Thursday, May 19, 2011

Week of 5/20 - Tryin' to keep up or Kickbox my heart

ed. note - happy May 19th

Imagine, if you would, a very challenging game of Simon. Red, blue, yellow, blue. Repeat. Now imagine that red is a right handed punch and yellow is a left leg front kick. Your challenge is physical. Now make it a guitar hero style rhythm game. Do it on the beat. 1, 2, 3, 4. Punch, block, kick, block. Sounds intense. Heck, sounds fun!

Were you to make an exercise out of this, you could. You could make it a very good exercise. There are only 3 things that can make this exercise not work.

1)    You can’t hear what the pattern is.
2)    The pattern is only described in clues.
3)    The pattern is changed every 10 seconds.

Welcome to Santa Monica’s version of kickboxing.

CW Boston Taekwondo kickboxing was awesome. Loud sadistic Russian woman barking the pattern at you. Repeating it twice and doing it in front of the class. You trying to make your punches and turning kicks as crisp as possible. And when you’ve finally mastered it after a good 16 tries, she barks out “NOW ADD A SNAP KICK!” and you do. And this goes on for an hour as you sweat yourself into a lean mean fighting machine.

Santa Monica kickboxing has a sadistic halfie with impossible bress, but she is neither lucid with her language nor do her commands ever make it over the din of the Dance Dance Revolution soundtrack. You do not follow her moves, but rather the people in the front who have apparently memorized the entire 60 minute workout. Except they have not memorized anything, and their form, you recognize as an adept green belt blue stripe, is poor. And before you know it, half of the class is suddenly touching the floor and punching to the left when you were just doing a left-right-uppercut combo. Pardon me? When was anything like this mentioned? What is this pattern’s rhythm? And are we alternating – AND WHY ARE WE DOING SQUAT KICKS NOW? Then spin, then add two more kicks. Then take them away. Then try not to run into the punches being thrown by the people around you.

This continues for an hour. Or rather, it goes on for about 6 minutes with a one or two minute rest. Indeed, you are getting a workout in those 6 minutes, one comparable to the boston one but does one really need 10 water breaks over the span of the workout? How about I train my cardio through 30 minutes of elevated work instead of 10 bursts? Maybe this is some new fad.

And lest we forget that you are only one of two men in the class, the other being a large guy with his late 40s that looks straight out of Revenge of the Nerds. And all the ladies are giving you a wide berth because your (well placed and perfectly formed) roundhouse kicks could take them out. And given that at any given moment half the class is shuffling left with the other half throwing hooks and elbows, it’s quite the possibility.

So concludes two weeks of working out at least 3 times a week. All things considered, I should be at a solid 190 and legs looking like a race horse come race day. The midsection, while better, will still be round on the edges.

We come now to the tapering phase for our last week of training. Light exercise, pumping up the muscles, and storing energy for one full blast on Sunday morning. As you may have seen, the start times are out. Our start time is near the end on Sunday, meaning we’ll have been able to see several waves of people go before us and learn what works and what doesn’t. We have taken the element of surprise away. And now we must take away the element of fear.

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