The observant (or perennially bored) among you will have noticed that I haven’t updated much lately around here. There are a few reasons why, but the short version is that I’ve had a lot of stuff go on lately away from Internet Land, and not much of it has been nice. It’s been a very trying and upsetting time for my family and me, but there are breaks in the cloud now and things seem to be getting better.
On a training front, I haven’t got a lot to report really. I’ve unfortunately had to miss some seminars that I’d have loved to have been at, but that can’t be helped and I look forward to the next chances I get to go away and train. My own class is still going well too, albeit with a minimal number of students for now. It would be really easy to look at that as a negative, but that’d just drag me down, so I’m focusing on the positives from it. With a small number of students I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time working on specifics, and giving a lot of attention to the things I can see which need addressing, and I’m hoping that what we lack in numbers at the next grading, we make up for in quality.
When I first knew the class was going to be opening on a Friday, I was a bit sad to be losing one of my own training sessions each week to run it. I thought I’d really miss putting on my dobok, standing with the others and working up a sweat. So far though when it’s come to it, I haven’t really had a chance to feel like that. From start to finish I’m completely engaged, constantly thinking, analysing and trying to adapt what I had planned to what’s happening in the dojang. I’m sure as time goes on it’ll become more instinctive and organic, with less detailed planning and more adaptation, but for now the challenge is great.
It’s really quite interesting now that I take some time out to sit and think about it as I write this, because it’s yet another aspect of Tang Soo Do I’d never really thought about before. We do a lot of work on the Internal and External as we progress through the gup grades and beyond, and teaching is yet another area where it applies. When I train on a Wednesday or Sunday now, my focus is very much internal. I’m thinking about me. How is my form? Am I applying this correctly? Are my stances good? When I’m stood in front of a class though it’s all about the people in front of me, and I’m asking the same questions of them in my head. I’m getting a lot better at pacing a class, knowing what time it is roughly and how long I have left, but I still have a few moments of thinking ‘oops, I haven’t checked the clock for ages, what time is it??’. I’m hoping the attention I pay to the moment is seen as a good thing by the people stood in front of me, I can think of nothing worse for them after paying money to be taught, to think my attention is elsewhere. Respect is a two-way street, it needs to be earned.