Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 1 - The Dark Side

This time last year I was working two jobs, seven days a week, and training maybe once every two weeks or so when I got the fluke morning off of was able to drag myself to a Sunday class before hustling like mad to work. Luckily, around February things changed and somewhere in there I began training my first night classes. So I've never before experienced training nights in the winter - damn it's dark! Normally I don't mind when the time change throws us into nighttime at 5 pm. It's seasonal; it's fun. But rolling in after being at work all day and then getting ready to train, I look outside and see black and just think, "It's time to be in my bed," even if it is only 6 in the evening. Mmm bed. but I will not let the black of night stay me from my appointed task. And my 20 days are off to a rollicking good start.

Last night I got to learn/try some new L2 moves, which is always fun. And in so doing I had to do lots of sweeping. Or in my case, attempted sweeping. Now I've been taught the sweep many times by many people and been given and endless array of pointers and tips, but sweep perfection still eludes me. What I'm realizing, is that for me it's a strength issue. I can comprehend these moves all day long, but I really just don't have the power in my hips to overcome toe leverage of my long ol' legs to whip them around with any kind of power. So many level two move involve some incarnation of sweeping, and my hips/quads are simply wimping out on me.

Luckily, strength is a fairly straightforward thing to rectify. I'll keep training harder, even if it is soporifically dark outside. Each sweep brings me closer to daylight savings time.......


  1. I hear my knee crunching whenever I sweep. That's not normal. Right? Right?

  2. Mmm in pure secrecy:

    1. Spin on your toes, not your heel... spinning on your heel will make you knees rotates in ways you don't want it to

    2. Use your arms. Use your arms to swing from gong bu to a pubu. Once your arms are touching the ground, USE YOUR ARMS TO PUSH YOURSELF AROUND. Some of students don't do that but thats a style issue. If you use your arms it'll give that extra rotation you'll need.

    3. Be wary of how deep and far your gong bu is. A wider gong bu will give you less leverage to rotate

    4. Always position your hands near your groin on the ground, not far out in front of you. Further out will screw up your rotation.

    Have fun!

    PS crunching noises are not good for your knees......

  3. Thanks for the tips, KF. I've gotten them before, but reiteration is always good. I ALWAYS forget to pivot on my toe. I mean I KNOW to do it, I just somehow don't end up there... weird.

    I think I don't know using your arms to push around only because that's sort of what I do now and I know it's a symptom of not having enough whip from my leg rotation. Plus, one day I want to be able to do it with no hands because it looks so cool :D I'll get there eventually, hopefully before my knees start crunching....

  4. ick, don't talk to me about crunchy knees!

    see you all saturday!

  5. Yay! See you Saturday Ellen!! :)

    As for sweeps, other than looking good, what is the practical application to it? I mean, what exactly are we striking with the sweeping leg? The ankle? The shin? The foot? Or is it kick whatever you can get down there and pray they get swept, while you leave your face and upper body completely open to attack? And/or counterattack?

  6. I think as it was once explained to me, for erlu at least is it's like you pushed someone (to throw them off balance and so you don't break your leg) then sweep their feet out from under them. I think I've seen people do versions of a swweep on UFC. Or maybe it just looks nice. I don't yet have the power to sweep anyone off their feet, at least, not with a leg sweep ;)