Phew. I’ve finally made it. i feel slightly hypocritical after my generic and all too familiar “I’m getting my writing back on track” speel last time we met. But here we are again you and me. And ok I’ll be honest… it’s good to be back. 🙂 training this week as always has kept me on my toes (more like the balls of my feet) and although I’ve leveled out at present at a few sessions a week, I intend to start picking things up next week onwards. Graft is always good and entering a booze free existence to get in the right place for July if it comes together hasn’t happened just yet.. but it’s getting there.
There;s been a lot of focus on clinching over the past few weeks in training which is always a good thing. In fact, at least two days a week we spend time focusing on clinch techniques and often spend a few rounds clinch sparring. And besides, it’s always nice to work on your strengths.
When I first started training I rapidly discovered that clinching is an art within an art? it’s what separates Muay Thai from a lot of other stand up arts and I’ve always found that no matter who I train with and no matter how hard it gets I’m always learning something new.
Like with everything else we’re taught it’s very easy to fall into the mindset of sticking to what you know your good at or works best, and although I’ve felt a little rusty with clinch of late I’m determined in sparring to start attempting some of the techniques I’ve been shown recently. In fact this morning I managed to pull one off.
There’s a wealth of decent information out there about Thai clinching but I thought this article was pretty informative. It comes a reasonable amount of ground.. of course the best way to truly understand something and find out how it works for you is to go out there and do it.
When I first started Muay Thai I used to hate clinching. In fact, it used to be my least favourite part of training but practice makes perfect (or the very least let’s you get to grips with things ) and over time I learnt if I practice it enough I’m not too bad at it.
Of course, with the clinch comes your knees and also elbows Sparring with one of the newer lads this morning I realized how easy it is to spend too much time focusing on grappling and looking for sweeps rather than remembering at it’s grass roots base level it’s about destroying people with my favourite weapon. knees.
In hindsight, I really need to start working on using them more. Being a short arse it makes sense to focus on short range weapons. If I’m close I can hurt you. There. I’ve put my fighting head on. A punch may be faster than a kick (sometimes) and you can always follow it up with an elbow. I’ve seen it done, have never done it myself in a contest but practice it from time to time on the bags.
I also remember very clearly fighting a lad years ago (I actually fought him twice ) who was very determined to knock me out from the clinch by throwing upper cuts every now and then. At the least it’s a distraction at the worst if your tied up and being kneed and hit it can end in a face full of canvas. Luckily it didn’t go that way. Dan Tupan I haven’t forgotten about you. 😉 (lol)
We’ve spent time over the past few weeks working on counters and sweeps as well as the basics. You can never spend too much time working on that. 🙂 and today I finally felt a little sharper and was landing knees a little quicker than before. I’ve moved past the point of moaning internally about sparring people bigger than me because it’s always a good push and at the moment I need that.
Looking at the week ahead I’m going to step things up a little more and will finally venture into a bit of K1 on a Friday from time to time to keep me on my toes. Things at the moment are ticking over and just as always I often encounter hills and valleys in training but the trick is really just to keep going.
When I don’t think I’m getting anywhere I usually am and when the going gets tough I keep pressing forward. And besides, like I always say it’s good fun. I’m still waiting to find out about July but have decided to start training for it anyway. I have a feeling it may just come together. In the meantime, train hard and just like the last time I’ll see you on that road.
(as it’s Saturday here’s a video on how to develop devastating knees by Master A from the warrior collective. worth a watch. )