Martial Artist Runners

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Weekly thread, 6/22 - 6/28 (Read 450 times)

    Ow? Can I just say that I'm still sore today from the tkd workout I had on Friday? My hip flexors and my quads are complaining. When I tried to run yesterday, I was really feeling it! That makes me remember how "dangerous" martial arts is to us runners. On Friday I also almost rolled my ankle twice. Not a good strategy for staying off the bench! I need to practice keeping my feet under me and in the right orientation! Blush Today's a rest day. I've done a little walking (about a mile) and some good stretching, and that's it. I'm not sore from the 2.5 mile run I did Saturday. It's still that Friday tkd workout! *shakes head* It's funny - I'll plan my running workouts so carefully and down to the last "T" to make sure I'm having an even progression, etc to try to rehab my injury and to avoid further ones... and then I'll go and do three tkd classes over two days! Roll eyes Anyone else out there find they have such different "training" strategies between their sports?

    Roads were made for journeys...

      Went to "forms class" yesterday. Forms class is a class dedicated specifically to practicing only forms. It's a mixed-belt class, open to yellow belts and above, I think. After warming up, we run through them one by one. When you reach your belt level, you drop out with an instructor to practice your current form. Often we do them to music which is a lot of fun too. I actually ended up helping someone yesterday rather than working on my own form. A sweet little boy, maybe 9 years old, was the only green belt there. He seems to have missed a few classes, as he did not seem to know as much of his form as I'd expected in this phase of the testing cycle. Perhaps that's why he came to forms class? Wink We worked through it a number of times, and he asked me if I was going to give him a stripe after class. We have an informal stripe system set up, where you get one stripe on your belt for learning the first half of your form, a second stripe for learning the second half of your form, and a third one for learning the self-defense moves specific to belt level. (It makes triaging groups much simpler!) Well, he had been really good at following along with the form, so I asked him if he was ready to show me the whole form by himself. I told him if he could do the form without a mistake I'd give him his second stripe. He asked what if he made a mistake. I said, one mistake = try again, two mistakes = maybe next time. (A mistake being something like using the wrong arm or going the wrong direction...) Well, he didn't know it. He could follow along, but couldn't do any of it on his own. It was almost like he'd not been in class at all! *sigh* Maybe next time.

      Roads were made for journeys...

        My sensei was teaching some new throws from Kukishin Ryu yesterday. This particular throw placed us back to back with me throwing my partner over my right shoulder. The movement allowed to me step back and drop my partner on his left shoulder. On the first try, with perfect technique, I effortlessly threw my partner and messed up his shoulder. Had I put any strength into it, his shoulder would definitely be dislocated. I'm expecting to get a serious injury anytime now.
          Scott - YIKES! Injuring your training partner (unless done intentionally) is a "mistake." If you haven't already, this would be a good time to talk with your sensei (and partner) about what happened and figure out how to avoid that particular mistake in the future! I know injuries happen. (Tore my ACL once... Roll eyes ) However, I'm of the opinion that it's the teacher's responsibility to make sure you have as safe as possible learning experience. If you injure your students, pretty soon you have no students. Wink Even ignoring today's litigous society, it just makes sense to teach people how to do things safely. I guess the good news is that now you know how to do that throw on someone you don't like? Tongue

          Roads were made for journeys...

            Actually, my sensei said it was the most beautiful throw he has ever seen. The guy will be a little sore for a few days but he'll be OK. Injuries like that don't happen often but my dojo recognizes it will happen and accept it because the nature of these techniques is to injure. On my first day of training, I saw a dojomate break his arm because he received the technique wrong. I've had wipelashes from being thrown, sprain wrists from wrist locks, stabbed in the eye by a shinai, bruises up and down my body from one night. Some people might think we're sadistic or masochistic but that is so far from the truth. We probably are be a little off for even subjecting ourselves to this type of training, but I think it is a small price to pay for the chance to carry century old secrets to the next generation. MTA: I wasn't able to replicate the throw as gracefully the subsequent times.
              Scott, thanks for the reminder that there are different ways of approaching training! Big grin I've been accused from time to time of being "opinionated." Don't let that scare ya off! Big grin

              Roads were made for journeys...

