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Instructor Judith, Instructor Yasmin and me.
Ins. Yasmin led the twenty-four, I led the kicks. Normally, the way we do things is to show an example of the expected movement and then lead the class through four reps. But now that we're all on Instructor level, we're presumed to know what we're doing, so we just do the movements, starting with "Hiy!" to show went to start. It feels weird and abrupt, and makes following difficult.
Judith did blocks and punches. Then we learned to block walk - stand in rider's position (legs apart, knees bent, feet as close to parallel as possible) 90 degrees from the direction you wish to walk. The basic move is to pivot on the front leg 180 degrees. The variations are if you block up on every turn, block up on every other turn or turn with a hook-punch. We then did the dreaded splits - squatting down, and splitting on our heels - legs spread side to side, not fore and aft, balancing on our hands and our heels.
I can't do that. At this point, I can with difficulty balance on the sides of my feet. And I don't get anywhere near the ground. I'm better than I was - far better, actually - but that's just how bad I was in the beginning.
Anyway, we maintain this for one minute, relax and do it again. Ouch!
Then we did one on one sparring, followed by one on one at 45 degree angle (step out to kick or punch, step back to original position) followed by two on two (two moves per attack.) We finished with the extended shadow movements, which are still difficult for us.
I'm doing the next two out of order.
This class was a tremendous workout and a lot of fun. Master Brian taught it, of course. We began by running (and remember, I'd just had a class.) This time, it was me, Instructor Gary, who is accelerated grey to black and Instructor Dominique, who is accelerated blue to black. After we'd run for a bit, Master Brian had us do push-ups - first 25 and then 35. Note: I'm still doing girl push-ups. We also walked in Warrior position (on our knees) and then squatted for one circuit. And then we did one hundred crunches - 25 per corner. I'm surprised my stomach isn't in pain right now. My thighs are.
Dominique led the twenty-four, but with 8 reps instead of four. Then Master Brian gave us a discussion on what it means to be a master and how one learns. "Who is wise? He who learns from everyone." :) And also, on how to not single out students for discipline, especially kids.
Then we step-punched across the room several times - first just doing it, second having it broken down into four steps, then into two and then doing it that way. As usual for me, I find breaking things into steps to be very difficult, but once we do it in one movment, I'm fine.
Then. Yay. We did free-fighting. And that was so much fun! Free-fighting is sparring with physical contact (of course, I only sparred with Dominique, although after what I saw, I wish I could have sparred with Master Brian. But. Can't touch unrelated men.) Other than that, anything goes - especially for lower belt. Higher belt has to watch out for lower belt. And the first time was fun - blocking and kicking and punching. The second time, though...Master Brian took a moment to tell us both our best techniques. I'm short. I'm heavy. My best distance is *Earth* - close up, lots of contact. I have to get in there and stay in there. Dominique is not tall, but she's slender and very fast. Her best technique is "sky" - go in only for attack and then get out right away.
I used that information, and she almost never got a hit, while I got in a lot - I never let her get too far away from me. That was *amazing*. I then watched her with both Master Brian, who is also an Earth fighter - and very fast considering his size - and with Instructor Gary, who is another sky. And the differences were amazing. Brian grabbed and held and locked, while she and Gary almost *flew*. It was lovely to watch.
I was also surprised at how aggressive I got - as the lower belt, I had to attack first, and I never stopped. I kept attacking.
This next is the weird one, which is why I'm putting it last even though it happened in the middle.
Only Dominique and me this time. Master Brian and Master LeMarque were having a sit-down class in the office. This actually caused a minor problem, because there's a window looking into the dojo, and Master LaMarque is one of those speakers who has to move.
I put on my headscarf. It was the only way I could be comfortable. I led the 24 movements, we had a discussion of the Pakua flag and the meaning of earth, sky and man and then we did some stretching exercises designed so I can split better, using the wall and each other. And then we did more splits.
And then we did one-step-fighting where the opponent steps forward with a punch.
And the technique was - oh, goodness. I'm freaking a little. I didn't at that point. At that point, I was "oh, cool." But. I've had a week-end.
I learned techniques to break necks. I don't know if I'm strong enough (but these moves don't depend on strength and I have strong hands) but I learned two movments that will break a neck. One entails brushing the hands in opposite directions around the head; the other entails hooking an arm around the head and then brushing against the other one as a lever.
I learned to break necks. It's a frightening notion.
I told my husband and he freaked a little. He doesn't mind that I'm dangerous, but this is...wow. Also. He has a very, well, Huggable head. It's large and he has lots of soft hair and beard and it's fun to hug. But right now, when I do, I think of those techniques. And so does he.
So, I'm freaking a little.
There's a belt ceremony tonight, when I would formally receive my grey belt, and my little instructor will get her black belt and become my little master (Master Dominique. :)), but I can't go. I have a bar mitzvah party that starts two hours earlier. Or, rather, I might be able to go, so I'm taking my uniform with me and wearing a sports bra under my dress. But if I can't go, I'll get the belt from her hands on Thursday.