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Not Feeling Encouraged -- Martial Arts - RonO's Ramblings

Jan. 24th, 2009 05:18 pm Not Feeling Encouraged -- Martial Arts

Today I took my third group class, and first sparing emphasis class at USSD. Afterwards, and for a lot of the time during the class, I was feeling discouraged about weather this would be the best school for me, or Derrick. The problem is NOT the people or the teaching, which is pretty good. The problem is with how different the art seems to be than what I'm used to.

As I mentioned here, there are some distinct differences from what I learned at National Karate. Today as we were drilling sparing related skills, I started feeling very out of place -- worse than if I were a true beginner. Almost nothing seemed to feel close to what I'm used to. One big difference was that we were supposed to be alternating the front side, and keeping our chest much more towards the opponent that I'm used to in any martial skill I've practiced (National Karate, SCA fencing, Olympic Fencing). On top of this, the combat drills were slow enough to completely throw off my timing.

One other thing that worried me was the level of personal protection required. When those who had the equipment put it on, they only had head gear -- and one of them had an open face mask -- hand, feet and shin protection. I'm used to adding a chest protector and elbow pads to the mix. Not having good chest protection, and possibly not having a face mask, would make me hesitant to use one of my favorite weapons -- my legs.

Since I have much better reach with my legs than my arms (I think I have long legs for my height) when I can get them up they are a good closing or distance attack. Occasionally being able to kick someone my height in the head (genitally) doesn't hurt either.

I still have at least two more group classes, and another private lesson, before my free trial ends -- and I've signed Derrick up for one that hasn't started yet (I don't think) -- so I won't want to rush out and start calling other schools. But if I could find one closer to what I'm used to, I think I'd prefer it.

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Comments:

From:lonotter
Date:January 25th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
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You probably need to give it more time, three classes really isn't all that much.

As for the protection issue...you're almost a black belt, you should be able to spar someone safely without chest protection. Sprout's class does it routinely, and the teens are much more spazzy than the adults, but no weaker (probably stronger in some cases). Feet, hands, shins, and headgear, mostly open. And Sprout just said all their attacks must be above the belt.

(I may not have gotten above yellow belt, but I figure all those years sitting in the waiting area and listening to Wayne gives me the right to put in my two cents, grin.)
From:ann_totusek
Date:January 25th, 2009 05:15 am (UTC)
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"Occasionally being able to kick someone my height in the head (genitally) doesn't hurt either"


PLEASE tell me that you meant to say "gently"....unless you mean that you only try that move if your opponent is a dickhead?
From:rono_60103
Date:January 25th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
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The spell-checker strikes again :-)
From:mbcrui
Date:January 26th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
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It takes a while. And at least you have a choice. M gave it 4 years up here and has now switched to Aikido. The flavor of Karate, here, doesn't allow kids to advance until they've passed certain tests AND are a certain age... which means he and my niece have been working on their 3rd belt for years... and were bored out of their minds. Aikido is more fun and he's learning more because it's all new and yet strangely familiar :)
From:graht
Date:January 26th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
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I sympathize. Way back in college I found a great Karate dojo, and then had to quit after 9 months when I couldn't afford it anymore. Years later when had managed to restabilize my life I went looking for a new dojo and it took me quite a while before I finally found one I liked. I ended up switching to Hapkido and loved it for the entire 2 1/2 years I studied it (why I quit is a long story).

If you're not comfortable at the school you're at now, I highly recommend trying other schools, and maybe trying other arts.