Well it’s been a bit of an up and down week for me this week training wise. First things first, my fight has been put back till beginning of May as the show date changed. After feeling a little deflated I’ve been looking at it as another few weeks to train hard and I guess really when it comes down to it, the more work I put in the better prepared I’ll be on the day. I’ve also had the joy of having to put up with yet another cold all week and that’s kept me out the gym for a couple of days. I think really that one is down to burning the candle at both ends as they say, so this weekend I’ve let what little hair I’ve got down and successfully pulled my social life back from the brink. Training is great, but I think it’s important to have a healthy balance too. Anyway, from next week onwards I’m back to the program and of course I’m going to make sure I’ve got this kid I’m fighting well and truly in my sights.
When it comes down to how I’ve been feeling about this fight, this has kind of been a little up and down too. I know that if I wasn’t at points feeling a little nervous I wouldn’t be a human being. It’s safe to say I enjoy what I’m doing because otherwise then there quite simply would be no point in doing it, but I’ve learnt over the course of time it takes a hell of a lot to step foot in a ring, whether you be fighting at an amateur, semi pro or professional level. It’s a martial art and sport that certainly doesn’t get any easier as you progress but if your heart’s as big as mine then you love the challenge. I’ve got a long way to go, and my goal at present is to really improve my overall record as well to become a better fighter, so when I’m thinking about what it takes to do this, time, dedication and sacrifice are probably the key areas that spring to mind. It’s certainly true that martial arts is a long game.
I think over the course of time I’ve learnt to deal with pre fight nerves a lot better than I have done previously. It’s true that the biggest battles we fight are only ever with ourselves, and for me mindset is just as important as the physical side of training. I’m a firm believer that if your not ready inside and just as tough mentally as you are physically then the fight is as good as lost. Besides I know that when I’m in that ring fighting, it’s down to me to push myself that extra mile to succeed. I think sometimes it may not always be about who has trained harder but rather who competes better on the day. Or to put it simply who ‘wants it’ more.
I remember reading a story a couple of years ago, about a wrestler who was travelling from the back of beyond to fight a well known and successful fighter in London. He knew that if he won the fight a lot of doors would open for him, but on the long train journey to the show he started running through all the possible things that could potentially happen to him in the fight. Slowly but surely any game plan was lost as nerves won the inner battle. By the time he reached Birmingham, he got off the train and got on the next train home, beaten and defeated before he even got near the ring. Before he did this he sent a telegram to the fighter concerned and it said only one thing. ‘You beat me at Birmingham.’
I’ve never reached a point like above I’m pleased to say, and I never intend to let myself get there. If anything that story is something I’ve referred back to from time to time because I know that really when it comes down to it, as soon as you step through any nerves or fear you may be feeling what waits for you is made of solid gold. For me personally I’ve found that focusing on winning and setting my intention weeks if not sometimes a good couple of months before a fight, has helped me put any negatives to bed successfully. I’m very big on visualization when it comes to achieving what I need to, and I’ve found that when I focus I can put myself into that winning mindset when training. As I’ve mentioned before when I’m running I see each part of my run as a round of the fight, so when sprinting I see myself very clearly on the attack or even defending under pressure. I’ve even shouted ‘last round!’ to myself on a final set of sprints to push myself harder.
My fight trainers are very big on adopting the right mentality and mindset when your in the gym as well as of course putting us all through our paces. Fighting is certainly not for everyone. It’s a good challenge but it’s brutal and I’ve learnt that although nice guys don’t finish last in life, they certainly do in the ring. It’s interesting for me because the more I train and the more I put into this art the more I’m watching the fighter take shape. He’s always there in the background, but I think with me he’s just taken a little longer to start to shine through. I hope he keeps on shining. I hope I keep on shining through too.
On a final note this week, I have to say a massive well done to Ant Sanderson from my gym. (Bristol Thai /Rama camp) Ant took a K1 title fight short notice (literally on a day’s notice!) and not only did he step up and fight, he only went and won it. He’s a tough guy and a top bloke and a true warrior. Keep on winning Ant your an inspiration to us all. 😀 In the meantime, have a great week train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on the road.