Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One-Step Questions for Saturday, 8th December Week#16

Hello TKD friends -

Whoops!  I forgot the annual sale is going on this Saturday, December 1st so there will be no regularly scheduled class.  I'll be there helping out Instructor Marcia, picking up a couple of new sweet smelling t-shirts and renewing my yearly membership but there will be no One-Step questions THIS week.

Because we are having a week in between, I am extending the offer of a PRIZE for getting across the rope on the next One-Step.  Anyone who would like to step up to the plate and commit to getting across at our next rope session, comment on this blog post by Saturday, 1st December with your first name and I will add you to the potential prize list.  Remember - you ONLY get a prize if you commit to crossing the rope by the deadline and then FOLLOW THROUGH and get across!

Here are the One-Step questions for Saturday, 8th December week #16 until the pre-test.

1.  I did my full 15 forms 6 times over the last two weeks (that is 3 times a week).  If you are unsure about the upper belt forms - check out my forms cards by clicking here.

2.  I did my "Crunches 5 Ways" and bridges at least 4 times in the last two weeks. (Click here to see the previous post for information on Crunches 5 Ways and bridges.)

3.  I did my 100 pushups at least 4 times in the last two weeks.

4.  I practiced my inside blocks, outside blocks, high blocks, knives and double knives in a mirror 6 times in the last two weeks.

5.  I've practiced my running 4 times in the last two weeks.

6.  I've practiced the common courtesies of the dojo each time I've been there for the last two weeks.  This includes bowing in and out of the doors, bowing in and off the mats, responding "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" to your instructors, lining up in belt order, and if you arrive late going to the back of the line even if you are a high belt.

7.  I am caught up with all my forms - I have Palchugi Il, Sam and Oh checked off.

8.  I have my board breaks written and I am ready to perform them at the Saturday, 8th December class.

9.  I am working on my weapons form (this can be watching martial arts films, using the internet to watch forms, purchasing DVD's, checking out books or simply writing up moves you like to do with your weapon).  Due 12th January.

10.  I have been doing the Hamstring stretch from the past week's homework in order to get a better Ax kick and prevent injury.

11.  I have done at least 200 consecutive round kicks on the bags at the dojo or at home (you can use pillows) at least 3 times in the last two weeks.

12.  I arrived on time for this class at 7:15AM prepared in body and bag for a full morning of working out.

14.  My parent/guardian/significant other is part of my support team and helping me achieve my Black Belt goal.  If your parent is reading this with you then YES, they are your support team!

15.  I am determined, committed and willing to persevere to achieve my Black Belt no matter the amount of time it will take me to accomplish that goal.   

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Homework for 11/24-12/1

Here are the areas I'd like you to work on for this week:
1.  Stand in front of the mirror and work on your inside blocks, outside blocks, high blocks, inside knives, outside knives and double knives.  Do 5 sets of each with your eyes open watching yourself in the mirror - are your chambers level with no wrist curl?  are your thumbs tucked in on your knives? is the hand above your belt pulled back tight and flat?  are you symmetrical?  Now close your eyes and do a set - are you able to maintain the correct position without looking?  This should take about 10 minutes after you brush your teeth to do this in the mirror twice each day.
2.  Make sure your punches are coming to the center and not directly off your shoulder (if you drew an imaginary line from the end of your fist to your body it would land right at the middle of your chest).  Check your wrist placement - can you roll a marble off your forearm and have it roll between your two front knuckles?  Are your shoulders straight and in line with your hips?

3.  Spotting - remember why spotting is so important!  Not only will it help keep you from running into other people it will also allow you the time needed to set yourself into a good position to start the next leg of the form.  Don't rush through your forms - make sure your technique is solid.

4.  Striking with your hands.  If you are unsure exactly what this means - how it feels in your body when you are striking versus placing then ask one of the instructors to watch you do a leg of a Taeguek form this week to check for striking.  

5.  Lockouts.  You need them to get forms checked off and the best way of working on them is to always practice your forms with lockouts AND work extra hard on strengthening your core.  All your lockouts come from your core muscles so keep up with those crunches 5 ways and your bridges.

6.  Stretching.  Today we focused on the Hamstring stretch so we can get our Ax kicks off with a straight leg. Below is an image of a good hamstring stretch - remember to keep your knee as straight as possible for a 6-10 count then push against the belt flexing your quads for a 6-10 count and then pulling the leg higher.  Make sure your knee stays perfectly straight - don't fudge technique.  After you've done straight up, take your leg across your body and to the floor for 30 second and then to the outside of your body and to the floor for 30 seconds.

The intense training required during the Black Belt journey often results in our muscles getting tight and losing some of our flexibility.  It is important to keep up with a good stretching routine to keep the flexibility and keep from getting injured.  Stretching is one of the biggest keys to injury prevention so find a routine you like and stick with it.
You can find good guides to stretching on the internet - here are two I found - if you are under 18 years, please have your parents go out to these sites with you!

Congratulations to Nathan for being the only candidate to make it across the red rope in One-Step today!  He now has two wins and is in the lead for the first degree candidates prize.

