I’ve had quite a hard time of it with my training recently, it’s felt very difficult at times with a lot of ‘one step forward, two steps back’ in my own mind, which hasn’t been very nice at all. I’m not under any illusion that it’s always going to be great and I’ll never forget anything and suchlike, but it’s the first time it’s really hit me as hard as it has. I’m going to keep grinding and work my way out of the slump, but it’s surprised me at just how draining it’s been, both physically and mentally. Last night was a much better session for me for several reasons.
Kick paddle work is right up there with kick shield as far as I’m concerned, I love striking something, so last night was a bit of a treat being able to work some of the more difficult kicks. Jump spinning crescent kicks are hard, but I got a few to come out with that I was pleased with and I also spotted something which I think might be holding me back on aerial kicks. I noticed that I really don’t like to lean back on them, I guess it’s an innate fear of losing the landing leg from under me perhaps, but the only jump kicks I feel are working are those which don’t require a lean. In dwi bal ee dan apchagi (rear leg jump front kick) it’s necessary to make sure you stay as upright as you can, as the temptation is to lean forward if anything, and in my new favourite – ee dan dwi hurichagi (jump spinning hook kick – I think!) there’s a big lean but in essence you’re leaning forwards whilst facing backward. I can’t put it into words very well but it feels much stronger.
I really enjoyed being given five minutes to work with one of the new white belts, where each junior was paired with someone senior to them, and as a senior I had the responsibility of teaching my junior his first two preset Il Soo Sik Dae Ryun. I really enjoy teaching and I love the satisfaction of seeing something ‘click’ and sink in. There were a few times last night with this, admittedly relatively small things in the grand scheme of things, but it was great to see his shape changing into something resembling a TSD practitioner, even if it was just for two or three movements.
We had an hours extra training for the sparring team after the main lesson again, and it was something I was looking forward to and dreading in equal measures. My sparring’s been annoying me lately (as I’m sure it does for everyone), and I’ve been very much in a rut in terms of how I fight. I know how to blitz, when to cover, when to jam and so on, but my execution lets me down. I’m a big chap and even the smallest movements are more obvious when I do them, so I have a tendency to telegraph what’s coming next. My first blitz step is a big culprit – I can move forwards fast off of it, but getting it into position is something I need to work on. As much as I love to take points and even win (imagine!), my sole objective last night was to mix it up. To change what I do and take some risks, and I did just that, with varying levels of success. My axe kick is a lot faster thanI gave myself credit for and being tall, is something I’ll be working on as an ‘opener’ I think. I’m taller than a lot of people, I might as well use it to my advantage.
Today I’m shattered if I’m honest, it was a real effort getting out of bed and my legs and ankles make me feel like I’m wearing full-leg plastercasts. It’s getting there slowly, I just have to put more work into managing expectations.