The bigger they are

This week has almost been training as usual. I say almost because I’ve been getting back into the swings of things. It’s  part and parcel of fighting for me that I have a couple of weeks post fight where I train very lightly, and then start to get back into the routine third week onwards. As usual it’s been graft but as always it’s ultimately been worth it.

I’m pretty much determined at present to get back to the old me, and that’s the one that walks into them all the time and stays aggressive. Bit by bit I’m starting to get a little more lateral with my movement and yesterday when sparring with an experienced fighter (she’s a tough girl.) I surprised myself in the last round by suddenly moving out the way of an onslaught instead of trying to withstand it and answer back. Most importantly over the few rounds I did my best to keep the pressure on and kept working hard.

I also found the same thing happening sparring in the week with another fighter, but I guess if you keep drilling these things good stuff starts to happen. I hope it keeps on improving. Speaking of answering back I’m finding my countering is beginning to improve and some good stuff is happening with hand and low kick combinations in general. It’s true that the more you train the better you get and being in at the deep end isn’t as scary a place as it used to be.

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So being reflective as always, I’ve been thinking this week about the difficulties I’ve faced being a Muay Thai short arse. I’ll avoid the term midget because there’s plenty of people out there shorter than me (don’t laugh I’m being serious) who might take offence. I’ve learnt (on more than one occasion via the hard way) that fighting taller boxers is never an easy task and it takes a lot of grit and determination to get inside.

My trainers here have shown me different tactics to close the distance that I’m hoping to put into practice more, but for me fighting inside means fighting with a lot of venom and one hell of a lot pressure. It’s something that not only am I fit enough to do, but know that I can do so this week in training there has been a couple of occasions when I’ve turned it up a little to see if it’s still there. I’m pleased to say it is, and I want to spend more time working on that next week onwards.

One of the biggest problems I come up against, and I think it’s safe to assume it’s a given for most boxers is over coming an opponents range if their taller. There’s lots of different tactics you can use but I think fast movement a good defence and work rate are crucial. Having had a slack couple of weeks, this week has had it’s moments but I haven’t done too badly. I think as well as hands and low kicks can be very  effective when someone’s taller, although I’m constantly reminding myself it doesn’t always have to be about ‘head hunting’ as one of my trainers puts it.

I’ve found that clinching and knees can also be an effective weapon when fighting a taller opponent,but it’s very easy to get into a wrestling war. I’ve also found a good way to break a stalemate can be a hard knee into the thigh (a rabbit knee) or a heel kick into the back of the leg. Of course you’ve got trips and throws and everything else so I think I need to select a couple to use in sparring all the time and practice them so their there when I need them. I like the nasty little techniques you can use from the clinch and the more I learn the more I realize it’s an art within an art. Again, I’m going to spend more time working on my work rate from the clinch because at the moment although I can land strong knees I think I need to throw more of them. Again it’s very easy sometimes to get into a wrestling war, when really you could be smashing your opponents ribs with knees.

So how do I feel about fighting at present? I feel that I can only get better, and I’m already looking forward to fighting again later in the year. Any self doubt is slowly being shelved so thank you to some of the guys and girls I train with  for your kind words and positive comments over the past couple of weeks. It means a lot to me and I’m proud to train out of and fight for our camp. As always there’s a lot to work on but I feel that I’m improving the more I train and compete, and being honest I’m feeling pretty accomplished with my fighting journey so far. I think I can do better, get a little further and win more so as always I’ll keep going because I know it’s the right direction.

I thought I’d leave you this week with a great video of one of my favourite fighters Pornsanae. Here he’s fighting the formidable ET. Relentless and formidable himself Pornsanae has often proven the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Have a good week and I’ll see you on that road.

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