listens to people who know better than me anyway. When we got our gear on, we did two rounds, and the second round I was with this teenager named Jason who seemed like a nice kid, but told me he originally came from another form of TKD, and he'd do this stance where in actuality he was measuring to see how far I was, but he was in a middle stance with one arm outstretched, and with that same hand slightly waving it around, as if he was trying to put some voodoo hex on me. I just looked at him like he was nuts. I mean, it's supposed to psych you out a little, and it did, but not that much. I just had never seen such a thing, so I was asking him about it, and kinda laughing, because again, I hadn't really ever seen that in the ATA, even at tournaments, before.

Next class was upper color belt forms. That's me, but not Drew. It was good that I went, because evidentally in my practicing at home, I missed a whole step in the form, and it made a lot more sense once it was put in again. Man, now THAT would be bad to learn a whole form, and out of, say, 44 steps, you miss 2 of them altogether! So, good thing I got that one. Then we had weapons. Drew was allowed to participate for a few minutes before his own class if he promised to behave like a black belt, and he did, although Ben had to work with him one on one, and I worked with the older kids, as we all worked together.

Then it happened. Instead of me continuing with my weapon back with Mr. A, and the older kids, I got drafted. There were 16 Tiny Tigers with white, orange and yellow belts (Drew being one of them), and only one instructor. Ben asked if I would help him to start out, but as stragglers came in, it was apparent it was going to be a big class, and he needed the help. Of course, he's the high rank, so I had to go along with what he said. If I thought something should be instructed to the kids, instead of making the order to try to supercede him (of course you don't do that to a high rank!), I would ask him, "Mr. P, should everyone put their ___ on the floor when they are done?", so that way, he'd get the clue that he needed to make that instruction (I'm a mommy, and I can see what needs to be done), and I wouldn't be stepping out of line. Seemed like a good way to do it. I actually got to stretch out the class too. I've never led a class-- even with my little cubs the other day-- in the stretching, so that was cool to hear the kids saying "Yes Ma'am! one ma'am! two Ma'am, three Ma'am, etc." and addressing it to me. Don't worry, I won't let the power go to my head. ;-) I ended up staying for the whole class, as Mr. A wasn't free to take over until the last part with the kids reviewing their one steps. So, since they needed the help, and I had already been there for the entire class, I just kept going. I think I also provided a little bit of comic relief and self-esteem points for the kids, because if Mr. A asked who wanted to do it faster, and who wanted to do it slower, I'd say out loud that I voted for slower and all the kids voted for faster. So when I'd goof up, they knew it was okay that they didn't have to be perfect, and that you learn from your mistakes. Afterwards, I had to help with board breaking. Drew wasn't in the mood, but he's in Master's, and Mr. A said he'd help me with my break. Well, mine never happened. :-S I ended up working with another boy on his knifehand strike break (my favorite hand break), and he was having trouble because he wasn't executing it right. Drew finally had his turn, and I had to help still, as Ryan was helping a parent at the front desk, and Ben had to start the Cubs class. Ben and I should've switched, since I'm learning to do the Cubs class anyway, and have a good idea now how to do it. Oh well, I know for next time. So Drew broke, and then I was helping behind the desk for a bit, and next thing you know, as I'm getting things done behind the desk, the cubs class was over, and it was already a half hour later than I had intended to stay. I had to repack both my bag and Drew's bag, and man, we just were there for SO long, longer than usual. One thing I'm going to have to do is have Drew learn how to put on and take off some of his gear. I can't do all of it for him. He knows how to put on his head gear, his punches and mouthpiece, but he's not good with the kicks, shin guards and chest protector. Well, nobody's good with that one, and he can help other adults or instructors to help him if he needs it. Sometimes others will volunteers to help you with your gear, like Ben helped me with my chest protector today, in fact. But I can't do it all for him, and while, yes, he's only 5, part of being a "big kid" and in Master's program is that you are a big enough kid to do, or at least help, in getting your own gear and stuff.

So, you can imagine I was exhausted today, especially since I didn't expect to be taking/helping instruct a class. I also have to talk to SW about me assisting a class. If that's going to be a regular thing, then I want to know if it's still "internship" time, or if I can get compensated for that time. Also, I'm not sure, since Drew's at a younger age, if it's wise for me to help in my own kid's class. I mean, I did step in in a pinch when asked, and stayed because I could see they were pinched. And in some respects, I don't mind. But I need to make adjustments if that's the case. Mentally, if for no other reason.

1 comment:

Miss Chris said...

We have a class called the Little Dragons at our school and I get tired just watching it. Our instructor is very patient and I don't know how he does it. I'd be ripping my hair out!
Thanks for your comments too on my blog. Very useful and I agree with what you said.