Saturday, July 05, 2008

Teaching Again

We're still in the park. It's beginning to feel pretty normal now. I think I'll miss being outdoors when we find someplace else - though perhaps not once we're well into August!

Sensei cancelled out at the last moment on Wed. and called me to ask if I could teach class. It's the first time I've taught in about six months - ever since Sensei D joined us, he usually takes over when Sensei cannot make it. The last few classes, though, Sensei D hasn't been coming, so I had the ball.

T. had taken a kick in the knee the day before, so we skipped a lot of the prilimary exercises. Between her and me, what we could comfortably to was pretty limited. Her knee is pretty bruised and swollen, but appears to be only bruised. Mine seems generally fine, but has a new and very loud pop (that twinges) on any kind of deep bending. I'm still trying to decide whether it needs more rest, or some stability exercises.

Sensei had been planning on teaching a two-person exercise, one that's very different from anything the intermediate students had seen, very circular with a lot of emphasis on contact, which differs markedly from beginning Isshinryu, which tends to be linear and direct. The exercise comes in two parts, one of which works on its own, while the second interacts with the first (sort of like a two-part round in music). I managed to teach the group part one, and they got the idea fairly quickly, though several of them were still striking rather than flowing. Part two, however, didn't go at all well. Every previous time I've seen this taught, there have been at least two people who knew the exercise. That way the two parts could be shown together. Trying to teach part two without a partner was rather like trying to teach someone how to steal a soccer ball without having anyone who can handle the footwork to steal from.

After that bit of frustration we spent the rest of the class on kata. We had two students back who have been gone several months, so there was much review. For a change the kids were all business - but the two adults kept standing around talking!

All in all, not everything I would have liked, but a reasonably decent class. I really need to brainstorm some ideas for when I teach outdoor classes. My old standby of teaching rolls just doesn't work outdoors.

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