Tuesday, May 10, 2005

TKD family

We trudge to the top of the stairs in the 80 degree heat and look into the dojang. Savaun goes skittering by, stops, turns, and smiles.

"Hey! You guys are back!"

"Hey Savaun!" we call back.

We get dressed for class in our new black TKD t-shirts, appropriate for the warm afternoon, and start our workout. Brian and Matt are also there, also in black TKD t-shirts. We all seem to match today.

"So what's new?" asks Brian.

"Not much," I reply. "Except I turned in my grades. That's a big event in my line of work!"

Mr. Houtz is talking with the mom of a new white belt. They seem to know each other. During basic moves, Eli encourages the new student and works hard while the little boy goofs around. I'm glad he's being a good example.

We run through our forms.

"Hey, I didn't blank out like I usually do!" I exclaim to Brian. "Maybe it's time for me to start learning Palgue 3. Do you know it?"

"Well, it's not pretty yet," he says.

Not pretty, maybe, but pretty easy! There are some new combinations of moves, and I skip around Brian, trying to watch them from different angles. We run through the form a few times while the children have a break.

During combination kicking, I tell Brian about my sparring tactics.

"See, what I do is move fast and go inside where you can't kick me." I hop around, placing kicks where they might score, but Brian is too fast at blocking. Somehow, my demonstration turns into a sparring match, and we kick, block, for a while, laughing and chatting as we do.

"I need to warn your husband about you!" jokes Brian as I come close to landing a punch.

You'd think I'd get beat as he is taller, stronger, and a guy, but I do OK. I don't think either of us scores. I completely trust Brian, too, like sparring with Mr. Houtz. They're my TKD family.

Sparring is exhausting, though, and as fun as it is to play around this way, I get winded and we take a break and go back to combination kicking.

After class we discuss the upcoming tournament at our school. Brian can't participate because of work ("We have an airplane crash scheduled for that day," he says. He's in the city police force and they're doing a simulation!) He seems very disappointed.

"You going to be here tomorrow?" he asks.

"I don't know." Two days in a row of TKD is too much for me. "Maybe I'll see you next week. We may start coming on Mondays and Wednesdays."

"OK. Have a good weekend!" Brian calls as I head down the stairs.

"You too!"

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