Thursday, December 20, 2007

Observation And Guidance

Our sensei really observes when we drill or spar and gives very specific guidance. Last night, we were working on a slip to the left and then throwing a left hook punch. This slip entailed actually stepping as well as moving the head to the side.

Sensei kept looking at what I was doing, and made three separate suggestions: 1) set my feet during the hook punch--I had acquired the bad habit of pivoting away during the hook punch; 2) rotate my body away from the punch after throwing it, to help me gain distance and protect myself; 3) step towards (or, really, on an angle grazingly past) my opponent, rather than to the side.

It was incredible the difference this advice made in my ability to slip and hook.

I sparred a bit with Larry, but we went at it pretty light to work on this move. I got hit pretty hard in the chin by black belt Brandon, who's about 22 and faster than lightning--I had to ask him to lighten up a bit. I was able to keep a brown belt at the right distance pretty easily--apparently he really relies on kicking and I'm not doing that yet. Gumba Frank posed his usual challenges, though I am more effective than I used to be in sparring him--he's really taught me to keep my right hand up. When sparring with a low belt, I was trying to focus on defense, but when he started headhunting me, I hit back--and probably too hard, I stunned him with a hook. It's so hard finding the right balance in contact sparring. Thanks goodness for headgear.

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