Journal #3 – farmer

 

1799

Last month, I just gave my farm to my son. I’ve been tending to this farm for over 50 years now, and I’ve seen a lot of things happen during this time. The biggest thing is that there is now no more monarchy. It’s hard to believe that I was alive on the day the monarchy is abolished, considering how long it’s been there. It all started with a few bad harvests many years ago, which lead to food riots. I didn’t think much of it at the time, I thought everyone would settle down after a year of good harvest. But that year never came, and people got even hungrier. Once the ball got rolling, with the formation of the National Convention, it didn’t take long until the king was executed. It didn’t get any better after king Louis was executed though. The new people in charge, the Girondins and the Jacobins, started executing people left right and center! Lead by the Committee of Public Safety; funny name, when all they’ve done is put fear in everyone’s minds. I’m writing this now because there may be a new ruler soon. But, the thought that won’t go away in my mind is still, was killing the king the right way to go? I mean, when he was in power, sure he did some selfish things, but he also showed that he wanted to help, and maybe we just didn’t give him that chance. If I had known how awful this reign of terror would be, then I would certainly have left the king alive. At least he wouldn’t have gone crazy and started to kill everyone. Well, the answer to that question may be clear quite soon, when we get a new ruler. They say that Napoleon is going to be our new leader, and while he doesn’t seem too imposing to me, maybe a little on the short side, he does have quite the resume. I mean, he certainly knows how to lead and army, based on how many battles he has won. Hopefully he has the same skill with the people of France. Well I don’t have too much to worry about now, my son is covering my farm, so I can really just sit back, relax, and watch Napoleon at work. This will most likely be my last journal entry, unless something major happens. Goodbye

Journal #2

1792

Its been years since the bread riots, and yet, nothing has really changed. Sure the monarchy has less power now, and the third estate is better off. But, I’m still hungry. The taxes are just as high, preventing me from saving any amount of money. Recently, I heard there was another wave of food riots in Paris, if this continues, next time I’m joining them. It’s good other groups that mean well to us are slowly getting more power, but there is some part of me thats worried these radicals the Jacobins and the Girondins  and the Mountains will become too powerful and take things too far. I pray that doesn’t happen though, all I want is to be able to eventually have a stable France.

Early 1793

Big news! The king was executed! I’m not sure whether I feel happy about it. I’m happy because maybe now things will finally change. But I’m also slightly scared at what might happen, and who will take his place to control France. I hope now they will execute his wife as well, you can’t leave the job half done. I also hear they’re establishing a committee of public safety. That sounds very promising, we could all use some more safety. Oh well, I’m not important enough to have a say in any of these things, I can only sit back and watch.

Late 1793

Well they did it, they finally executed Marie Antoinette as well. In other news, a new calendar was introduced, with the year starting on September 22. I don’t get it, what was wrong with our previous calendar? Well great, now I have to get familiar with this calendar so that I can harvest and plant my crops on time. I also hear that there has been a crazy amount of executions with the guillotine recently. Honestly, that machine scares me, as I’m sure it does to others as well. Just thinking about being under it gives me the shivers. I really hope they will think of a better way of executing someone, as this one sounds plain nasty. I’d rather be hung than to get my head chopped off. Oh well, enough of my ranting, the main thing is that France is changing. For the better or for the worse is still to be told.

French revolution primary source document

Here is my primary source document for the French revolution:
http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/355/

Now what is this article about? Well it is written by Arthur Young, an Englishman who traveled through France before the revolution and recorded his expiriences . It is significant because it gives us insight into what France was like in those times. In the document, Arthur says that ” I found many in comfortable circumstances, such as might rather be called small farmers than cottagers, and in Basse Bretagne, many are reputed rich, but in general they are poor and miserable, much arising from the minute division of their little farms among all the children. In Lorraine, and the part of Champagne that joins it, they are quite wretched. I have, more than once, seen division carried to such excess, that a single fruit tree, standing in about ten perch of ground, has constituted a farm, and the local situation of a family decided by the possession.” This shows that most farmers in France were quite poor. Arthur also comments ” At Salbris, in Sologne, for a sheep-walk that feeds 700 sheep, and 200 English acres of other land, paid the landlord, for his half, about 331. sterling; the whole rent, for land and stock too, did not, therefore, amount to 1s. per head on the sheep.” This is a prime example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Now why is this related to me? Well, if you do not know, I’m a farmer, so many of the things that Arthur is talking about applies to me.

