Category Archives: Martial Arts

Conversations with myself.

You know I don’t think I meant to have a slightly longer pause than planned writing this blog. In that respect I think I owe you an apology. Procrastination often catches me off guard these days so for now, I can only assure you that it won’t happen again.

I realized the other day that I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things of late and although the year is still pretty new (although already moving by at an alarming rate of knots) I’ve already got a list of goals mentally turning into a list of “When I get around to it”. That can be dangerous for someone like me because I know that talk is cheap and bullshit runs a marathon.

Therefore, as an immediate fix I’ve decided to start writing everything down once again. It’s funny the effect seeing a list of what you want to achieve (or in my case a page full of scribble that only I can decipher) in front of you does. It brings it all a little closer home that it was before.

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Procrastination and negative thinking can get in the way of a lot I set out to do, and my biggest enemy has always been myself. It’s funny because at points it’s very easy to think I’m the only person in the history of doing “this sort of thing” whether it be training, fighting, or running my own business that has these doubts and these fears.

When you get to the point where you realize that you’re not alone and you never have been alone you start to win inside. To achieve what I set out to achieve I need to ensure not only that I have the right attitude but that I have the right people around me.

I’ve found that seeing what’s ahead as a challenge rather than an obstacle will usually help me overcome  and if my environment or the people  around me are what can be deemed as “toxic” then I’ll change them without a second thought. I’ve been lucky enough throughout my Thai boxing career to be surrounded by people that aim to bring out the best in me. Detractors that I’ve encountered know what they can do.

The one thing I am and always have been is determined. Bloody minded and tenacious in my approach. But adopting this attitude I’ve managed to change a lot in my life including my career. I run a reasonably successful small IT consultancy that is still young and I never thought I’d stick with it. I never thought I’d step in a ring but I did and I never thought I’d step back in a ring but this year I will. So there you go.

So when I Look at my list of what I’ve got in store for this year I feel a little daunted. A little bit overwhelmed but also already marginally accomplished. I feel accomplished because I’m making it real. If I can write this blog I can finish my book. If I can step in a gym then I can step back in a ring., If I can get two regular customers then I can get another ten. The possibilities are endless. Isn’t that exciting?

Goal setting at points makes me feel brave. I’ve learnt to stay humble and keep my feet on the ground but inside I know I can do it. Everything I want to achieve this year I will. It’s just a matter of time. Have a great week and train hard. I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

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Success is

You know, I’m really looking forward to start putting in a little more time at the gym when it’s open as normal again. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that a couple of sessions a week just really isn’t enough for me so I think from next week onward and time and money allowing I’ll start getting a little K1 into my life. Just like I said I would last year, and until normal service is resumed. It fills the week out and makes me feel a little more accomplished when I don’t have the time to train with friends at the weekends…

We’re nearly a month into the new year and there’s already been some exciting developments taking shape. It’s looking like I may be back on track fighting wise over the summer and all being well they’ll be a chance to clamber back onto the horse before that point too. I’ve always needed a goal to work towards when it comes to training. It’s not the same unless I have something to point myself at. Besides, it keeps me focused and makes my heart stay big. It’s a long way off yet so we’ll see.

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I hope that along with everything else this year I make a real success of the journey I’m on with Thai and do everything that I set out to do. Sometimes in life you set goals and it takes a little longer than anticipated to get there, but I’ve learnt that if you stick with it you’ll produce good results as long as you put in the work.

I’ve found that part of succeeding with all things martial is about adopting the right attitude. I’ve always done my best especially when it comes to competing to step into personal doubts and fears and prove them wrong. I’ve never been someone who would expect myself to reach a “world class” level martially but I think at the very least I’ve always been someone whose done their best to draw on how the best get great at what they do and try to adopt at least some of the mentality for my own personal journey.

Life isn’t about putting people on pedestals of greatness but for me rather knowing that if other people can achieve what they set out to achieve then I can too. It’s better to draw inspiration from people and situations around you than to magnify those people into something they aren’t. After all. The best only ever get to that level because they put in the work. If they can do it then so can you. It’s your world..

The biggest frustration for me at present with training is not being able to spend as much time at the gym as I’d like as I mentioned earlier. I guess for the time being my current goal is to find ways to fill in the blanks and put in the extra work I need. Today I finally managed to nail a decent run route and I can build on that bit of home training by making sure I’m running at least 3 times a week, I’m shadow boxing at home, I’m doing free weights, sit ups and so and so forth. If I don’t have as much time at the gym as I’d like at present then I need to make sure I always take it home and train as much as I can. Then when things pick up again I can make sure I hit the ground running. (no pun intended) “that’s how winning is done”. Right?

