Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Formal Training Week 8 Prologue

Kind of a funny title for a post isn't it? As those of you reading this may or may not know, I typically go to the dojang on Tuesdays. Ever since I met Sensei however, he has been giving me private lessons on Monday afternoons. Most of these are fairly informal, held at the game shop where I play Dungeons and Dragons. This is one of the reasons I haven't really been including them when I post in this blog.

This past Monday however, was Labor Day, which meant the game shop was closed. This disruption in routine combined with a rough weekend led me to ask Sensei to please give me a lesson at my house. That meant my routine would somewhat normalize and the panic disorder would be brought under control.

Sensei agreed and so we picked him up from his house about 3:30 on Monday afternoon. Once we were in the living room, which is the area we generally use for training when it has to be done at the house, Sensei followed the same routine we use at Equa Do, which meant we began with stretching and half jumping jacks. This threw me off a little, because I'm not used to Sensei being this strict unless we are in class.

Then he asked me what I felt I needed to work on and I confided that even though we weren't yet sure if I would be testing on the seventeenth, I wanted to be prepared. Therefore, he began taking me through a mock belt test so that I have a good understanding of the procedure before I actually go in to test. As opposed to other disciplines and perhaps even other schools, the Combat Hapkido testing doesn't rely on memorization. Instead, each technique the person is being tested on is demonstrated once, and the person testing is then expected to perform the technique. I'm actually really glad about this, because it will help prevent me from blanking or freezing on test day and having a panic attack subsequently.

Sensei ran me through:

* All strikes
* Openhanded and wing block
* Wrist releases
* Wrist locks
* Break falls
* Brush Trap Strike
* Arm bar
* Elbow joint break
* Brachial Stun
* Cross body throw after rear shoulder grab
* Throw following a grab at my clothing from in front
* Two handed front choke
* Rear naked choke
* Knowledge of basic/common pressure points
* Technique modification
* Improvisation (weaponry)

As far as technique modification is concerned, Sensei did take me through a modified combination for Tiger's Maw. The actual strike is applied under the chin and the chin is raked forward using the fingers, priming the opponent for a quick backfist to the face and an elbow strike (Vertical). This can then be followed by a hammer strike to the top of the head. Painful, is it not?

Is it any surprise this lesson took an hour and a half? The good news is, Sensei gave me his opinion as soon as I was done with my practice test. He said as long as I perform as well and respond as quickly as what I did with him there is no question in his mind I will pass. We also talked about the distinct possibility of me skipping white belt altogether and being granted my yellow belt. The only negative to skipping a belt level is that when I become an instructor and either work at Equa Do or whatever school Sensei opens, I would need to display my belts and if they are not all there, it could look like I faked the training and I would lose credibility.
Needless to say by the time Sensei left I was sore and exhausted but I definitely feel prepared to test. 


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