Master Michael paired me up with Abby, a very sweet, young woman half my age. (She wrote the article on page 67 of the Filipino Martial Arts Digest.) She was very patient--a marvelous instructor. She showed me basic "Ones." A "One" is a strike to the opponents upper left head, neck, shoulder area. Since this art is about countering the attack, we practiced numerous ways to defend that first basic strike. We also worked on the twelve angles and basic foot work. For an hour, following the warm ups, Abby ran me through drill after drill, repetition after repetition of these techniques.
In this system, the Seniors teach the Juniors, and the Juniors teach the Newbies. (I am not sure whether Abby would be considered a Senior or a Junior.) I like the way it works. Having been a teacher for years, I know that a good way to reinforce one's own learning is to teach someone else. It is also a model of service and a way to build camaraderie. Even though the only thing I know about most of the people there is their first names, I walk away from class feeling connected to them all.
So, Abby and I practiced ad infinitum. I sweated. I got it sometimes. I had brain farts sometimes. And we just kept going. Her encouragement got in.
I'd miss a couple moves and stop. "I can do this," I'd say.
"You are doing it," says Abby.
And I was! Sometimes clumsy. Sometimes like I actually had the flow. "I'm doing it, " I'd say--not out loud, but in my head. "Yes. I'm doing it."
I don't think I bruised her. She already had a bruise on her arm from Monday night's class. Fortunately, I didn't get whacked tonight. Thank you, Abby for having control in your strike. It isn't a matter of if I'll get hit. It is a matter of when. I am glad it wasn't tonight.
I am still the newest kid in class--twice the age (at least) of everyone except Master Michael and one other guy. And I'm getting it!
Woohoo! I can do this.
Beginner's success. Please, share a success of yours with me. I'd love to hear.
Wanda Tucker, Coach
PS - In the article, the second picture is Master Michael (facing the camera) and Grand Master Rob. In the third picture, you can see Grand Master Rob's face. And in the first picture, that might be Abby on the left in the green shirt.
- ▼ August (12)