Practice never makes perfect.

Evening all, it’s nice as always to catch up. I hope your week has been a good one and that training along with everything else is heading in the right direction. I’ve managed to spend the best part of the week at the gym and being honest, despite having peaks and trough moments all is well and things I’m pleased to say are moving forward . As I’ve said many times over the course of this blog the more you put into all things martial, the more you get out, and it’s nice to feel like I’m making progress but I guess that’s to be expected. I train hard and if I wasn’t heading anywhere good then what would be the point?

Just like with all things in life with all things good things come to those who don’t wait but quite simply go out and get it. When it comes to martial arts this doesn’t mean trampling on others to get to where you want to be (I’m totally against that type of thing ) but setting goals and working towards what you want to achieve. Let me give you a couple of examples.

I’ve spent the past 5 or 6 weeks working on my left body kick. Some days it’s very good, some days it’s not so great but I do know that ultimately it’s only ever going to get better. I keep chipping away the problems I run into with the kick and have slowly corrected my errors, being honest if I wasn’t able to do that after over 13 years of training there would absolutely be something wrong.

Today I noticed a similar problem occurring with my guard and the kick and I thought I’d beaten. I noticed my arm trailing into my thigh and pushing the kick slightly downwards. It was actually ruining a really nice body kick, that now has got so strong the heavy bag practically runs away from my left shin. Everything else was fine. I was up on the balls of my feet, my hips were rotating well and I was chambering it a hell of a lot less than I did the week before last, but the guard wasn’t happening. My arm seemed to be trying to pull across to help fire the kick off and swing at the same time. Argh.

I spent a good 20 minutes today trying to fix a newly occurring problem with my technique and finally finished off understanding what was happening and acknowledging that despite it’s faults it’s still pretty good. It’s very easy to allow bad habits to develop doing this so I’m pleased I identified the issues and fixed it the best I could. It’s my goal to get this kick to the top of it’s game because my left low kick destroys people and I want my body kick to smash ribs. It’s not Muay Thai unless you kick through your opponent so I’ve started aiming my kick a couple of inches past the heavy bag. The issues with my guard started to right themselves towards the end of the day, but there’s a lot of work to be done.

When I was sparring yesterday in our Saturday open mat session I actually landed good old lefty into my partner’s ribs. “Good kick John!” said my trainer, which lifted my spirits. I’ve spent months really struggling to match taller opponents either kicking my ribs across the gym or trying to kick me in the head so to finally start to come back with a strong body kick is an achievement for me. After this inspirational moment I then managed to nearly kick the other guy in the nuts twice. A little voice said “I hate to be that guy, but you need to come up on your toes more. Don’t be lazy.”

I’m going to spend some time next week working just on body kicking in sparring. It’s great practising it a lot on the bags but bags don’t hit back. It’s one of my main goals at present and although practice will never really make perfect I know that inevitably it’s going to bring about vast improvements. There’s been many other good things happening in training of late that have kept me motivated. Someone commented this week I’m getting a lot stronger, and I know I hit and kick hard. I’ve got a lovely left body shot developing followed by a heavy right low kick that works time and time again in sparring and that I love practising, and I’m getting a lot better at catching body kicks and countering with knees as well as catching teeps to get my opponent off balance!

These are things I have drilled and practised so many times over the years but I think because ‘that guy’ reminded me if I want to fight again and win I need to get good, I’ve decided to consistently work on the basics and stuff that I know works and lets me close the distance, as for running?… well I had a couple of nice runs this weekend. I need to step it up but every little helps! I’m going to keep pushing myself at the gym because I want to get better. Ultimately that’s my goal and one day I would like to teach people what I know. There’s still fuel in the tank but looking at my longer term training journey beyond fighting these days isn’t just exciting it’s downright inspirational. Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

All good things come to those who never give up.

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