eternaleponine: (TKD)
On Friday, I was the only one in class at TKD. Other than me, R., and A., all of the other teens/adults who came to evening class seem to have disappeared, and even A.'s attendance is spotty. R. had to work, so it was just me.

After warm-ups and working on my new form (which I am having a hard time getting to stick in my head), Master Paul went to the corner and got the joong bong - which literally translated means "medium stick" – and handed me one.

Now, the thing about the joong bong is that generally you don't start learning them until you're a black belt, or at least that's my understanding of it. (Different schools very likely do things differently.) I guess he figured since I was the only one there, and we didn't really want me getting too far ahead of other people learning stuff we would actually be tested on, we would have some fun.

It's very different, using the joong bong rather than just your body. Joon-be (ready stance) is different, as is fighting stance. It's a bit like unlearning and relearning everything you've spent so many months trying to get just right.

I tried to find video of it on YouTube, but all of the videos I could find show them using a much longer staff – the one that we would call jeng bong, and that's also called bo or jo staff. (Bo and jo are different lengths, and our jeng bong seems to be jo staff length, which is slightly shorter than the wielder.) In any case, our joong bong are about two feet long, maybe a bit longer, and are about an 1.5" in diameter.

I learned a downward strike, high block, another strike that I can't remember the name of, but it's a slashing motion toward the neck, and the block to deflect that. This really was enough to be getting on with, because I was only barely competent after maybe ten or fifteen minutes of practice. After that we moved on to other things.

Sadly, even though I was the only student there on Saturday morning, I did not get to play with sticks again. I suspect it was because one of the younger students was there in the office; I assume her mother must not have been able to pick her up and Master Paul said it was okay for her to stay while he was teaching other classes.

I do hope I get a chance to practice with them again, because it was a lot of fun, and a nice break from the stuff that we do every day. Although I still think Master Paul might be a little bit crazy for letting me swing a stick at him.

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eternaleponine

February 2014

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