 

In-Depth post # 6 (new tricks!)

Welcome back to my In-depth project of tricking! This post will just be an update to where I am now, and with In-Depth night coming up soon in May, where I will be.

Lets start off with an update to my progress! I’ve continually been practicing the tricks that I’ve shown before, such as the 540 and the auto-bahn. But I’ve added two new tricks to my arsenal! Well…technically its one and a half, since I still haven’t landed the second trick. The first trick is……………………………..THE FRONT FLIP!
That’s right, I’ve moved onto flipping now! Without further ado, here is my best front flip attempt (and it took me a while to get it)

Too fast for you? HOW ABOUT IN SLOW MOTION?

Nitpicking time! Taking a look at my mentor’s front flip and mine, there are a few key differences: In my front flip, I rotate faster, but I also get way less height than in his front flip. Now you might think that this is a good thing, but it’s more important to have the height in order to safely complete the trick. Having such a low vertical means that I have to rotate much faster in order to land my flip, which puts a lot of pressure on my joins, and also gives me less margin of error in case I flip to far or too little. Next time I do it I would definitely try to jump up higher.

The second trick is quite similar to my first trick. If you haven’t guessed it yet, it is…………………………………. THE BACK FLIP!!!
At first glance, you might think that the back flip is harder than the front flip, but according to my mentor, that’s not true. The back flip is actually slightly safer as you can see where you’re going to land throughout the flip. However, on the front flip, you can’t see where you land until the split second before you land (if you go back to my front flip, you can see that I’m only looking forward in the last 1/4 of the flip). The main thing that is difficult about the back flip is the fear factor of going upside down and landing on your head. And I can tell you, when attempting this trick, it is very real indeed. Well enough talk, lets see it!

As you can see, I didn’t quite land it, but it was pretty close for my first ever attempt at a back flip. Now lets see it in SLOW MOTION

When I got my mentor, Serg to look at it, he said my technique was ok, but he recommended my to start off lower in a stronger stance and to grab my thighs in midair to prevent myself from opening up. This also gives my arms something to do, as you can see they’re awkwardly positioned the whole time. (The person I had spotting me was an instructor from my taekwondo who could also perform a backflip) It may be a while until my next back flip however: all the flips in this post were filmed on one day, and after I got home, my knee hurt when I put too much pressure on it. After a few days it started feeling better, but I want to make sure I heal completely before I do any other high degree of difficulty tricks.

Well that sums it up for the past two weeks! But moving forward, what am I going to do for my In-depth night presentation? Well, I’ve decided to compile many of my gifs ( I will film new ones) into a video to project onto the screen. If it’s under two minutes, I might also do a before and after, or a bloopers segment as well, so look forward to that!

That’s it for this blog post, I believe this is the last one until the actual In-depth night though I might be mistaken. I will post the final product as soon as I am finished. This is Kevin, signing off.

Journal (farmer)

Entry #1, 1773

Hi, my name is Abel de Sommes, and I am a farmer in France. I own a small farm on the outskirts of France; enough to feed my family of 4, as well as a little bit extra money that I use for other things. It’s currently the year 1773, and my crops are not doing so well due to the weather. Unfortunately when this happens I have no grain stores to fall back on, as I either sell or eat everything I grow. I have heard rumors of many different farming techniques however, such as “fertilization”. They sound much more efficient than my current strategy, which relies heavily on manual labor. Fortunately for us, I have a small amount of money saved up for emergencies, so that in the case of crop failure, my family can survive. As long as my crop is good next year, everything will return back to normal.

