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Touché- Part 8

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Previously on Touché- Part 7: Sure, everyone said their names. Big deal. What was a lot scarrier was seeing them in action…. (The People Sheet)

New Bucket List:

  1. Flip on a Trampoline
  2. Sail a Boat
  3. Start a blog
  4. Herd Cattle
  5. Vandalize a bathroom mirror with lipstick
  6. Go to Finland, cuz they don’t give homework
  7. Survive one boxing/MMA class
  8. Don’t pass out
  9. Live to try not to die again the next day

Forget all the other stuff- except for the trampoline, cuz like, that’s pretty cool, man- trying to survive this class is what I need to focus on!!

After learning everyone’s names, the instructor gives us time to “warm-up”. But I think he should rephrase it to like “you shan’t pass”… how I miss the Hobbit. Anyways, people were jump roping, duck under & step overs, shadowboxing, and padwork. I could only do jump rope- except that my constant yawns were  distracting me.

Everyone else was raising their left- then right- legs to step over imaginary barriers. Then moving to their rights to duck under the barrier. This was apparently known as “step & duck”. Only people like Mary Jane and Flor were shadowboxing. And the only people who managed to get some padwork done was Corey and Luka.

Luckily, I made great friends with Joyh. She was super cool, and together I think we made a pretty good team. She explained the warm ups to me, how the instructors ran the class too. “And the lady-” “The honey-skinned lady?” “Yeah, well she goes by Miss.” “Why?” she shrugged, “Don’t ever speak of it. And the guy is Matteo.”

“Uh… ah! Luka! Could you please teach Danny the basics of what we’re doing?” “Yeah,” Luka said casually. He walked over to me. “Follow me.”

I followed him out of the room. “Matteo needs to prep them for their fights,” he said. “We’ve just begun, but we all learn at different paces.” I couldn’t bring myself to say anything, so I just nodded to everything he said.
We finally entered another room. I stood firmly as he taught me the basics.

Alright, first is the stance. He took a piece of chalk and drew it on the cement. I chose my left leg to be the front leg. “Alright, now put your front foot’s toe, and the back foot’s heel center to the line.” I then placed my dominant hand behind my back as told. “Great, now-” I quickly made sure the weight was balanced between my legs. “Good… Now-” Then I bended my knees. “Yeah, great. Now you want to have your-”

I remembered watching Nonno doing this. I’m pretty sure he kept his feet diagonal, slightly wider that the width of his shoulders, and his back heel raised. So that’s what I did. Then I put my elbows down, and my hands up. I put my head behind my hands, and my chin  down.

Luka smiled. He raised my chin in adjustment. “When you have gloves, you want to make sure your eyes can see over them. And after you do a boxing move, return to this position.” “I guess I’m not a good teacher as you seem to know this.” he sighed. “That makes me not a very good student if I don’t learn anything.” I replied. We laughed it off.

We worked on more basic boxing techniques. We did what was called the basic step-drag; boxing footwork. “Step forward with your right foot and drag your rear left,” he coached. “Why?” I asked. ” Prevents you from crossing your feet. And to keep you from falling off balance.” According to The Beginner’s Guide to Boxing, ‘Pivot clockwise by swinging your right foot and letting your body pivot over the left foot. Try small pivots of 45-90 degrees, and big pivots 90-180 degrees,'” We practiced them together. I tripped a couple of times, and when he laughed, I tripped him too, making us both laugh.

“Alright, punches,” he declared. I groaned as I stood in my stance. I exhaled as I threw. “You have to tighten your muscles and fist at impact!” “I’m trying!” I shot back. I felt tense. Luka stood in front of me. “Look,” he said “The art of throwing punches is being relaxed. I took deep breaths and closed my eyes. Once exhaling sharply, I had to accelerate my hand. Tighten my fist at impact… And use my weight to- “GAH!” I opened my eyes. I completley forgot Luka was in front of me. “Aw geez!” “Oh my gosh I’m so sorry-” he then laughed. “Dang that hurt… a bit.” “A bit?!” “Well, you can’t do amazing at your punches over the course of an hour.” My eyes widened. “An hour?!” “Yeah, but don’t worry, calss is 2 hours and 30 min. Sometimes 3 hours.” By the way, here’s a couple of boxing tips from The Beginner’s Guide to Boxing:

  • Turn your whole body and pivot your feet on ALL PUNCHES EXCEPT THE JAB.
  • Maintain your stance and balance for better power and mobility.
  • Make sure the non-punching hand is defending the other side of your body.
  • Exhale sharply on every shot.
  • All boxing punches are basically a variation of straight punches (elbow straight), hook punches (elbow sideways), or uppercut punches (elbow down).

“Huh, I guess I did learn something. But don’t worry Luka, one day I’ll beat you in a match.” He laughed.

“Touché.”

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