Friday, May 9, 2008

Sparring for the first time!

Last night was belt testing time at the dojo for both the kids and the adults. Nathaniel tested for his high blue. He did great on the sparring and passed that portion of the test. We are waiting to hear how he did on the written test. I'm so mad at myself for not bringing a camera with me. He looked so good!

Following the kids were the adults. Sensai Heather asked if I would spar the higher belts despite having only done this like what? Five weeks? I, of course, said yes. Why not? I was assured the whole purpose was so the higher belts could prove they had control when dealing with a lower belt. I had so much FUN! I sucked, but it was fun :)

Melody was the first I had to spar. The rounds were only a minute long but dang it feels like a long time when you are getting punched and trying to punch and kick back! About 30 seconds into the round she grabbed my arm to do, I think, hiki mawashi, a two hand pull around. Usually from there you can knock your opponent to the ground. Well, I pulled back or something to get our of her grip and a good part of my sleeve ripped away from the seam!!! Took us both by surprise and it let me get out of her grip :) After that she couldn't attack my left side because of the rip! Actually no one could, no fabric for anyone to grab! My first round wasn't bad. However, as soon as they yelled "Hajime" (begin) anything I had learned left my head. It was purely try and block and try and get a shot in. I really don't remember what happened except for the rip and I know Melody landed a solid kick into my shin! Thank goodness for shin pads :)

After watching a few more rounds I was up again against Nathaniel (not my Nathaniel). Nathaniel is TALL and he is all legs. Nathaniel also knows how to use his legs in sparring. Twice his foot ended up on my shoulder tapping my head (we do wear head gear). I never once saw it coming, even if I did I probably could not have blocked it :P That was a little unnerving! All I could think was thank goodness I'm a white belt, he had to go easy on me. I've seen him use that move on the other higher belts and it's just amazing. I was so mad because twice I managed to grab his gi to try and do a hiki mawashi but my dang nails were too long and I bent back the nail on both my middle fingers and had to let go cause it hurt. So, bye bye long nails, at least at testing time :) After that round I was shaking so bad I could barely clip my nails (I had one more round so thought I'd better take care of them). I was surprised by that, I didn't feel like I should be shaking.

Last round was with Senpai Trish. She has been teaching me most of what I know. She was testing for her brown belt. It was fun to go up against her but once again, the ref yelled "Hajime" and all knowledge left the building. I don't even remember what happened during that round except she grabbed my right arm and that sleeve tore also!! I could not believe it. By the time I was all done I looked like I had gotten badly beat up, if you were just looking at my gi. There I was the newest white belt all in tatters! It was pretty funny. I had to assure Melody I'm a seamstress and can take care of it, she was feeling bad.

The rest of the rounds were just fun to watch. I had a great time cheering each person on when it was their turn to test. It was awesome to see the moves they used on each other, especially the higher belts, we had a couple testing for their brown. But oh my gosh, so exhausting. You get to that level and you have to spar 7 different rounds in a row with only 30 secs in between to catch your breath. I can't imagine, the 3 rounds I did were spread out and only one minute each and I woke up just wiped out. I can't imagine how the others were feeling this morning. I woke up at 4 am and just could not stop thinking about all the mistakes I made. I was told I did really well for a white belt but still I feel so clumsy. So laid there for an hour this morning going over the rounds. I had gotten a couple hiki mawashis in but then couldn't remember how to throw my opponent. We practice this every week but I just could not remember. When we practice it's very slow and I just did not have time to think when sparring. I remembered how to knock someone down at 4:30 am :) So, now I am very excited about my belt test which isn't until August, thank goodness. Gives me three more months to learn :)

My gi after sparring last night. Melody did the big rip. Then Trish got the other side.