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.

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