The Fighting Life, Jump Kicking, Etc.

Learned how to do a jump kick last night. Well, sorta. OK, I figured out how to do the basics of a jump kick last night. You know that winning move at the end of The Karate Kid that Danny uses to win the match? It’s like that. Only, without the arms.

We had an odd number of people during the target training class, so I got paired with Sifu Katalin, which was cool and intimidating at the same time. My coordination is terrible, and it means that whenever we get something new to learn, I feel like it takes me twice as long as everyone else. In actual fact, this isn’t true – I’ve progressed about the same as everybody else who started when I did, but it doesn’t feel that way when I’m hopping around on the floor. Give me punching drills. I’m way better at those – of course, I was just as uncoordinated and hopeless at those, too, when I first started them. Anyway, Sifu Katalin seemed really confused that I could do a jump kick OK the first couple times, then switch to a left leg jump kick, get confused, hesitate, and botch it. I admit it confused me, too.

A lot of this had to do with the fact that I’ve spent the last six months learning that you kick with the leg you initially bring up off the ground. For a right jump kick, you step forward with your right leg, put your weight on your right leg, but you bring up your left leg as if you’re going to do a left leg front kick, only you don’t – you jump off the right leg, kick with your right leg, and land on your left.

Confused yet?

For what it’s worth, I’m really bad at dancing, too.

It’s the coolest kick ever, when you nail it. It’s officially my favorite kick, but trying to wrap my uncoordinated brain around it was frustrating. I could do it two or three times in a row without a problem, then I started thinking about it, doubting myself, and tripping over my legs again. “Left? Right? Huh? But you always kick with the leg you bring up first!”

I felt the same way when I was learning how to do uppercuts. It was like, “The fuck? How do you move your body that way, and shift your weight that way? And you can hit them with an uppercut to the body that way?”

Now I understand the mechanics, even if the technique isn’t perfect.

We did target training intercut with ten pushups and ten situps for 13 rounds. I didn’t think much about this (because it’s become the norm for this class – they switch out the class routines about once a month, for variety), until we lined up at the end and Sifu Katalin gave some encouragement to those newbies who were having trouble with the situps.

“We did ten situps, 13 rounds, that’s 130 situps. Even if you only managed to do half of them, that’s still 65 situps. So for those of you who felt like you were dying, don’t be too hard on yourselves.”

Now, I do 170 situps every morning as part of my free weights and stretching routine, but when she said that, I realized that not only had I done the situps (::yawn::) but I’d just done 130 *pushups.*

Not those pansy-ass push-ups, either, the kind you do on your knees, but real pushups. OK, yea, I could have bent my elbows more and improved my form, but dude, I did a 130 pushups. No, not all in a row. But dude, I did 130 pushups!

I wonder if I’m strong enough to do chin-ups now? I have awful memories of those terrible, terrible days in gym class when we’d have to face the chin-up bar, and it would be sweet-ass to see if I can do a couple now, instead of, you know, just sort of falling off the bar once they take the chair away.

Adulthood: spending all of your time trying to be stronger, smarter, better-looking and more intelligent than when you were a kid.

Which goes a long way toward explaining why people who were already strong, smart, and good-looking when they were kids end up being really boring adults. They don’t have any reason to be better.

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