Round 5. Today after a decent 2-hour sparring session I was thinking about round 5. The session started off at the usual pace, with a good standard of technique and a good mix of experience to keep everyone on their toes. I’m getting sharper and I’m getting faster and my stamina is pretty good. I keep saying that but today it feels more of an accomplishment because I forgot about round 5.
For as long as I’ve competed for now I’ve always been taught the importance of finishing strong. As I’ve also mentioned before I’m a pressure fighter so that means I’m alway forward. In, in, in. This is important for a couple of reasons. The first being my height. Everyone I’ve fought so far bar that one guy has been taller than me.
Even before you start, this isn’t a problem but is the nature of the beast. Staying close and fighting inside the opponent’s range is the order of the day. You can close that range in a number of ways, but I usually flick my Porsanane Sitmonchai switch and open up with hands and low kicks.
Today I found my range a little more for my Left body kick and was pleased with what happened, I need to change my delivery or way I throw the kick so it’s a less Captain Obvious but I’m training and sparring with people who know me and I know them.I guess that makes me easier to read. Which brings me back to the 5th round and it’s importance.
That short guy Dan Tupan. He was a formidable fighter. Sadly retired now.
Five rounds in the UK are paced similarly to five rounds fights in Thailand. The first two are used to feel your opponent out, although it doesn’t always go that way. And the really important rounds are later in the fight. I usually try to pick things up from round three onwards and start to let it go a little.
I’m still working on developing my fighting style and these days I catch kicks and teeps a lot more frequently than I have before. It helps me close that range and start to apply pressure. You see, if I’m close I know I can be dangerous.
I’ve always tried to “finish strong”. My cardio and fitness let me attack and attack even when I’m tired. But that’s pressure fighting. I guess some may say, there’s not a lot to us. But what It doesn’t do is make us bad fighters.
Over time and training with some of the people I train with now I’ve seen taller fighters fall back and still score more than I do in a 5th round. Sometimes, I’m still dealing with frustration when they stay out of range but frustration makes me sloppy. So does tiredness.
To win that all-important round 5 I think it’s important I get back to learning how to take my time and find my shots. They are there when I stop looking for them. I landed a couple of body kicks today that caught me and them off-guard. Additionally, we all miss sometimes, the trick is learning to do that and recovering well. Fools rush in and I get that a fighter continuously on the front foot can seem a little desperate and reads easily.
Today I’ve learnt that what I need to go the distance is there and I intend to remain relentless when fighting. I’ve also learnt that going flat out especially when you’re not doing great doesn’t always give you the best results, but if anything it shows the person in front of you, your heart and determination. Next week, just like this one I’m going to train hard and make sure skill and will start reading from the same page. Even at the tough bits. Have a good week, and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.