Thursday, July 2, 2009

All together now

Before I ramble on in this post, I want to congratulate BobSpar and Black Belt Mama (now legit) on earning their black belts.

Way to go, guys, hope to join you soon!!!

The family and I went for a trip up North last weekend, and taking that time off from Karate and running Saturday paid off. The nasty burning sensation from straining my quads is pretty much gone now. Whew!

Monday night I was back in sparring, and my quads held up well; just a slight bit of stiffness while stretching gave any clue to having strained them.

My first few sparring classes back I was, to put things bluntly, full of piss and vinegar. No matter what I told myself about relaxing, I was getting way too aggressive for my own good!

Monday's class went incredibly well. We worked on some shadow drills, learning how to read others and anticipate their position while concentrating on footwork fundamentals. Then we ran a series of 1-point matches in groups, and I bested 4 people in a row, including one of our assistant instructors.

As my buddy Thunder John keeps reminding me, I just need time and patience to get back what I lost in sparring...but 4 in a row sure goes a long way towards boosting my confidence!!!

There were a few new things I was trying in sparring as well, namely new equipment.

The standard issue boots are just top padding, with straps under your toes and an elastic wrap to hold everything in place. Remember that bruise picture? I blame it somewhat on the boot design, which tended to trip me up a bit the way that I spar, often causing me to stub one toe or another.

I replaced them with fully enclosed Ringstar SuperMaxx sparring shoes and can't say enough good things about them so far. They keep my toes from folding funny, are lightweight, non-marking, and the soles have just the right amount of friction to mimic bare feet on our mats.
Now I know why 4/5ths of the class own a pair!

The other bit of equipment that was new is a rib guard. I had a full chest shield, but it tended to ride too high, exposing my midriff too much. This was evidenced when Thunder John caught me with a square back punch near the liver, which nearly floored me. That same punch on Monday night was much more comfortable to receive, so it was an investment well worth the money spent.

Tonight is the first core class I'll attend 9 days, so it should be interesting. I'm feeling much more put together now!


BobSpar said...

Thanks for the callout, Hack, I appreciate it!

Very impressive besting four opponents in a row, sounds like you're farther along than you thought.

Question on the rib guard: does it constrict your movement at all?

Hack Shaft said...


No, the rib guard pretty much stays out of my way. The former chest protector liked to ride up under my chin, though!