This class began like most others, with the circle drill. Our instructor is usually very patient with us and spends much of his time repeating himself while we complete this drill. He often tells us to be in a wide circle so that there is space for everyone and we don’t run into each other. However, I’ve noticed that often there is one group of people clustered together on one side of the circle while the other is significantly spread out. One of the things that people seem to be having problems with, along with me, is remembering what direction we were going around in the circle before our instructor told us to stop. Our instructor has caught on to this, and usually has no problem giving us hand signals and telling us which way to move. However, this time, he put us to the test halfway through the exercise, saying that we would have to figure out without his help which way we would have to move next. If we were wrong, we would have to do push-ups. The pressure was on but luckily we were able to pay attention to our movements and survived another lesson without having to do push-ups.
The first thing that we went through in class after the circle drill was ducking and weaving. Knowing how to accurately duck and weave is important when it comes to kickboxing because it is a method you can use when you see an opponent getting ready to swing at you. To practice this, one partner will hold out their arm while the other person will practice moving from one side of the person’s hand to the other by ducking underneath their partner’s fist and continually weaving from side to side. This is definitely one of the easier concepts we’ve learned in class, though I always find something that I need to improve upon.
When I was younger and I thought a ball was going to hit me in gym class I would flinch and look away. I have to admit that there were a handful of times where there was absolutely no possibility of me getting hit, but I still flinched and looked away just to be sure. My classmates often picked me last to be on their team in gym class, and it didn’t take me long to realize that this was probably one of the several reasons why.
In kickboxing, when we practice the duck and weave technique, our faces are supposed to be close to our opponent’s fist. One of the ways that I naturally handle having someone’s hand and arm so close to my face is to look down when I need to duck and weave. This is a problem because you are always supposed to keep an eye on where your opponent is and what they are doing.
One thing that we practiced in class included us standing very close to our partners. One person would put their arms on their partner’s shoulders and then link their hands behind their partner’s neck. The partner who had hands linked behind their neck would then put their hands on their partner’s lower arms in order to help them when their partner begins attacking them. The partner who has their hands behind their partner’s neck now must try and pull their partner’s head down and move around in order to develop control over them. Once we practiced this, the next step included pivoting on one foot while keeping our arms around our partner’s neck and then kicking them. When my partner practiced this drill with me her kicks almost landed right by my chin/nose. This is one reason why keeping your hands on your partner’s arms are important. By doing so, I was able to push down on her arms a bit to be able to lift my head a bit higher so her kicks would hit lower.
The last drill that we did before class was over included ducking and weaving once again. This time, one partner would swipe one hand over their partner’s head while their partner practiced ducking and weaving. After the partner swiped their hand over their partner’s head, they would then hold up one of their hands to have the partner who was ducking and weaving go for a knockout punch with their strongest hand.
To be honest, I still feel awkward most of the time when practicing new drills, especially when we have to stand so close to our partners in order to do the drill correctly. However, I know that with more lessons I will become more comfortable because I have become more comfortable with lessons than I was at the beginning. The biggest improvement that I have seen in myself so far is that after lessons I do not require as much time to recuperate as I needed after my first few lessons. This definitely makes me feel stronger and feel that I have come a long way.