I had a feeling that I would be sore after this week, though I guess I didn't expect to be quite this sore only after a couple days. I suppose that I am beginning to feel the result of having been on the road for some time now and not been exercising. Robert, the co-owner and founder of Dojang, took me through the routine warm-up that they do at the start of each class. Half way through I was thinking to myself, "this is only the warm-up?"
One hour later I was up in front of the kids class leading their warm-up and assisting with the class. After introducing myself and telling them about what I was doing there, I asked if anyone knew what they wanted to be when they grow up. Listening to a group of nine year olds able to definitively answer that question made me feel like I really need to hurry up and get my act together.
I love working with kids. There is a strong focus at Dojang Studios on making sure the kids have fun. I am pretty sure we accomplished that, especially when it was time for me to put on a the protective sumo suit and have the kids punching, kicking me, and then all at once trying to take me to the ground.
There was a guest instructor in that night, Fatih Turan, from Germany. He is in Vancouver studying acting and so is also working at the studio. He spent over a year in China training every single day, eight hours a day in Wudang Kung Fu... now that's passion!
Yesterday I was introduced to self-defense techniques, pressure points, how to roll, how to get out of holds. We also spent some time in the park learning techniques of the bo staff and then Ian and I had a chance to do some sparring back at the studio. I punched Ian in the face by accident, though luckily his nose is still in place.
It is a really great environment at the studio. They have developed a strong sense of community with small personable classes, focusing more on relationships with the students and their families. They have done a great job in creating this and it's reflective in the supportive environment.