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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