Thursday, December 27, 2007

Space.

As I look to move my Wednesday class to a different facility, I've come to realize how extremely lucky I've been to have a large, clean space for my OSU class. Even though the new facility offers only about 1/3rd the space we had (to be fair, our old floor was about 50 yards long) it is still far superior to what I've been able to find off campus.

Currently, I'm looking at a YMCA facility that is, to say the least, humble. But, it has plans for expansion and growth into a new building, so it is an opportunity to get in at the ground floor, so to speak. In the meantime, I would be using a space only slightly larger than my bedroom to run a class.

I know that in the past, large training floors were a luxury that came with either extreme luck or a hefty price tag. I love watching footage of schools in Japan that have 50 people training in an extremely small room. Unfortunately, I'm not quite used to this method of training.

I have some ideas for making the most out of this small space, and gaining positive benefits from the changes in training.

Line Drill:
Marching up and down the floor for a majority of class, which is my preferred method of working on basics, would have to be re-worked. Techniques could be done in place, switching sides every 10 repetitions or so. This would have the benefit of a great isometric leg workout as well. Shifting the stances to a 45 degree angle in place would also allow us to switch sides every technique. I could also get creative by practicing the technique by stepping forwards once, and then stepping backwards on the other.

Targeting:
An excellent drill, both for cardiovascular improvement (in place of a rapid-fire drill) which would lead to stronger, more focused techniques than "hitting air."

Hyung:
In a large room, all ranks can easily work on their own hyung without collision or space issues. In a small room, I'm afraid we'd have to spend time focusing on one or two forms, or rotate groups on and off the floor. Give the white belts a break while everyone else works on a more advanced form. Have the whole class work on cool down stretches while black belts work on an advanced form at the end of the day.

My instructor would always have groups demonstrate a hyung together in a very tight space, lined up practically shoulder to shoulder. It's a great feeling to see your students working together to overcome this obstacle and move as a single unit. The Spartans would be proud. Learning to work together helps to build the sunbae/hubae relationship.

Sparring:

As fun as it is to supervise 20 groups sparring at once, this would best be accomplished by having the class watch a single pair work at once. While not as physically demanding, it would give people a chance to examine strategies used and how to overcome them.

If I end up using this facility, it will be very interesting to see how 2 schools under the same instructor can have a very different feel while still adhering to the same traditional principles.
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