Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Formal Training Week Four

Week four is in the books ladies and gentlemen. Here's the highlights.

We got to the dojo early again and hung out with Master Markus until everyone arrives. We even beat Master Eric. You know you're dedicated when you beat a Master to his own dojo. :)

We watched the Parent/Child Tae Kwon Do Class and were excited to learn that Equa Do will have a booth at Gurnee Days this weekend. When Sensei arrived he helped mentally prepare me for class and also just calm me in general.

When class started we went through warm ups, though it was not what I had come to expect over the last few weeks. We didn't do any strike repetitions, only doing jumping jacks (working on our form with our weapons in the case of Chad and myself) and stretches. Then it was decided we would spend another class working on Brush-Trap-Strike and so we split into pairs.

I did not have to partner with Chad this week, as we had enough people. Instead, he partnered with Master Eric while Sensei worked with me. It felt really good to work one on one with Sensei again. We worked on improving my speed when it comes to Brush-Trap-Strike. While I am getting better, we discovered that I am actually inadvertently grabbing the opponents wrist and forcing it further than necessary. So Sensei worked with me again on remaining loose and fluid. Once I had mastered that, we moved on.

Previously, the Brush Trap Strike technique had culminated with the arm bar but Sensei decided I was ready to learn the various joint locks that can come after an arm bar if necessary. If the opponent attempts to pull against my hold and straighten up, I allow the movement but hold at elbow and hand forcing the hand in toward my opponents body with palm facing my opponent. If they try to pull out I allow the movement again, twisting the arm behind the back and torquing the wrist.

Once I had mastered this, Sensei decided the entire class should work on sticky hands. This isn't what it sounds like so don't worry. Sticky hands is actually a game where the two opponents go wrist over wrist and attempt to keep each other from striking them by moving with their opponent. Most of my classmates struggled like I do with this game and it was actually nice to see that I wasn't the only person who found it hard. I actually truly enjoy playing this game with Sensei, so I have gotten quite good. Imagine my surprise when instead of a normal strike Sensei reached out and took my glasses off my face. We continued to play and I soon understand that I am relying too much on sight to achieve my goal. Playing blind was actually quite fun and I found myself moving faster and easier when there was less anticipation of threats.

The last thing we worked on was how to get out of choke holds, as a result of me telling Sensei about a time my mother choked me as punishment. We covered both the two handed choke from in front and the naked choke from behind where an arm is wrapped around both the victim's shoulders and squeezed against the throat. The two handed choke is defeated by wrapping an arm over and across both hands, finding the thumb of the opponents opposite hand and peeling it away from the throat. Because you are bringing the opponent's arms across the body the body naturally tums and the other hand you did not grab is forced to let go. The naked choke from behind is defeated much the same way however you must remember to turn your head towards the inside of the attacker's elbow as soon as you are grabbed which gives you an airway.

I guess I had more to share with you than just highlights huh? I truly didn't realize just how much we had covered. I guess that's because to me this doesn't feel even remotely like work. I'm starting to understand why Sensei and Master Eric are so proud of me. I know I am proud to be their student.

More soon,


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