Lockdown has been tough; it’s thrown my whole schedule and routine out the window. I only know to keep track of the days by the plethora of zoom quizzes every Friday and you can’t imagine the diet and lack of exercise. You never realise how that hour class at the dojo keeps my sanity and waistline under control.
It is time to take action! I had seen the Virtual Training but wasn’t ready to admit that my motivation is at an all-time low – I can imagine the disappointing looks from the Senseis already. Today is the day! I have subscribed to the Virtual training and ready to start my first class! It felt so surreal standing in my front room in my Xen-Do gear but I can’t believe how much I’ve missed it! I am waiting with angst to get back into the dojo, but for now my belt is tide, my feet together and my buttocks are clenched.
I click on a class and let it begin; Sensei Shervin. I’ve had a class before by Sensei Shervin in Baker Street last year and he definitely didn’t disappoint. I left sweaty, out of breath and I wasn’t sure if my stomach hurt from the sit ups or, laughing along with Sensei. I was hoping today would be similar, only that he would go a bit easier on me as it’s my first day back. It is perfect! Just as I remember it – Xen-Do have brought the dojo to my front room. I’m stood in front of Sensei Shervin in my Xen-Do gear and he bows me in. I’m ready.
We start with hook kicks, trying to find my balance to begin with is a struggle, but it feels good. Just as I’m getting the hang of the warmup, he throws push ups at me – my two concerns with push ups are: where has the strength gone from my arms?! 3 months away from the dojo and I’m struggling to keep up. Second, I’m also concerned when the last time I cleaned the floor now being so close to it, but back to the workout. Sensei warmed me up and then takes me through Green/White basics and combinations. Personally, I am a Red belt so this is perfect, and I can pick up where we left off in the dojo – if you are still a beginner don’t worry Sensei Shervin explains it really well and it is fun to learn new combos. When I get back in the dojo, I can show Sensei that I am smashing it, I’ll be ready to grade! Sensei is taking me through skip in hook kick and I am 99% sure I do not look as elegant as I am being shown but I am trying my best. Finally, he allows me a water break.
The timer comes off and Sensei Shervin walks back onto my screen. It’s like he knows I’m still catching my breath as he tells me this is not a tea break; I cannot help but laugh. We relax our mind and body, ready for round 2.
The next combination is double roundhouse kick leg behind; I pace myself knowing I’m not as flexible as I was before. I watch Sensei Shervin demonstrate, he does a roundhouse, leg behind and three punches, he adjusts his belt and starts again, “I got excited, I meant to do double roundhouse“. The commentary was making my first training back so authentic, it was like being with Sensei in the dojo, we always have a good time and he makes me laugh. Sensei Shervin tells us to aim for the groin and the head, that is very optimistic, Sensei Shervin clearly does not know that I have not been stretching since lockdown, so I doubt I’ll reach head height, but I will aim for it. Sensei then teaches me a spinning side kick – I have never done this technique, but I am loving it, I feel powerful – although I will admit I get a bit confused on which way I need to turn before firing the kick. I have made a note and will ask Sensei when I am back in the dojo.
We finish with combinations and basic, get water and start push ups, squat thrusts and plank – Mr Plank I do not miss you. Now we stretch and it feels good, I’m sweaty and out of breath.
Sensei ends the class with “well done, you kept up in my class and the most important thing is that you are trying“. I am trying and now that I’ve started, I need to continue otherwise if today showed anything I’ll be a complete mess when I get back to the dojo.
Thank you Sensei Shervin, right hand out, bow!