Entry #2, 1774

Bad, bad news. A hailstorm has just taken out my crops for a second strait year. Based off what I hear, other farmers in France are in the same boat I am.  If you thought last year’s bread prices were high, wait until you try and buy bread this year. The prices are going to go through the roof! There are rumors around town, speaking of a protest. Hopefully the harvest next year is good, all I want is to be able to feed my family.

Entry #3, 1775

The people have finally had enough. There was a riot in Dijon a week ago, and I bet many more are happening as I write. This new finance minister, Turgot abolished police regulations on grain, which prevent hording and keep prices stable. He instead introduced free trade, which lead to grain owners hoarding grain for themselves, driving the prices up even higher. Something has to happen, at this rate, we will all be staving by next year.

Entry #4, 1775

Well they finally sorted that out. After many more riots, hundreds, I heard, the king finally did something. First, he brought in soldiers, 25 thousand in fact. These soldiers arrest quite a few people, and even HUNG 2 of them, to send a message to us I guess. The last thing he did was he forced all the supply owners to sell their grain at a fixed price, which solved the problem… for now. But once you put the fear of famine in peoples heads, they will remember it for a very long time. I hear many talking of a revolution, but not enough for it to become a reality yet…

Entry #5, 1776

Since the riots, my life has been rather uneventful. I heard that Turgot got dismissed; about time, that guy lead us into this crisis to begin with. Hopefully this new  Jacques Necker will do a better job. I’m getting quite busy with planting seeds this time of year. I will update this Journal whenever I have the time. Until then, goodbye.

Memes for days – Dol #3

Never in a million years did I think I would be making memes in class. But alas, that day is here. For this document, I made three memes, one for each category: big idea, Hamilton, and current events. Some of the memes cross over into other categories, but I’ll explain that later.

My first meme is mainly about the big idea : disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies. Here it is:

jefferson slaves

I made this meme because I found it ironic Jefferson wanted freedom and yet still owned hundreds of slaves. For this meme, I used the saying: behind every great man is a great woman, and while Jefferson had a wife, he also had a lot of help from his slaves. This also somewhat corresponds with Hamilton as Jefferson was a important character in the play.

Now moving on to my second meme, which is mainly on Hamilton, but also connects with current events:

Bulls Meme

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’re not updated on the basketball world, you won’t understand this meme. BUT, ITS OK because I will explain it. The first part is obvious, Burr shot and killed Hamilton, but the 95-96 Bulls may be confusing. The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls basketball team currently holds the best regular season record of all time (72-10) and is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. My meme is based off many other memes using this team. The reason why it has come up so much is because the Golden State Warriors are at a point (as of now), where they can beat the record. They are currently at 71-10 with 1 game left to play. Earlier in the season, there were many comparing the two teams using the common phrase “but can the 15-16 Warriors beat the 95-96 Bulls”. It has even gone to the point when anyone does an impressive feat someone would say the phase “but can ________ (beat, defeat, outscore, etc) the 95-96 Bulls”. My meme is basically using the same format.

My last meme is on current events, and it’s no surprise that it’s about none other than TRUMP!

I dont always tell jokes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one is pretty self-explanatory: Trump’s presidency is basically a joke, and who better than the most interesting man in the world to point out that fact?

Well those are my three memes, I hope you enjoyed them and maybe even laughed (even though they’re pretty lame).

In-depth post #5 – My first flip! (kinda)

Alright I’m back! And as promised from last week, I have learned the auto-bahn! True it may not be perfect, but that’s what practice is for!
Here is the trick:

The main thing I have to work on this trick is the height of my second kick, the hook kick. This may be just a flexibility thing, but I will keep practicing to see if I can get a better arc on this kick to make it look better.

