Thursday, January 05, 2006

Two ways to move

I've been trying to figure out a way to get in one extra TKD workout a week (bringing my total up to 3x a week). I need it mostly to help my memory. There is so much to memorize in this martial art: all the forms, and the 3 and 1 step sparring--that's a lot of exercises. Let me see: 10 forms and 21 step-sparring sequences if I just go through Orange Belt step sparring!

This week, I met Justin over at the dojang on Wednesday, before the children got out of school. He had some time, and so did I. We worked on forms and 3 & 1 step sparring for about a half hour.

At some point, we talked about tournaments. I asked if he'd ever been to a tournament with people who did other martial arts. He hadn't.

"It would be cool to see some of those other martial arts," I mused. "Like Kung Fu, Shaolin style martial arts. I'd really like to see that."

"OK," said Justin. "I'll show you my favorite form."

And he did! (He'd learned some from a teacher at his school.)

Shaolin style martial arts, like Kung Fu, look very different from Tae Kwon Do. Where TKD has direct, sharp, strong movements, Kung Fu has circular, softer movements. Justin showed me how some of them were used to block punches. One arm would circle in to start the block; the other would circle in and continue the block while the first arm prepared for a punch.

I'd like to see more of those kinds of forms. I'd like to see how they fight using that style.

In November, I tried out that Pilates class with my sister-in-law. I really liked the results, even after just one class! Those exercises really help lengthen the spine, improve the posture, and strengthen the abdomen.

The other day, I picked up a Pilates DVD, and I've tried out the exercises.

I'm not much into exercising with tapes/DVDs. I don't really have a place to do it (only 1 working TV and it's in the living room), and I'm not all that motivated to exercise the same way, alone all the time. And what if I do it wrong? No teacher to correct me.

Still, I thought it might be OK to try. The exercises are like some I did with Susan (of course there aren't any with machines like that "Reformer." We'll see how it goes.

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