Monday, November 14, 2005

All Together Now--and One on One

Master Hughes is back at All-belts tonight. And the junior belts are there. Both Brians are there. Nice to be there with everyone.

Still, it seems like a lot of my learning tonight is from one-on-one work with people.

Master Hughes
We do some work on combination kicking, and after Master Hughes tells us to work on our high kicks, I flag him down.

"So when and where would I use an axe kick in sparring? What do I aim at?" I ask.

"Aim at the head. You use it when you want to move in, or move them back." Master Hughes demonstrates.

For the axe kick, you swing your leg up and around in front of you (an inside-outside kick) and then snap it straight down, like an axe. Master Hughes doing that in front of me certainly makes me want to move back!

I try it a few times, getting it wrong (I'm swinging my leg in from the outside). Master Hughes corrects me, and I manage to get it right a few times.

"You want to intimidate them with it," Master Hughes adds after he's helped me get my kick right.
"So you're wanting ME to be intimidating?" I ask, incredulously.
"You'll get there," he says.

It'll be a while.

At the class on Friday, we learned some new throws and a wrist lock.
"You need to practice these," said Ms. Pryor. "Find someone who'll let you do it on them until you feel comfortable doing them."

I hadn't done this yet, but I figure I can practice it on Brian. He's a good sport and knows about self-defense stuff.

OK, besides, I kind of want to show off . . . Pam had complimented me on the speed and efficiency of my wrist lock.

"Hey, let me try this new wrist lock on you," I tell him. "Grab me by the shirt, just one hand."

He grabs, and I'm immediately thrown off . . . Brian is left-handed, so he grabs with his dominant hand. Oh no! I've only done this on the right hand!

Not that I remember it very well anyway. Brian obligingly switches hands, but I suddenly can't remember the steps Ms. Pryor showed me. Kevin coaches me a bit--he remembers the moves better than I do.

Later, though, Brian confides that there are easier ways to use a wrist lock--he shows me three, and they certainly work on me! I'm going to have to have him show me those again--and I'm going to have to practice them more!

Justin and I had made plans to have a little sparring practice after class tonight. I'm grateful for the opportunity--Wednesday is the usual day for sparring practice, and I don't usually go that day.

So after class, we get our pads on. Alyssa comes by with her pads--she and Justin like to practice sparring each other, too, but she spars with me first while Justin watches.

(Before this happens, though, Chelsea and Cavio wander by.

"I'm going to have a little sparring practice," I say to their puzzled looks. "Justin's gong to help me and maybe give me some tips."

"Like you NEED any sparring tips, Jane," says Chelsea.

Wow. This is a confidence-building compliment, coming from someone whose sparring style I really admire! Still, I disagree. I DO need more practice and any useful tips I can get!)

I like Alyssa's sparring style. She's fast but doesn't hit too hard (at least with me!), and she has lots of high kicks.

When we take a break, Justin gives me some pointers--mostly to keep at my kicking and not to step back so often. I know I tend to step back . . .

Then Justin and Alyssa spar. They're fun to watch, though I'm not sure either of their fighting styles approximates mine. Justin is powerful and intimidating with great balance. Alyssa is fast and flexible with lots of kicks to the head. She got him a few times!

Finally, I spar with Justin, who doesn't seem at all winded from the match with Alyssa. Go figure. I try to remember to stay in there, but get clocked in the back of the head and the cheekbone for my efforts!

"I'm getting back at Alyssa," says Justin. "She kicked me twice in the head and now I've kicked you twice in the head."

Now that's some one-on-one work I'm not so sure about!

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