Sunday Training With Our Sister Class

Early on Sunday morning, Mr. G, Mr. M, and I set out visit our sister school. For me, this trip was long overdue, as we had started talking about it after my red belt test on March 8th. As I mentioned in my last post, I was excited about having the opportunity to train with people I haven't really had the chance to work with before - and not in a mixed class environment for once. Just adults.

The three hour car ride went by quickly. I wrote in my journal about Tuesday's class, but mostly listened to my instructors talk. I chimed in every once in a while, but I was happy enough just sitting there in that environment where martial arts was the central topic. I don't have any friends to talk to who are currently into martial arts, so conversations of this nature have to be had in class usually.

We arrived at Mr. R.S.'s house and got ready for class. I was nervously excited. It was a familiar setting, but at the same time, new. I am used to my Tae Kwon Do class and how it runs, but this was my first time in this class and I was out of my element, even though Mr. R.S.'s students made me feel very welcome.

The dojang was a hot 80 degrees, even with the air conditioning unit on. I don't do well in heat to begin with, but as soon as I tied my gi and belt, I knew that the heat was going to make for a challenging class.

We lined up and started class. We warmed up our joints a little, then were lined up into three rows and did a variety of techniques and exercises back and forth across the room. Pushups, full situps, jabs, reverse punches, shoulder rolls, jumps, walking pushups, quick switches, lunges. . .by the end of this, I was already soaked with sweat and we hadn't even started the actual class. I now have a good idea of how to get the kids in our kids' class warmed up and tired though.

After our warmup, everyone was divided up for circuit drills. There were five stations, and a black belt at each with a different task for us to do. I started out on the mats with Mr. R.S. We worked on breakfalls, and then he showed me how to do a hip toss, which I have never tried before. These went well until I landed on the side of my knee. That was definitely not fun, but I learned my lesson and made sure to land correctly the next time.

The next station was joint locks with Ms. J.S. We started out by her grabbing me and then I reacted and tried applying various joint locks.

Mr. M had a heavy bag set up at the next station, and he had me throw reverse punches, front snap kicks, and ridgehands.

Mr. J.S. also worked with me on the ridgehand, but with a hand target. after throwing several ridgehands, he showed me a reverse ridgehand and had me do combinations with both. I really liked how this drill flowed and will be incorporating ridgehands more in my sparring now.

The final station was forms with Mr. G. He had me do Pyung Ahn 5 a couple of times with corrections on my timing.

Once we finished with the circuit drill, everyone geared up for sparring. There was room for three pairs at a time and I ended up being in the first group. I sparred Mr. J.S. first for about two minutes, then had a break while the next group sparred. This was followed by me sparring Ms. J.S, and finally, Mr. R.S. My last spar was by far the toughest. I walked into a roundhouse kick that he aimed at my face, and that threw off my mental game for the rest of the spar. It was a learning experience though. I realized that the actual pain of being kicked wasn't nearly as bad as the anticipation of being hit. That is something that I am going to have to work on more.

The class lined up once more and we had final comments before the students were dismissed. I didn't have access to a clock all this time, but I believe we had been working for about three hours at this point. I was surprised that even after all that work, it seemed to have passed very quickly. I was completely soaked with sweat, but I was still feeling pretty good at this point.

The black belts and I stayed for about another hour. I had asked Ms. J.S. prior to class if she could show me some things about groundfighting, so that is what we focused on for about thirty minutes. After this, we all talked for a while longer before it was time for us to leave.

I really enjoyed getting to work out with Mr. R.S.'s class and I've already asked my instructor, Mr. G when we can go back. Hopefully it will be soon, I just need to get Mr. Mc and some of the other students to go with us. I didn't get much time working directly with the other students, so next time I hope that I can get a chance to work with them and spar them.

All in all, it was a great class. I think Mr. G or Mr. M made the comment on the way home that it felt so good to just be soaked through with sweat like we all were after class. Even though we were tired, sweaty, bruised, and some of us were starting to get sore (ie: my neck, most likely from grappling), I wouldn't have traded that workout for anything.

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