Saturday, October 06, 2007

Keeping it all in the family

This week has been a busy one as far as my TKD activities go. Wednesday was the crazy day, as usual, whereby I cram one class in the morning, and two at night. Drew had his class too. I also went to a black belt testing at another ATA school, which was interesting as well. Oh, and a Joint Lock seminar as well. So let's begin, shall we?

There's nothing in particular that I can remember about my classes, to be honest. It was pointed out that I didn't have proper hand-foot timing on 2 or 3 moves that were after the jump kicks and the reverse hook kicks. Easily fixed. I haven't watched myself, but I feel like as long as I can stabilize my knee with my knee brace, and not be too tired, I can do well with my form. And the sparring and weapons. Not the prettiest thing, doing BME drills. BORING! But, they are what they are, and I think I got a slight correction in one part, but again, it's an easy fix. The board breaks are coming along nicely. In the morning, I only practiced the reverse sidekick, but I still had to practice the round kick without the board, just so I had the rhythm of it all. That was fine. In the first evening class, I got to practice both breaks, and oddly enough, the roundkick break didn't do it on the first crack, but the reverse sidekick did! Go figure. (I did get the roundkick on the second try. No biggie.) Instructor class was more practice, and learning/helping the younger ones learn about how to discipline other kids in class who are being goofy. I think for BU and I in talking to the kids, it's easier simply because we are not only adults, but parents, so it's a little easier for us to come up with something.

I didn't pay any attention to Drew's class, just because I think he needs to do things on his own. I did ask SW if that class went better than Monday's, and she said generally, yeah, it did. The only thing Drew really needs to work on is not punching kids in the face when he spars. Good thing they have face shields on now! Even so, a)it's an illegal sparring move, b)Drew shouldn't be so rough, and c) it means Drew has to learn to control better, and that comes with time and coaching. He's only 6, after all! He also forgets his own strength sometimes, and the adrenaline kicks in, so again, he needs to learn control. It will be great to see him doing his form in a few weeks.

Thursday, I had to opportunity to go watch a testing at a different ATA school. EL was testing for her 3rd degree, and since SW is only one rank higher than that, she is not allowed to supervise the testing for that. So SW's instructor, KC, has to do it. KC's school is actually closer to me, and since I had the evening free, I could actually go see. What was interesting was that the testing was black belts only, whereas the teens and adults at my school, no matter the rank, all come at the same time. It was also done where several things were going on at once, and somehow it still took almost 3 hours! EL was the only one who was testing for 3rd degree. She did well on her forms, weapons and sparring, but unfortunately did not break her boards. We think that the main reason is that she is still adjusting from having done all her breaking from her walker (she has CP, in case you didn't know), to doing it in a wheelchair instead. And she just started that a couple of weeks ago. She was brave, even though we knew her disappointment, but she gets to try again at the next testing in about 8 weeks. PS and I had come for moral support, and we noticed a pattern. When Sandy went to test for her 1BD, it got cancelled and she didn't get her belt that night. On the new testing night, then she got it, but PS and I weren't there. With EL not able to break that night, PS and I teased that perhaps we shouldn't come to the next testing, because maybe we were a jinx or something. Oh well. (There were several others who didn't break for their ranks either, so she wasn't alone in that. But one little boy cried, and I felt bad for him.)We all went out to dinner afterwards, and had a nice time hanging out with SW, who assisted at the testing, and a former instructor at our school who used to be EL's physical therapist and brought her into TKD in the first place. So it was a nice night nonetheless.

Today was something a little different. As I said, I've been keeping it all in the family. Today was the joint lock seminar. I had done a lot of it before in different settings, but this was the first formal training I'd had other than in instructor class one time. The difference with this one was that I brought my DAD with me! He'd always do something similar to teach me self-defense when I was a kid, so I thought he might enjoy it, so I invited him to come. He was able to do almost all of it except at the end, because it would bother his knees, but it was only the last 5-10 minutes of the seminar, so it was fine. We never got paired up (DARN!), but we got to rotate partners. I guess I was considered the nice one, because I didn't try to rip anyone's arm off. RA, who was teaching it, had 4 simple rules, the 4 Ss-- 1)Safe, 2)Slow, 3)Slap and 4) Stop. In other words, for learning purposes, we had to be safe, and to do that we needed to do it slowly, if it hurt you should slap your leg or give some other signal, and remember to stop if someone else does that. Easy enough. There was one white belt mom there with her two boys (one of them being the one who kicked me too hard in sparring class a few weeks ago), and a new blue belt who just transferred in from another school, and then I was the next highest ranked. Everyone else were black belts. Oh, and except for my Dad. ;-) It was fun, and my arms are still attached and not broken. I got an email from my dad later thanking me for inviting him, because he had fun, and really liked working with my TKD friends who were patient and helpful.

Whew! I think that's a pretty full week for TKD! As it is, I won't be able to do triple classes on Wednesday, as I have to go to a Pack Leaders meeting on Wednesday night. I probably need the break, though. While I have a countdown now until my testing time (see the left column, and scroll down a bit), I'm feeling okay about my material at this point. I'm pretty anxious about moving onto new stuff, because IF I can make it that night, I have an interschool tournament 2 days later (if the Scouts don't meet), and I'll be competing as a 1st degree! SW said I'd learn the 1st degree weapon form for SJB in about 10 minutes, and she could review it the day after my testing by coming into work early before I left if needed. I know all the elements already, it's just the combination and a little bit of the footwork I need help with, as well as just a few moves I don't know. Well, if SHE thinks I can learn it that quickly, then, well.... So I'll have to pay more attention to Drew on Monday and Wednesday, and I'll still have my day class to practice. I think this will give me some time to heal up from all these triple nights!

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