The Devil is in the Details

I’ve had a few private lessons with GMH (have another one tomorrow) and while he doesn’t have much general criticism on my poomsae or gyeokpa (board breaking kick), he keeps fine tuning what I’m doing.  For instance, when I finally got the sequence for my poomsae down, he has me work on stances.  A good front stance (bent front knee, straight back leg, both feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart).  I got that down and now he’s working on more details.  Like performing a down-block as if I was really blocking.  I know it sounds obvious, but since poomsae is more or less a solitary thing, it’s something that gets lost.  Not only do I block, but have to get my hips into the motion as well.  And the side blocks should be performed much like a punch would.  Speaking of punches, I need to remember to get my whole upper body into them, especially using my shoulders and back for extra power.  Don’t forget the front kick, proper foot position.  It’s got my head swimming a bit.  Grandmaster has even told me that it’s not something he usually teaches to green belts.  I’m sure over time muscle memory will take over.

I already have test anxiety and my test is not until Saturday.  I’m mostly worked up about having to do one-to-one (kind of like sparring, but only with kicks) for the test.  I’ve never had to do that before during a test, and it’s light to no contact, but sparring and one-to-one is most definitely my weak area.  Grandmaster tells us not to think, just do.  He sounds like Yoda, and I know what he says is true, because once I start thinking about what kick I need to do or how to block what is coming at me, it all falls apart.  I almost dissolved into tears not that long ago because I was so frustrated at my inexperience and what I perceived to be bumbling through one-to-one.

I’m getting in my head way too much.  I’m starting to sweat having to re-learn/refresh my earlier poomsaes for my test next month.  I need to do by belt level poomsae and pick a favorite one.  I’ve seen Grandmaster pick a favorite for someone during a test before, yeah, no pressure there.  He points at them, “You do Sahm Jang, you Il Jang, and you Sah Jang!”.

Thank goodness for the coaching and the lessons I’m taking with him.  I know he wouldn’t have given me this opportunity if he didn’t see potential in me (as he tells me all the time), and he seems to have it in his head that in a year and a half I’ll be competing at an international competition.

As I’m learning from him, I’m in an area of competence right now.  I can do it and do it well, but I need to get to a point of excellence, which is being able to call upon my skills without doubt or hesitation.  It seems a long way off, but every day it seems closer and closer.


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