2016.

Well, good to be here as usual and sad to say last week was the last week of training for the year. Suffice to say it wasn’t a bad one, and it finished with me realizing that next year I need to spend more time than ever at the gym and training in general. I think I’m going to adopt the rule of taking it home with me, so at least that way if I’m not training as usual I’m taking the time to get a little bit in at home too.

The one thing we don’t do a lot of at my current gym is shadow boxing. That’s a pretty important part of Muay Thai and everyone is kind of left to their own devices when it comes to that part of training. Footwork, movement, techniques all get practiced. I take the time now and then to make sure I’m shadow boxing but I think as of now I’m going to make sure I do so every session.

This year has been my year off and out of the ring. I’ve moved to a new gym, cut loose detractors and made moves in what seems to be the right direction. Through a lot of procrastination, determination and sheer pig headed perseverance I’ve stayed in it and ignored the “they’ve got it in for you” voice of negativity that’s sprung up after thinking about the last few patronizing bickering filled conversations I had about competing with one of my old trainers.

I wish him, his gym and everyone I trained with there well and I’m always going to make time to say hi. Thanks as always for all of your help and time. I’ve learnt that the person who knows what is and what isn’t for his own good is me, and I’ve also learnt to listen to some sound advice.

I’ve had a lot of fun training with the guys and girls at Team Tieu Cheltenham, and I hope to catch up with them in the new year. You know I don’t think I’ve visited there since earlier this year but I was there a fair bit towards the end of 2015.

Time flies and It’s good to find people at the top of their game and see what you can learn from them. And if your in that neck of the woods (although I think they are based in Gloucester now) it is most certainly worth paying them a visit.

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It’s also been good to settle into my new gym, although I was kind of training there already. Thanks for making me welcome guys. It’s good to know you. 🙂 and besides, I like that little bit of town.  I had a nice surprise finding out that Grand Master Sken had opened a camp in Gloucestershire so I’m hoping that he’s round my neck of the woods next year.

I feel that I’ve kind of procrastinated a little too much about starting a new martial art but in the same instance I’ve spent a bit of time getting back into some good old self defense training with like minded folk. One of the things I love about martial arts is sharing knowledge. There’s always something you can learn from each other. Whether that be physical techniques or a bit of humility you may or may not be lacking.

Next year I want to make good on my promise to start Panukatan. It was a promise to myself of course. My inner Sonic the hedgehog is looking at his watch tapping his foot waiting me to start.If your too young to remember that little animation in the very first game I guess I’m showing my age. And of course what a die hard nerd I am.

Speaking of being too old, my inner critic was firmly defeated on Wednesday last week when after talking to someone after training I mentioned that I’d like to get back into fighting next year. I told them I’m a 30 something (I’m actually 38. :()  and they cheerily replied “got a good couple of years left then!” I guess it reinforced my view that if your fit enough, you train hard enough then why not get stuck in. Age ain’t nutin but a number like that song goes. Being tough as old boots and having a head like a breeze block helps too.

I mentioned last week (or maybe it was the week before)that fighting is a big commitment and a lot of graft, so listening to my own advice for once I’m going to make sure I’m at the gym at least 4 times a week as of next year. I got a few sessions in last week and finished wanting a little more. I think if I actually manage to squeeze in another style then I’m back up to my 5 sessions. My happy place.

Sparring (other than last Thursday) has improved a lot, although I still think I need to my grr back. It’s there but I hang back a little more rather than just charging in. Sometimes you need to just walk into them. I think next year I’m going to make sure I keep myself under pressure a lot more, grit my teeth, get my head down and get my fighting head on. This year I’ve learnt you can do that without kicking chunks out your partner. Although, from time to time a little blood and guts never hurt anyone.

I’m hoping that 2017 sees me hitting the ground running with many things, not just my boxing and I know that my love of what I do isn’t going to diminish. If I’ve learnt one thing from having time out it’s that I’m still hungry. I’m ring rusty, probably holding onto a bag of nerves that can’t wait to be opened next time I step up but I’m still here.It’s been good to train just for training’s sake but it’s even better to have a goal to focus on.

I love what I do, and as a old friend of mine would say I’ve still got a lot to learn. But then that’s me. Always learning. Have a fantastic Christmas and new year. And just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

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