Yes, I’m back y’all, and as always it’s good to catch up. I hope your weeks been one full of martial goodness. Sadly, for the second week running training hasn’t been as full-on as I’d like this time due to the tail end of a nasty cold managing to sabotage my best-laid plans. Moaning aside, I’m intending to get myself back on the proverbial horse next week onwards.
I’ve been thinking over the past few days (I do that a lot) Gyms can be funny places sometimes. I’ve been training for nearly 13 years now and over time, due to one thing or another I’ve found myself training out of and also fighting for different camps. Let’s put one thing to bed at an early stage and that’s I don’t and never will gym hop.
Being reasonably well-traveled and seasoned for my age (I’m really not that old at all) I’ve lived in a few different cities around the UK due to work or the insatiable travel bug that blessed my mum also digging its claws into me… and since I picked Muay Thai up I’ve never really been able to put it down. In fact, I made a pact with myself way back in 07 that wherever I find myself in the world, I’ll find a camp to train out of.
So far, I’ve trained as far south as you can go without getting your feet wet, Bournemouth and my current home town as well as South Africa, Europe and of course Thailand. (twice) See what I mean? well-travelled. Every gym I’ve been to has its own style of fighting, etiquette and uniqueness about it that I’ve made my own.
Every gym has had a variety of trainers and people that have caught my attention. interest, inspired and brought out the best in me. Just as equally, I’ve run into a lot of egos, cliques and a mild degree of patronization (intentional or not) My current gym of around the 4-year mark is somewhere I’m happy to call home and it’s fair to say I train with some good people.
Just recently, one of my trainers who’s sadly not around as much as I’d like to see at present (Hi Dave) said that if I want to keep fighting I need to train with people who are going to push me to help me progress. I think at the moment I’m in the right environment to do that but it’s fair to say from my gyms and my own perspective there’s a lot that’s expected of me right now.
My other trainer has already said he wants to see some drastic improvements between now and my possible next fight in December (I’ve mentioned this as humbly as possible because I want it, so you know…) or else they’ll be no fighting for anybody. It was that blunt too but sometimes I need that.
Of course, getting myself ready over the next 8 weeks or so means not only am I going to have to listen but take valid criticism too. Sometimes in gyms, the critics I’ve encountered have criticised me because they need someone to pick on. There’s a word for these sort of martial artists but I won’t drop down into expletives here. The best sort of criticism comes from people who want to see you progress and develop. I’m lucky to have spent a lot of gym time around these kind of people too.
Muay Thai doesn’t come easy to the best of us. It’s a simple system but there’s a lot of depth to it and I often cast my mind back to what my first trainer told me years ago “I can only ever show you the way” in other words it’s down to me how I interpret and develop what I do.
I feel at the moment that I’m making progress but I’ve been training for a long time. Things are starting to come a little easier than they did 3 years ago or even 6 months ago. I no longer feel that if I have light training weeks that I’m back to square one. More often than not my body says thanks for the rest and I have more energy than I thought I did.
As a paradox, there is so much more that I need to do better that I should be doing better by now. My life seems full of bad habits and one-dimensional fighting so maybe I just need to stop sticking to what I know start correcting more and use what I’ve been learning since the dawn of time. It’s all there. Other fighters have told me that too. It never goes away, and I often see it. I just need to get better at using it.
I’m looking forward to hitting the gym next week as well as throwing in some decent road work to compliment it and get that fitness better. The gym and training is a habit. I guess fighting is a hobby I just can’t seem to put down. I want to get better at. Here’s to the next eight weeks and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.