31st challenge completed – Taekwondo

Following the my previous week’s session at Taekwondo, I returned this week for my second session. It started with more of the same, an extended warm up with various technique and flexibility exercises. The difference this week was that instead of splitting of into two groups, we all stayed in our various lines and the whole session was a progressive technique workshop focusing on different punching and kicking motions.

It’s pretty obvious to me that this isn’t a sport that I am likely to excel at, partly because of the need for both balance and flexibility which definitely isn’t my strong point. It was however something that I really enjoyed and the exercises were likely to be beneficial for running and other sports.

Overall in the two sessions, I think I’ve got a good understanding of the sport, some of the history and etiquette and what is required to be successful. For now, I going to settle for this and move onto the next challenge.

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After a few false starts I’ve finally given Taekwondo a go. There were a few options around London, but after my previous negative experiences with martial arts I really wanted to join a proper beginners session. As a result I signed up for Taekwondo London, which is a traditional taekwondo association (WTF-sytle) club. Their website is http://www.taekwondo-london.co.uk/ and at various times during the year they hold specific beginner sessions as well as regular weekly sessions that beginners are able to attend.

As a result, my experience was far more enjoyable then with Judo and I actually came away from the session, looking forward to going back.

There were about 25 pupils in the session and like most martial arts there is a hierarchy and individuals line up depending on their grading and experience. This actually works out really well as during the warm up sessions, it gives those with less experience the opportunity to watch others. After the extended warm up, myself and 4 other beginners were split off from the other group and we focused on the basics techniques. I generally managed ok, but it did require a huge amount of focus, and balance, the latter of which is not something that I’m naturally gifted with.

I’m definitely going to go next week and take it from there.

Watch this space!

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30th challenge completed – Rugby

It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally moved on from 29 and completed my 30th challenge. As I’ve previously stated, whilst I’ve always been a big fan of rugby and regular spectator, I’d never actually played the game.

I decided that tag rugby 7s would be more sensible then playing contact 7s as the risk of getting injured and not being able to complete the challenge in time, or the New York Marathon (training started yesterday!) would have been a distinct possibility.

The tag rugby league that I signed up to was call ‘Try Tag Rugby’ based in Acton. They have a variety of mixed and men’s leagues of various standards, but all of the leagues are very social and many of the teams go for drinks after the matches. My team was call Uptag Funk and consisted of 5 guys and 4 girls, none of us having previously met. Luckily we all got on really well, but we weren’t exactly the most gifted rugby players so definitely took us a while to get up to speed, both regarding the tactics but also the rules.

The first game was a bit of a disaster, think we lost 17-3, but we were later informed that the team we played should have been in the league above so that definitely made us feel a little better. Over the next couple of weeks we improved but still remained winless, that was until we came across the team top of the league. Suddenly it all came together, not just the rest of the team, but I also had a blinder, scoring three tries in a comfortable win. Unfortunately, that was the only success we had all season despite a couple of other close matches.

It was really good fun and although I can’t commit to the summer league it’s definitely something that I would consider again once I have time.

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