Cat zen.

Hi. Nice to catch up with you again, and being honest it’s good to sit down and get some writing done. You know something, I’ve spent the last week or so procrastinating about writing a thousand words a day to get a project I started over 4 years ago into reasonable shape. For those that don’t know, I decided some time ago to write a book about my life and journey into Thai boxing, and how it helped change me for the better.

So far “The last of the good guys”  is over 160 pages long, needs to be finished, shortened tidied up,and proofread. When friends of mine read some of the manuscript a few years back they couldn’t stop telling me how good they thought it was. In fact people outside of that circle said the same thing.

It was nice for a couple of reasons firstly because my dad and my auntie over in the States are both writers so it kind of runs in the family, and because I think it’s the closest thing I have to a natural bias. You’ll meet people in martial arts circles from time to time who seem to have the same thing going on. You know, the ones who somehow make it look easy. Everyone has something they are good at, working out if it’s something you can excel at takes practice and time.

I’ve been writing this blog of mine for as long as I can remember for the sheer love of it. Right now, the words and sentences are just flowing onto the blank canvas that is my WordPress page. It’s a nice feeling and something I don’t even have to think about. Like with all things martial, it comes from the heart. Which brings me onto the topic of today. Cat Zen.

From “Be more cat” by Alison Davies, a birthday present from a friend! 

Working on observation has been a big part of training this week. Today while running I’ve found the off switch and that’s always a good thing. Letting the world go by as my feet hit the concrete has been pretty much therapeutic and a great stress buster.

I’m still sprint training and still visualizing my next fight but not to the point where it dominates my run. It’s been good to just let negatives fall away and at the very most just observe them but not engage. I’m beginning to remember we are not our thoughts and our mind is not us. Shutting down the internal dialogue lets me appreciate my run a lot more and of course, just like cats are it’s nice to be thankful for every little thing.

Learning how not to engage with emotions and responding rather than reacting is a big part of the martial picture and you’ll find that some of the best fighters have a poker face when in the ring.  Good Thai boxers take their opponents to pieces quickly through responses that are filled with venom, not with anger and hate. Being able to respond rather than react is important in a street situation too.

Observation and presence work is an ongoing learning curve for me but something that I think fits very well into my journey as a martial artist and fighter. Fighting is primarily more mental than it is physical, and learning how to shut down the internal dialogue and remain calm and focused under pressure is something you can practice at home on a daily basis. If you’re wondering where to start from, next time you make a cup of coffee just focus on that one task. Be more cat, and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.





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