                Master Kim says that teaching the "basics" white belt class is the most difficult, and today I definitely had to agree with that sentiment! It's not that the specific tkd moves are that hard to teach. The level of understanding being asked for new students really isn't that high. BUT... there are other skills that are being taught besides how to kick, punch, block, etc. Case in point... I had two very challenging students today. One stood rigidly and didn't move with the others. When I told him to step forward, he just looked at me. When I demonstrated how to step forward, he just looked at me. With multiple encouraging, he scooted forward without actually switching his foot position. Roll eyes I tried lifting up his back leg to place it forward, and ooops! he fell in my lap. That broke the ice, and with a smile, he got back up. Next time I just tugged on his pants leg and he stepped forward. Cute little boy. He's 6. Sized like he's 4. I asked him if he spoke English, he said "no." Korean? "No." Spanish? "No." What then? *blank look* What language do you speak? *silence* *pause* "English." Those were the only words I heard him speak. He would not answer a question. He did not smile back. He did not imitate. I had to physically place every move I wanted him to make. Wouldn't have been such a big deal, but there were several other kids needing attention at the same time. My other sweet kid... had too much trouble paying attention. From the start of the class he was walking all over, wouldn't follow directions, wouldn't stay still, didn't look at the teacher when he was talking, etc. When his antics started interfering with the other kids directly, I made him sit down in a time-out. I told him he could come back in to the class when he was ready to pay attention, and just to come back when he was ready. He sat out for a few minutes, then rejoined with a much improved attitude. I had to repeat this two other times with him, but by the end of the class he was almost acting appropriately. Almost. Roll eyes He WANTED to participate, so this strategy worked with him. He had to sit out for "not following directions" (intentionally moving the wrong direction so that he could crash into his classmates. Yes, it was intentional.) and for lying down in the middle of the floor while we were doing kicking drills. In the middle of the line. After class, kid #2's father came up to me and asked me how his son was doing in the class. Um... Um... I told the dad that the son had shown improvement during the class but needed to continue to work on paying attention. The father asked what he could do, and I suggested he keep coming to class, as the son would continue to improve with practice. I looked over at the son, who was watching this exchange with keen interest. "Right?" I asked the son. "Right!" he answered with a nod and a big grin. The father told me to be hard on him and to make him do what he was supposed to. I really liked kid # 2, and feel pretty comfortable that the technique of making him sit out if he can't pay attention or if he's disruptive will work with him. I am curious and looking forward to seeing what kinds of changes he goes through over the next few months. Kid # 1 was very cute, but I'm completely baffled what to do with him. What do you do when someone does not respond at all to any instruction, question, demonstration, etc? With such a blank look on his face... makes me wonder what's going on behind those eyes... Confused Perhaps with him getting to know me and the class a little better he'll start responding. Maybe it's a strange form of shyness? So, yeah. It can be quite challenging. How do you motivate people, keep them interested, keep them focused, keep a minority from disrupting the majority, etc. There were several other new kids, one who was on his first day, and the one who'd had a "meltdown" the previous week. They did pretty well. But boy-oh-boy did I have my hands full! My group of four for forms practice included kid # 1 and 2 and two others who got BORED because I was having to spend so much time on the other two! (So they started getting restless, not paying attention, etc...) I felt bad, as if I were neglecting the ones who were doing what they were supposed to. But if the instruction is to be "take a step forward and punch" and only 1 of the 4 (One is watching another group, one is just standing there, and the other has decided to move sideways and bump into the only one who stepped forward...) does so... what do you do? 1:4 is usually a good ratio. Today, 1:1 would have been better. I was 1 of 6 instructors for the class (the only non-black-belt), and I felt we were (for this class) understaffed!

                Roads were made for journeys...

                  I was thinking tonight, that the kids I was having difficulty with tonight wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes in Scott's class. Scott, does your teacher have a minimum age? I forgot to mention that my kid # 2 was much older than his behavior indicated. I would have put him at maybe 8. We also have a just-turned-five year old who just kicks butt! He has supurb focus, is able to pay attention in class, follows directions, and does everything with all his heart. He's fantastic! There's so much variation among individuals, I don't think you can necessarily say that one certain age is ready for class while another isn't. I wouldn't teach the 5 y/o any moves resembling what you did, Scott, because he just doesn't have the body control to do that safely. Most of the teenagers could. But not the younger kids. We have a hapkido class within our school. Adults are allowed to join at any time, but if you're a kid (I think under 12?) you must have already earned your black belt before they'll let you join the class. I didn't understand why at first, but now, thinking about throws and joint locks and such, it DOES make more sense...

                  Roads were made for journeys...

                    It is stories like yours that make me glad we don't have kids in our school. The minimum age is 16 and that is only if they show mental maturity. Before getting into our school, there is an interview with our head instructor right after filling out this application: http://www.kobudoatlanta.com/application.html. Most applicants get stopped at the application because they didn't take it serious enough, answered the questions that reflected wrong values, or there for the wrong reasons. My sensei always said he is teaching a school of ladies and gentlemen, not thugs looking to be tough. There is a quote by Robert L. Humphrey, Iwo Jima Marine & Bujinkan 10th Dan, that I feel is particularly meaningful.
                    The Warrior Creed Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there. Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend. Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there.
                    Our training is exact, repetitive, and frankly boring most of the time. I've spent days swinging a boken (wooden katana) to get the movement exact. It's still not perfect. Most kids do not have the patience or discipline. In the past, however, Japanese kids were taught these techniques in the form of games. They would learn how to roll properly, swing a sword at hanging stripes of paper, and shadowbox. Perhaps thats any approach you can take. If they aren't ready to learn the exactness of forms, make games out of it.
                      Wow, Scott. What an interesting web page & school. Your school's definitely nothing like mine! I think I would have loved to go to a school like that about 15 years ago (when I was 20). The school I'm in now is the type that I used to really look down on when I was in high school. I thought it'd be impossible to really learn anything in a more commercial, large-scale school. My opinion changed with the realization that it's actually me who's mostly responsible for the quality of my learning and workouts. Yes, a good teacher can make all the difference in the world. But if I'm not there 100%, it doesn't matter how good the teacher is; I won't improve. Perhaps sometime in the future I'll be able to go to a more hard-core school again... Smile MTA: I love your creed!

                      Roads were made for journeys...