The world championships: oh jeez.
Even though I’m a mere 7th gup I have a lot to focus on in improvement. At best I manage to churn out an average performance in sparring and forms, so I’m extremely anxious in getting every minute detail as polished as I can get it. In order to improve myself over the course of the following month’s preparations, I constructed a list of items to improve and I’ve broken my aims down as follows:
- Stop Being A Wuss: I hardly ever attack, due to a mixture of nerves (of being punched and believing I could actually seriously injure the opponent). Combined, I’m left focused more on defence and will often result in my doom as I’m left deflecting punches after punches after punches and then a kick to the stomach. The most dangerous bad habit of mine is to turn my head away when I see a punch incoming – not just towards my head, but towards my body in general, as though I’m thinking ” if I can’t see the punch it’s not there!
How I intend on sorting this out: If I can, I’ll join a primarily fighting-based class in my home-town and that will hopefully crush my nerves and turn me into a fighting machine worthy of being the child of The Karate Kid and The Terminator. I just need more practice in, essentially, getting hurt. I’ve never been in a fight before and naturally not a violent person, so maybe a few bar-fights will help, too(joke).
- Combos Combos Combos: Usually I’ll start in a defensive stance before leaning forward with a punch and recoiling back into a defensive stance. Then I’ll lean forwards with a punch and recoil back into a defensive stance. Then I’ll often finish this off with a punch (by leaning forwards) and draw it back into a defensive stance. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated, but I know I always tend to use the same moves throughout a sparring match – and tend not to mix kicks and punches together, resulting in me either using too many kicks (and exhausting myself) or too many punches (and not getting a decent distance during a fight at key points).
How I intend on snorting this out: I guess practice makes perfect – already I am using my legs and arms more together. For example, I often use my lankiness to my advantage and distract with the arms to let my swirly legs enter in with a kick. I must simply be more aware of the fact my body is one being and that every limb should be either attacking or preparing to defend.
- Punches: Mixed in a bit with the “Stop Being a Wuss” category I guess, but I gave this its own little category. Basically, I tend not to punch. Or, bluntly, I tend to avoid using punches. I hate the idea of getting close to an opponent and thus use my legs more.
How I intend on sorting this out: Get used to the pain by being punched in the face? I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of this whole “pain” thing, not really my thing, but I know I have to get over this as soon as I can before it really does start affecting the entire future of my martial arts. But I know I have to be more risk taking. Besides, Dave, you’re gonna be wearing a head guard for god’s sake, get over it. Although…
- Just be better: Yeah, pretty much just this. I’m following Master Giaccobe’s advice from his biography and taking inspiration from the elements of nature, such as the gracefulness of the deer he mentions when transitioning from my positions. Specific aspects I need to improve are the high-blocks, the punches across the centre-line and widening my stances to get more balance.
Well that sums up my situation and my ideas to improve, although if anyone has any other tips etc I’d most welcome then. At the end of the day, I have every intention of doing my best and getting a medal for my forms. A big goal for anyone, never mind me, but I intend on surprising people and show that I can shine in at least one aspect of Tang Soo Do.