Hi. You know, I’m sitting here this morning thinking about a lot of different things when it comes to myself and martial arts. My ribs are bashed up and my left foot’s a little sore but I’m fine. Last night I fought on kind of short notice (I knew about last night just before my last fight out of town but was focusing on that at the time so you know.. ).
As I only made the decision to fight last night on Tuesday this week, I think I jumped in at the deep end. I train regularly and continued training as normal after the fight before last so I don’t think my trainers would have asked me if I wanted to fight if they thought I couldn’t cope with it and win. I managed to throw in a couple of day sessions in this week as well as training in the evenings but it wasn’t really enough.
My cardio also left a lot to be desired which is a first as I’ve always had good fitness. Again to me, that’s lack of real preparation and that’s all it is. Lesson learned. In my past few fights since my return to the tough little world that is Thai boxing, I’ve been pretty much outclassed every time. On two occasions I’ve gone the distance and lost on points both fighters telling me afterward that I’m tough. I know that.
My body seems to be able to soak it up. I need to start getting a lot better at answering back. In my fight before last, I was stopped in the first round but these things happen. I think maybe because that happened I was determined to try and put it right and wanted to beat him which is why I decided to fight again yesterday. That’s the right attitude but I need to improve a lot.
I’ve watched the video of my fight a few times now and I’m not particularly impressed with it. First-round = ok. Second round = holding on, third round = surviving. Fighting is about winning and unless I start to get my basics a lot better and work on changing my angles more frequently I’m in for a world of hurt. If you do the same thing over and over again you cannot expect different results.
I may not be about to transform into something new but I can make the basics better and fight strategically. If I prepare properly I can get faster and sharper and feel better inside about stepping in the ring, which funnily enough brings me onto my next gripe.
Years ago one of my first trainers told me that my biggest enemy is myself. I still think that’s true. I know because of the hard time I gave myself on the way home and because of the hard time I’m giving myself right now. It’s easier to predict failure than it is to predict victory. You attract what you don’t want to you, faster than what you do want.
Before I start quoting from “The Secret” I’ve noted that although it’s improving my nerves have been pretty full on before I’ve boxed recently. They usually settle down quickly but there’s a lot of anxiety kicking around up there at points. It’s important to remember that fear is a mind killer and nerves can work in one of two ways. They either turn you into a beast or they suck you dry inside. They gave me a hard time yesterday until two fights before I got in the ring.
The way I cope with my nerves is to shut them down. I focus on the present moment and watch people on pads or shadow box or focus on what’s happening around me. The problem begins if I let myself home in mentally on possible failure. Thoughts are just thoughts and when the bad ones flick through it’s better to just observe them. It’s only fear. I need to remember to make it my friend. I want to work on visualization
You see, I’ve lost a lot of fights, won a few and drawn a couple. The important part is to remember that I can win. I could get misty-eyed over what’s gone before or I could just stay present and get a good set of basic skills together that I can build on. Do I seem like I’m putting myself down? I feel like I am, I do it a lot you know. The bullfight critic is me and it’s ok to be critical right now, but it’s important to not let it turn into self-pity. I enjoy training and I enjoy fighting. Even the tough bits.
You see, I want to turn “not very good” into better. I want to make sure I prepare properly when I’m competing. At least four weeks is ok. That’s a month of graft. That’s a month of making the time and putting in the work. Ideally, I want that month to be six weeks of graft but there’s a lot of things I want including to get my basics better as I’ve said. Everything comes together with time. Watching guys in their 30s and 40s go to war last night made me very happy because it shows me that it can be done. I didn’t start competing until I was 31.
On reflection, I’ll put last night down as an important lesson. I’m tough but I need to get better, I’m not in my twenties anymore so I need to fight strategically. On the plus side of things and this is what has made me smile, is at points I could tell I was hurting him. And there were moments when I found the moment. Do you know what I mean? it’s kind of Like pulling some into a reasonably tight clinch and throwing some ok knees as a payback for the last six you took in a row and just for a second thinking “Got him.” It’s like throwing a monster hook and seeing the expression on his face when it connects, it’s like hearing the slap of a left low kick connecting or seeing the pain in his eyes when you land that cross.
It’s like realizing that maybe if you keep training and you keep pushing to get better, in the end, you’ll turn it around again because after all you really cannot beat the combat. Thanks as always to Eagles for having me and thanks to my awesome corner. Big respect to my opponent from last night. You’re a good fighter and a strong lad. Train hard, fight easy and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.