Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Assistant Choreographer and happy to be on the sidelines

In my quest to back off from the intensity that I've put myself through in the last year or so, I've mentioned that I'm skipping competition in this summer's NJ tournament. I'll be "official photographer" for my group, nonetheless, and I can still check out the competition this way. ;-)

In the meantime, I took class this morning, although I'm not taking it tonight. SW is on vacation, and it's just a regular class instead of an instructor class, so I don't feel I'll be missing anything. I asked MZ if we could work on board breaks a little, since I really haven't been doing it, and Sandy also said she needed to work on it. Winnie, as usual, felt that she didn't need to, and spent a good portion of class yacking away at stuff. After doing some sparring drills and intense warmups (oh, I was feeling the burn--I got scorched!), we worked on the board breaks. I went first. Since it was "foot week", appropriately enough, I wanted to work on my jump front. What was funny was that because of my height and having to break at head level, MZ and Sandy stood on a bench so they could better place the board and not have to be reaching up! LOL Sandy said she enjoyed being "tall" for those few moments. Then Sandy worked on her break, which is a reverse jump side kick. She seems to have the break down for the most part, and is just fine tuning it. Problem is, that seems to be a more complicated break than she needs to do. For her 1BD break, it's her choice, and here it's being chosen for her. I also heard from either her or MZ that the orange belts were learning some sort of break that was WAY too complicated for them that they really shouldn't be doing over at Pennington. Oh well. I think the guilty instructors who are doing that will have that bite them in the butt soon enough. But Sandy got to break with an orange board rather than her blue, so that was good. Her graduation is next week, whereas ours is still another month away. So she outranks me by just a tiny bit. Oh well.

Afterwards, we worked on forms. Mine is fine for now. I'm not too worried about it. I have it memorized more or less, and I'm not under any pressure. So then we got to work on weapons. Ah, this is where it got more fun. Now that I'm not competing, Sandy felt better about doing a kama routine, which is fine by me. She could've done one before, but she felt that she didn't want to do the same thing, which is her choice. So, she showed me what she was thinking about doing, and asked for some suggestions on things to add or modify. I taught her the 4-way cut, and how to do that with a spin, and what I call the "Zimmerman move", which is my XMA trick which she always liked. Sandy also is able to do some moves that are similar to double BME drills at one part, and she also is a former juggler so she's throwing in some stuff there too which is highly "razzle dazzle", as we like to call it. Once we put some of our collective ideas together, I think she has a wickedly good routine, so I think she might just get first for weapons on this one. If she doesn't, I think we'll both be surprised.

I'm really alright with not competing this time. Yes, the slate is clean now for the new season, and so just even having a low ranking win would put me on the boards. But my mental health is worth a lot more than me having a state championship. I have one now, and that's cool. Maybe in a few months, I'll go get myself on the radar for one last color belt competition in DE, but then I'll concentrate on doing 1st degree stuff for my last year of being 30-something. Then I'll have to work on 1st degree stuff as a 40 something this time next year. :-S (Yes, even before I actually turn 40!) There's a time and place, and for me, it's not right now.


Becky said...

Ohhhh, black belt stuff as a 40 something! I can relate, and sympathize! I'm 43, and my body often tells me I'm getting too old for this kind of stuff. Then I look at my dojo mate Tom, who is 56 and still plugging away without complaint.

As for breaking, we seldom, if ever break in class. I remarked to sensei just last night that I've never broken a board in my life. "You haven't?" he asked. He didn't even realize I haven't done it. We do have those colored boards, and Cody and I played with them a bit after class. I still cannot punch through the brown one, but I'm going to keep working on it.

What I like to do is to take the yellow board--I know, the easy one--hold it in my right hand, then let go and break it wih the same hand. I'm getting better. I was able to do it 5 times last night out of about 10 tries.

I also did another first last night. I broke the orange board by holding it by one corner and punching it. Ok, that's not a first, but what is is that I broke it with my left hand! Woo Hoo!

Windsornot said...

Ah, even as a black belt, and this is going to sound sexist but it's not-- a woman generally doesn't break with a brown board. Even my instructor, who is a 4th degree black belt (working on her 5th degree) never uses a brown board. It's about the equivalent of two regular wood boards, and women aren't built to have that kind of upper body strength to do that. This isn't to say it isn't possible. I think with the right break, I could probably do a foot break with a brown board. But I wouldn't attempt a hand strike of any kind with a brown, as I DEFINITELY don't have that kind of strength and power. Maybe I'll have to try it sometimes, but I'm sure I'll hear protests from my instructor.

Becky said...

Yeah, but someone recently told me

being that you are an established black belt, you might be able to do the brown, which equals two boards. ;-))

so I decided to try it.

Yeah, it was you who said it. ;) Given your encouragement, I wanted to see if I could. I didn't get it to break, but I did get a pretty good crack in it. And besides, the others just seem so easy now.

Sensei says he doesn't like those things. He'd rather hit a real board.