Thursday, September 08, 2005

I Have Two Red Spots on My Arm

Alarming title, eh? Don't worry - I haven't caught any terrible diseases yet.

I went to a mixed martial arts class today to check things out and see if I want to take it on a regular basis. It was pretty awesome. I got the extra challenge of getting my lesson in Chinese, which turned out to be pretty awesome. I started by wielding a large stick as a weapon. I was supposed to pull it up to my chest, then push it down toward my hips, and then lunge forward and stab at some invisible opponent, all while making the end of the stick wave around like crazy. It's much harder than it looks. That is for sure.

Then I asked laoshi how to spin the large sticks like the other people were doing. It took me forever to learn how to do it, but he was really helpful and patient. Also, he understood my questions in Chinese, so something was going right. I think my friend Jason videotaped this, actually. I must look ridiculous. I hit the stick on the ground so many times, and I couldn't figure out how to coordinate my hands. And thinking about it, I also hit my leg a few times. What can I say, though? I had never attempted to attack anything with a giant stick before. With that considered, I may not have actually done that badly.

We all went inside after stick practice outside. Once inside, we stretched, and then laoshi got out some arm pads to wear. When it was my turn for the first exercise, he told me to kick the pads 20 times with the outside of the lower half of my leg. I started slow, and then he just kept saying to go faster; so, I did. Did I ever feel dead after that. Wow. And then he told me to do the same with my other leg. It's almost needless to say that I felt like falling over after that.

The next exercise was another kicking one. I had to do high kicks in the same manner as I had just done the low ones. I felt like just letting him kick me in the kidney and end it right there. What a workout! After that, he had me hold onto a pole to practice doing straight-out kicks that had to be perfectly aligned with my whole body. That took some time to have explained to me with my current level of Chinese, but I eventually got what he was telling me. Of course, he told me 20 on both sides. Following that, I had to put gloves on and beat the hell out of a punching bag while guarding my face.

Finally, I sparred. First, I sparred against my friend Ryan. I think that's how I got the red marks on my arm. He didn't have gloves on, and one time I felt his fingertips jab into my arm. If the marks aren't from him, I don't know where they're from. Jason, the other person I sparred against, had gloves on. Jason is some kind of Tae Kwan Do champion, and I didn't really want to spar against him. Thankfully, he didn't beat me up. Haha, I'm joking, of course. I didn't think he'd unleash a fury of kicking on me. Even still, though, I'm glad he took it easy on me.

I'm exhausted. Now China has not only beaten me mentally with classes, but now also physically with martial arts. Soon, it will break me spiritually after I spend more days doing homework for 6 hours. China is toughening me up so much. Yes.


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