Saturday, July 24, 2010

King of the Hill

My daughter and I played a real life version of King of the Hill today. And no, we did NOT put on full Mjolnir armor and go blasting away at each other with Battle Rifles. I'm talking about a game we played in our first sparring only class today.   We're required to attend 3 of them within the next 16 weeks. We've done light contact sparring in our normal classes but this is different where we wear ALL the gear vs. just shin and arm guards.

For the TKD uneducated, a WTF style TKD sparring round (this is what you see at the Olympics) is 2 minutes long. Scoring is done with contact made by the hand or foot to a section of the torso above the waist but below the neck. Some rules I've seen also refer to hitting the colored circles on the outfit. My dojang scores on hits to the torso except for the spine. Kicks to the head are also allowed and those score 2 points instead of 1. Generally only the black belts and above do full gear with hits allowed to the head. I've seen some rules online that prevent shots to the head if you're over the age of 30 or 35. The actual contact to the person must be hard enough to displace the person or make a very loud sound (some big dudes just can't be moved!).

The King of the Hill game we played involved someone being King and defending their place in the ring. One opponent at a time would face them. Whoever scored the first point was declared the new King. The instructor picked the first King and he just happened to be the black belt I faced in my sparring during my last belt test. I wasn't as intimidated this time. One, we didn't have the entire belt level of students watching us and two, I realized he was going to help me learn. Why else take the sparring class?

I lost my first match against him in very short order. By the time my second match came around, another younger black belt had defeated him. I lost to this guy as well. My 3rd round came around and here I was facing the original opponent. I lasted a lot longer being able to avoid direct hits from him and taking my time.   After a bit of time, I think he thought he had scored against me and let his guard down. That's when I gave him a quick fast kick to the chest and got him.

Which brings up the theme for the day. "Never quit! Give all your effort until the end." I'm not talking about going all Cobra Kai.  I'm talking about giving your best effort until you are done. We were doing physical fitness testing in our normal class today. Talk about exhausting! Part of the testing was "cone races" which were actually the least physically demanding exercise we did today.  There were several people in the class where were letting up as they crossed the finish line. The instructors specifically called out the whole class about finishing with our best effort. That's what makes the difference between "Gold" and "Silver" - Think Michael Phelps.

Note, this was just a class. Not a real competition. The guy is really good at sparring. In a normal situation, I don't think he would have let his guard down. I still felt good about it anyway. He gave me some good advice on committing to my round house kick while we were doing a warm up exercise. He even caught me not committing during my first rounds of sparring. Something I need to work on in the future for sure.

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