Tornadoes in the South

Yesterday, the South was hit by a barrage of tornadoes that swept through the area from early morning and stayed with us all day and much of the night. I was glued to the tv all day, watching these massive tornadoes develop right before my eyes and tear up city after city. I'm thankful that we were safe from the majority of the storms, but there was still wind damage nearby that brought down trees and branches.

Today, the sun is shining and the skies are a bright blue, but one only has to turn on the television to see the sheer destruction that the tornadoes left behind. The last time I checked, there are 269 people confirmed dead in several states, and rescue efforts are still going on. I have relatives and friends whose houses were in the path of the tornado.

Keep these families who were impacted in your thoughts and prayers.


Lately, sparring and I have been at odds with each other. I think the term "love-hate relationship" fits very well with my feelings on the subject at the moment. One week I'll have a very frustrating spar or spars where nothing seems to work, I turn into a human punching bag, and I can't turn off the dozens of analytical thoughts running through my brain that gets me into trouble. They go something like this,

"Okay, what's he doing? He's setting me up for something, but what? He's light on that front foot--"


"That hurt...I need to stop trying to figure out everything he's doing and just react. Okay. But now he's changed sparring styles and he's in a really narrow stance. I think he's baiting me... I need to stop facing him head on and try to cut an angle to get out of his kicking range where I'll only be beat half to death if I stay--"

*bam* *smack*

 "...Just like that."

*more sounds of student being pummeled by instructor*

Last Tuesday's class and also Thursday's class went like this. I know what I need to do, but I spend too much time thinking about it that my reaction time ends up being slow and nothing seems to work.

On the other hand, the next week's spar will be the complete opposite. Tuesday's class was a prime example of this. I sparred blue belt J.M. during his stripe test (which he did very well on and passed) and before the spar, I was told that I needed to control it or else I would be the one pummeled. The last time we sparred was during my red belt test and he definitely got the better of me. This time though, we bowed in, touched gloves, and everything went beautifully. I didn't think and didn't analyze. I went out there are reacted. I just sparred.

Afterward, my instructors asked me what changed from the last few times I sparred to this time. I wasn't exactly sure what to tell them. There wasn't a conscious thought that went through my mind of "Okay, I'm going to do _____." Maybe it was my attitude. I didn't feel intimidated or pressured. I really don't know what the difference was other than everything felt right.

The goal now is to replicate that rightness in my next spar. Hopefully tomorrow night I will get the chance to spar Mr. G and Mr. Mc. I'm going to request it specifically.