The following people have committed to crossing the rope next week on Saturday, 1 December:
Ms. Leni
Mr. Aidan B.
Mr. William B.
Mr. Brett
Mr. Andrew
Mr. Joshua
Mr. Nathan
Mr. Julian
Mr. Dave
Mr. Cameron
Mr. Alex

If they make it across the rope after committing up front, they will receive a prize for sticking with their training this week.  As always, the ultimate prize for your hard work, perseverance and dedication to this art is your Black Belt.  I firmly believe you ALL can make it by using your resources which are all the current Black Belts, buddy training at the dojo, keeping up with the dates for check off, following the training suggestions given here and getting privates when you need them.

I'll post next week's One-Step questions on Tuesday but you know some of the things I'll be asking - forms 3 times, pushups, crunches, running, board breaks, weapons form, etc.  Start with those and you'll be well on your way to crossing the rope.

Keep up the good work!

Ms. Paige

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One-Step Questions for Saturday, 24th November

4 days until the next red rope challenge.  

Are you getting ready to cross that line?

Questions for Saturday, 24th November week #18.
1. Have you gone out to the new blog and read through the class syllabus and other materials?

2.  If you are under 18, have you had your parents add the blog to their reader or signup for it so they can be part of your support team on your journey?  Make sure they read all the posts so they understand the commitment you are undertaking with your Black Belt journey and their role in helping you accomplish that goal.

3.  Have you done your "Crunches 5 ways" and your 100 pushups at least 2 times this week?

4.  Did you practice all 15 of your forms 3 times this week?

5.  Did you video tape your forms for a baseline?

6.  Do you have Palchugi Il, Sam and Oh checked off?

7.  If not, do you have private lessons scheduled in order to get these three forms checked off.

8.  Did you arrive on time for this class at 7:15AM with something in your stomach, your bags prepped with sneakers and supplies like water or snack, ready to warm up for a long morning of working out?

9.  Have you worked on writing and practicing your board breaks this week?

10.  Have you begun working on your weapons form?

11.  Did you run at least 2 times this week?

12.  Are you determined, committed and willing to persevere to achieve your Black Belt no matter the amount of time it will take to accomplish that goal?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Homework for 11/17-11/23

Hello Candidates and Parents -

If this is your first visit to this blog, be sure to read my older posts so you know what to expect from my 7:15AM Class, get a copy of the Forms Cards (my cheat sheets) and some helpful hints.  

If you are a candidate under the age of 18, please be sure to have your parents signup for this blog so they can be part of your support team on this journey and can check through any external links I provide like 100 pushups.

HOMEWORK for 11/17-11/23
1.  Get all 15 forms on video tape as a base line.  This is a long hard journey and most of your progress will happen slowly.  Over the next 19 weeks your strength, endurance, technique and memory will all be improving - when you are feeling like you aren't making much progress go back to this tape and see how far you've already come.  

2.  Most of you are behind on getting forms checked off.  If you fall in that group, get some privates and get caught up.  

3.  Work on your "Crunches 5 Ways" and Bridges to strengthen ALL your core muscles.  If you are struggling with these, start at 20 each (total of 100) for this week and add 5 each week until you hit 50 of each.  Start with 5 Bridges at 8 count and add as you gain strength.
- 1. Reach for the sky with knees in standard crunch position
- 2. Bum on the ground, knees to Left side and head the opposite way for lats
- 3. Bum on the ground, knees to Right side and head to opposite way for lats
- 4. Knees crossed and flat on the ground to work your lower abs
- 5. Full sit ups 

Bridges - get up and hold for 8 count then pulse for 8 count = 1 bridge.

4.  Make sure you are doing good lock outs on your kicks when you practice your forms.  This will help strengthen your legs and you need to do it to get forms checked off.

5.  Work on your Front Stances.  Make sure your feet are straight with toes forward and heels straight back.  Make sure your back leg is straight and you have a good distance between your feet, deep enough to kick out of and wide enough to maintain good balance.  (Roughly 1 shoulder width apart and 1.5 shoulder widths in front. Depth of the stance is changed by lowering your hips to the floor and bending the front knee.)

6.  Work on arm strength in your forms.  Remember the great angles that Mr. Craig showed you on inside blocks and back fists - these should be at the end of your power zone, not too close in and not so far out that you have no power left.  Keep those arm muscles tight when doing forms.  It will help with the "striking" we talk about and it will help with pushups.

7.  Keep those hands above your belt on Palchugi forms during kicks.  Anything below your belt is enemy territory that will prevent you from getting a Palchugi checked off.

8.  Continue to work on your weekly requirements - practice your forms 3 times a week, do your pushups 3 times a week, run at least 3 times a week, do your abs 3 times a week and keep up with those multiple round kicks.  On off days quiz yourself on forms so you get them in your memory as quickly as possible.

CONGRATULATIONS to these One-Step Winners!

The contest is on to see who will have the most one step wins!  There will be a prize for the First degree candidate and a prize for the 2nd and above candidate!

