Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Hooky

Well, with the exception of the class I went to this morning, Drew and I are playing hooky from TKD classes this week. We have no classes next week (yay!). So I think that constitutes another nice little break. Even SW said that even though this is not a "fun week" (whereby we don't have to do the regular curriculum), most likely nobody's going to remember this week's material after the break anyway, so that made me feel like it was okay. Between that and the fact that Drew is battling a cold (it started out as pinkeye on Sunday, and then bad congestion all yesterday through the night), PLUS I have a ton of things to do to prepare for the holidays, it made sense. Between teachers, me taking off on Friday, and having a big family to-do here at my house at lunchtime on Saturday, I have just to much to do. After that, leading up to Christmas, it's all downhill-- it'll be easier. So until then, it's the mad rush!

But I can take a moment to at least talk about my solitary class on the day that I normally take three classes. I do have to start by saying that it's nice to be in the black belt category rather than still with the color belts. The color belts in our adult day class are all beginners, and while I always appreciated people being patient with me at that stage and I do my best to do the same for those under me, I do like having the challenges of being a black belt more. I was working with the only white belt, MG. While she's been a parent of a special abilities child there for a long time, she is discovering, like many adults who start after their children, that it's not as easy as it looks, not that her son does very much compared with your average kid, as he has both cognitive disabilities and mild physical disabilities. But he tries! :-) His mom is doing her best, but it just seems like she doesn't get it completely nonetheless. Granted, she was being challenged today, but even getting a basic chamber-extension-rechamber concept was hard. Today, we were warming up with crescent kicks, and the whole concept eluded her, and I couldn't understand why. That was one of the easiest ones that I remember learning early on. Easy to remember too-- a crescent kick is like a crescent moon, so it's something where the leg is brought "over the moon", as I like to say, but with chambering and rechambering. For whatever reason, she wouldn't extend her kick that far either. She also had a hard time with the concept of a roundkick against a pad being with the upper flat part of your foot, like on the foot knuckles. She kept hitting everything with her toes. Between her crescents and her roundkicks, they looked the same. I tried to be helpful and encouraging as much as I could, and she was able to get it. She was very complementary about my performance at graduation last week, which I was surprised by that, but appreciative. But as a black belt, when I had to do drills and she held the pad, I had different things to do than she did which were a little more challenging.

One of them was doing a spin reverse hook kick. (Yes, I can hear you laughing already, Sandy.) I wasn't making the full spin when I practiced, so it was more like doing a #3 reverse hook kick rather than a #3 reverse spin hook kick. Think 180 degrees vs 360 degrees around. Yeah, now you have it. I had the basic concept down though, and that was what was important. As a result, we all started on the next sections of our form, or new forms as the case might be for some. For me, it was starting to learn the second half of my form. I started by practicing the first half, which I think I have down fairly well. I'm sure there's room for improvement here and there, lots of tweaking, but I have the jist of it, after all. I got the next parts in two segments. In the first new part, there's something where you do a rear stance where you do a slow upset ridgehand, pull it back and then do a slow spearhand. Well, duh on me, as first, I had to ask ES to go over it with me after I was shown, since being that I'm an old woman with all this Christmas stuff going through my head right now, it wasn't sinking in right away. (In my favor, however, I only had to be shown the segments twice before I got the hang of them, rather than 5 times, so that must be an improvement!). The second DUH was that I was facing a mirror, because I could watch myself to see if I was doing it right. There's times that I've mentioned where I know I'm doing something right, but it doesn't "feel pretty", meaning that it might be correct, but it doesn't feel like I'm looking correct in my own mind. So just looking in the mirror I could see if I was doing it correctly. The second segment I got was with the spin hook kick. Ah, so THAT'S where it goes. I found that if I used a little speed to get around, like a little bit of momentum to make the spin, I could make it around without a problem. The issue was that I knew it was not "pretty". It felt off. I know I was generally executing it correctly, but I'm sure that it could look a lot better. So, I spent a lot of time just working on that hand bit with the upset ridge hand/spear hand thing, and that spin hook kick. (No, I did not get dizzy. It's all about spotting, and I used to have to do 3-5 spins in ballet pirouettes nonstop when I was a kid, so this is nothing!) I didn't work on weapons, just so I could get through these next two sections that I was given. It's not too bad. I'll have to check to see how far along in the form I am, but I think I'm making decent progress, at least for the first day.

So, I have my work cut out for me in the next two weeks. I need to work on streamlining the sequencing of moves so that it's smooth, as well as just get the moves down and make them look good! As I said to ES, as she was doing her upset ridgehand one way, and SW was doing it another (and you go by the way SW does it, as she's the instructor), but I want to get as many of the nuances down now, since this is the form I'll be competing with for the next couple of years. If I learn them the right way now, it'll be easier for me later.

MG was feeling a little flabbergasted about watching what I was doing, and thinking that she couldn't get there. As I explained to her, it took 2 years of classes and lots and lots and lots of practice to get where I am now. Some of the drills we did I could have done quickly, but they would've been sloppy. I usually take my time because I want to get it right and look good. Speed comes later. Accuracy is more important, and so doing axe kicks (another drill that we all did today) comes more easily simply because there were nights last year where even though I wasn't required to do them yet, it was part of some leadership classes, and I was drilled, and drilled and drilled until I was ready to collapse, but now they are pretty easy for me to do as a result. So it's just a matter of time and practice. I just hope that some more of this will start to click for her soon. There is no set timeline to get your black belt, but with plenty of good instruction and lots of practice, and no rushing how you practice, it will all come together. Hopefully she saw that my patience and willingness to help her and not make her feel pressured will help her succeed.

So, now I'm done taking a quick to figure out dinner, and then it'll be another baking marathon tonight!

No comments: