Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why Brown Belts Are Such Good Fighters

I've been to three classes since my test - and I think I've collected more bruises in this past 10 days than in the entire previous year. People's thought processes seem to run like this - She's a brown belt. Brown belts are tough fighters. I'd really better kick up my game and attack hard! If this keeps up, I'm going to be a ferocious fighter in short order, just trying to keep my head on my shoulders!

On the good side, all the bruises are on shin and forearm - so despite the extra oomph, people aren't getting through to target zones. I begin to understand why James (my cousin, black belt in a different discipline and pretty darned impressive), spends so much of his spare time thumping his shins and forearms with a kali stick. A little extra toughness there would be very helpful, if only to keep the bruising less visible. The last time I was getting this bruised regularly (way back before kids), a client slipped me a business card with the local DV Hotline number written on the back. At least this time I can say, honestly, that the bruises don't come from Rob. Back then he was taking Isshinryu with me, so some of the bruises were from him.

Other news: My FIL spent several hours in the ER yesterday with a blood-sugar crash. So Rob is going down tomorrow to stay with him until he can put him on the plane to Doug's (Rob's little brother), where he will stay about three weeks. This was to be the first weekend in about three months where Rob could simply stay home and relax, but such was not to be. I really, really wish there was some way I could do some of this for him, but to go down myself, I'd need to bring the children, which would make the whole thing too much for Dad Wood. Going down myself instead of Rob, which we considered (very) briefly, wouldn't go over well either. With any luck, though, once we get down to Mississippi we can just relax and have a good holiday. Plus, we should get to see Becky - yay!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Run-up

Okay. I've had a week - well, nearly a week to absorb brown-beltness. Time to get back to work. It's time to take a look at everything I need to do to be ready for black belt. My minimum time-in-belt is one year. I could have much longer than that (Sensei's last brown belt was brown for eight years, but he kept traveling away.), but one year is the time frame after which Sensei could decide I'm ready and test me with only minimal warning, so I want to be comfortable with what I can do by then. (Whether I feel ready or not is a whole different matter...)

The good: Three essays - not a problem. I have first drafts of two written already, and will be continuing to work on them. General knowledge - being inveterately curious, I generally tend to know brain-wise not only what I need to, but several times that.

The bad: Five katas to learn - three empty hand and two weapons. The one I learn last, Sanchin, is the one I need to know cold, because I have to do it stripped to the waist (with a sports bra), and while being thumped by enthusiastic TKD b lack belts. I really want to get through the first four quickly, so as to have time to get Sanchin into my bones. Self-defense - I know most of my required self-defense, but the difference between what I do, and what L did at his test was striking. Again, I'll be being tested by enthusiastic TKD blacks and I'd better have it perfect - and fast. Which leads to:

The ugly: Speed and power. I now know what was so funky about my kata. Unfortunately, fixing it will mean going back and dissecting every kata I already know, and fixing them move by move by move. Sigh. Time to take my own advice to Black Belt Momma - whom I told accurately, that if your technique improves and you don't have to dissect your kata, your kata is lagging behind. I have the speed and power available. I proved that in kumite and breaking at my test. I just need to figure out how to apply it in kata. Dissection is so fun.

In other news: We just got Aaron his third pair of new sneakers in six months. The kid is going to be growing like gangbusters here soon, if the feet are any indication.