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!