Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rev'ving up for a return

I discovered something today. I found that if I "google" my name, "Windsornot", a zillion hits for things that I've done come up, including several of my online blogs and postings. Geez. So much for anonymity! But interestingly enough, most of them were linked up to this blog. So if you are linked up to this and haven't said hi, please do so! I didn't know I had a "following" until I did this search. ;-)

Well, it's been two months since I took my long needed break. As mentioned, Drew's continued to go, and he's doing okay. Yesterday, I finally said something to JZ about Drew and being by the mirrors, and that it was okay to yell at him. I told her that I know she can't be disciplining him constantly because she has a whole class to focus on, but it's okay to tell him that he's not acting like a black belt, or saying that something is unacceptable behavior or something short like that, and he'll usually whip back into shape-- usually. I also suggested that when she does drills, see if she can pair him up with someone in such a way that he gets away from the mirrors. I know that we often will rearrange people in class so that people of more similar size and aptitude will be paired, so in her rearranging people, he wouldn't know that he's being singled out for being pulled away from the mirrors. When he's away from the mirrors, he tends to focus better, and not get distracted by making faces at himself and such. It was like that this past Saturday, and when she got him away from the mirrors yesterday, he did much better than usual. He still had his moments, but not as bad as usual. He actually paid attention a little more, and that's a good thing. He needs to learn to do it, because after the next graduation, no more copying the teacher at graduation! He was having some problems with his feet (somehow he contracted plantar warts on his feet--yuck-- and we finally figured out what they were to treat them, and now the skin on his feet are a little sensistive), but we worked around that as much as we could, and generally, it was a better class. Thank goodness.

In some ways, I haven't missed going to class. I like being able to not huff and puff and feel the pain in my lungs and my knees. I like having the extra time to myself. But at the same time, I'm feeling less agile than I was before, and I feel the need to get some exercise in again. I've still been practicing my form so I wouldn't forget it, so no worries there. I know I'll have to work on perfecting it again. I also have started thinking about the mid-term in June, whereby I need to practice breaking my boards, as well as getting that darn SJB routine down and get it out of the way! Bleeh! I really want to start learning the BME form that is needed for the next set of midterms. Additionally, there's a regional tournament in August locally, and I would rather do a BME form for competition than do the SJB. SJB is just not my weapon-- never has been. I'm sure if I ask, SW (or someone) will start teaching it to me so I have it by competition time. It's not like I'm raring to go back into competition, but this time, I'm not even going to expect to rate well at all (unlike last time, I thought I had at least a fighting chance with my CJ#2 form), but if I put the pressure on myself to get it perfected a little more, then there's a chance I'll push myself enough to get back into fighting shape, literally and figuratively. It's a thought, at least.

I started my payments for myself again for May, and technically, that doesn't start back until tomorrow! :-P I can't go tonight, as we've been having scheduling issues between my husband and I, but this should be the last week of such conflicts. I might start back on Saturday, perhaps taking the color belt class just to get warmed up again. And then next week, it's back in the saddle again.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Drew and In Wha #2

Today, we had a good day in TKD class. I know I don't write often, but when we have a successful day in class, then it's worth talking about.

Being that it's Saturday, I take Drew only to the forms specialty class. Yes, he should go to some of the others, but it's tiring, and he's not always the most cooperative, so if he's going to take any, it's going to be forms class, as that's what's most important at this stage of the game.

So today, they did several drills. I wasn't watching most of the time, but he generally behaved himself. I think part of it is that he wasn't by the mirrors to distract him so he could make faces at himself. He didn't listen to directions only insofar as when BP told him to put the pad down on the floor, he continued to toss it up and play with it. When BP removed it from his hands and put it where it was supposed to go, he kicked it away. Drew's partner, a very sweet little boy whose mother was signing him up for Leadership today (and this little boy will be great for it) went to get it and put it back. Drew kicked it again. I scolded him from the sidelines for that. He needs to listen! He does a lot of that sort of thing these days, whereby he hears you, but he won't listen, or at least obey what you tell him. It's getting rather annoying to yell at him constantly for that.

Anyway, after doing drills and some additional warmups, they did the first segment of In Wha #2, the new form of the cycle. After bowing in, etc. you turn to the side into a front stance, do an X-block, pull your hands back to load for a twin upset punch, do a jump-front kick, land, upset elbow, and reverse punch. Simple enough when you learn it. It's a little more challenging after the last cycle, but it's all good. Well, Drew took to it like water. He loves this form so far! He likes doing the jump kick especially. I also noticed, that again, when he's not by the mirrors, he actually pays attention, and so when BP was asking, "Okay, what step comes next?", Drew would actually answer up and answer up correctly. He was actually paying attention, and he was picking it up CORRECTLY. Last cycle, I really resented that I was fixing mistakes that he shouldn't have been making. I think I will be telling JZ in class on Tuesday to a) stop ignoring him altogether when he acts up, but rather whisper sternly that his behavior is unacceptable, and just to work with her as best as he can, and b) have her move him away from the mirrors during class. I know often he races to be by the mirrors so he can be one of the attendance card collectors, but after bowing in, she should move people around and make sure he's not near the mirrors so he can't goof off. It's a waste of her time and my time and money if he's not paying attention.

