in the kenpo garage, there is no climate control; just a fan precariously setting on a dusty, old soloflex machine in the corner. i bought the used soloflex from a friend knowing the bands had lost some of their elasticity and never got around to using it. but it’s still out there taunting me.
“hey, do you remember me? you got me so you could get in shape. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!”
the two car garage hasn’t been used for it’s original purpose in nearly five years. years ago after my parents passed away, their belongings were moved from a storage shelter to my place. the two car garage was packed from wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling. it took us months to go through it all and decide what really needed to be kept. shortly after we finished that process my daughter, her husband, and my granddaughter moved in with us. the garage had long since lost it’s identity and became a storage/junk container. add another grandchild living with us and some more junk. then my son’s van engine went out and the old block (cherry picker and all) took up residence in the garage. it looked sad.
then one day my kids got a place of their own! four people moved out of the house. we got a new engine and the old one was given in trade. a little bit of cleaning and de-cluttering and i finally had some room out there again. not much, but enough to work out and potentially use my heavy bag.
when the belt tests were coming up this past july some of us wanted to do some extra work to try and prepare. i volunteered my partially cleaned up garage. during july we had only ONE day where the high temperature didn’t break 100. that was on the first and it still reached 99. i had originally named it the sweat box, but the name has been officially changed.
sunday night the door was opened, the fan cranked to high, and the Kenpo Garage was in use for a couple of hours. aside from myself, vince is the only other consistent member. i’ve had others stop by, and they’re always welcome, but sometimes life just doesn’t make time for our hobbies. it helps that vince is a belt level above mine and he knows what i NEED to learn. so true to course, we went through my forms as a warm up. we then proceeded to all of our techniques (28 for me and 44 for him). and lastly we spent a lot of time on my weakest part of this art … my kicks.
i’ve said all along they were weak. i’ve said all along that my kicking looked goofy. so this weekend we spent a lot of time going through my kicks. what he discovered was exactly what i already knew.
i started working on the kicking set. after he finished giggling and pointing he said, “dude, your kicks suck.”
thanks, vince. while tact may not be his best asset, i really do value the honesty behind it. fortunately for me, vince is a good friend and good friends can tell you the truth. and a really good friend will do what they can to help you. i may not ever be a great kicker, but there is room for improvement and we spent a lot of time working on that.
my favorite little drill he had me doing was standing facing an old grill that’s just a bit taller than my waist. feet spread shoulder-width apart. i’d do a deep squat and come up with a crescent kick over the grill. after just a few i could feel the leg muscles starting to whine. but with the flames whipping up from the white-hot coals i didn’t dare get lazy on swinging the leg over. i had no desire to become grilled chicken. the hotter the coals got, the higher i kicked.
i’m just kidding … we didn’t light the grill, but i’m sure it would have given me greater “encouragement” to kick higher. i only hit the grill once (stupid handle). we did a bunch of other kicking drills and i’ve definitely got my work cut out for me. i don’t mind work as long as i can see improvement. the next person i want to see improvement will be my instructor.
tonight’s kenpo night and i’m looking forward to it. i always do. my finger is still jacked up and i can’t make a fist. i probably should get to a doctor and have them x-ray it. but my free time has had a strangle hold and it will be sometime later this week before i can make my way to the doc.
so maybe tonight we’ll work on kicking. who knows … maybe i’ve improved.
— chunky ninja