Sunday, February 11, 2007

Prepping for graduation...

I apologize for not posting much as of late. It's just been very busy at my house with this and that, and while the intention was there, it hasn't always happened.

So, let me see if I can summarize as briefly as possible the past week's events.

I didn't have my day class, but I still had instructor class. We worked on one-steps for SJBs. I didn't know they had one-steps for weapons! Natalie and Ben were the ones who were instructing, mostly Natalie. I was lucky that I was paired up with Ryan, since he is a black collar instructor, and he knows how to work with dumb ol' me. Most of them I could get, and I was lucky to have the head instructor be my partner! I learned a few new moves, and I am going to see if I can incorporate them into my freestyle for graduation. I also went to class on Thursday for the first time in a long while. There were two intro kids, one of whom I signed up, and the other was getting his first class that night. I was glad that I wasn't doing the sales pitch, as the dad seemed like the type of guy who needed to be convinced that his money was being well spent, and well, a ballbuster. Not a term I like to use often, but that seems to be the best description. Can't stand those kinds of people. The other kids in the class were Mateo and Katherine. Katherine is maybe 11 or 12, and needed a little more help with her form, and Mateo is 17 or 18. I know he's a senior in high school, and his mother's maiden name is the same as my married name, so we might be family somewhere along the line! ;-) He's a good kid, and so it was pretty good to work with him. My sparring is still very sorry, and I'm out of practice, but I'm sure I'll be okay for graduation and hold my own, considering I've been able to get away with not having to spar in the last two graduations! :-P

Drew's last class as a beginner started out okay. Jorge had taken over class and he can usually keep things moving and keep the kids' attention very well, and he's very supportive of Drew, especially since Drew is the emotional one, and J recognizes that in many ways Drew is a young 5 rather than closing in on 6, and makes sure to keep Drew motivated and feeling good about how he's doing. At one point in class, Ben accidentally stepped on his foot, and he came crying to Mommy. Embarassment point #1. It just went downhill from there. He got into trouble two more times for not cooperating, but wasn't kicked out of class. During Master's time, he was being very stubborn, and at one point, Natalie tried working with him with his SJB, and I thanked her for trying. She was sweet enough to say that she understood my frustration, and just wanted to help him, as he seemed alone in the corner with Ben putting his efforts more into the other kid (who'd pay attention, and I don't blame him), than in Drew. She also said that while Drew still has a long way to go, she has seen the progress in Drew, and remembers him as a Cub when he was much wilder, so she thinks that he has gotten better. That was nice of her. He has SO much further to go, so I hope that not only in TKD, but in life in general he starts to mature a little more, as I think he will get more out of life if he acts more like his age. Yesterday would've been his last class, but he wasn't feeling well, and ended up having a bad fever and feeling yucky, so I think he's probably battling some sort of virus. Fortunately no flu symptoms, just headache, yucky feeling, not being very hungry, and being a little hot potato. I was going to take him in for a makeup class tomorrow, but he might not be over this just yet, so I just hope he's feeling better for graduation on Wednesday (yes, on Valentine's Day).

So yeah, Valentine's Day is graduation day. Drew, if he behaves and gets through his form and one-steps (and he wants to do weapons, but at his stage of the game, it's optional), will finally move into being a camo-recommended, and can join me in the upper level color belt classes. As for me, appropriately enough, I will be getting my red belt. 6 more months until my black belt! That is, if I can survive that long. I'm sure I will. But after graduation, my concentration will be getting through the tournaments in early March (starting to not look forward to it, as the big one is expecting about 1000 competitors! Yikes!). I still haven't come up with an XMA form of anything, so if I'm going to do anything, I'd better get on the ball. I don't know still. I need to do more stretching and practice my form.

One thing to note that was talked about at the instructor class meeting was tournament stuff that we've been taught correctly and interestingly enough, not all schools remember to comply. Some of it was piddly stuff, like guys aren't supposed to wear shirts under their uniforms, and women are supposed to wear white t-shirts under theirs, and that cubs and Tiny Tigers don't spar. And there were some judging documentation stuff that needed to be reviewed on how to do it. But it turns out that a big thing that was emphasized was that it's more important, especially for the older competitors (like myself), that getting head height kicks during form and such are not as important as doing the kicks correctly. Actual form and technique are more important than doing the fancy stuff. If you aren't doing a proper hand or foot technique, and your stances are poor, it doesn't matter if your kicks or other moves are fancy or high or whatever if they aren't done correctly. I know of kids at my do-jahng who are more concerned in doing the moves fast and looking cool rather than doing them right. They are always called on it, and it sounds like that from the higher ups, passing is going to get a lot harder now. Slow and steady is preferred over fast and sloppy. And that's the way it should be. If you can do fast and steady, more power to you, literally and figuratively. I think I've been a slight perfectionist for a while now, and since I've been competing for a while, that only enhanced my need to do my forms and weapons well. Just goes to show that doing things the right way, even if they are low and slow, is the better way to go.

I decided that I think Drew needs a slight break from TKD, and just wanted to get him through this testing, so he won't go to class over President's Day weekend. I'll start him the week after, and I'll probably take class with him, just to start out. We have to learn the same information, after all!

So hopefully the next time I write here, I will be a red belt, and Drew will finally be a camo belt. Send good karma our way! :-)


John Vesia said...

1000 competitors? Whoa! I hope they have a lot of rings for that one. What's the difference between "A" and "B" tournaments (in your sidebar) - maybe I missed something? Good luck!

Windsornot said...

Let's see, as far as I can gather, it breaks down like this (or something like this):

AAA tourney= World Championship
AA = Nationals (only 2/year)
A= 1000 participants or more
B= less than 1000 participants, but multiple schools can participate.
C= Interschool tournament.

I've done quite a few interschools, and missed the big B tourney (if you recall) in December from around here. And the bigger the tourney, the bigger the points if you place. So, this A tourney coming up is very important if I want to move up in the ranks!

blackbeltmama said...

Good karma coming your way!

hardheaded is my middle name said...

Actually - an A tournament is one in which the hosts have had 750+ competitors for 2 consecutive tournaments, and therefore are worth more points. Since they're worth more, they're bigger...

A B is a regional which has not met the above requirements, and a C is an In School.

Sam said...

We just had some great tournaments. We had some great t-shirts made up for our team too. I think it gave us the boost we needed!