Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Leaning Back = Breaking Bad

I'm ba-ack! I missed all of last week due to travel for work down to the Big Easy, tough assignment. I did have the intention of watching a YouTube video of Chon-ji and practicing my form. Not so much.

Monday was a little rough, but at least I looked official in my white belt uniform. We started off with some kicking to warm up. I have a bad habit of leaning back after a kick. Travis was holding the blocker and when he moved I kicked, missed, and landed flat on my back. It was very graceful and I needed the laugh. That's what mats are for!

Next we worked on the brush block grab self-defense move. I did ok from the right side, from the left was a disaster. Seth my practice partner for the evening (who I think is 14) was a good sport while I muddled through. Afterwards Josh spent a few minutes with me to get in some extra work too and that helped a lot.

We have a really cool group of people taking the class. We all applaud each other after we bow out which is very supportive and affirming.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Even if you don't get hit, sparring hurts

So here we are in week three! More running and more push ups, but that is ok. The newbies now have 8 moves to work on in our white belt Chon-Ji form. I have them down pat after a refresher from the 10 year old.

I saw the kids class earlier and knew we were in for the rope ladders. With that exercise Travis puts rope ladders down on the ground and then gives us drills for foot work going down the ladder. I got high marks for making up my own drills.

We did a lot of sparring on Monday night. And then we sparred some more. And then right before I thought I was going to drop dead we sparred again. It is very intense to go at someone with just a few moves. Then there is a trust factor on both sides. We don't want to hurt each other but you are supposed to go at your partner as if you will hit them. I just kept hoping I'd get out of the way in time!

For my last round of sparring I was with Travis. He is really intense and it was interesting up close to see how crisp all of his moves are ... while trying not to die at the same time.

At the end Travis talked to us about putting the energy out there during our sessions and then we would get that back in increased energy in other areas during the week. I know it'll happen!

All in all a great class, very sweaty and it felt great. The next day wasn't as bad as I thought it would be either. We'll be back tonight!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Went back for a 2nd class

So, I did go back for the second class. This time my wife Juliana joined. But this blog isn't about her. She can write her own.

Anyway, thought I'd like teakwondo because I hate running and exercise and want nothing to do with either. Dang it, Travis made us run, do push ups and sit ups. White belts had to do 20 push ups. I haven't done 20 push ups since 1987, but I toughed it out.

We did not add any moves to our Chon-Ji form, but we did work on four self dense moves as well as front kicks. The class was a lot of fun, but I feel those push ups and sit ups. We're all going back tomorrow for our Friday afternoon class.

Admittedly I like to get a little obsessive with whatever I'm into and now you're likely to find me an Olivia in the middle of the living room practicing moves. Correction, she is correcting everything I do wrong.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My First Teakwondo Class at Jin Shil

My two girls ages 10 and 7 have been taking Teakwondo at Jin Shil with Travis Conover, 2nd degree black belt, for about 9 months. They are now orange belts and they love it, especially Olivia the 10 year old. Lots of parents hang out and watch the kids's class and then take off as the adult class is starting. I'm one of them.

As 2013 and the "resolution season" kicked in, I've been pestered to try Teakwondo. I'm fortunate to be a just a little overweight, but I don't take any medication and generally feel pretty good. At 42, I'd like to keep it that way!

Usually I feel pretty stupid in group participation things, and like many I have FOLS, fear of looking stupid. I got over it. Good news, I know one couple in the class, Drs. Joe and Shirley Rufrano. Joe and I are on the board where our kids go to school together. Shirley was cool, she hung out in the back with the newbie white belts.

The biggest hang up for me was toe nails. Mine looked pretty cruddy. So I promised myself not to look at other's toes and that deal would ensure no one would look at mine.

Travis is great, he started class by welcoming Kara and I (Kara is the other grown up newbie) and the others in the class cheered for us. Then we lined up and learned how to punch the bag. It only took me two hits to break a sweat. And it was fun!

As white belts we learned our first kick, two blocks, ready position and "how to walk." This sounds silly, but it was important! Travis encouraged us and he gave me specific feedback on technique and positive reinforcement along the way. Towards the end of class we learned the first four of nineteen moves of our white belt form called Chon-Ji which means heaven and earth. Then I consulted with my 7-year old, Frances, to make sure I had it right.

I quickly learned the keys to success for this class:
1. Have fun, but take it seriously
2. Let yourself go and get into it!
3. When Travis shows your belt rank your move, take the time to work on it over and over while he moves up the ranks to explain their moves. Using that time to work on what he just showed you is vital.

I'll go back on Tuesday!