Thursday, September 20, 2007

Highs and Lows

While I write this the day after we took classes, I must warn that I think I'm getting sick. I'm not sure if it's a cold or allergies or both, but instead of getting better, I'm getting worse. That fun runny nose thing and coughing, thus not being able to breathe.

Yesterday, I was feeling more run-down, and my chest hurt from the congestion, but the runny nose and coughing hadn't kicked in yet in earnest. I only took one class yesterday, since I had Back to School night for Drew, and well, that's more important than instructor class anytime.

Remember the two boys I said I couldn't stand, and the one who gave me the bad bruise the other day? Well, guess whose mother just started as a white belt in our classes? Yes, you guessed. Oh man. She seems like a nice enough person, but man, I've noticed that she's one of those moms who drops off the kids, then leaves, and picks them up after class, so she's never had any idea of what they do (and both kids are 1st degree black belts, and worse, just joined leadership, but they don't act or do things like black belts). So, she was paired up with the other white belt mom, who "outranked" her by a stripe already, SV, but SV has a better clue about things because she's stayed for classes more often with her son, who's still a color belt. Sandy and I were paired up, which is a good pairing always. And WS was on her own with SW, which was fine. We generally went over some drills, and then Sandy and I worked on our forms together, and then I worked on my weapons drills while she worked on her competition routines since she's competing in DE on Saturday. She's going to be fine, as she's very good. Then, we worked on board breaking. I got two pieces of wood out, as it was review week, as I feel I still don't have a handle on spacing between boards, etc. So, SW held the board for the kick, and WS and Sandy held the board for the back elbow break.

Now, I wasn't feeling good anyway, so I just wanted to get things over with. But then it started. WS wouldn't shut her freaking trap. She's telling me how to set up the elbow board, and I know perfectly well how to do it. SHE was setting it up wrong, at least as far as where the grain would go. She also kept holding it up too high. I'm tall, but I'm not THAT tall. She's not a usual board holder, so I didn't like her telling me what to do, especially after I was having problems. I would tell her to let me set it up where I want, and let me learn from my mistakes if the case warranted. There was even a point where SW firmly reminded her that there should only be one person correcting her, and implied that it was herself, which is absolutely true, and I knew that. WS doesn't seem to remember that more often than not, and it's maddening. Now, when it comes to holding boards, I definitely trust Sandy implicitly. I KNOW she knows what she is doing. Now, it was bad enough that the break just weren't happening, and I'm sure a good portion of it was that I just physically wasn't up to it. But the worst happened, and I'm pretty sure it's WS's fault, but not Sandy's in the least. WS kept raising her board, and I kept lowering. On my last try, I put a lot of power into it. Now, I might not have done the break right (the board didn't break anyway), but it was set so high that in hitting it, the bottom of the board bruised the part of my arm above my elbow, and then I have a brush-burn type scrape on my elbow itself. It's quite visible, believe me, and it's right where you would lean on your arm to rest it or prop yourself up with it. It smarts like hell! While there is a good possibility that I messed up in setting up the board, I swear that WS moved it at the last moment. I really do, because I'm sure I set it lower. I stopped after that, because it hurt too much, and I was tired. NOW...when it was WS's turn to break, she was complaining that *I* moved the board for her hammerfist. Being much more practiced than her in holding boards, I know I didn't. And I never said anything out loud about her moving MY boards. But I thought she had some nerve. I really hope that one of these days, SW will sit down with her, and despite WS being one of her higher ranked students in the school, will finally put WS in her place about the fact that she has no authority, no matter what rank she is, over SW or any instructor since WS is not an instructor herself. In that respect, I outrank her, even though I'm still a color belt, and I'm the one who's been taking instructor classes for a year and a half, not her. While she means well, she doesn't know what she's doing, and thus an injury, like mine, can occur. She constantly is also like, "Well, XYZ teacher has us do this...". My dear, this is ABC teacher, and who cares what XYZ teacher does. You do it ABC's way in ABC's class, and that's that. She really is getting on too many people's nerves.

So those were the lows. I'm fine with forms and weapons, it's this damn board break. I'm tempted, yes, even this late in the game, to switch breaks since I'm having this much of a problem. I don't want to wait another whole cycle if I don't get the breaks. That would mean December. No, I need to get it done in October's testing. I'm just too mentally and emotionally ready to move on to new material.

