Thursday, September 28, 2006

Live! From the ATA!

Well, here I am, sitting at work, coming to you direct from the ATA Black Belt Academy where I am a parent, student, instructor trainee, and now employee. I don't think I've posted on this blog while at work before, but it's a little bit of a slow afternoon, so what the heck.

Things are going fairly well in class. Ma'am actually was here for the night for all Wednesday classes to help out (she still has some limitations due to her still recouping from shoulder surgery over the summer), but I think she was happy to be here. This school is her baby, and while she is half owner of the other place, she is not the high rank there, and here she is, and her heart is over here more. In leadership class, it was nice to learn the next section of my form from her. I don't think I've learned many parts of this or my last form from her, and she can pinpoint things like nobody else around here. For example, I got here early for class last night, and ended up helping hold boards for breaking. Between me and another trainee, we couldn't pinpoint the problems as well as she could. She'd take one look at someone doing their break and not breaking and with one tweak (twist your hips more, or it's fine, you just need more speed, etc.), POP! The board would finally break. She's amazing that way. So, I think her leadership class and many of her students were happy to see her, for sure.

For me, my form is coming along slowly but surely. Hopefully it will be ready for graduation on the 11th. Drew's graduation is on the 14th. I'm also starting to get more of the Jahng Bong form, and Nina was surprised that I knew as much as I knew. I have a feeling that it's actually a 1st degree form, and that's how they get us started. So, I know most of it. Maybe I can get Ryan to show me the rest. Nina tried to show me, but I don't remember it all. I tell you, between personal stuff going on at home , and stuff going on here at work and remembering this stuff, it's no wonder my head doesn't explode sometime soon.

I'm just glad that I'm almost through this belt. My form is coming along, my weapons form is coming along, I'm not too worried about testing next week with my board break, and sparring, is well, sparring. After this next graduation, I will finally be a brown belt. The last 2-3 levels before being a full-fledged black belt is brown, then red, then red/black. Red/Black is actually 1st degree recommended, but it's still considered a color belt. Each of these levels take 2 cycles each, whereas up until now, each color belt was one cycle each. So, I guess theoretically, I'm about 6 months or so from getting my black belt. I've been at this about a year already. I got my first belt rather quickly, as I joined up about halfway through a cycle, but picked it up quickly enough to get that first belt within a month. It's been a little more of a struggle after that. Part of my problem these days is not only keeping track of all the personal, work and my own form stuff, but I need to remember all the stuff I've already done for instructor purposes. Oh man, I was SO glad that Ma'am didn't call on me to lead in doing some drills. Maybe she saw the sheer panic in my eyes like, "Please, for the love of God, don't call on me!". I'm still the little newbie in there, being the only color belt (although technically, Alex V is a color belt, but he's a red/black). Everyone else in there is pretty much a 1st degree about to get their 2nd degree or is a 2nd degree and higher. So, it's a little intimidating sometimes, because I know I've done it, but I sure don't remember it! Some kids are going for Certification Camp at the end of October. I just don't think I'm even close to being ready for it. I know it's brutal, for sure, but I only started in Leadership back in March, and I haven't had too many instructional classes to feel confident or prepared for it. I know I've learned a lot by example, for sure. I think I'd be ready for a Chevron clinic (where you get certification to do judging at events) for Level 1, but for my next collar level? No, not quite yet. I need to know ALL of Songahm #1, #2 and #3 and their corresponding one-steps, and I just can't cram that in my head right now. Wish I could, and in time, I will, but the timing isn't right on this one. I haven't had any pressure yet, but I know there will be a time that I will have to go. Just...don't make me go yet.

We'll see how tonight's class goes. I'm sure I'll get more form time, weapons time, and board breaking time tonight. Thursday classes are usually small. It looks like even when I'm not officially working, I'll be doing a lot to help out at the desk and such around here for some events.

Yes, it's life at the ATA-- live! ;-)

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