Along with practicing the auto-bahn, I’ve also been working on my 540, as it is a very good basic kick that requires me to improve my rotation speed in the air in order to get a better trick. I’m going to show you my 540 from a few weeks ago to my 540 now, see if you can spot a difference:

If you haven’t read my previous posts, then I hope you picked the right clip as the more recent one, because it is. Now for an in-depth breakdown to these two clips. First off is my landing. I’ve stated in my previous post that I would like to work on my landing. As you can see in the left clip, when I land, most of my momentum is going downward as my rotation slows as soon as I hit the ground. My body also dips extremely before straitening up. After some analysis from my mentor, Serg, I worked on tightening my rotation by spinning faster and keeping my hands close to my body to stay aerodynamic. In the second clip, after I land I continue my rotation speed, which shows that I’ve made my landing softer and smoother. I also don’t dip my body quite as hard. Unfortunately, my cameraman missed the beginning of the second clip so I cannot analyse my movements before I take off. But just by looking at my landing, I’m confident I’m making strides in the right direction with the help from my mentor. Before I move on to an update about the demo team, I have another secret trick to show. I’m sure that you’ve noticed the title of this post. Now you must be wondering “Where is this flip that Kevin is talking about?”. WELL, HERE IT IS:


I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what this was. There is one thing I know for sure: this is one UGLY flip. I believe that this is in between a front handspring and a front flip. This is because I used my hands as support, however, as you can see in the video, I’ve put almost no weight on my arms as my momentum continues downward. I’m positive I could have done this without my arms if I had jumped a little bit higher, making it a front flip. Also, notice my awkward squat landing, it HURT my legs! If I was going to do this again, I would definitely keep my arms strait to give me more of a cushion so I won’t have to put so much pressure on my landing. I will be sure to clean this one up a lot more before my next post!

The demo team run by my mentor, Serg has been running pretty smoothly. In our 1 and a half hour class, we spend about half of it running through our demonstration so everyone is synchronized, the other half we practice neat demonstration tricks that I’ve never even seen or heard of before. Some of these include: the split kick (where you jump up in the splits and kick targets at your head level), the jumping front kick(a simple jumping front kick except you land on both feet at the same time, its harder than it looks!) and many others! I haven’t gotten any video but for my next post I will definitely try to film some stunts.

Now to answer some questions:

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Since I see my mentor every Saturday during the demo team meeting, he is able to share a lot of his knowledge as well as some tips and tricks (ha get it) when it comes to tricking. This was especially true in the last demo team meeting we had last week, where he challenged me to match many of the tricks he was doing.

2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

I would say the best resources I have to reinforce my new learning are videos. Through watching videos of me doing the new tricks, and watching a professional, I can compare and contrast to figure out what I am doing right my trick.

3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Again, videos are especially great for this purpose. I can view the clips for tricks and then see what I can improve on them.

4. When you get together what do you talk about?

When me and my mentor get together we usually talk about taekwondo or tricking since that’s why I found him. However since I’ve gotten to know him better we have been talking about more general things like what’s going on in the world as well.

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

I think that me and Serg have become decent friends through this project, which is good because I don’t feel awkward anymore being around him. This also means he can be more honest with his opinions because he knows that I can take it.

6. What are you learning about one another?

Me and Serg are learning more about each other in general. Things like music and movie preferences, and what sports we have in common are just a few of the many things we are learning about each other.

F the police? DOL

F the police?
Police are supposed to be the good guys, so why does this saying keep popping up? The answer is all over the news: “police shoot unarmed black teen” “woman dies under police custody”. But are police really at fault here? Or are they victims as well? Those are questions that I want to research.

Why is this important? So what? Who cares?

Since police play such an important role in our society, it’s very important to be able to put our trust in them to do their job correctly. Maybe it’s not the fault of the police, maybe it is, either way, something has to change in order for the trust to be regained between the public and the police.

Inform

Since there are many cases of police shootings, and I have limited time, I will research two cases.

