Sunday, July 17, 2005


Good thing I got this tattoo. It says "Perseverence." I needed that on Saturday.

It wasn't crowded at All-Belts, and the big ACs were blasting out cool air. But Ms. Pryor told us to get stretched out before class.

"We're going to mostly work on sparring today."


I began with a round of ballet stretches, which feel good in this hot, humid weather. Then we got paired up to spar.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sparring can be one of the most exhausting activities. But Ms. Pryor told us we should "play spar," not using all our energy, and not making contact. Instead of going all out, we worked on technique, first using only roundhouse kicks, then only roundhouse and reverse, etc. Then we helped each other look for where we were vulnerable when sparring: where our arms moved so an opponent could get in a kick or punch.

I learned a lot, but I'm afraid I'll forget it all!

Better write stuff down:

Sparring Advice for TaeKwonDoMom

1. Move arms to blocking position more quickly when doing a roundhouse kick. I was leaving my chest unprotected then, especially when I did high roundhouse kicks.

2. Keep body straight from shoulder to foot when doing side and roundhouse kicks. It's really easy to lean forward . . . right into a kick from my opponent!

3. Work on multiple roundhouse kicks. "Low, low, low, then HIGH!" as Ms. Pryor says. I practiced this with Chelsea and told her about the "balance muse." (the muse was smiling on me Saturday)

4. Use a reverse kick to counter a roundhouse.

5. Don't look at the scoring zone; look at your opponent's eyes.

Actually, I'm not sure I'll use this last piece of advice very soon. It was given to me by Justin, who is a black belt and excellent sparrer. He told me, "you're giving away your kicks. I can tell where you're going to kick by watching your eyes." And how many people of my rank will be able to do that? Still, I'll work toward that, trying to watch the scoring zone with my peripheral vision.

I must say that I would have scored an head kick on Justin--pretty amazing, as he is a tallish blackbelt. "You surprised me with that head kick because I didn't see you look that way. It was good," said Justin. I was pleased!

Jump Reverse
We also broke with our new breaking techniques. I did it almost by accident, but afterward joined Aimee and Ms. Pryor, who were working on that kick. I think I have the rhythm down now (Jump, land-kick, for any of you dancers out there), so I'm feeling more confident.

Did the tattoo help? Maybe. Unfortunately, it's coming off now. I think I may try a different one next time! I wonder if anyone else from the dojang will want one . . .

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