1,500 Reasons

Last night I got to taekwondo class early and did 1,500 turns of the jump rope before class started. That got a sweat going, but class kept it up. The cowboy instructor I don’t like, who always says, “If you’re in a bar fight…” stopped me after class and said, “It must’ve been a decent workout today if you’re sweating.” (Side: Dude. Can you come up with some un-cowboy relevant example of why we should learn this technique?)

I attended the earlier “family” class at 7:00 or 7:15, which is full of mid-level color belts and kids with their parents. There are a few adults in the class, but I’m usually the highest belt.

The later (“advanced adult”) class members keep asking me why I’m coming to the earlier class. I’ve been using my schedule as an excuse.

This is part of the reason. It is spring, and thus the most stressful time to be a teacher, and if I wait until 8:00 pm, I talk myself out of going. I prefer to get home around 8 so I can eat dinner, shower, and relax before sleeping. Now that Good Man has his permit I’m back to picking him up from class two nights a week at 10 pm. I have to be at work early on Tuesdays for a standing meeting, so I really don’t like getting home Monday night. I can list a ton of scheduling reasons.

But that’s not all of it.

At the end of the beginner class we usually do a little meditation. We occassionally get a speech of some sort. I use that time to really focus on my breathing. I consider what is said and consider how it applies to me. We almost never do that in the advanced class. I know that I could meditate alone, read books with titles such as Meditations for People Who Do Martial Arts and Want to Practice Asian Mystique-ism. But I don’t.

In the advanced class we do all kinds of fancy, multi-step drills. I like the challenge of that, but a lot of the class is spent holding the target for a partner. Sometimes I barely break a sweat, even though I am working.

In the beginner class we spend a lot of time doing solo drills. I enjoy this time. I really work on perfecting my form, on making sure I land the kick and punch at the same moment. Doing a standing side kick perfectly is actually a lot harder than doing a stepping side kick because you have no momentum. I like the check—have I gotten sloppy? Am I turning my feet enough? Am I pulling back far enough?

One of the things I like about poomsae (forms) is perfecting them. Changing them slightly as my skill or style changes. I like the meditative aspect of doing something over and over and over. And I don’t get that in the advanced class, but I get it in the family class, doing drills.

I suppose the answer is to go to one family class and one advanced class a week. That way I get the challenges both classes have to offer.