The first one is the shooting of Michael Brown:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Officer Darren Wilson responded to a call regarding Brown and his friend stealing cigarillos. After encountering Brown and his friend along the street, Wilson blocked them with his cruiser. An altercation ensued with Brown and Wilson struggling through the window of the cruiser for control of Wilson gun until it was fired. The shots hit Brown’s hand. Afterwards, Brown and his friend fled, with Wilson in pursuit. Brown then turned and moved towards Wilson. This was when Wilson fired the fatal shots at Brown. Much of the evidence from the scene supports the Jury’s decision that Wilson acted in self defense, including this diagram: 

Witness testimony is wildly inconsistent. Much of the testimony from witnesses against Wilson’s testimony has been discounted, with some witnesses saying they lied under oath. However, there are many witnesses that are consistent with Wilson’s testimony, saying that instead of surrendering, Brown “charged” at Wilson. These witnesses also said they were afraid of “backlash” from their statements, and so did not release them to the media.

The second is the death of Eric Gardner:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Eric_Garner#Eric_Garner

The death of Eric Gardner occurred on July 17, 2014 in Staten Island, New York after police officer Daniel Pantaleo put Gardner in an illegal choke hold. The altercation began when police approached Gardner on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes without a tax stamp. After Gardner resisted arrest, Pantaleo put Gardner into a choke hold that is against NYPD policy and forced him onto the ground. Unlike the Michael Brown incident, this incident was captured on a cellphone (WARNING, VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE) and it clearly shows Pantaleo putting Gardner into a choke hold, as well as Gardner saying “I can’t breathe” multiple times, a saying that became very popular with protesters. Gardner was declared dead at the hospital one hour later.

Well, that completes my two pieces of information. Let’s move on to why these things happen.

Causes:

None of these incidents are caused by one reason. I will go though some of the top reasons of why these incidents happen. The biggest one and most obvious is racism, or racial profiling. America’s racist days are not that long ago, and although efforts are being made to make things fair and equal for all races, there is still a lot of racism remaining in our society. The statistics show it too, the majority of stop and frisk victims in New York are either black or Latino (53% and 34% respectively in 2011). A study was conducted where the participant was given a picture of either an armed or unarmed white or black man, where they had to make a decision to shoot or to not shoot within a split second. “All of these results are consistent with a Black-crime implicit bias and this bias was found in both African American and White participants.” Another reason is inadequate training. What else may explain the usage of an illegal choke hold? It seems in general police in America are quick to go for their gun, when they carry non-lethal options with them. Lorie Fridell, an Associate Professor of criminology says: “(police) Training involves an average of about 60 hours on deadly force – the use of firearms – and just over 60 hours on self-defence. Compare that to de-escalation conflict resolution training: the average there is only eight hours of training, and most of that is classroom-based…” 

Diverse opinions:

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and boy, are there a lot of opinions on this topic! Starting with some public opinions, and then I will share my own opinion as well.

With the Michael Brown case, there was an immediate public outcry. Most these people believed that Wilson shot Brown after Brown put his hands up in surrender while shouting “don’t shoot”. If Brown was really surrendering, then Wilson would have killed an innocent teenager who was showing no aggression. There are multiple witness accounts that back this side up, however, many of these witnesses eventually admitted to fabricating their claims. The other side of the story is Darren Wilson’s side. He, with many witnesses to back him up, claims that Brown assaulted him through the window of his cruiser, and after running a short distance away, Brown suddenly turn around to charge at the officer, repeatedly ignoring commands to stop. An audio recording of the last few gunshots also remains consistent with both Wilson and multiple witnesses. This evidence points to Wilson shooting Brown in self-defense, in which case, Wilson was not at fault.

So what do I believe? I believe Darren Wilson. Why? My logic is this. Michael Brown was not an innocent teen minding his own business when he got shot. Right before the shooting, he had just robbed and assaulted the clerk at a nearby corner store. The injuries seen on officer Darren Wilson’s face are also consistent with  his claims that Brown assaulted him through the window of his cruiser. That and the testimony of multiple witnesses that all remain consistent with Wilson convinced me that Wilson’s shooting of Brown was justified.