But Drew had a good day today. He was even practicing the form at least once on one side after class, he liked it so much. Let's hope it continues to go well like this for this cycle...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

He's movin' on up!

I know, I know, this blog has seemingly died since I stopped classes for a bit. Life has been just too crazy, but I'm hoping that I might be able to start classes again in May. But I'm glad I've taken the break. I needed it. And after having a visit with Sandy the other day, who started back this past cycle at her school (where things are really changing a lot),and so much of what we talked about was TKD. Of course, she was teasing me that she's a cycle ahead of me now, and naturally, I reminded her that if I hadn't taken the cycle off, I'd be tied with her, thank you very much. ANd when I told SW that conversation, she teased that Sandy and I are worse than some of the kids. I retorted, "But she started it!" and SW replied, "See? There's my proof." :-P

Anyway, Drew has still been going to class, and tonight was graduation night. Before the graduation, there were a bunch of kids, some of them older and higher ranked than Drew, who were running around on the mats and goofing off. There was one boy in particular, I think his name is HL, who is a real troublemaker and he's a half-orange, half-white (which means he's just bumped up his first rank). I've seen him in his class while Drew takes his class on the opposite mat, and this HL kid seems to be trouble. Several times, I actually got up and yelled at these kids, especially this HL kid. When he got in Drew's face and tried to attack Drew, and I could tell that Drew wanted to retaliate REALLY badly, I got up and told the kid off, then instructed Drew that if HL acted up again to tell SW or one of the other instructors, because they would discipline him and tell his mom. Sure enough, when NK started to yell at the kids herself, Drew was sure to tell her about HL's antics. Not in a tattletale way, but rather factually. She appreciated him telling her, and she told me later that she was glad that he said something to her rather than get in trouble himself. That was a big step forward for him.

So, graduation started, and he was one of the first to go up with little JS. JS is a little girl (and I mean tiny!) who just turned 5, and whom Drew has deemed as "very cute". Even JS's mom teased, "Hey, is your son trying to pick up my daughter?" :-P Even though JS has a big brother who is a 1st degree black belt (he's 11, but he's not much taller than Drew, and he's a nice kid who tries to help Drew during classes), I think Drew thinks of himself like a big brother to her. He's very gentle and sweet and careful around her, knowing that she's a lot smaller than him. Both of them are "Tiny Tigers" (Drew just for one more cycle, then when he turns 7, he won't be anymore), so they end up doing stuff together very often. Anyway, they had to do their forms and weapons together, and I reminded Drew not to crowd next to JS, as they had the WHOLE floor to use. Well, they were doing great, and Drew was answering up and everything, showing great discipline.

Here's Drew getting ready to do his form. (You can see JS next to him.)

Power move!

Anyway, at one point, Drew actually got a little carried away in the movement he was doing (I believe it was an inner crescent kick followed immediately with a reverse side kick), and he lost his balance and fell. I was afraid he was going to start crying or have a meltdown, but SW just assured him it was okay and to just get up and continue. And sure enough, he did. (I think the "power move" above happened right after that.) He got through, and finished nicely. He did a decent JB freestyle form (aka freestyle bo kata), where again, he dropped his JB, but he just picked it up and kept going. He got the whole back floor to himself. Hey, at least he got up and did it! At this stage, he isn't required to do weapons, but it's good practice, because when he IS required to do it, it will feel normal for him to do it.

Lastly, he did his sparring. JS and he were ready first, and Drew promised, as did JS (hee hee), that they would remember that it was graduation sparring, otherwise as no contact sparring, or for them, no touching sparring (no contact doesn't always compute in the mind of a little one, y'know). Drew and JS went at it, and for most of the time, Drew just let JS attack him. He did defend himself, but he wasn't aggressive towards her at all like he would be if it was another boy his size. I was really surprised, but pleased nonetheless. JS's parents were too. (Yes, I'm friends with the family at the school, as JS's dad also takes classes now, and we see them all the time. Nice family.) When it was all said and done, Drew had really controlled himself during the sparring, and even though he didn't show his sparring skills fully, I think that self-control was HUGE, and that in itself was noteworthy. In fact, JZ, who was judging the sparring, made a point of coming over and complimenting Drew on his actions and doing so well.

The rest of the graduation, Drew had to sit patiently and wait, watching board breakers and other people doing their forms. Normally, after a while, he'd get fussy and fidgety. Not today. He sat patiently and clapped for other people, and cheered the board breakers and everything. He behaved beautifully.

I was very proud of Drew today. We've had a lot of things going on whereby he has acted out lately, and there have been things where he hasn't, so it's hard to know when he's going to react to things. Today showed that he could be the good boy-- and have a black belt attitude-- when he puts his mind to it. I was REALLY proud of him. Super proud.

And naturally, he's proud of his new belt. He's now a half-purple, half-green belt (purple recommended). Next belt: Full purple. And his last one earned as a Tiny Tiger. After that, he will have to know full form from that point on, starting with learning stuff for his blue belt. No more half belts until red-black (aka 1BR).

Good Job!