Monday, January 25, 2010

Four Cho Dans

Saturday evening our dojang held the Dan Promotion Ceremony for the students who tested in the last dan classing. This included both my wife Christine and my son Trevor, both of who now join my daughter Miranda and I in the Highly Officially Blue Belted rank of Cho Dan. So, fun. My wife and kids and my mother are all Cho Dans in Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan. Better yet, I now have the entirety of my relatives here in Texas training at our school. My brother, his wife Lisa, and their kids Sam and Sean are all orange belts now, and are making wonderful progress both in training and in becoming a part of our dojang family. Of the things I've accomplished since joining the Mi Guk Kwan and beginning training this is what I'm most proud of.

Here's we are: how awesome is that?

So, back to the ceremony. It was terrific. I wound up be the narrator/master of ceremonies guy, reading all of the candidates biographies as they performed their vignettes and then introducing and describing each of the subsequent demonstrations. I did well, but this wasn't the original plan. Instead, Christine and I had rehearsed a practical application of throws/self defense for women fight scene that we had planned to present as a way of showing how our techniques can be useful against much larger opponents (I'm about 2X Christine). Alas, it didn't work out that way.

It was looking awesome -- we were going to demonstrate the training application of several throws -- bear hug from front and back, choke from front against a wall, grab-and-drag hair pull, and defending against a series of punches. Then we had a choreographed attack scene where I really went at her hard and she kicked my ass. Since she trusts me to not use too much force, I was able to use a LOT of strnegth on her, while being careful to avoid injuring her neck or doing any real physical damage, this way she could show how effective the stuff we do in response really can be.

But, unfortunately, over the past two weeks I've developed a problem in one of my knees. I was worried it was a problem with one of the big ligaments or tendons in the knee, but happily it's nothing so serious. It did require a big shot of cortisone into my knee, though (yeah, that was exactly as much fun as it sounds) and I'm also off training for a few weeks. As a result, I had to bail out of our demo. This was very depressing for me -- we'd put a lot of work in on this together, Christine was really excited to present it, and I really wanted to participate in the ceremony.

Luckily Mr. Perry -- the most senior dan member of our dojang, and one of the finest men and martial artists I have the privilege to know and train with -- stepped up and volunteered to assist Christine. He was brilliant and Christine performed with terrific confidence and skill. The demo was both exciting and informative, entertaining the audience but also showing that the right techniques can make all the difference.

For my part, I instead volunteered to be the voice of the evening, and all in all I think I did a good job. It wasn't really what I had in mind, and I'm still kind of sad that my stupid little injury took me out of our demo, but what can you do? The ceremony needed someone who was comfortable reading aloud for an hour, too, and well, I'm not exactly shy. So, at least my time and efforts helped to make the ceremony better.


So, yeah, as for the injury I'm off the mat for a couple of weeks while I let this stupid knee inflammation settle down. I'll also be doing some physical therapy to try to isolate the reason it occurs in the first place so I can avoid aggravating it again. Hopefully I'll be back to training by early February. Until then I'm planning on just working solo on non-impact stuff like sleeve grabs and elbow techniques, skipping throws and sweeps if needed.

Until then, I'll probably just be extra grumpy. Grrrrr.

Modd: Grumpy
Now Playing: One eskimO, "One eskimO"

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