February 21, 2017
Tonight’s lesson began with stretching and cardiovascular exercises, such as middle and side crunches, leg lifts, punches, and blocks all set to music. Then for the first time I tried to follow all of the forms. Until now I had only been working with Chong Ji, but tonight the more experienced students led us in all forms. We weren’t expected to be able keep up with the more advanced students, but as beginners, the exposure and effort helped to begin to train our muscle memory. Master Delgado pointed out one beginner’s step kicks as having incorporated a natural pulling down action with the arms which is where the steps are leading to in future training. He noted that sometimes advanced students could learn from beginners.
After forms we worked with partners learning two techniques of breaking choke holds. I tend to always overthink everything, and Master Delgado pointed out that the main objective, in reality, is to get away, so if caught in this position, you don’t have time to overthink. The two techniques are similar with the second technique having a different follow-through. I will explain my impression of the technique as follows:
Okay, an aggressor puts his or her hands around your throat. You will push up in between the arms of the aggressor with the outside of your hands (knuckle side) making contact with the inside of an aggressor’s biceps. At the time contact is made, you will slightly bend your knees. Then you will spring up straight as you push your palms into an aggressor’s shoulders. If done smoothly, it amazingly ends with the aggressor being propelled backwards.
The second technique begins with the same scenario, but this time you will grip the outside of an aggressor’s opposite bicep moving up and under his or her arms and pull the bicep down toward you. As the aggressor moves downward from the pull, you will spin around him or her and hit with your elbow.
After practicing these self-defense techniques, taking turns assuming the aggressor role, we set up the chairs and poles for the balloon game. I am somewhat better at the game tonight. With Master Delgado’s coaching I am learning to be more patient and wait until the ball gets closer to the ground. During the wait time I need to get behind the ball and plan where I will kick it to get it through the wall of opposing team players. I managed to do this, making a better controlled kick to the other side, and Master Delgado praised my attempts at patient waiting and planning. Class ended, and we sat in the lobby and talked as friends, listening to the wisdom of Master Delgado.