What about Eric Garner? The best piece of evidence in this case is the video that a bystander shot of the altercation. Even with this video however, there are still two sides to the argument. The protester’s side in this case, argues that Pantaleo is in the wrong and that an abuse of power occurred. Some of the reasons for this are: Pantaleo put Garner into an illegal choke hold. After hearing Garner say “I can’t breathe” multiple times, Pantaleo finally lets go of his choke hold, but continues to keep Garner in an uncomfortable position, causing him to fall unconscious. While Garner is unconscious, none of the police around him or even the EMT’s when they arrive, perform any kind of CPR on Garner.  The other side says that this act is justified. Garner was far from innocent as he was illegally selling single cigarettes without a tax stamp and had been arrested 30 times prior to this incident. In the video, Garner is clearly seen to be resisting arrest and noncompliance. When asked about why they didn’t perform CPR, a sergeant on the scene, Kizzy Adoni said  “The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and he did not appear to get worse.”

What is my opinion on this topic?

My opinion on this incident is much more complex than my opinion on the Michael Brown shooting. I have watched the entirety of the bystander video, and I while I do agree that an excessive amount of force was used in restraining Garner, I also believe that Garner was unreasonably uncooperative with police. Now you could argue that if Garner didn’t resist, this whole thing wouldn’t have happened, but my point is, something like this never should happen if police were trained right. This segways me onto the final heading.

What can be done?

First off, I would like to say that while I do support the protests for the Eric Garner case, I do not support the protests for the Michael Brown case, especially not the violence. Does anyone remember 2010 when the Vancouver Canucks had the chance to win the Stanley cup? Remember what happened when we lost? There were riots all over the city. Many of the biggest trouble makers weren’t even Canucks fans! I believe the same case happened in Ferguson. Many people don’t educate themselves on a topic before believing somethings someone else says.  I remember when I first heard of the shooting, I thought Wilson was definitely in the wrong. So what can be done about this? I believe the answer lies in training. More police training on how to control a situation without immediately going for a gun can and will save lives. I believe most of our focus should be on that, rather than combating racism, because racism is not something you can just beat out of a person. Even people who consciously say they are not racist, and who try to not be racist, still have a bit of racial profilling in them. Racial profiling is not something that is going to go away.  Another thing that would help is police body cameras. I know for sure if my parents are watching me, I’d behave better.

Now to relate back to the questions at the top of my post. Who really is the victim? Well that depends on the situation. In the Michael Brown shooting, I believe that Darren Wilson is a victim, because even if he did nothing wrong, all the backlash that he received has in his own words made him “unemployable“. In the other case, I believe that Eric Garner is the victim of police brutality and abuse of power.

 

Well that was a lot of reading!

If you stuck with me the whole time and read the whole article,  I think that you deserve way more than a thanks.
But that’
s the best I can give, so thanks for reading!

In-depth post #4 – Demo team!

Today, I just had my first meeting with the other members of the demo team! Some people I knew, some I didn’t. Since it was the first meeting, we didn’t do any extreme tricks. Instead, we did some basic stuff like cartwheels and dive rolls as well as some teamwork drills to get to know each other better. I’m super excited to be a part of this team, as my mentor, Serg, sent me some videos of his team’s previous performance and it was really fun to watch. Since I have a taekwondo competition next week, my instructor requested that I temporarily stop from doing tricks, as there is a chance of injury. SO, instead of showing tricks that I’ve done this week, I’ve decided to show a few short clips of the last performance Serg did to give a taste of what might be in my posts in the future.

The first clip is of a kicking combination. The first two guys both did 540 kicks, and Serg finished with a 720 kick (I hope to eventually work my way up to this kick), the second clip is of Serg doing a Gainer flash kick (unfortunately he slipped during the landing). I’m probably not going to be able to do the flash kick within this project, but the 720 kick is definitely something I would like to accomplish.

Over the next few weeks, I will continuously work on the tricks that I already know like the cartwheel, kip-up, and 540. I also plan on learning the Auto-bahn as well as attempting variations to the current tricks I know like the one hand cartwheel and the pop 360, so make sure you tune back next post!

Now time to answer the questions for this post!

  1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?

My most difficult mentoring challenge so far is definitely trying to get time with my mentor. Since we run on different schedules, its really hard to get some 1 on 1 time in a place where we can train. However, since I’ve joined the demo team, this will no longer be a problem!