Just so you know, the candidates last time who consistently won One-Step are current Black Belts now.  That is the ultimate prize of this game BUT I'm going to be giving incentives too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One-step questions for Week #19

One-Step  Week#19, Saturday the 17th of November 

1.    I was here on time by 7:15AM to begin my class and warm up.
2.    I know how many weeks there are until the pre-test.
3.    I have my three forms checked off (Palchugi Il, Sam and Oh). 
4.     If I do not have all three forms checked off I have discussed private lessons with my parents or Instructors.
5.    I have practiced all 15 of my forms at least 2 times this week. (For higher degrees whatever your number of forms)
6.    I have worked on my running at least 2 times this week (doesn’t include today).
7.    I have done my 100 pushups 2 times this week.
8.    I have done my crunches at least 2 times this week.
9.    I have done multiple round kicks on the bag – at least 100 at least 2 times this week.
10.I came to class this morning with something in my stomach to carry me through a long morning of working out.
11.I know what and when my next due date is for check off.
12.I have begun writing out my board breaks and practicing them.
13.I have started to work on my weapons form – this can be writing up moves you like, working on tricks, checking you tube for forms, etc.
14.I do my forms as if I am having them  checked off every time I am on the mats.
15. I am determined, committed and will persevere to achieve my Black Belt regardless of the amount of time it takes me to accomplish that goal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

100 Push-ups

Below is a link to a program called 100 push-ups that focuses on building strength over the course of 7 weeks to get you to the 100 push-up requirement.  Give this a try and let me know how it works for you!

One of the things that helped me was breaking it into 25 push-up chunks.  After each set of 25, I get to my knees and shake the blood back into my arms and take a couple of deep breaths.  This gets the oxygen into the muscles that need it.  Try breathing in on your way down and out on your way up.  I know it will feel counter intuitive but it really helps keep your muscles oxygenated during the push-ups.

One last tip - give your body a day to rest from push-ups (you can do forms, abs and cardio daily) after doing your 100 push-ups. Your muscles need the time to rebuild and get stronger.  If you try to do the 100 every day as you train up to them, you might start going backwards in number.  It happened to me and I learned that giving a day between doing my 100 was key in being able to increase consistently.

This is one of the requirements you have to start working on early but I promise you if you start now and do it consistently it is an achievable goal.

Ms. Paige

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Forms Cards

During my journey to Black Belt I created forms cards as "cheat sheets" to help me study.  These cards boil the forms down to their most basic moves.  I've created a Google Doc to share my cards with you.  Feel free to copy the file or print for your own use.  You cannot edit this document online so if you find an error leave a comment and I'll take a look.

The one thing to note is that directions always stay the same so L (Left) is always the Yellow Wall and R (R) is always to the mirrors.  So, even if you have to go around 270* (where you turn to the left to get to the mirrors) my directions will say to the R.

Click the link below to see the Forms Cards document:


Ms. Paige

Class Syllabus

General Class Information:

Please make sure you have something to eat prior to coming to class.  I recommend something light that has protein to sustain you through a morning of heavy exercise.  Protein bars worked well for me and I also recommend vitamin water to alternate with plain water.  This will keep you hydrated and keep your energy up throughout the long morning.  I cannot stress enough that you are now training to be a top tier athlete, you must treat your body with respect and care to reflect that.

My class will begin at 7:15AM on Saturday in order to allow for a good warm up.  All other classes at the dojo are scheduled at times when people have been up and active for hours.  For this class most people will be coming in after sleeping all night and muscles will be cold.  The early time frame will give you all the chance to get your blood flowing, your muscles warm, a bit of stretching in and hopefully prevent injury from starting cold.  Yeah, it stinks to get up that early on Saturday but you only have to do it for 6 months.

This class is focused primarily on forms and is the only class offered where you can practice all 15 forms during one class.  In general I will start off by running through all 15 and then focusing in on the forms that need to be checked off.  

Class expectations:

1.  You will come to class with something in your stomach.

2.  You will arrive on time by 7:15 ready to begin your warm up.

3.  You will practice all 15 forms on your own throughout the week for memorization.  Without memorization we cannot work on technique.  Eventually it will take 20-25 minutes to run all your forms back to back.  My expectation is that you will do all your forms 4 or 5 times a week and run them mentally on off days.

4.  You will give me your best when you are on the floor.  You should always look as good as when you are trying to get a form checked off.

5.  You will work on your fitness requirements throughout the week. 
As a general guideline:
- Run 3 times a week
- Do roundkicks on the bags whenever you are at the dojo - start with 100 and work your way up each week.
- Do your 100 pushups 3 times a week.   Work in sets, vary your methods but get these in.
- Do more abdominal exercises than just your 100 crunches.  Everything we do in martial arts comes from our core.  The stronger yours is, the easier this process will be.

Remember, all the current Black Belts are here to help you.  Good luck on your journey!

Ms. Paige

Welcome Black Belt Candidates

Hello my friends -

I've created this blog as a place where I can post information for my Saturday 7:15AM class.  I'll post links to resources, class assignments, tips and tricks and anything else I think you might find helpful for your journey.

I will never say that this journey is easy but I will tell you it will all be worthwhile.

Ms. Paige