Am I the only one who finds Yugie EXTREMELY attractive here?? I know its an old video but he just looks soooo damn good I keep on going back to the video just to look at his pretty face. Other than wanting to watch him dance freestyle of course💕
I’m very happy to write this post (if you don’t want to read everything, we’re good now) 😊
Fridays we have sparring class. I got there a bit early, changed, and stretched in our side room while B practiced poomsae nearby. My instructor walked in and said “hello Stephanie” and I, trying to keep the peace, responded by bowing and saying “hello sir.” He told us that we’d be sparring tonight but we could go without our hogu (chest protector) and helmets - it’s 96 degrees today and our AC is broken. I got my gear on, helped a younger student get her shin guards on, and went out on the mats.
He wanted us to practice old school point sparring where when one point is scored, you stop and bow and reset, and it’s the first to three points. We ran laps, stretched, and did some kicks to warm up in our gear and I was already sweating buckets. My instructor partnered with me and had me demonstrate low/high roundhouse kicks (to the chest and to the face in the same movement). I kicked normally, he told me to kick lighter as it was just a demonstration and he wasn’t wearing any gear. So I kicked a second time, lighter, but apparently too slow for him as he went “well okay not that light” so the third time I kicked him fast and hard. Then we actually sparred.
We went back and forth exchanging blow for blow - he kicked to my head but I blocked it, I did a turn back kick but he hopped out of the way. He gave positive feedback as we sparred: “you can throw a punch there” or “when you do a back hand, do a kick at the same time” and even “nice block, that’s it Steph.”
The rest of class was fine. Immediately after I got off the mats and changed out of all of my gear. I had plans to go out to dinner with friends after (omg pad Thai was so good) but as I was in the bathroom putting on my street clothes, I resolved to talk to my instructor. I was going to clear the air once and for all. I didn’t want to feel awkward or upset every time I came to class, and I especially didn’t want to be mad all weekend.
B was talking to him as I walked out, she was just letting him know that she wasn’t coming to class tomorrow. She left, and it was just him and I in the dojang.
I walked right up to the counter where he was sitting. I was terrified of saying the wrong thing - I didn’t want to set him off or have him yell at me. So I just kinda awkwardly said: “soooo are we good?”
He paused and looked me in the eyes. It took literally all my resolve not to cry. I folded my shaking hands on the counter, stood up straight, and prepared for what he was going to say.
He did rant a little at first - he admitted that he’s been very frustrated with me this week. He said something like “I don’t know what your problem is, and I don’t know how to talk to you. You seem to shut down in class - you stop participating and you won’t tell me what’s wrong. It’s like I have to force a response out of you, which is why I kicked you harder and yelled at you the other night. I’m not trying to beat you up, I just want you to be able to take a hit and to be stronger. I want you to be able to fight for yourself. We also need to ramp up the intensity in Krav Maga. When you’re not working hard, no one else does. They look to you as an example and you’re not setting a good one.”
I took a deep breath. I’m still amazed I didn’t cry. I told him that the other night when I said he was being too tough on me, I didn’t mean physically. I told him that he’s been really critical, and that when I don’t know how to do a technique or a move, sometimes I need a second to think it through and that when he yells at me for not being fast enough or good enough, it makes me shut down.
This is where I totally expected him to get angry, but I was just satisfied that I was able to express my feelings. But surprisingly, he didn’t get mad. Maybe having a day away yesterday gave him enough space to think about things and cool down.
He responded: “okay, that’s good to know. We’re getting somewhere. What can I do to make this better? How do you learn best? Are you a visual learner or logical?”
I told him that I’m not a visual learner, so it’s not helpful to me when he says “just do this” and demonstrates a combination. It makes more sense to me for him to break it down to something concrete that I can understand: “you need to pivot your foot 90 degrees” or “the combo is rear leg side kick, roundhouse, back kick” or “the chamber is from your waist.”
He said that he understood and that he’d change his approach. He also said he realized that I was taking his criticism personally, and that it wasn’t his intention to hurt me or my feelings, and he sincerely apologized. He said he was glad we had this conversation because he felt like he could cut the tension with a knife. I took this opportunity to apologize as well for being disrespectful, and I explained that I really deeply respect him but I was just so hurt.
We then talked about respect in the dojang as a whole and he kinda laid out some expectations about what he’d like to see - that when we’re on the mats, he’s my master not my friend, so he’d like me to address him appropriately as such (in Krav we call each other by first name and that carried over when I started taekwondo). I told him I understood and that I’d be sure to set the example.
I was happy with this resolution and the conversation ended. I put my shoes on and was just about to leave when he called me back over.
“Stephanie? I just want you to know that I’m really proud of you. I know I don’t say it enough. When I think about how far you’ve come, how much you’ve changed, it makes me emotional. It fills me with pride to be your instructor. Not just the weight loss, but the change in your character and demeanor. You’re so much more confident, and you carry yourself well. You’re so strong. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.”
I was stunned. This was totally out of left field. I thanked him and said that I will be his best student, I just need to know that I have his support. Then the conversation actually ended, and I went out to get dinner with a smile on my face.