Answer back

Well 2014 has officially landed, and with it a whole new year of training and opportunities ahead. I’ve begun my year with an air of cautious optimism when it comes to training and fighting as I know how hard I am going to have to work if I want to keep on top and more importantly keep on winning. I say cautiously optimistic because at the moment, despite having trained a couple of times this week I still feel on the outside looking in, and of course you never know what’s going to happen in any situation until your in it.

For now, I’m looking forward to a full week of training, and like I’ve promised myself for weeks now I am going to step it up a gear. As I’ve mentioned before I train regularly 5 times a week. To make things more interesting, this year I’ve decided to start training 6 times a week. As I’ve mentioned before the more you put into something the more you get out of it, but also I don’t want to let myself stay in my comfort zone of familiarity in the gym and practice simply what I know I’m good at. As the saying  goes ‘if you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got’.

This week I managed to get in a good hour of cardio and drills, and also some sparring too. Both of which were of course hard work after Christmas and new year, but both of which were worth every minute of my time. I can remember a few years back now, before I started fighting (I haven’t had a huge amount of fights by the way but I started competing in October 2010.) a friend of mine telling me the attitude he adopts to combat. ‘John’ he said. ‘I know that if I’m not hitting then I’m being hit.’ and that became his mantra. Whether he was running or working bags and pads in the gym, and of course when sparring he said this to himself regularly.

I think I need to start reminding myself of this again in the weeks to come, because one of the things I’ve found that is important in sparring and in fighting is the ability to answer back as soon as your hit. Some of the fighters I train with currently as well as my trainers have told me (and I completely agree) that Muay Thai can be  like a game of chess. It’s about waiting for the moment and answering back, or as a preference being first.

I’ve found what helps with not only making sure I respond under pressure but more importantly helps me remain the aggressor is remembering that really it’s not about what the person in front of you is going to do to you, but more about what you are going to do to them.  I think it’s important to wait for your moment, but as I’ve found through experience in sparring and fighting it’s more important to be first. But that’s a subject for a different blog and really when it comes to down to it, the fundamental key is mindset and self confidence.

So this week it’s been good to have the cobwebs shaken off by a couple of tough sessions and to be kept under pressure. It’s been good to already be thinking about what I want to work on and what I need to improve. I realize the one thing that Thai does not get over the course of time is any easier, however what it does remain as I often say is a lot of fun. So next week, it’s back in the mix and I think I’m going to spend a lot of my time doing my best to keep it switched on and to remember that he who hesitates is lost.

I hope that 2014 is a good year for you and if you trained hard last year, this year make sure you train harder. Have a good week and  I’ll see you on the road.

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