Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A little bit of old, a little bit of new

Part of what's difficult right now, being a newly minted black belt, is that I don't know a whole lot of black belt stuff. And I have a competition on Saturday. So, I need to start learning new information, while still retaining the old information for just a little bit longer.

Morning class was good. As usual, Sandy and I were paired up. We were doing this one set of drills that involved these really long resistance bands. And of course, the two of us being a little too...creative, were teasing each other about figuring out how to do some sort of Bruce Lee/Jackie Chan move to whip that thing around the other and trap them. (Heck, I'm just giggling to myself about it.) We were just being really silly, but still doing out drills too. SW had to tell us to "Focus, children!" Hee hee. What good is class if there's no fun involved now and then? I worked on the weapons form, and got some fine tuning tips, and got the parts of Shim Jun, the new form that I'm learning, reinforced. I still don't feel very confident with it, but I think it's because it's learning new techniques with the one handed stuff that throws me off.

Much of my regular evening class was the same sort of thing. I didn't really work on my weapons form much because I know the whole thing already, so JZ gave me a few more steps of the Shim Jun to do. There's a jump hook kick that lands with a new arm base move that's, well, HARD. Done separately, I could kind of do it, but with hand/foot timing, oh man. Good thing I have a few years to learn and tweak this! I also had a 3rd degree teenage guy land on his butt trying to pull some sort of spin kick on me. Ha! Don't mess with me! (Nah, it was more like, "Don't go too hard on the old lady!") Board breaking was pretty good too. I actually tried breaking with a sidekick. Well, that's not so unusual, as much as I was trying it with my left foot! The sisters held the board for me to practice and then try. I am so glad to see them start to blossom and really get into the leadership roles. When I first met them, being color belts several cycles ahead of me, they were both so timid and shy. Over time, they have started coming out of their shells, and are always asking me if I need help with my form, hold my boards for breaking, want to pair up with me for sparring, etc. I think part of it is that they trust me, thus request it from me, and of course, I don't have a problem complying. But I broke it after 2-3 tries. Not bad for a first time!

Instructor class was good. We did this one drill to show how to keep kids occupied who might be doing different forms. SW asked me to be an example of the camo thru red kids, like Drew, so I started jumping up and down like I was Drew, and it got a good chuckle from the group, as we all know how bouncy my kid is. The rest of the time, those of us competing were encouraged to help each other in critiquing any last minute tweaks. EL suggested that we pair up, and I did my CJ#2 for her, as that's what I'm competing with since I've only just started to learn Shim Jun. She said overall, it's very good, and that it was just some hand things like keeping fingers tight and such that I just had to remember. Coming from her, who's been on the tournament circult for a LONG time, and really knows what she's looking at, I took that as a compliment. And that was considering that I was doing my form in a very tired physical and mental state of being! So, I generally left feeling okay about what needs to be done for Saturday, even if I don't place, that I can give a pretty good showing.

I think learning Shim Jun will be good. You don't learn all of it in one cycle, like you did with color belt forms, but rather over two or three, which is good. But knowing me, I'll learn a lot of it quickly. It's times like this that I wish I could fast-track with my curriculum. But, more time to acquire the form means more time to get it right and fix the nuances as I go. I know I don't do it well right now. But I just was shown the first 15-16 moves (I think) of 80+ moves. And I tend to be a slight...perfectionist? Maybe that's not the best word, but close enough. Okay, I know I'm not great, but I do my best to do as close to a flawless job as I can. There's no rush in getting to my 2nd degree. I think I just don't want to be bored! I felt like tonight -- and Saturday too-- in learning this new form, that I have to sweep away the cobwebs from the part of my brain that needs to truly use my best cognitive abilities to keep track of it all. My brain hasn't been used like that in a while in TKD class, so while it's a little frustrating, I'm not down about it (yet), and I think the challenge is good.

Drew also had class tonight. I knew that there were a lot of kids in his class that were older, but I didn't realize how many of them were closer to 9 years old! He's REALLY young, and one of the lowest ranked in there, but he perseveres. I know they were doing an exercise where each kid had a segment, and he'd zone out when it ws his turn, and the kids were a mix of annoyed that he'd forget and those who were trying to help him remember, and I think he got frustrated with that. He didn't put the full effort he could after a while. But he continued, and didn't meltdown. He didn't put in the full effort he had earlier in class, but he still kept going. That in itself is progress. He also felt good because he did a front kick board break on the first try, which was good. He needs to start having some confidence in doing foot breaks, and I think he was getting frustrated on Monday when trying to do a sidekick. He behaved a little better with his SJB this week. I even practiced a little, and tried showing him a 360 release. He was getting the basic idea, as it's a hard thing to do. I still have to practice it! Sure enough, SW was showing the kids how to do it in class, so he had a slight head start. I didn't see him spar, but I get the impression from him that he's starting to improve with his control a little more. I could be wrong. But it's all little steps in the right direction. I'll take that over big steps -- or little steps-- in the wrong direction.

I guess now my TKD focus for the next few days will be making sure that I retain the amount of Shim Jun that I've learned thusfar, continuing to practice the SJB form, and keep CJ#2 fresh for Saturday. And as we say in both Cub Scouts and TKD, I just need to "do my best."

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