Morning all.. well, despite a lighter than I’d like week of training it finished on a great note over the weekend, and it was a lot of fun. This week I’m aiming to get back on track as is the norm and despite Monday being a rest day martially I’m starting the week off on a good note with a decent run later.
Sparring last week was probably one of the highlights for me as usual. It’s an element of training I’ve been taking a lot away from for what seems like forever and a day and other than pad work it’s something that always keeps me on my toes and of course like anyone knows who competes or trains simply for the love of it, it’s a great way to test what you can and you can’t do.
Pad work always sharpens you up, sparring always put it’s to the test. At the moment, I feel pretty rusty and want to get back to a regular appearance at the gym. Training the best part of a week is where progress lies and I can always find the time. Work, university and life, the universe and everything only ever gets in the way if you let it. The way I’ve always seen it is that martial arts are an investment in yourself. The more you put in.. well you know the rest.
I can remember someone telling me once that when it comes to fighting boxers in particular have great spatial awareness. What do I mean by that? ?In short, “Spatial awareness is the ability to be aware of oneself in space. It is an organised knowledge of objects in relation to oneself in that given space” Or in lament’s terms just being aware of your surroundings.
“Ring craft” is a term I’ve often heard mentioned when it comes to fighting and applies to any combat sport that requires stepping in that ‘square ring’ or even a cage. To me, It applies to an understanding of your environment as well as development of your fighting style. If you’ve ever heard people talk about “holding the centre of the ring” or even do just that you’ll know what I mean.
I never understood the importance of understanding your environment when I fast started training but the longer I’ve trained for the more I’ve been taught about movement, fighting your way out the corner, keeping someone cornered and I’ve even watched people choose to fight from the corner, pushing their opponent back across the ring as well as using the ropes to their advantage too.
Having fought in a cage once during my fighting career, I know it’s a completely different environment from fighting in a ring and can quite rapidly become a tough fight. Ever tried to corner someone in an octagon? Yeah. Well you know what I mean. Unless, your used to fighting in there all the time it means you need to adapt to your environment.
The same rule of thumb applies to situations outside of ring, and I’m pleased that within my training these days there’s an element of self defense thrown in too for good measure. When I first started my journey into martial arts I trained with a friend who taught me the basics and some self defense techniques for good measure.
I ended up training in Ninjitsu off and on for around 6 months after I was left to my own devices and finally found Thai. The rest of course is history, but even when I first stated Muay Thai it was never something I viewed from a competitive perspective. In fact, fighting never even interested me. It was the martial art I wanted to learn, as something I could use as a foundation and that still rings true today.
A old trainer of mine once said “A good background in Thai will get you a long way”. 10 years on I’m still training hard (well when I actually get down the gym ) and still realizing that there’s more to what I’m learning that what happens in a ring. But I digress. Training in Ninjitsu we always practiced ‘situations’ as well as drilling techniques. I can remember practicing pre-emptive striking before I read about pre-emptive striking.
Just like in a ring we were taught it’s important to always be aware of what’s happening around you and the environment you find yourself in. Training last week made me realize that I have a very forward thinking mentality. What do I mean by that? I get tunnel vision and focus on what’s in front of me. But that’s how I’ve always fought, so maybe this week I need to start thinking about movement more whilst keeping up the aggression that has always served me so well. Eventually, the penny drops. 😉
So looking at the week ahead I intend to spend the best part of the week doing what I love the most. I’ll class the last 2 weeks of tardiness as a slight glitch in the matrix and will aim to catch up with you on Sunday, although Monday’s ok now and then. In the meantime have a good week, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.