The highs are better. Not as "dramatic", but better. While we missed the Monday class for Drew, I did get him there on time for the Wednesday class. Again, I stayed out of the way. NK did pull me aside, and asked me if she did the right thing last week with him when he did have that moment when he pulled out. I assured her that everything was fine, and she was perfectly fine with what she did, and filled her in on some things that we are working on with Drew's communication to help her help him. She was relieved, and Drew started in class. There was one moment when I did pipe up, because he was supposed to be working on something on his own, and he was scraping the mirror with his JB, and he kept doing it. I was afraid of him doing damage, so I just piped up for a moment, but otherwise, I stayed out of things. JC came to pick him up when sparring started, as I had to go to the Back to School night at school. JC said that towards the end, Drew was pretty tired, and started to pull out of class without melting down. SW tried to get him just to keep going for 30 more seconds, but he just wanted to sit, and so he did. He almost forgot to bow out and made a slight fuss, but nothing too bad. So, again, I see that as progress. He tried to fight me about going in the first place, but I reminded him that he promised that in 1st grade he'd start going again, and he didn't argue the point after that. And once he was in there, I didn't hear him getting in trouble or anything like that, so I think he's starting to adapt again. At least he can't say it's totally boring, because a lot of it is new stuff for him. The only thing I did remind NK as well was that it's only his 2nd week back after a 6 month absence, and he's doing the hardest color belt form (figures, huh?), and he's probably the lowest ranked one in the class, so remember to give him some slack, and she was fine with that, and understood to talk to him if he showed signs of feeling stressed about it. He's off to a better start, I think, and that's good. He was also so proud that he did his palm heel break in one shot that night, which was a first, and the joy and pride in his eyes were priceless. I was proud of him too, and made sure he knew it.

So, we'll have to see what happens on Saturday, and which class I take. I should take board breaking only, as that's my main weakness, and sparring to help with the battle of the bulge, but I don't know what's going on with JC's schedule, and my elbow is NOT going to be ready by then, I'm sure. :-S

Good luck to Sandy at the DE Regional Tournament on Saturday! Kick some butt and take names, baby!


Becky said...

I'm sorry you're feeling bad. I hope you feel better soon. I'm also sorry about your troubles with the board break. I wish I knew what to tell you, but we don't break in my dojo, so I don't have any advice.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing the "same" board break but Mr. S does it totally different. Instead of the elbow coming back and down, it goes back and out to the side. Much easier in my opinion. Wonder if she'd let you do it that way? So the board would go with the grain horizontal instead of vertical too. But I guess you should do it the way SW has been having you try. Honestly I think you'd have broken it on Wednesday if not for the extracurricular advice which was making you mad. LOL One of these days I'll just say something mean to her. It won't matter as much for me to do it as for someone who is REALLY at your school. lol Love Oceandirt (Sandy)

Windsornot said...

What was interesting is that I was talking to Mr. Lee on Friday (who actually showed up!), and talking about the different breaks. He's a 4th degree, after all, and runs his own school/program himself, and is very good, so why not ask him? He made the same point as you, that many places do allow the horizontal elbow break vs. the vertical break. Of course, he added that at Master R's, when you got to the higher level belts, Master R would just set up two boards, and TELL you what breaks you were doing, so you had to know how to do ALL of them, you didn't have a choice. The other thing that Mr. Lee said was that a horizontal break makes more sense from the base of reality. You are more likely to use that horizontal elbow in a fight than the vertical one. I'll probably ask SW her reasoning just so I understand the disparities, as her thing is that whoever is the boss (in this case, her) determines what is correct, and you don't question it. So, I have to be VERY CAREFUL with how I question her about it. Y'know? :-S

Anonymous said...

Yeah I know what you mean. Since Mr. S is the only instructor at our school now, what he says goes. So in some ways that is good. LIke with the elbow break! I also saw Mr. L at the tourney in Delaware on Sat I think. I didn't speak to him but saw him. Also MZ and a coupleof the other teen girls but I didn't speak to them. They were competing and I was watching from high up in the stands. MZ had a brace on her wrist which I hadn't seen before. Know anything about it? I know she's had ankle trouble but didn't know she'd injured her wrist. Anyway maybe at Wed class we can discuss the elbow with SW. If you want me to bring up that Mr. S had me do it sideways to bring the topic up, I can. Love, Oceandirt