Saturday, December 03, 2005

One week before the test

It was with a bit of trepidation that I climbed the stairs to the dojang and all-belts class today. I was still thinking a bit about the questions that arose during self-defense practice. But when I got up there, the lively voices of the children in the junior belts class cheered me up. Brian A. was teaching, and he had them playing duck, duck, goose.

Tae Kwon Do MOM
Sometimes I wonder if the embroidered name on my lapel really says "Mom" instead of Jane.

After the kids were done, Michelle and Miriam came over to shake my hand. Miriam announced that next week was her birthday. "And how old will you be?" I asked. "Nine," she said.

Not wanting to be left out, Miriam's brother Arik joined in. "My birthday is February 19th," he said. "Really?" I asked. "That's the exact same day as my birthday! We must be twins!" I shook his hand. He looked at me funny, the way kids do when they sense a weird adult is nearby.

But he proceeded to bend my ear about some kind of on-line game,, that he thought I should try. "If you or your son gets on," he told me (I'd informed him that my 10-year-old son was the computer gamer in our house), "be sure to find me and I'll give you some armor. "

Patrick and Savaun were there, too, and they stopped by to say hi to me. I asked Patrick if he was going to test on Saturday. "No. My dad's got a Santa festival he has to do."

Now that's an unusual excuse! (But not if you know Patrick's dad.)

Something different
After we'd warmed up and worked on our forms, Justin, who was teaching, gave us something new to try.

(I noted to Justin, when I shook his hand, that he sounded like he had a cold. "I do," he told me. "I'm coughing up all kinds of stuff. It's gross." I informed him that, yes, it was gross, and he needs to take some medicine, but I don't think he was really listening. Maybe he'll take my advice if he reads it here. What you need, Justin, is Sudafed. You get it from the pharmacist--it's behind the counter. And you need Dristan at night, as Sudafed will keep you awake. )

(Same advice to all you other blog-readers out there who may be suffering this nasty sinus cold.)

(This is the taekwondomom speaking. I know what I'm talking about.)

We got into groups of 6, and each group got three pads. We were to design a combination of kicks that would use all the pads, and then practice it.

It was fun, despite the fact that I hate choreography. My group--me, Aimee, June, Brittany, Brian A., and Cavio--worked out some combinations that flowed from one kick to the next very nicely. Aimee and Brian A. were the best choreographers.

Love to Spar
Luckily, we also got to practice sparring. I've really been in the mood to spar recently. So when we got our pads on, I was ready! I wanted to try some new things.

We started out with combination kicking and I helped the new white belt, Shane. Then, once sparring started, I got in a nice little match with junior black belt Dylan (or was it John? I get those brothers confused), who complimented me on my ability to stay on one leg for a while. "I take dance," I explained.

I call that "ballerina kicking", and I worked on it some more today, hopping in while kicking several times without putting my foot down. It was effective, though tiring.

I also got to spar with Christian. He's one of those big, strong guys who actually likes to do
calesthenics. I bet he lifts weights. But he's an orange belt, and, hey, sometimes it's not that great to be big and strong in sparring. Sometimes small and fast is better.

We lined up and Christian said "OK. Now I really get some sparring practice!"

It was a good match, though I was too tired from the first match to do too much of my ballerina kicks. Still, I scored on him, which is quite encourging to me. It's weird that I can be better at someone like that in a sport. I bet he did football in high school and didn't look twice at bookish nerds like me.

The last match, I worked out with Shane again. He, like most men, has good fighting instincts. "Go easy on me," I told him. "I'm tired."

"Yeah, she's tired from whooping my ass," said Christian.

What's this macho thing about doing killer calesthenics at the end of a class? Well, I do like to get some sit ups and push ups in each day, and I didn't do them in the morning, so it was OK.

I got home and realized I'd left my uniform and sweaty t-shirt in the changing room. Good thing we'll be there tomorrow for the movie!

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