Tuesday 18th October
2nd Taekwondo Lesson
Tonight’s lesson started with a pretty hefty warm-up by Jo – a 2nd degree Dan (black belt). It not only included the usual warm up routines but also various levels and variations on core strength exercises!! Man alive I was not used to those since the good old days of Fitness and Flexibility classes at Dance, needless to say – I could only keep up with the counts of the lower belts!
Then we all stood in our respective lines and took part in some moves which we repeated to the end of the hall and back again. Jo was very good in helping me get the hang of some of them – apparently they were quite advanced! But she then took it down a notch for me and made me do the simplified/beginners versions or stop at the section of the routine before it became complex and just repeated that section.
We then broke off so that she could go through some more complex routines with the more experienced of the group, whilst another teaching black belt took me to one side and went through some of the basic rountines I went through last week – but this time perfecting each movement – hand placements, where to position your arms and legs, where you should turn your head – seriously, it looks so easy, but when you do it – your arms and legs are all over the place! Because the moves are quite similar, but so strict, its hard to remember what foot your moving which way, what way the fist should be turned, and which arm is over the other, before you place them in which position?!…I think I will be practising this for some time!!
Then we all headed back into our lines and the head instructor , Rob, 5th Dan, started the kicking session! Now this is more like it! Hopping from one foot to the other (kind of like the move boxers do between punches), he built up a kick routine that had to be repeated on both legs, and he kept adding more until he told that belt group that they could stop, so each kick was up to a certain level. He showed me individually how to do the first 3 and yay I GOT IT!
So the routine started with, Front Kick, Side Kick, Back Kick – this was the basic everyone did, then yellow belt stopped at the next kick which was a flick kick straight to the front after the back kick (btw all of these kicks had to be one after the other so the foot could not touch the ground inbetween – que major balancing problems!) Then Green belt was a rotating front kick, then I kinda didn’t really see any of the other kicks – especially the ones the black belts did – as they were so fast and long they just merged into each other!! But I was proud that on my first attempt I’d managed up to green belt level, especially as Rob had said I didn’t have to go past the first 3 if I didn’t want to! woohoo!
So this lesson – I’ve learnt my self defence technique is better when kicking, than when punching/blocking/conducting a strict routine! At least I’m beginning to find areas I can work on to improve, and also areas I enjoy and know I can develop in more!
P.S – I was reading a piece on Taekwondo by Jo earlier on the Bath TKD website – its a really good piece explaining the benefits of the sport, why she went into it and what she does and enjoys about it. If you’d like to take a look please do click here – it really is quite interesting!