So this week although it’s been a little lighter on the ground training wise, has been a good week. Just a few sessions and a few runs to balance things out but I’ve enjoyed myself none the less. It’s easy sometimes to focus on the negatives after you’ve got back to the gym after a loss but the trick is to take the fight back with you. Ronnie Green said that to me once after a fight at a show in Bournemouth he was refereeing at. I also distinctly remember him telling me that at points I put the moment together and that I will get better! ‘believe!’
I’m pleased to say since that point I have got better. I’ve actually got a lot better than I thought I would. But we’ve been here before haven’t we? and not being in the habit of repeating myself (at least I hope not too much) this week after spending my brief (it’s never that brief) moment of reflection of the week gone by I’ve been thinking about my feet. Just recently in training we’ve been reminded that everything really starts with our footwork. How we position ourselves for an attack and how we can deliver more power with a kick, knee or even a punch or an elbow with correct footwork, good balance and of course good technique.
Since I started training I’ve always been shown the Muay Thai footwork of lead foot forward (small steps on the balls of your feet.) and the back follows. Since I’ve come to Bristol I’ve also been shown boxing footwork being used in Thai. A push off the back to move or to step in and deliver more power. You can do this the first way by stepping in with the lead too I find. (Stepping in with the jab or again stepping across the target with the lead to set up a kick as an example ) What’s interesting to me is that both ways are effective ways of movement. Me being me, I prefer the Thai fighting style but as both ways work I want to be able to utilize both of them if needs be. (dependent on the given situation.)
The problem I’ve found and I’ve also had pointed out to me before is that sometimes my lead leg is too heavy. I find pushing off the back transfers a lot more weight to that front leg, and of course if your fighting someone like me who likes to low kick a lot then any half decent fighter with half a brain and a game plan is going to see the lead as a target and destroy it.
I’ve been shown when I first started training (and at my current gym too ) that you can bounce that front foot and use your teep as a jab to disrupt an opponent and stop kicks before they happen. (one of my trainers has often pointed out Thais do this a lot.) If your sharp enough I think it’s a great counter against an opponent with a good roundhouse on them. It’s something I may start practising more too, and ultimately it boils down to good footwork and speed.
The key really we’re being constantly told is to keep your footwork light and fast when it needs to be. I fight at probably a slower pace than I should for my weight class, although when I want to be, I can be quick. Keeping your footwork fast doesn’t mean bouncing around the ring but rather using it effectively and to keep yourself out of harms way. So I spent a little time this morning practising ‘stepping off’ and countering after an attack on the gym’s heavy bag.
I’ve also been thinking in terms of combinations, so at the moment for me it’s the same but different. I’m working on alternating what I’m doing and doing it quickly but making sure each combination finishes strong. This morning was all about my left roundhouse. It can be beast of a kick when I want it to be.
Compared to how I’ve been thinking and feeling of late I feel that the little spark of self belief has returned and I feel stronger inside. I’m going to keep pushing myself to get better, because the way I look at it is that the more I train the better I will get. Maybe I’m hoping it makes me a little luckier too.
On a final note on comparisons I’ve found that it can be very easy to put other people on a pedestal and want to be more like them, and it’s the one thing I refuse to let myself do. What I do instead is let others inspire me (from those who fight to those I train with) and remind myself that Muay Thai is unique to the individual concerned. It’s something that we make uniquely our own. I intend to keep getting better at what I do, and I hope that you’ll do the same. Have a good weekend and train hard. I’ll see you on the road.