Hi. As always it´s good to be able to check in with you all. You might of noticed I´m bang on time for the third week running and as this is the last blog of mine for 2018 I´m pleased it´s finished on a good note. You can expect more of the same in 2019 and beyond.
It´s been a nice Christmas in the sun with my family but then again, it always is and for that I´m always grateful. There´s a lot of good in my life these days. Being honest, there always has been it´s just that at points I took it for granted. I´m pleased that these days I remember to say thanks.
Despite not getting any hands on training in this week I´ve still managed to sort out my issue with running regularly again. This week me saw me on some fantastic runs of around 4 to 6k with sprints thrown in to boot. In fact I´ve even managed to run 4 times this week. I guess when it comes to that element of my training I´m back on track. That´s another goal achieved. Go me.
Earlier on this week I sat down to read one of my favourite blogs “Eight limbs us” and a great article on fear of escalation in sparring. Seeing as I´d previously written about venom in Thai boxing it felt that the article had come along at the right time. I guess life can be like that.
“practice aggression the same way you practice any skill. You have to break it down, find why it’s difficult for you: are you too polite? Are you afraid? What does aggression actually look like? Moving forward, blocking, not backing up, striking more… if you know what it means to you then you can break down the elements and work on bringing them into your training in small pieces.”
Sylvie seems to be very big on stepping into her fear and breaking it down to get better at translating that into fire. I think we think in similar ways. Sometimes you have to push yourself to be at your best and to do that you need to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.
2 weeks notice 2nd time around fight against an old nemesis of mine in Bournemouth in 2009. Never been that great at body kicking but I love this photo.
When you finally learn how to get tough when needs be in sparring you learn usually by trial and error to get tough in the ring too. It´s not that the fear ever really goes away it´s just that you learn how to start managing it better and how to make “fight or flight” work for you. In the ring you can´t run or hide. You either fight or you get shut down fast.
Before you start to think I´m about to head off into super macho Muay Thai land i thought I would take a moment to say I totally get that fighting and even sparring is not for everyone and that the aggression you need takes a long time to develop.
It´s taken a long time for me to be able to bring it into play when needs be and when I say long time I mean like years. I have never been a fan of confrontation and I think when I first started competing I overcame that personal demon of mine. Fighting has taught me to cope under pressure, to fight back and to always show my teeth when up against it. Being my gym´s resident short arse means I have to stay close if I want to get anywhere.
Although I´m never a different person sometimes I have to be a different person. There is a big difference from responding and being a reactionary in sparring or in combat. Again the response goes back to how you learn to apply your venom. I think deep in my subconscious mind there´s a little voice screaming “in, in in!” and waving an arm in a forward motion at the person in front of me. Well there always used to be, if it´s not there as much as I´d like it to be these days I need to work on that in training. Maybe it could do with a little more finesse. That´s a work in progress.
I guess my problem is that I never seem to be able to switch off my martial head even when on holiday. We have got the biggest waste of money of the year coming up on Monday so for one night only I´ll let what little hair I have got down and have a good dance. 2018 has been an eventful year for me training wise and I was worried that for a moment back there I might be in danger of putting the breaks on for good.
Now, with 2019 looming and some goals achieved and many still to come it´s clear to me that I still will never give up. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Have a fantastic new year and just like the last time.. I´ll see you on that road.