Monday, April 02, 2007

You say Hola, and I say Adios (Hola, hola, I don't know why you say Hola, I say Adios)

Sorry, when Macca gets in my head, gotta follow through all the way. ;-)

Well, it ended up being a bit of a last minute thing, but I finally gave in and went to a class at the Pennington ATA. Sandy has been wanting me to come, and I really didn't think I'd make it tonight. I had wanted to go to experience a class with the visiting 5th degree, Senor Gonzalo Cabrera of Uraguay, who was here for a bit to help build up the Pennington school, and he's leaving on Thursday back for Uraguay. I mean, SW is most of the way to her 5th degree, and I've worked with higher, but the fact that he was here visiting, and from another country, no less, made it more important for me to go. I also had to figure a way to make up some classes this week (due to Spring Break and no classes on Saturday), and this was one way to do it!

Sr. Cabrera couldn't be nicer. Oh, what a sweetie pie. He didn't put on airs about being a higher rank or anything, and after introducing myself, he made the connection from the stories that Sandy had told him about taking classes and always being up against each other in tournaments. So, the rest of the students, including Sandy, eventually came, and we started class. It started out okay, a bunch of drills. I was pretty tired after those, but tonight, he worked us OUT. Lemme tell you, Sandy told me this was par for the course. And it really explains why it's getting harder and harder to compete with her as a result. It's all about endurance, which is something I truly lack.

The whole rest of the class was nothing but sparring and sparring drills. I was already exhausted and hot before from the initial drills, but then once we got the rest of our gear on, I was pretty much a goner. I had to spar and do everything without my glasses on, because, well, I can't get my glasses into my headgear with that blasted faceshield on now. Before, it wasn't an issue. And technically, I don't have to wear it until June, but I might as well get used to it, and it was only maybe the 2nd time I've worn it. Oh, there was literally steam inside that thing. Paired up with the fact that I was getting tired from all the workout and overheated, throw in the asthma, and you have a winning combination! I still did the best that I could do, and I was paired up with an orange belt guy (Matt?) at one point, but otherwise, most of the night was with Sandy, which was good, because I think we complement each other well as training partners, despite the significant height difference. Since we don't have the same strengths and weaknesses, we can easily work off each other. And as I've mentioned before, I don't have to be as "gentle" with her as I do with most of the ladies at Princeton.

It truly was a good workout, but it just goes to show how differently things are done at Princeton, and how many I should be going to a regular night class more often. I felt as though, even though I am totally, physically exhausted and worn out, it was the workout I probably really should have more often. Since we do things a little differently in Princeton, we try to cover all bases and you can only cram so much information with forms, sparring or one-steps, and weapons in an hour. I'm usually exhausted if I work hard on my regular drills and forms, as well as weapons, that I don't have much energy left for sparring by the end.

After the official end of class, Sandy was kind enough to ask Sr. Cabrera if he minded helping me with my RJSK. She lended me her board so I could get the reverse elbow break in too. We did it a few times with a pad (which for me isn't THAT helpful, but hey, what do I know? I have a 5th degree helping out), and then we did it with the boards. Sure enough, BAM with the elbow (no problem), and the foot wasn't coming. Turns out the second time I tried, one of the holders moved the board, so that didn't help! But finally on the third time, BAM, got it. Man, wood is SOOOOOOO much easier! But, I think if I can keep working on getting it with the plastic, I will be consistent on the wood, and that's what's important. So, I was appreciative of the class staying a little late, and some people helping, and for Sr. Cabrera's pointers. I think the elements of the break are coming together. It's still that follow through, and I kinda knew what I was doing wrong. He was telling me that I have to think of the chamber and kick more like a rubber band to get that momentum going with the kick itself.

So while it was a hello-goodbye visit with Sr. Cabrera, I'm glad I went. It's just too bad that he hadn't made any appearances at Princeton, as I think the kids there could've used some of his methodology. Thanks for having me, Sandy! :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you came! Yes our classes are very physical. A couple weeks ago we had a new teenaged student (who didn't come last night because I think he's only coming on Wednesdays) and we all told him at the end "if you aren't struggling for breath right now, you aren't doing it right." LOL It is really a good workout and that is a lot of what I want. After all, I'm supposed to be doing this for fitness and weight loss. Mr B and Mr. C both know that and so they seem to work me especially hard in my daytime classes, but I think for them, the endurance and the fitness is just part of the whole package--and maybe you can't truly be a good martial artist until you can endure. Or maybe it is like the military where they have to break you down before they build you up. LOLOL Mr. C really loves those sparring drills. We frequently have a class of all sparring (like last night) or mostly sparring and sparring drills. He also went over class time, even BEFORE your board break if you noticed. Mr. B doesn't do that. I guess time is money. lol Anyway I think that doing that jump side kick on the pad DID help you. I could tell a difference. And wasn't it nice of Mr. C to say after the second one "that one was Matt's fault for moving"? Of course Matt is the one with the injured finger so you can hardly blame him. LOL I think he nearly cut the end of his finger off a few weeks ago. Anyway now you have a little bit more sense of the difference in Princeton and Pennington, and it comes from Mr. B's mindset I think. The thing that you really didn't get to experience last night is that I do think Mr. C is a good compromise between SW, who concentrates more on technique, and Mr. B, who concentrates more on speed and endurance. Mr. C DOES teach really good technique and I think he is very well-rounded. Maybe you got to experience that a tiny bit with your board break. It was fun having you there. I'm tired of being the only adult female student. Love, Sandy (Oceandirt)