Being different.

This week has been a reasonably full week of training and whilst we’re on the subject of exercise and fitness I’ve just rounded things up with a good run. It was a run I meant to do about 3 hours ago, but  then again this was a blog I meant to write at the beginning of the week. I guess me and procrastination are still quite good friends.

All in all, training at the moment is going well, although a few sessions isn’t really the same as 4 or 5 but you know.. hills and valleys, finding the time, balancing stuff out. The usual excuses are never too far away. On Saturday, I headed down the gym for a couple of hours and got some sparring in with a friend of mine who has a boxing match coming up.

It was a good few rounds, and I enjoyed the push as well as the usual Thai sparring and bags and pads that make up the best start to a Saturday you could possibly have. Boxing always keeps me on my toes too. I think it was in the later rounds that I felt myself really switch on, maybe I got caught with a good shot or maybe sparring in the ring got me fired up but either way I did good. And to be honest, my friend is a pretty good boxer too.

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I switched off  but switched on for a little while and I found myself caught up in the moment. Which was good, because I haven’t felt that way sparring for a long time  and it also showed me that the fire that  is reserved for fighting is still very much there. In fact it’s safe to say I think it’s alive and  well. Heart has never really been a problem.

It reminded me that when it comes to fighting it’s important for me to leave the nice guy in the other room. In fact I’d say  it’s absolutely essential for me to be a different person and let the fighter take charge. And over time that’s got easier. When I first started training to fight and  began fighting itself it was the hardest thing in the world. I’ve learnt that you don’t need to be a thug to be a good fighter.Some of the humblest kindest people I’ve met in martial arts are absolutely formidable in the ring. Fighters out in Thailand are living proof that this is true.

You don’t need bravado or ego. I think you just need the will  to succeed and you need to be tough inside, as well of course having a bit of skill too.. but  ‘The will must be stronger than the skill.’ as the late great Muhammad Ali said. Again essentially, I’ve learnt it’s really important to be a different person. I used to find it hard to switch the fighter off some days. Over the years  I’ve realised that he’s there all the time. Especially when I think he isn’t and that’s usually when I need him the most.

The characteristics I’ve developed through martial arts and training as well as fighting I’ve learnt to apply to a lot of my life. To say I’ve been forged into a  better person would be a little ott simply because I’ve never really been a bad one, but over the years Thai has certainly improved my self confidence and self belief as well helped me develop my inner ‘grr’ that had been wanting a voice for years, and was forever pushed to one side. My inner ‘grr’. Ha. I’ll remember that.

Martial arts across the board give a lot back. What is it I normally say about now? ‘the more you put in the more you get out.’ And it’s just as true as it ever was. I think they build character and when it comes to all things Thai, I’ve been taught to be a different person in the ring and a better person out of it.

So looking at the week ahead, I’m hoping it’s even more full of all things martial. In fact, it’s safe to say I hope it keeps me well and truly on my toes. Train hard, have a great week and just like the last time I’ll see you on that road.

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