Master Frankovich mentioned at our last promotion that all of the cuts are cuts forward.  Only the position from which we cut forward changes, not the direction of the cut.

So, I’ve been trying to keep that in mind despite a pretty busy week.  One of my goals is to have every promotion-related technique practiced at least 100 times before next promotion.  That is going to be a real doozie since I’m going to miss a month of classes.  (It looks like I’ll be hanging out some with Master Oz at Twin Ports Haidong Gumdo to make up time to qualify for promotions.)

The Cut 2 combo is longer and a bit more involved than Cut 1 (25 instead of 14 cuts in the respective combinations), so it took me longer than I thought to get them done!

Here is what I’m watching myself for in Cut 2:

Am I holding a good kimase/horse stance?  Verdict: Our knees and toes are supposed to be in line over one another, and our butt and heels are supposed to be over one another.  My legs are three and a half feet long and my feet are only 12 inches long.  That means that a 30-degree angle is as deep as my kimase is really going to get without inviting knee injuries in the long term.  That isn’t going to LOOK as cool as someone whose legs are ten inches shorter and their feet only two inches smaller, yes?  Simple geometry.  So partially I’m learning to accept the limits of how I’m made, because that’s how God designed me, and pushing machinery in ways other than its design is an invitation for trouble.  My stork-long legs means that my stances are not going to be as low or look as low as someone else’s.  It isn’t that I’m not mobile, it’s that I don’t look mobile.  The plus side?  My lunge / daedose can hit from a mile away.

At last promotion I learned I’m not allowed to loosen my grip on the sword hilt just to get a pretty angle in cut combinations.  So I have been using a no-bounce hammer to practice in-doors at work and at home.  It makes sure that I have a hilt to grab hold of at all times, which in turn is hopefully going to help me correct overreach in my stopping positions.  I think my starting cut positions are pretty solid except for left-to-right horizontal cut, which has been rising.

I think I have greatly reduced the rise in my horizontal cut this week.  As a reward I found two new problems to fix.
1] I’ve got a jag, a bit of a pause between my second kiap and the straight cut at the start of the third part of Cut 2.
2] I’m still overextending in my stopping position for my left angle cut, with the result that my right shoulder is not currently speaking to me.cartoon_sword_cut_by_realtazman-d56tmdf

The other perk of training with a no-bounce hammer or mallet is that it exaggerates the cut line.  If my wrists are bent or my hands twist at the end of the technique there is a day-glo pound of orange plastic wobbling to give it away.

I’ve also taken the run through Cut 2 as a chance to practice something Mr. Wyatt of Twin Ports HGD told me: Flow and speed don’t come from doing the cut faster, because my cut lines go to heck when I do that.  Instead, it’s more about eliminating the hesitations and pauses between techniques themselves.

Record so far:
2/23: SSGB 1: 1, SSGB 2: 1, SSGB 3: 1, SSGB 4: 1, SSGB 5: 5,
2/24: Cut 2: 47,
2/25: Cut 2: 53, (100 reps total, aka 2500 cuts total, aka ow my shoulders hurt)

As a random side note in martial arts, I have been pondering which transition moves I think fit my personal style for the Blue Cottage TKD forms.  I personally like the leg-sweep transition from the back punch to the elbow strike at the end of Hwarang Hyung, but don’t think the crescent kick before the mountain blocks is realistic or helpful in Toigye Hyung, mostly because of range.  After a big crescent kick no one is going to be close enough for your mountain block to catch anything.

Also, today, I noticed in the skipping knife hand kimase strikes in Dosan Hyung that my right shoulder really is ticked with me and I  better cool it for a bit and give it more time to recover.

That is not a total tangent.  A while back Master Koivisto did an excellent blog post about the benefits of cross-training.  So, picking my simple-but-hard TKD style back up will be good training for now, but I’m going to keep working the forms and blocking positions of Tang Soo Do in the hopes that I will one day write the Great American Sci-Fi Nerdgasm of a Novel and afford to study multiple arts at Range Martial Arts on the weekends.  I know that chatting with Brad occasionally about Pyung-Ahn O-Dan makes me miss evenings spent at Luther Park Bible Camp seeing if I could do all of Naihanji while balancing on a smooth log.  (It turns out that yes, I “used ta could” as they say.  Doing Korean forms balancing on a bench watching the sunset over Lake 26 in Wisconsin; Total Zen Moment.)

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