Find out how Nicola got on during her second week of the #trysomethingactive challenge and join in now for your chance to win some Bounce balls…

This week was pretty challenging as the workout goes from purely physical to mental AND physical! I have been told I’m grading on Sunday for my next belt, which will be an orange belt. This requires four self-defence moves, four one-step sparring moves and two patterns (the sequence of movements that show off your ability to fight). I’ll also need to show that I have an understanding of Korean, which is interesting seeing as I’ve never spoken Korean in my life!

This week in class we covered as much of the syllabus as possible. After a vigorous warm-up we began running through our wrist-grab self-defence moves – how to release yourself when someone grabs your wrist and how to make sure they don’t do it again!

It’s a very odd experience, as you are pulling out of a tight grip (or doing the grip yourself), so it engages physical strength, but you also use your brain as you have to remember how to pull your hand away, and then where to punch or strike to get rid of the attacker. It’s very empowering, and the combination of physical and mental exertion allows you to learn to think in high-pressure situations. This is how the grading will be structured on Sunday; the examiners keep you going as long as possible to test you, especially when you’re exhausted.

We then ran through our one-step sparring, which teaches you where to kick and how to punch when someone attacks you. These exercises are short explosive movements and so your body feels the bunching of the muscles, followed by the release of the punch or kick. Great for nice, lean legs and brilliant for getting the hang of engaging your hips in all your movements, which is a big part of Tang Soo Do.

This week I also got sent my Bounce Balls – Cacao Orange Protein Burst and Apple and Cinnamon Protein Punch. First things first: they’re super tasty. They’re a quick snack but they stop your tummy rumbling. I had one after training on Wednesday and didn’t need the usual bowl of cereal or crackers with cheese afterwards. The protein hit also made sure I didn’t crash and burn straight away. I will be taking them with me to the grading, to make sure I have one before the huge physical exertion that comes with grading, and possibly one after. I’m looking forward to my energy being even more focused, and seeing the difference they make this time. As we say at the end of class, TANG SOO!

Fancy joining in the challenge? All you need to do is share photos of your new active hobby experience with #trysomethingactive on social media for your chance to win some Bounce balls! It’s not too late to get involved!

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