Sunday, March 22, 2009

I survived...barely

Training was very interesting today. We had a few guests with martial arts experience to join our class. Furthermore, my instructor thought it was time to start me out on basic sparring exercises, but more of that later.

We started off with our usual warm-up, which seemed to be a lot harder than usual after this morning’s cycle. We then did a few applications for the basic straight punch, this time using the theory of the punches life cycle. We’ve done this before, but this time we started the punch along its usual flight path, rather than finishing it “premature”.

After that we did front kicks and some close quarter defence, all of which I’ve done before but needed practice in, so practice is what I got. I was quite happy not to do anything too challenging, like a new technique, due to my less than perfect form.

My instructor thought differently though, so, with the benefit of having two experienced martial artists as guests, he started us with some very basic sparring exercised. First of all we covered how to move with respect to the opponent and how to avoid running forward into a kick or a punch; sounds simple, but isn’t for someone unused to this sort of exercise. Then my instructor added some very obvious arm swings with the challenge to us to block them with the elbows or lower arms (not the hands). We did this for a couple of rounds each. Despite building it up very slowly by using basic techniques I felt a bit overwhelmed, particularly because I was still a bit tired from the bike ride in the morning. However, on a good note, I apparently (this coming from my instructor, because I wasn’t really in any position to notice) I kept my breathing under control quite well. This made me feel a bit better about myself. I guess sparring is just like everything else when it comes to TKD, practice makes perfect; well, maybe not perfect, but better at least.

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