February 23, 2017
As I took the mat for tonight’s class, I noticed that I was only one of two students. This was not a comforting thought, quickly realizing that my glaring weaknesses would be clearly visible to Master Delgado. We started with our normal stretching exercises moving into snap kicks, front kicks, indoor and outdoor kicks, turning side kicks, and turning back kicks. We went through Chong Ji by breaking up steps, using all steps, and beginning from different directions. Then we started working with Dan Gun (the next form pattern) of which we had only learned and worked so far with the first seven steps, so I followed the rest of the pattern awkwardly. Master Delgado told both of us that we would be working to learn and test for two levels since we were not able to test last weekend. Now I knew that I would need to be practicing at home a lot to start learning the requirements for the second level; and I had been thinking I might be able to just sit at the white belt first level until next testing time. . . Uh oh, my thoughts of coasting for a while were just changed in that moment.
After we had been stretching, kicking, and practicing forms with the music, we were now to face our partner and begin doing all four one steps with our partner to the beat of the music. Remember in a previous blog when I mentioned that I was unsure of all four one steps? My uncertainly became glaringly noticeable. Thankfully my partner was a bit hesitant as well, and yes, Master Delgado noticed quickly that we were floundering. Master Delgado stopped the music and walked toward us.
The one step moves we are working with right now are as follows: the first is a push to the punching arm to the side as you spin around to the back of the aggressor which then can be followed by an elbow to the aggressor’s face or other move from that position. The next move is an indoor or outdoor kick followed by a snap kick. The third one is an upper punch followed by a straight punch, and the fourth one was the hardest to learn. We worked the longest trying to learn how to clasp the aggressor’ wrist, followed by grasping the elbow with the other hand while turning, using our hips, and stepping into a lounge. I kept trying to use too much of my own energy without using the power of my hips and the simple move of the turn holding the wrist pressure point that sends the aggressor off balance downward or outward. Now, I am still a total beginner, so this is the best I can explain the moves at this time. As I practice and learn more, I will not only be able to do the moves better, but I also will be able to explain them better to you.
In the midst of working on our one steps, Master Delgado stopped to talk to us about the importance of planning and practice before finding yourself in the position of needing to use those steps in a real situation. He pointed out how great dancers and musicians make what they did look so easy and effortless. Well, he said that effortless appearance only comes after many years of practice. We need to practice to achieve the look and muscle memory of ease.
We ended the class tonight with two sets of the balloon game where one of us played against two with Master Delgado being the second player for both sets. I will have to admit that I rather enjoyed being by myself for a change. It seemed much easier to me since I didn’t have to worry about getting in the way of a teammate or letting another teammate down. I know that this was not an appropriate reaction since we should be missing the support of teammates, but this is something that I am working to try to change. I tend to prefer being a loner in many things I do in life.