Today I took my iKali progress check with two fellow students on Zoom. Reflections of my experience :-
a) Just because its through Zoom doesn’t make it any less easy
b) You can never prepare enough. With this in mind I prepared for L1M1 and L1M2 flows. Better to over prepare than under prepare but even then be prepared to be surprised.
For example, I learned the L1M2 flow one way then later a slightly different version was presented. So I focused on the 2nd version as that was the one that was covered in the live Zoom progress check.
Today we did the 1st version. Fortunately, I had done the 1st version before. The difference was that in the 1st version the EH part came first but in the 2nd version the Blade X-factor came first. It was good that we didn’t do it as a continuous flow so it wasn’t much of a problem.
c) Watch the feeder!!! This is a very important part for doing progress check. In the Zoom class our flow always started by stepping to the right then left. For some reason when it came to DS X-factor we started with high X-factor on the left then on the right. Later this version was changed to right high X-factor then left X-factor which made it consistent with the other drills.
Because I watched the videos for the Zoom classes so I did two versions and settled on the 2nd version. Today out of habit I did the 2nd version when the feed was for the 1st version. In retrospect it didn’t really matter because the DS X-factor can work whether I stepped to the right or left. Only thing is when the 2nd high strike came I wouldn’t need to step.
All I had to do was slow down, listen, watched and respond accordingly. Because I didn’t slow down enough when we went through the SS counters the timing threw me off at first. I normally would practice as each counter do once. The first sequence we did today called for 2 reps each time.
Yes, watch the feeder, watch the feeder. You react the way you train. If today’s progress check had been a live situation instead of a test I might have been hit more than necessary because I didn’t always react as I should by watching the feeder.
d) One thing I have never really prepared for was to train with sweat on the sticks. Normally I would wipe the sweat off. Today I was momentarily caught with sweat on the sticks and the flow started so I had to carry on with the possibility of the sticks flying off my slippery hands. I adapted by slowing a bit and not hitting too hard but I still had to follow the feeder’s pace.
This is what I like about the iKali class. Nothing is dumbed down. We are held to a high standard even though its virtual learning. The content could have been lesser to make it easier but no, we have a good balance of content, quite a lot actually as Master Ace pointed out at one time, but it makes for a good push to make us learn better.
The Zoom classes for L1M3 begins next week and I will join in. Fortunately, Eastern Standard time is 13 hours behind so the class will only begin at 6.30 am.