Saturday, May 12, 2007

Back on top

I'm feeling a little more confident after the specialty classes today. Saturdays are when the school take a half hour for each thing that we have to learn, so that way if you need a little extra help learning some aspect of something, you have more time to work on it and practice. While I should probably do more with sparring classes, since that's my least favorite, I usually skip it. I'm glad I did today, as I'm still recovering from a bad allergy attack from last week when I went away, and last night was the first night I slept soundly without the help of medications. I'm still a little congested, so I really don't feel up to having a full blown asthma attack on top of that, y'know? And besides, it was really warm in there. We have A/C, but SW doesn't like to put it on sometimes because if you open the front and back doors to the school, you can often get a nice crossbreeze. But not today--it was a stuffy breeze if any, and it's a warm day! So I was glad I didn't do that. I still broke out in a sweat doing everything else instead!

Forms class was good. I found out where I was making a mistake in my form with a section, but it's a minor adjustment in direction. We worked on hook kick combinations that are in this form. I really don't like hook kicks, simply because to do it correctly take more work. I know that sounds lazy, but this is the thing: When you do a proper hook kick it's like a side kick, and then you do the pullback for the hook. Yes, in slow-mo, I can do that with a minimal amount of extra effort. However, my natural tendency is to do something like a sideways crescent kick, if that makes sense. So instead of extending, then hooking, my whole kick is a hook, and that's not right. I think part of it stems from how I had to do certain kicks as a dancer, so I CAN do it that way, but for TKD, it's incorrect method. So, because I'm a higher ranked color belt and I do competed, I do want to make sure my method in form is correct. Well, also if I plan to eventually teach or I assist in teaching, I have to be able to do it correctly as well. So, at least I was able to work out some wrinkles in what sections have been taught thusfar.

Weapons class was rather boring, although I now know the freestyle routine that they are teaching the kids. It's just a variation of the SSJB routine is, along with the stuff that SW taught me the other day. I have a feeling that I will be making something up on my own in a few weeks just to keep it interesting. Maybe Sandy and I can work on something together and make it snazzy. ;-) (Oh Sandy......) Basically, it's a triangle then figure 8 with one hand, then do it with the other, then do a quick snap and tuck with both, then it's drill #1 (the double Vs twice), then drill #2 (roll up and tuck under the arms twice), then a #3 front kick, then drill #3 (taking both together in a V in the same direction to the left, then to the right, separate and roll up, then one of the drill #2 tuck/flips). And that's it. Seems a little boring. I could see how it works well for the kids though, as it uses what they learned from the SSJB routine to put into the DSJB routine. I think I need to do more somehow. Sandy and I will figure it out. (I'm sure she's loving how I'm volunteering her for this, huh?)

Board breaking was crucial to me today, as I haven't done any breaks for 3 weeks, for whatever reason. They just hadn't been doing them in the classes I was in for the last few weeks. So today, I knew I needed to stay, especially since I knew I was using a different foot now for my round kick break. There were four of us who had to do double breaks, so we practiced them. Tony, another parent/adult student, was there, and he's a red belt as well. He had taken a break this year, and I think if he hadn't, he would already have his black belt. I know he should be ahead of me, but now I'm a cycle ahead of him (go figure). So after RA worked on some drills with the four of us, Tony and I worked on practicing our roundkicks, as that's the one he wanted to work on as well. I tried doing it on my "dominant" side, but again, I found that doing it on my left felt better. I think I figured out why. While I am right handed, and like most people, I would kick to break with my more dominant foot, my right leg is also my more dominant foot for balance as well. My left is okay, but with a bad knee, I also tend to torque it more when doing the roundkick, so it hurts now and then. I think it being my bad knee as well influences my balance as well, not just because it's not my dominant side. Kicking is not a problem with the left foot, and besides, theoretically, you should be able to break a board with either foot as a black belt, right? And it's not as much power and force as it is speed, and I can be fairly fast with my left foot as much as I am with my right. Oh, in the past I would struggle to break that board with my right foot. Today, it was the 2nd try. The first one I didn't have the follow-through. The second time, I aimed for one of my holders' heads. ;-) And it worked.

And THAT, my friends, made me feel like I was back on top. After the struggles of that run-jump-sidekick thing that I had to do last cycle, to conquer this break, which for a long while was a big struggle as well, gave me some confidence again. I'm glad I saved this one for later, and got the nasty board break in last cycle for this belt out of the way. And the foot change was not what I expected, but in talking to RA, he said it's actually not as uncommon as one would think, and it does make sense.

TKD never comes 100% easy for me. There are some aspects that have, and some that haven't. I do work hard to break old dancing habits in favor of new TKD ones. I work hard to do my best, and to do things correctly, so as not to get into bad habits for when I'm a higher rank (although I've fallen into that trap a few times already and gotten out), but to be a better martial artist. There's a reason that you need to do things a certain way, to prevent injury, and well, if they were actually used for their original intended purpose, then they would achieve what it's supposed to achieve. I think the fact that I compete has made me aware of that as well. I can't be sloppy or just run through a form. The more precision that I can put into it, the better my chances at scoring well will be.

So, my self-confidence is back up again. I think last cycle took a toll on me, especially with that board break. Doing IW#2 again, so far, is easy as far as relearning the form, but now expectations are higher, so I want to be sure that I can keep a high standard of doing things. Soon enough, I will have to keep up even more with the big black belts because I will be one myself!

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