Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cruising along

I know I haven't written here in a while. Sorry about that! It's been a couple of crazy weeks with life outside the do-jahng, but Drew and I still have been going to classes as best as we can. For the most part, there's not a whole lot to report. Last week was the first week I didn't go to daytime class in a long time. That feels a little odd now. I've always gone to the daytime classes offered since I started, but now with the new job, I can't go. (I only work part-time, and it's during the same hours.) So to hear SW say, "In my daytime class..." and not be a part of that feels really, really weird. I guess I'll have to get used to it. :-S Sandy's not there right now anyway, as she is still recovering from her injury, so I don't miss it. It's only fun when she's there. Otherwise, it's a sea of white belts, and two or three black belts, and of those 2-3 black belts, only one (KW) is someone I'd want to do a workout with or have as a partner working on stuff (that is, other than Sandy, of course). The other two are older women who just don't put any oomph into their workout, and the one that's almost a 3rd degree, WS, is so "fragile" that if I even put the slightest bit of power, she tried to compensate by moving out of the way with the pad (which doesn't help) or I have to basically tap a pad rather than hit it. Oy. So in that sense, I don't miss it, but at the same time, it was a good daytime activity.

I have continued with my Wednesday night classes still. Drew's been trying very hard in his classes too. He still gets the wiggles and gets in trouble for it sometimes, especially if he's looking at himself in the mirror or not paying attention to the directions or whatever, but I still have seen a lot of improvement in the last few classes. There was a class last week where he was extra bouncy (which was my fault,because I let him have caffeine before class, my bad), and SW was on top of him constantly and disciplining him. Instead of having crying fits and becoming uncooperative, he would just comply without an attitude. That's a HUGE step forward. Really. Even yesterday, I was told that when he was starting to lose a little control in sparring, NK put him on one of the bags, which he hates to do, but he complied and didn't cry or cause any further problems. That's a huge step forward for him, I think. No major outbursts or attitudes. And yesterday, that was considering it was the day after he was diagnosed with an ear infection (yes, he's properly drugged up now, so he's fine.). Does he know his form, or at least what he has to know? Yeah, for the most part he does. Is he keeping better control? Yes, I see some improvement, but there's still room for more improvement. You have to take the positive strides, no matter how small, and feel some accomplishment.

Drew did have an incident at school yesterday in which he and some other boys were goofing off in the boys' room, and they were playing "play boxing". Well, Drew often forgets his own strength, and hit a kid in the chest a little too hard. He admitted it was an accident, that they had gotten carried away, and he understands that when he's playing, especially without gear, it's "no contact" (and he understands that means no touching). In retrospect, and I didn't think of this until now, I should be glad that he hit the kid in the chest, because that means he understands he isn't supposed to hit the face! :-P

As for myself, I took my classes as usual last week-- both regular adult/teen classes and the instructor class, but this week I only took the adult/teen class. I was just way too tired, and I'm a little sick too, so I didn't want to overdo it. The new job has changed up my routine a lot, and between lack of sleep from the night Drew woke up with his ear infection as well as me starting to come down with something myself...well, I wasn't in good shape to do two workouts in a row as usual. I think for all the time I've put in prior to now, I've earned the right to take off sometimes. Granted, graduation is in two weeks, but I'm fine. I have my whole form down. It's not always pretty due to the jumps and spins that I have to do, but after watching some of the kids do it, I know that I do a more precise form than they do, and yet they still pass. I know the expectations are higher for me, but even so, I watched this little kid who's seveal midterms ahead of me and should know the form much better than I, and he was just, well, sloppy. No tucking of the hand not in motion, his jumps looking no worse than mine, etc. Even with me just getting the whole form down this cycle, it looks so much better than most people's. I haven't worked on my weapon as much. My main problem, as silly as it seems, is doing it with my uniform jacket on! I'm used to practicing without it, but then the sleeves get in the way and such. It's not a tragedy. I only have to do this weapons form with the SJB(numchakas) for the rest of this cycle, then add a freestyle at the end of it for the next cycle, and then I'm done with them for a while-- hooray! I'll be doing BME again next, and I'm actually thinking of investing in a new one. I have a non-handled one, and the balance on it is SOOOOOO different from the handle ones. The handle ones just feel SO MUCH BETTER. I'll think about it.

I have been working on some new board breaks, however. I guess that's what's new for me. One of the 1st degree board break combinations is a reverse jump side kick, with an upset ridge hand. I'm getting the hang of the reverse upset ridge hand. If I'm remembering correctly, this is the break that Ralph Macchio did in Karate Kid II, when he went through all those blocks of ice in that bet. Well, for now, I'm just working on getting it through one plastic board. :-P I was shown to start with a hammerfist of sorts, and then work towards opening the hand. I got it in about 2-3 tries or so, so that's cool. The reverse side is a little trickier. I have to get the jump in there soon enough, if this is a break I'm going to use.

Other than that, I was told yesterday that I have to watch my own control when sparring, specifically with lower ranks. I didn't realize that I was even doing that. I thought I was going fairly easy on people, but at the same time, making it challenging. Heck, nobody showed me THAT much mercy as I worked my way up! They would go easy on me, but not THAT much! I usually was put up against teenagers that were 2nd degrees while I was a piddly color belt! Oh well. I guess Drew and I both have control issues sometimes, as we can really get into it.

So that's the scoop. Not a heckuva lot going on right now. Just adjusting to new routines on the outside of the do-johng, battling illnesses, but still working on material and making progress. Graduation is in about two weeks. I only have to do my full regular and weapons form and sparring, and that's it. The next cycle will be an "official" midterm where the scores go to ATA HQ for my progress, and I'll have to do all that, plus add a 20 second creative form for the weapons form (I'm already working on that), and the board break of my choice. Hmmm. I guess I still have a lot of work to do.

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