Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ouch!! Times Two!!

So I hadn't been to class since the belt test and thought, "Ok I'll catch up and go two nights in a row, Thursday and Friday."

Good idea, right? If you're a masochist it was a great idea. If you're a normal person not so much. One of the things we did was to intentionally hit a board with our hands to toughen them up. We did this because Travis noted, "Skulls are hard, if you hit one you want to be ready." Hitting a board 20 or 30 times even if you try not to hit it that hard still hurts.

Yellow belts learned two new kicks, the ax kick and the front jump kick. The front jump is fun and I received a compliment from Travis for picking it up quick. But it is an intense move and the next day ... oh baby, my hammies were barking!

We also learned to do an open hand punch to the jaw which we did about 40 times on the target. When you jam your weight -- and I have some weight to jam -- into a target there is some force jolting through you!

So all three moves, hitting the board, front jump kicks and open hand punch have me sore all over today. All good, it's progress!

Check out Jin Shil Martial Arts on FaceBook!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1 Down, 13 to Go.

Wow! So I completed my first belt test. The process was pretty intense, but I felt ready. I really ramped up my own intensity level to match the moment and that felt really good too. Great news, I didn't fall down or crack up laughing at an inappropriate time... makes for a less exciting blog. Sorry.

Overall the belt test was not intimidating. We were all prepared, encouraged each other and it mostly felt like an amped up class ... with an audience. Usually some of our kids are playing or doing homework during the teen/adult class but for the belt test there were folks watching us. However as I mentioned in a previous post, I zoned into my own world and didn't even notice them most of the time.

The white belt form, Chun-Ji, is typically led by the instructor, however Travis let us go on our own and we did really well.

The big news is we got to break some boards after the test. Both Juliana and I smashed through a wood board with our fists. Oh yeah! Breaking the boards was pretty cool. My girls, Frances and Olivia, did great on their belt tests as well and are now green belts. Also, Olivia broke a board with her fist and another with her foot.

Lastly, I'm not a big fan of working out, going to the gym, running, biking, swimming or anything that could be a considered a healthy activity. I've tried  a few things over the years hoping I'd like it or that I'd stick with it, and nothing ever stuck. But holy crap, here I am three months into Tae Kwon Do and I'm still going and I really like it. Travis and Jin Shil Martial Arts make all the difference, thank you! Thirteen belt tests to go!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cheat Step!

We're getting ready for the belt test on Friday. This will be my first one, so I wonder if I will:
a) crack up laughing at an inappropriate time
b) fall flat on my face
c) fall flat on my back
d) all of the above

Vegas shows 7 to 4 on "d) all of the above" ... easy money!

The last few classes have been pretty intense and Travis has ramped up his intensity level as well. We did 100+ kicks in five minutes on Thursday, not that easy! Getting the forms down pat, not only making the right move at the right time, but also doing each move properly has been a bit of a challenge. I'm not at all graceful, a terrible dancer and can barely walk straight most days, so these forms are tough. Travis gave me some good tips on "staying square" and facing front for the front stance with a down block, that has helped a lot.

I find I talk to myself during the moves and having a focal point on the wall is good for concentration. I almost feel like I'm alone. For round house kicks I make sure I talk through each part of the kick as I do it, "Cheat step, chamber, kick, chamber." The bad news is I have no short term memory anymore so the trick is losing its effectiveness little by little each ... day, right, each day.

Wednesday is another forms review class and an opportunity to work on nailing down Chun-Ji.