Have you ever been outnumbered? I mean really and truly outnumbered? Today the first class had 25 students and 1 Master Instructor with 2 assistants. Yes I was one of the two assistants. There were jump ropes everywhere and almost no room to maneuver. We dodged so many ropes that I am pretty sure we were training for some new type of sport. The kids were good though in terms of listening to the half a million times we said “back up” or “move over” etc. Only a few did not know how to jump rope so we focused a bit on them but with so many on the mat we could not stay with them for long. One kid threw his jump rope down because it was “too hard” I looked at him and said quite sternly “a boy your size (he’s about 8/9) should not be throwing a tantrum. Pick up your rope and continue to try you don’t get better by quitting.” He glared at me but come on dude you can see the class is full and you are definitely one of the older kids so set an example. We ended up having to do line drills with 5 lines and the Grandmaster had to come out on the mat to help us. I am quite sure he did not mind but still it was weird to see him holding targets for kids, he usually walks around and helps out. They did a super job though and even when most of them did not have sparring gear they gave it their all so that was good. When we did sparring I ended up doing four rounds, I had two kids I spared twice and that was fun. One fella at the end got a fit of giggles and just let me keep kicking him. I had to remind him to fight back but he was tired apparently from playing baseball in the afternoon so that explained it a bit.
Next class was the Mighty Mites……uggg teaching one kid to jump rope…ugggg. OK now normally I am really good with special needs kids but today for whatever reason the little fella I am usually paired with was not listening worth a dang. I mean not a dang. So after about 5 minutes we swapped thinking maybe I am having an off day and my directions are not clear. The other assistant came over and tried to in vain I might add to teach this little guy how to jump rope. While I felt better it wasn’t just me, I felt bad he could not do it on his own. We went on to line drills and he did a bit better though I did not have him in my line, the Grandmaster did. My three were pretty good but needed about a half a million prompts to stay focused. I was getting sick of hearing my own voice too!!! But they did a good job it was just that they kept staring off into space and not paying attention when it was their turn so I had to keep calling them in the line.
The next class only had three kids and there was at that point on more SWAT members so I went to the side. They did good jump roping and in their target drills. When it came time to spar I had to spar each of them twice. They were really good though and kept focus. One of the little guys is the one who is in love with me and tried to kiss my hand. I told him we could not do that because it was not really the right thing to do. He was disappointed but had a lot of fun sparring me so I think that made up for it. I went for another six rounds. One fella looked at me and said “But you are bigger than me I can’t win” I smiled and said to him “Look in the adult class, when I have to take classes I am the shortest person in the class. I am also the oldest. But I don’t let my age or my shortness keep me from doing my best so you do your best and it will be all right.” I then explained that the points were only from contact not from making me move or fall over and counted for him as we sparred the number of hits he got. He was genuinely impressed with himself and really did a nice job. His parents asked me after class if what I had said was true and the Master Instructor said “Yep she is oldest and shortest” I was just happy that their son was proud of himself so that felt good that I could help with that aspect.
Last class was two kids so I was off the mat again. Then my kids told me they did not have their gear so we had to come home. Oh well SWAT class tomorrow and black belt class on Saturday….hopefully I will survive both unscathed.