Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saturday Surprise

So I head over Saturday, expecting, as last week, to be the only adult there. But when I arrive, the dojang is lively, and Ms. Pryor is there!

Up at the front of the room with her are June, Brian A., Cavio, and Brittany, working on forms. A small group of kids, supervised by Jason and Patrick, are building a Tae Kwon Do Fort at the back of the room.

Throughout the class, the children work separately from us, alternating games (like Num Chuck tag, playing in the fort, and that Mafia game Justin taught us) and some Tae Kwon Do exercises. I'm amazed and pleased at how well-behaved they are.

The rest of us have a light workout. We start with step-sparring, something I know pretty well, thanks to Brian's constant repetition at our Wednesday morning workouts! It pleases me to know each one when she asks, to be the one to answer when she says "Do you know Yellow Belt #4?" ("step left while blocking the punch, then two punches and roundhouse, ma'am")

We also run through some self-defense moves, like getting away from wrist grabs and chokeholds. We've done this before, but I still have to be reminded; it's not yet second nature.

"If you're in a situation where you need to disable an attacker, you'll have to hit him a minimum of three times," says Ms Pryor. "You can't hold back; you need to be aggressive."

I guess to be aggressive, you need to know the moves. I still have to think about them.

We end up with board breaking, something we haven't been practicing very much. Ms. Pryor first has us practice elbow strikes into a pad. But when I'm up to break, she wants me to break with a round house kick. Usually, you strike with the top of the instep in a round house. But in a round house break, you flex your foot and strike with the ball of your foot.

I try three or four times. The board is still whole.

"What else would you like to try?" asks Ms. Pryor. I'm grateful that she will let me try somethign different, though frustrated I haven't done the round house.

"Forward elbow strike, ma'am. I had trouble with that at the last test. I think I wasn't lined up correctly."

This time, with Ms. Pryor's coaching, I know that I'm going to break the board (just as strongly as I knew something was wrong when I lined up for the break at the test). I break the board in one try. No bruises.

June broke with the roundhouse after a few tries.

Here's Ms. Pryor holding the board that Brian A. broke with a knife-hand strike.

1 comment:

TKD Rocker said...

Hey! Congrats on breaking your board! I've never broken with an elbow strike before. I've been updating my blog recently, and I've posted some stuff about weapons and self-defense, if you want to check it out. Have a great week!