Today was a lot of fun. Judith picked me up and we got to the dojo right on time. Dominique was late, so Judith, who was the highest belt present today (orange with four green stripes) led the beginning of the class. She had us running around the dojo, kicking up our heels and punching as we run, and she had us stop to do twenty pushups and then twenty crunches. Dominique mostly has us just run. I like this better - it gives a break in the running and exercises other parts of the body.
We have a new white belt, Carmela. She doesn't even have a uniform yet, but it's already made a change - we sit left to right, front to back, in reverse order of belts. So, for the first time in this school, I was in the second row, and the plain yellow belt, Penina, was on the right hand side.
Judith led the first part of the twenty-four and then had me lead the rest. I got confused and missed one movement, but otherwise, I felt good. By the time I finished, Dominique had arrived. She had Judith demonstrate punches. Then we lined up to do one-on-one fighting, which is a form of sparring. We're put in pairs, too far apart to touch, and stand in right-foot-back fighting position.
Right-foot-back fighting position is one of the basic forms - stand facing forward, with (surprise, surprise) the right foot back. The hands are in fists, elbows bent. The arms echo the legs, so the right hand is back and the left hand is front. At this point, my body falls into this position very easily. It feels natural and right.
In one-on-one, the lower belt kicks or punches towards the higher belt, who attacks back. After each person attacks, she returns to fighting position. It makes for a very good workout, I think. I started paired with Judith, and then with Carmela, and finally with Penina, which was the whole class present.
When that was over, we learned a one-step fighting technique. One-step fighting is more like a formalized dance, but you do learn a self-defense technique. You stand facing your partner. The attacker says "hai!" The victim says, "hai!". The attacker steps forward and punches towards the victim. The victim then does the self defense technique, as appropriate for the lower belt of the pair. That is, if it's white vs. yellow, both sides use a white belt technique. The exception is that in higher belts, the instructor may permit the higher belt to use her own technique on the lower one, depending on the technique and the level of the lower belt.
So. Today's technique involved, for yellow belt 1. A grab to the arm, a punch to the face, followed by using the arm and shoulder to lock around the attackers face, bringing her over and kneeing her in the face. Well, towards. :)
And I know it well because Dominique called *me* to the center to demonstrate the three variants she was teaching. This was the first time ever I'd been called to the center.
And. She also used me to demonstrate the orange belt technique (which, gratefully, did not include pressure points.) Orange belt technique involves using the leg to cause the attacker to lose balance and fall. Which meant I had to fall. Back fall. From standing.
Which I did with no problems at all. :)
It was *fun*.
So, when I ended up paired with Judith, we decided she should practice the orange belt techniques on me. It was only fair - she was the highest belt of the students and would have had no one to practice on otherwise, and if Dominique did orange with me, so could Judith.
And it was fun.
I got into the yellow technique, but I mostly was thrilled I could fall properly.
Then I sparred with Carmela, with permission to do yellow. I actually think that was wrong. I should have done white. And then I was going to practice with Penina, but she called time. Then she taught floor kicks, but I began to feel weird - my heart was beating too fast and I need to sit down.
We figured out it was dehydration, and I will carry water from now on. But it was good to get a real workout.
We have another class early tomorrow, which is odd. I will go, though.