Saturday, June 16, 2007

1st Day of 1st degree recommended

Because of my new rank, I am now allowed to come to the 1st degree specialty classes on Saturdays instead of going to the color belt classes. Hooray! Even though there are kids in that class, they are usually a little older, and not as many, and not as goofy as the kids at color belt classes. However, that also means that instead of starting classes at 11:00 or 11:30 in the morning, I start at 9:00 AM. Okay, some of you might not think that's early in the morning, but for a Saturday for me, it is!

I overslept a little, and was able to quickly get ready, get dressed, grab a sandwich roll so I had something in my stomach, and run out the door. Got there, and was greeted by RA, GP and a younger 3rd degree instructor from Woodbridge, CS aka Sushi. (Yes, his nickname is actually Sushi. And no, he is not Japanese. He looks Hispanic, but his last name is what is being butchered to sound like Japanese cuisine.) So there were two other adults in my class. ES was there, the one who just got her black belt the other night, and Doug S, whose son is a black belt, so he comes at the same time as him, and since BB classes are smaller, they accomodate him even though he just got his camo belt (now in intermediate levels!). Sushi was to teach class. Oh boy. Now, Sushi, as mentioned, is a 3rd degree, and there's nothing wrong with that. He's about 20-ish. However, and I had heard this from Sandy as well as SW, he's one of those instructors who's very good BUT doesn't take into account anything for those of us who are over 35 and just can't do it like a barely 20 year old 3rd degree. All three of us adults have our strengths and weaknesses, and SW and her staff usually can accomodate us "elders", as we all work hard, but we might not have the flexibility or stamina, for example. SW's partner, BB, as well as Sushi, don't take those things into account at all, and so they try to drive us the same as the under 12 group, and that just ain't going to happen.

Today was supposed to be a "fun" day, as it's the weekend after graduation, but it wasn't fun. It wasn't bad, but fun? Not exactly. Work? Oh yes. We did several drills at breakneck speed. One sounds simple enough, but it didn't come easily for either ES or myself, as we were partnered up. It was doing a front kick and axe kick on a pad without putting your foot down in between. Simple enough in concept. Both of us can certainly do each of those kicks separately, but together sequentially? It wasn't happening, even for me who is usually very good with kicks. For me, it was a matter of losing my balance easily (which I don't normally do), and my knees, especially my bad one, giving me problems. I also think that by the time we had gotten to this drill, we had worked so hard that we were exhausted, so to manage that kind of combination was just, well, hard. This is not to say that I'm not up to the challenge, but throughout the class, he's having each of us raise the pad higher than we really can go. RA would say go ahead and lower it, but we said we couldn't because we'd be afraid that Sushi would get after us. :-S See, RA understands. He can keep up with the 20-something and younger, but he does understand about the aches and pains and struggles of getting older, as well as starting a martial art when you are a lot older.

Things started going from bad to worse when we had to do these running drills whereby we had to first run and do a jump sidekick against a bag, then same thing over an obstacle, then do a jump side-reverse jump side (no coming down-- all one movement) over an obstacle. WHAT? IS HE INSANE? Okay, for the kids that was fine. For me, not fine. For ES and Doug, not fine either. I was first in line, and I ran and approached the obstacle (a large pad), and stopped in my tracks, because I've done this type of kick before, and I landed badly and really injured my bad knee as a result trying to keep up with the boys (or I should say the men, who at the time of the injury were all 2nd and 3rd degree jock guys...and me in the class). I could tell the obstacle was clearly way too far for me to clear it even with the jump side alone, so I screeched to a halt and moved it about 6 inches closer. Then I backed up, and attempted the double kick, but couldn't execute it. ES was next in line, and forget it! By the time Doug got up there, we were removing the obstacle. For a camo belt, a 1 BR and a 1 BD all who are much older, it was the better thing to do. We still had a hard time doing it without the obstacle, but at least we had a better shot of doing the task. It was ugly.

We finally got split into groups, and Doug and I got personal instruction, being that we were the only ones that weren't 1BDs. I got to work with Ben P, always a favorite kid instructor of mine, and since I've done the form before, but it hasn't been since last August/September, we reviewed the form. (See Chung Jung #2 in the post before this-- the 2nd video). Ben told me just to tell him where to stop in the form to review and go over it. I felt that there was a certain point in the form that was good to stop, and he said that was about halfway through the form, so that was good. I'm going to review the first half of the form over the next week or so, as I know I'll be WAY ahead of a lot of people. However, I have to have the whole form down in a month for the July 21 tourney, so I have to get cracking. I think Ben was surprised that I was able to get as far as I did, and even tell him about how the remaining section had a reverse hook kick that I remembered that I didn't like. So I felt pretty good with that. I want to get the memorization down pretty quickly so that I can work on the fine points sooner. We did a few more drills, and then we were done.

OH MY GOSH. I haven't worked that hard in a while! I mean, it wasn't that bad, I wasn't out of breath, just a little tired and worn. And here's the kicker-- it was only a half hour class! I was literally dripping with sweat that I could feel the sweat rolling down my face. Now, it's not that I don't sweat when I work out normally, even with the dripping kind (not to gross anyone out), but this was more than usual. I think I defintely burned off that breakfast roll quickly!

The next half hour was the forms class for 2nd and 3rd degrees, so I got a break, went to the convenience store next door, and got a tomato juice. I figured that I'd rehydrate with something healthy, at least! Weapons class was next, and again Sushi was teaching the main part. We had to do these drills whereby we would do triangle strikes with the SJBs (yes, I'm back down to doing singles again, thankfully!), and we'd have to lunge forward and move around the circumference of the mats in the process. Well, guess what, buddy, no can do with the bum knee. So, I just bent as much as I could, but did the striking moves normally. We then split into groups again-- 1st degrees with Sushi to learn the form, and then RA worked with Doug, myself, and a little kid who was also a 1BR like me. The only thing I really wasn't sure about was the how the striking lines were done with a single SJB, but I got it down. Piece of cake. It's just a matter of practicing it now. That will help since I'll be concentrating more on the form for the next few weeks due to the tourney, and I don't have to do SJB for the tourney-- I can use my award winning kama/SN routine for that instead. (Although I'll have to practice that soon enough too, just to keep it fresh.) And the next testing isn't until at least August, so no rush in getting the weapons form for SJB down quickly. Yes, I still have a midterm test to do, which involves that SJB and me knowing CJ#2. The "Final" in October is knowing CJ#2, the single BME drills, and sparring, so that won't be bad at all. Oh, and the new board break which I haven't tried either part of it yet. But I'm pretty confident about those right now. I'm pretty sure I'll be okay with them, once I try them.

And thus went my first class as a 1BR student. :-)


Anonymous said...

HA! Welcome to my world!!! Sushi is our full time instructor Monday to Thursday now. Yes he makes us do really difficult things. And sweat buckets. He has vowed to whip us into shape. So, welcome to my world! And his actual name is Spanish by the way. I asked. And he is 20 years old. I asked that too. LOL So EVERY Monday and Wednesday, you can picture me doing these same things he made you do.
Love, Sandy

frotoe said...

wow! sounds like a heck of a work out!

Becky said...

Man, it sounds like that guy needs to grow up a bit! I'm so glad my sensei understands about getting older. And I understand about being older. I'm about twice as old as most of the students in my class, and the only female besides, and sensei in no way expects me to keep up with the 20 something guys.

Interesting thing, sensei and I are only 4 days apart in age. Sensei's older.

Miss Chris said...

I'm ready to drop after reading that! Whew!