Oh Do Kwan, take 3!

Okay, just had my third Oh Do Kwan lesson. My hands are a little shaky, my right acetabulum hurts and my legs are a wee bit weak, but overall I’m okay. I did learn a very valuable lesson today: Don’t get cheeky with blackbelts.

As per usual, we sparred to end the class. I find it terribly cruel and demeaning to see a dozen white belts/coloured belts lining up at the start of the class, and then all of them disappearing somehow. I don’t know where they go- if they left, or if they’re just in the little room off to the side. Why am I up there with the black belts who have like more dans than I have fingers? … I actually looked at my hands to count my fingers. I’m just a little woosy. After all. I did get kicked in the face. Here’s what happened.

You remember that black belt third dan who kicked me in the nuts on my second lesson? Let’s call him Gary. He looks like a Gary. Well Gary and I are best mates, and our expression of affection is an amiable love shove. I’m getting used to sparring a bit- kicking, blocking, kicking again. That’s all any of my partners do, but maybe it’s because I’m wearing a white belt. Anyway, Jack encouraged me to stab him in the eyes wiuth my fingers, or clock him in the throat, or "accidentally" step on his toes, then smash him while he couldn’t move. I tried all of these, but he kept his distance. Just far enough for a kick, or for returning one. So what do I do? I think to myself, I do, Hm… Gary is expecting a kick. Maybe I can catch him off guard? So I launch in there, dash under his guard and throw a punch at him. Unfortunately, he did a back-heel which would have intercepted but not connected if I had tried kicking him. Because I got too close, it connected with my jaw and we stopped the fight momentarily. Man, Gary and I are close.

My next partner went better. I caught him off guard a few times, and I actually blocked a few of his kicks. In the whole hour of Taekwondo, I landed *one* blow, but it was that one blow that made me feel competent. He looked at me and grinned, and it was like he was saying, "Oo, getting rusty Bob." Yes, let’s call him Bob. He looks like a Bob. And I’m like ‘Hell yeah! Hell ****ing yeah!’ and he’s like, "Better take it up a notch." And I’m like, ‘No! Pain! Paaaaain!’ Bob is by far my favourite sparring partner, because he smiled at me, and he adapted to my frienzied determination to land a blow. Everyone else just takes controls and floors me, but Bob gives me a chance and isn’t ruthless or brutal. Thank you Bob- I respect you.

I’m getting a bit better. Although I lose balance after, like, the
dozenth back kick, I’m improving. And although my snap kicks can’t
resonate any decibel of sound from the pads, I’m kicking higher. And I
can stretch just a little further, and stand just a little higher.
Maybe I’m just talking it up, but I think I’m getting back into it. I
think I’m almost at the level of some of the junior blackbelts. But now
I’m just getting cocky.

Also, when it came to grabbing, I kept to my two wrist-grabs. I don’t do them very well- they take more strength than I’m willing to put in. I discovered this when Master Ross Hartnett came over to correct me. I remember, being seven years old, Instructor Gary emitting this phenomenal aura of power. When he touched me, I could glean a peculiar herculean strength. You couldn’t see it, but when you spoke to him or came near him, you could feel it. Master Ross is the same, and I’m still that 7yo looking up to his sensei as some incredible all-powerful god of martial arts. I wonder if it’s because I’m a noob, or because they’re 1337.

Anyway, that’s it. Still quite sore, but very grateful to be functional, and learning. Still much to learn, as it is. I’ll hopefully be going back tomorrow. Peace out!

~Xin

EDIT: Oh, might I mention that Gary and I swept past each other on another occassion, and his foot did indeed brush past my groin. He’s definitely out to get me.

Also, Jack has an interesting theory. In one particular episode of Spongebob Squarepants, somebody tried to beat him up and all the punches went straight through because, Spongebob Squarepants shockingly enough seems to be made of some sort of "spongy material". Jack told me to try Spongebob’s technique. I pointed out that would be a bad idea, because I got kicked in the jaw. Jack countered with one of my now favourite quotes, "You’re not thinking like a sponge John!"

Furthermore, I was unable to eat my rice. Opening my mouth to receive food, and then closing it to chew caused immeasurable pain. I’ve had lots to drink so I’m not *entirely* hungry, but I did actually skip dinner. I’m going to have a word with Gary tomorrow. And then, if possible, shoot him or something.

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