Little Johnny: Today, I got kicked in the nuts by a blackbelt, third dan!
How, you wonder? Unfair play? No, not at all! When we were sparring today to finish off the class, I did not want to get in close enough to a 30-year-old man with three white stripes on his belt. So we just exchanged a kick or two, and he constantly dodged mine and nailed me immediately after. I thought I"d be tricky this one time, and I did a side kick, followed by a back kick. That means kicking from the side, then putting your foot down and facing your back to your opponent, before nailing him with your other leg. Unfortunately, my partner was used to the pattern of one kick, one block, and he did a back kick the same time I did mine. My leg was slightly higher than his, and I would have kicked him in the stomach. His foot was slightly longer than mine, so he actually kicked me in the nuts. Yowch!
I know I’ve only been to two lessons, but I can’t help it. I can’t help but feel inferior. All of the blackbelts look at me and think "All right, I’m about to spar a white belt, he’s new, he’s inexperienced and he’s just a teenager too. Nothing too heavy." And I can’t help but have my ass kicked, because they’re faster, trickier, better balanced and stronger than me. Their technique is sharper, their movements more fluid and precise. But then again John, remind yourself they’ve had a few hundred more lessons than you have. But damnit, I’m better than this! I’m struggling to get my kicks right, to get height let alone strength. Kicks are simple, I should be able to do them, I *learned* how to do them, but I always seem to lose my balance. So that’s something I have to work on.
Also, through no fault of my own, I am completely ignorant of most of the moves I see the rest of the class doing. I was told to just continue doing the simple block while the rest of the class did two blocks, and then two blocks and a strike. Or one jab, one punch and one hook instead. Those are just the things I can name. There was like a double-knife hand, hammer fist blah blah sequence, and they kept getting progressively harder, while I at the back of the class continued my blocking. And when the sparring came, I went with instinct over technique and used my right hand to block attacks coming from the left.
I’m just the teenager. No, that’s not it. There are kids, 8-year-olds, who have their first dan. It’s not my age, it’s my belt. I’m just the newb. But I’ll get better, over time. I tried practicing when I got home, but I have serious space issues, and my backyard is on a 60 degree angle. I guess I’ll just clean out the lounge room or shift one of the couches or something so I have enough room to train without crashing into anything. Don’t worry- I’ll get better as time moves on. And more flexible, too. Geez my muscles hurt.
Anyway, enough whinging. I love it, and it’s certainly very taxing. I swear to God, my fingers started to shrivel because of the sweat from my clenched fists. That’s never happened before, and disturbed/amazed me. Sweat dripped off my nose for goodness sake. Yes, Oh Do Kwan demands a lot from me, and I’m more than willing to give it my best. I remember having this same determination when I was 10 years old- it was a challenge for my endurance, to keep up the standards and deliver, no matter how tired I got. It feels good to have that challenge again. I focus so hard. It makes me feel as if I’m growing, and that is a wonderful thing to feel.
Anyway, enough rambles. Peace out!