Thursday, March 08, 2007

67% Complete

Do you know how dizzying it is to try to keep zigzagging stripes straight? Of course, the stripes on the spare towel don't help.

I had to pin out the back just to make sure that it was, indeed, the right shape. On the needles it looks a little weird at the end. I think it's turning out okay, though. It's grown a little with washing, but not surprisingly so. I actually finished it last night, which times out to two and a half days to do the back. Not too bad. Maybe this is convincing me that pieced sweaters aren't the huge time suckers I thought they were. I do have to admit, though, the ends can get a little tedious. This is the collection so far:

I think I'll start the front tomorrow. If I work on it tomorrow night, Saturday, and Sunday before we tape out, I might have a new sweater to wear to rehearsals next week. We'll see.

I also spent some time at the studio tonight and learned some new things.I watched sparring again tonight. Ma'am, Mr. R., Cute Green Belt, Blue Belt, and a few others were there and I got a chance to ask some of the questions I'd written down previously. In class, they do tournament sparring, full contact. Rounds are five points or two minutes. They said (apparently I need the full committee of Ma'am, Mr. R., Blue Belt, and a junior black belt I'll call C. - age 13 - to explain things, but it was fun!) that adult testing sparring was usually no or light contact, and is mostly to show some of the flashier moves you can do and offensive and defensive moves. The testing judges are looking for techniques, combinations, and confidence in the moves. All of them agreed that there are ranges of appeal for sparring - some love it, like Mr. R., others do it to test, like C. - and also that a lot of it depends on your partner. They also all kept reminding me that it wouldn't be too much longer before I'd have to be out there with them. They seemed to have a lot of fun rubbing that in. I find it exciting and frightening. Mr. R told me that he thinks I'm doing really well for how long I've been here, and wants to see me spar. Ma'am said I seem to have a knack for remembering movements and taking notes from instructors. She encouraged me to continue thinking of it like choreography, since that seems to help. I am definitely writing things down, though. I did it for my white belt for everything, and can't believe it didn't cross my mind for this one.

I learned a lot of answers to some questions that have always been too minor to bother asking in class but seemed okay tonight. Ma'am told me about the horizontal stripes I've seen on some belts, like Red Belt Girl's - they mean the person is in the Leadership Club and studying to eventually be an instructor. She and Blue Belt explained why certain groups of belts are all learning the same form - they teach things on a cycle system here. White, orange, and yellow belts are in one group; camo, green, blue and purple are one group (I think); and red belts are a third. The only reason I learned the actual white belt form as a white belt is because that just happened to be where they were at in the cycle at the time. I think it might be a little weird to learn, say, the yellow belt form as a white belt, and then have to go back and do the easier white belt form for your orange belt, and it miffs me just a little. They said it keeps classes more organized, prevents "rank jealousy" to an extent, and is mostly for the younger kids to have more people to learn and practice with. Blue Belt especially is a big fan; he was telling me about studying karate by rank and how he likes this system a lot better. I remain unconvinced.

I stayed and watched a little of the Haganah FIGHT class (Fierce Israeli Guerilla Hand-to-hand Tactics, an Israeli military/street fighting self-defense style) afterward. C. also stayed - Ma'am is his ride home, and she's in FIGHT, along with Mr. R. and Cute Green Belt - and was really cute. He spent the time explaining some of the different clubs and programs he's done at the studio, and telling me what some of the different patches and trims meant. He was trying to get me to do the Black Belt club, a group of students who've committed to getting their first dan black belts. They wear patches on both sleeves. Junior black belts have black trim on the lower hem of the dobok. The highest rank a junior black belt can earn is fourth dan. It takes two years minimum to earn second dan, and a year to get first dan, but color belts can test as often as every two months, although that's not common in the higher colors. C. wants to be master rank and own or be a primary instructor in a school by the time he is Sir's age. That gives him about fifteen or twenty years, I think. He could do it. He was very chatty - I get the impression that he's usually the only one there watching during FIGHT (it's ages 16+) and is generally bored there. It was fun, though.

I'm just figuring out how to cut posts, so I hope this helps control the length of some of them. Anyway, I get to meet the YPs and their parents tomorrow, so I should get some sleep.


Coleen said...

great stripey-ness! And wow you're fast!

Amy Boogie said...

Fantastic sweater!
So did Mr cute guy talk you into joining the blak belt club ?

AR said...

Love the stripes!!

Sparring sounds fun. (and just a little scary. hehe)

Kadiddly said...

No, I didn't join Black Belt club, although I might want to get more information about it. C. wasn't THAT convincing =) Now, if Cute Green Belt had been talking about it...

Amanda said...

Am I reading this right? You can get a black belt in a year? Going how often?

Interesting about cycling forms, never seen that done before. I am curious as to how it prevents "rank jealousy" since people still wear their own colored belts.

And yes, you will be sparring soon! ^^

Kadiddly said...

No, you can't go from white belt to a black belt in a year of training. It takes at least one year to train FOR a black belt - one year after you've hit red/black, which in itself takes two years, if you are eligible to test every time, do test every time and pass every time possible. And take and pass all of your midterms. Three years minimum is what I've heard, going at least three times a week. It will take me longer, since I can't go that often. If I ever get that far.

Like I said, I remain unconvinced about cycling the forms. I kind of see it as opposite rank jealousy - when I saw it the other night, I was like "Wait, I earned getting to do this form, didn't I? Why are they getting to do it already?" I really like the people at this studio, and it's interesting that people who have studied under other systems like this system. So we'll see.

I wish the gym I go to for running had a space I could do formwork and drills and stuff. I'm starting to get excited about sparring and I want to try it now!