Martial Arts

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Martial Arts

Lexi Jones

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As the students walk into the Martial Arts studio on West Peoria street, their yells of “Courtesy Tae Kwan!”are heard loud and clear in the dojo, and the smell of sweat after a long work out.
Wednesdays are sparring nights, one of the longest classes of the week. As everyone comes in they begin their warm up, 30 laps around the dojo mats they are dressed in their uniform and their colored belt.

After they begin their 25 push-ups and sit-ups before going on to relays. As the relays begin you can hear the loud “clap” of the instructor’s paddles and he smacks them together to start off the groups, and the out of breath panting as the students finish their turn in the relays.

The students double over and suck in air trying to re catch their breath and grab some water, they move on to sparring. Instructor Robert always asks ”who wants to spar?!” which in turn usually gets him silence. Either too shy or doesn’t want to go first no one says a word.

Chuckling, instructor Robert says “No one?! Well I guess we should all go home.” Turning serious “But really guys, who’s gonna go first?”

The only one to raise his hand in Dylan, a sophomore in high school.

“Excellent, Dylan choose your opponent!” Instructor Robert encourages.

“Lexi” Dylan chooses. Lexi Jones offers a small smile as she approaches the mat. Both opponents choose a coach from the rest of the students , bow to each other, then prepare to fight.

Once instructor Robert says go, the fight is on. Dylan goes at Lexi first, but she backs up in time for the round house kick to miss. Lexi goes for the round house in to the chest plate of Dylan but it is blocked.

After only one minute the round is over. The score in even 1-1. Both sparrers go to their coaches to get advice. Both speaking in hushed voices. After 30 seconds instructor Robert calls them back onto the mat for their last round.

Once again Instructor Robert starts off the round, this time its Lexi who strikes first, with a push kick to Dylan’s right hip putting him off balance. Lexi then follows up with a round house into his chest plate, a clean hit.

The rest of the match goes much like that. Lexi continued to use that move because Dylan wouldn’t learn from his mistakes, and could not retaliate because of it. Lexi won the match 5-2. Once it was over they both bowed the same way they had started

The rest of the night held many more matches and laughs when the sparring was done and the moves on to the games. At the end of the night you could still smell the stench of sweat even after everyone had left. Letting everyone for the next day to remember sparring night is on Wednesday nights.

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