Sunday, July 09, 2006

Three Things

My ankle wasn't too bad at class Saturday, at least before and during class. But when I told Brian A. about it, I found that he had a similar injury.

"See, where there should be a hollow, it's all swollen."

I told him what I knew about inflamed bursae. We commiserated about weird recurring injuries. Ms. Pryor joined us. "What I really hate," she said, "is when you get an injury and you don't know what you did to injur yourself."

Despite mild injuries, it was a good class. I learned three things.

Wheel Kicks
"You need to lean back when you do a wheel kick," said Brian A. He was holding the pad while we worked on wheel kicks, one of my worst kicks.

"Lean back?"

"Yeah. You're staying upright. It's easier if you lean back like you're doing a side kick."

I hadn't noticed.

I tried Brian's advice, and it worked! I did a passable wheel kick.

"Your dad always has good advice," I told Michelle.

Focus and Eye Contact
Ms. Pryor was teaching Alex, but I learned too.

"Do your form and don't make eye contact with anyone," she said. Alex was in the middle of a big circle of the rest of us.

He did it once, then again, the second time Ms. Pryor approved.

"You need to show the judges that you're just thinking about what you're doing. You can't be worried about people watching you. It shows power and strength if you don't make eye contact."

Palm Strike
"So I think I'll just do a jump reverse kick, two boards, and . . . I don't know. I guess another elbow strike."

Brian A. and I are discussing how we'll set up our breaks for the next test. He has to break 3 with a foot technique and 2 with hand.

Me, I just have to do the same I did last time . . .

"Why not try a palm strike this time," Brian suggested.

Yeah, right.

"Like this?" I line up for one. He holds out the board.

"Just strike out straight from the shoulder."

"Should I try breaking?"

"Go ahead."

And so I did: break a board with a palm strike.

After it snaps (no it didn't hurt), I stood there, awestruck, while everyone turned around and stared.

OK. So maybe it'll be a palm strike.

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