2. What is working well? Why?

I’d say my relationship with my mentor is working really well. In the few times I’ve been practicing with him, we’ve gotten along very well. Since we both do taekwondo, we have some similar interests. When I first met him, I was awkward, but now I’m way more comfortable working with Serg.

3. What could be working better? How could you make sure this happens?

At this point, I feel like everything is working fine with my mentor. Aside from our meeting times, which has now been solved, I’ve been working well with  him. Since Serg is a taekwondo instructor, he is a really great teacher and has given me a lot of useful tips.

 

And that about wraps it up for this weeks post! Thanks for reading, and make sure you check back in a few weeks for my next post!

In-depth post #3 – Learning the 540

As promised on my previous blog post, this week I was going to attempt the 540 spinning roundhouse kick. I already know how to do a 360 spinning roundhouse kick due to my taekwondo training, but the 540 kick adds an additional 180 degrees to the kick. Before this week, I’ve never attempted this kick before, and it really showed! I usually do all my practicing and filming at my taekwondo school after my class. So I generally have only 2 periods of around 15 minutes to practice my moves (but that is about to change!) Before attempting this trick, I did a bit of research online and with my mentor, Serg. What I gained from my research was to basically start slow and basic with the technique before actually attempting the trick in full speed. So that’s what I did; In the 2 weeks between my previous post and this one, I used the first week just to practice the motion of that extra 180 degree rotation. It was only in the second week where I finally began practicing the 540 kick for real. Currently, my completion rate for this kick is only around 50% due to either me hesitating or losing my balance while kicking. And I can’t even kick that high yet! There is definitely plenty of room for improvement. I can talk about how I did this kick for this entire post, but I’d rather show it! Here is my 540: 

Time to pick it apart! The first piece of advice I received was from my mentor regarding my rotation speed. He said to try and maintain my momentum throughout the trick. It’s kind of hard to see because of the choppiness of the video, but there are two places where I slow my momentum: when I step into the kick, and when I”m about to jump up. They’re very small, but they make a huge difference. Serg told me the way to fix this was just to keep practicing so I become more comfortable with the trick. The second flaw that I noticed was the way I use my arms. In every video of a 540 I saw, the person doing it used their arms way more efficiently for momentum than I did. The last flaw that I noticed is my awkward landing. Not only do I look like I’m about to fall, I also landing extremely hard on my foot. Well that was a lot of mistakes. But, I’m not going to let that discourage me at all. In the next two weeks, I will continue working on the cartwheel, kip-up, and 540 to sharpen them up before continuing onto harder tricks.

Earlier in my post, I mentioned that my practice sessions are about to change. Now it’s time for the huge reveal! My mentor, Serg, has formed a taekwondo demonstration team, and has invited me to be a part of it! I quickly accepted. This is not only a great opportunity for me to  practice my tricking under direct supervision of my mentor, but it’s a great opportunity for me to get to know my mentor better as well! The first practice is in March, and I’m extremely excited.

Now to answer some questions!

  1. What learning challenges emerged?
    Due to my mentors busy schedule (he is currently in university), it is hard to find a time where we can meet up and practice tricking. This limits my direct instruction time with Serg. However, I found that using an instant messenger such as Facebook worked quite well. I could send Serg questions and he could send back his advice and feedback anytime. Now that I’m on his demo team though, I will get a lot more direct instruction from Serg.
  2. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring  interactions?
    Strategy #1: Getting to know each other better so that it will be less awkward
    Strategy #2: Before we meet, decide on what we will work on so we don’t waste precious time.
    Strategy #3: Let my mentor know what my goals are.
  3. What is the action plan for implementing each of the three strategies?
    Strategy #1: Spend some time during each session just talking to my mentor.
    Strategy #2: Message my mentor on Facebook to discuss what to work on before the session.
    strategy #3: Constantly updating my mentor on what I would like to accomplish through this project by talking in person or messaging. 

 

Well that concludes this weeks post, thanks for reading!

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