As usual, you can click on any of these photos to see a quite a bit larger version. Since I came to El Valle I've been trying to find someone to practice Hapkido with me. I finally enlisted Niko, a local crafts seller with an oddly intense demeanor, and Eric, the super-athletic apprentice electrician who did some of the work on my house. Then Eric informed me that his brother, a karate blue belt, would like to attend as well, and I said ok.
Basically I'm going to be teaching them what I've learned, and practicing in the process.
So I went to the Price Smart in Panama and bought some thick floor mats for our practice sessions. These are puzzle mats consisting of squares that can be joined together to make larger pieces, then broken down for easy storage. The mats are about one inch thick foam, and I've stacked one on top of the other. They're not quite as soft as a normal martial arts mat, but they're good enough.
You can see that I've moved all the furniture to the side of the living room and laid the mats down on top of the rug in the center. After class I'll put the mats away and move the furniture back.
The first photo is taken from the front door looking in, and the second one from the other side.
Near the front door there you can see Li'l Fishy as well, thinking about whether she wants to venture outside.
I went to the mercado today and a craft seller that I don't know at all told me that he would be coming to practice with Niko next Tuesday. I'm not too happy that Niko is inviting people without telling me. Space is limited, and if this turns into a true class it's going to limit my own practice time, since I'll be busy instructing instead of getting in the mix myself. I'll have to talk to him about it.
If it looks necessary I'll set a maximum of four students, and a strict attendance policy.