Monday, September 19, 2005

Teaching and Learning

So I come home from all-belts this evening and I say to Bruce, "I got to lead the class in stretching tonight."

"Oh really?" he says. "Were you the senior belt?"

"Nope. Not at all. I think it was Justin's idea."

Am I right, Justin?

Justin wrote me a note recently asking me if I'd like to lead stretching sometime when he was teaching class. He thought it might help me with my self-confidence, focus, and plus he thought it would make a nice story for my blog. But he wasn't teaching today . . .

So here's the story.

First, though . . .

What Happened Before Class Started
Master Hughes was there at the beginning of class. He said hi to me on his way through the dojang, so I stopped him and asked if he had a moment. I asked if it would be OK with him if I posted photos illustrating the 3-step sparring sequences on the photoblog. He thought that would be a good idea. I'd had that idea earlier today, and thought it might be a fun and useful project.

So any of you blog-readers from my school, if you want to help with this, I'll be around on Tues and Thurs during the Kum Do classes (6:45-7:30), and we can set up and take those photos.

Master Hughes led the class today until we got to stretching.

"Jane. Would you like to lead stretching today?"

Caught me off guard, that's for sure.

"Uh, sure," I said, bowing.

Teaching's not a big deal for me. If I'd known I was going to lead stretching that evening, I might have worried a bit, being the first time in front of that class. But when I'm just asked to go up there, no biggie.

I did the usual stretches we always do, but I added a few ballet stretches (foot stretch, making sure to stretch the neck during splits stretch). I have to say that it did feel a bit odd teaching someone else's class, knowing that there are exercises Master Hughes expected me to do . . . but I am quite sure he knew I'd also add my own twist to those exercises.

After working on power roundhouse kicks for a while (and just about having the pad kicked out of my hand by Brian!), we worked on forms. Brian and I worked on Palgwe 4 with Stacy, who gave us both encouragement and tips for doing that form better.

When we (greens and blues) did our forms for Ms Pryor, she let us stand in our last stance while whe went around correcting them. We greens were in a backstance, a stance that has been giving me trouble (I've written about this before). Ms. Pryor corrected me in the usual ways: feet further apart, in an "L" shape with heels on the same parallel line, not in a wide 4th ballet position, and back straight, not leaning back.

Geez, I've been using the back stance since my first days in TKD. I KNOW what I'm supposed to do and I know what I usually do wrong. You'd think I would be able to do it.

Actually, my brain knows what to do. My body hasn't gotten the message yet.

I am glad that Stacy is back. She's a black belt whose advice and thoughts I like to hear. She is a good tutor for me because she remembers doing things wrong, and how she learned to do them right.

While we stood at the side of the dojang and watched a game of TKD tag, I told her I was relieved that I was not the only one having trouble with my back stance.

"That's a hard stance," she said. "I had to work on that one."

I asked her how she finally got it down.

"I put tape on the floor so I could feel where my feet needed to be." She demonstrated doing a series of back stances. "It's easier for me when I can feel it."

Cool idea. I am going to try the tape thing.

Sorry. No Pictures Today
I was thinking that this blog was needing some pictures. I meant to take some, but it didn'thappen this evening. I promise I'll post some soon.

And don't forget
to send me your comments about . . . actually about anything. I'm particularly curious about workouts. (See the post below.)

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