So in the meantime, I’m sticking to my guns and my goals and look forward to keeping on moving forward through blood, sweat and tears. As always it’s a good journey to be on. The little fighter still has a big heart. “thanks for listening in.” As always train hard and I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

My bad.

You know, I haven’t spent much time this week at the gym due to life commitments and it still not being as open as often as I’d like. I guess with current circumstances taken into consideration with training I should make sure I’m there as much as possible, so I guess this week is my bad.

There’s still opportunities to train on a Friday night night too  and here and there at the weekends as well. There. I think I just made two sessions into a reasonable three or four. Although, being honest I’m looking forward to getting back to some good old fashioned blood and guts on a Wednesday and Saturday. It’s nice to have options.

Despite a slower week martially I’ve still managed to stick to running although I’m currently getting a decent route fleshed out. It’s trial and error at the moment but at least I’m doing something when I’m not at the gym. With that and the inclusion of free weights at home as well as a bit of shadow boxing from time to time I should be up to speed in no time.

The next step is to cut down on pubs and bottles of wine at the weekends. That’s my bad as well. I’ve decided to become a booze free zone for a couple of weeks from tomorrow onwards just to get back into the habit of clean living and sensibleness for a while.

Mentally I’m gearing myself up to start training hard again but to get the most out of it I want my fitness and everything else to be running in first gear too. And besides the fitter I get the sharper I get in training. It’s a long road but it’s always  worth it.

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I think last year I could of achieved a lot with training if I’d spent more time at the gym and no doubt could of still kept competing if I wanted to. I don’t begrudge what I did and didn’t do when it comes to Thai  but I certainly feel energized when I think about the year ahead. Thai boxing is a lot more than fighting and I can see my overall journey extending well into the years ahead.

I keep an open mind with martial arts and I’m glad these days I think just as much about street application as I do about what happens in a ring. It feels like I’ve come full circle because when I first started out down this road  (nearly 11/12 years ago now) I started off training with self defense in mind.

Along the way I think I’ve kind of forgotten why I began so it’s good to get back to elements of that as well as looking forward to whatever ring based challenges 2018 throws at me. I’ve got a long way to go but I still love what I do. It’s a big part of who I am.

There’s a lot to be said for applying focus from martial arts and the energy needed into other areas of my life so despite not training as much as I wanted to last year I think my energy was most certainly flowing in the right direction. It’s good to have learnt how to balance it again and put it back into all things martial and writing based too.

In the meantime, it’s good to have caught up with you all again as planned. I hope next week I’ll have a little more to say about all things martial but it’s nice to be able to give you a little insight into what’s currently making me tick. When it comes to everything else.. well. Watch this space. 😉 In the meantime, have a great week and as always train hard and fight easy. I’ll see you on the road.

 

 

 

Back on track.

Well, after a much needed Christmas break overseas with the fam and a ever so slightly extended break with writing I’ve finally decided to sit down and get this blog of mine back on track for the year ahead. Last year may of fallen short in a few respects but  often when I focus on getting one area heading in the right direction the rest will often follow suit. So procrastination aside, it’s good to be back. I intend to stay here.

Training this week has been a little lighter on the ground with the gym currently open a couple of times a week until one of our trainers returns from Thailand later in the month. Putting it bluntly, it’s alright for some and I hope at some point over the summer (at the risk of wishing the year away it’ll be here sooner than we think.) I manage to follow suit.

Despite us not having as much access to the gym as I’d like time there is as always time well spent. We’re lucky enough to have Dave Wilmot from Team Tieu teaching us on a Tuesday and Thursday at present and it’s good to feel that as always I’m learning. Although in hindsight, sparring needs to be more frequent and I need to get a little sharper and think a little smarter.

It’s all still there and I want to start getting up to speed for any opportunity that may come up in the months ahead. Despite what some may say, you’re never too old to push yourself to be your best. And besides, I’m not that old anyway. Just a little rusty.

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Just recently I got myself out to a great seminar that focused on martial arts body mechanics and developing power when striking. Without digressing too much into the ins and outs there was certainly some areas that can be applied to clinching that we worked on and it seems that there is similarities across the board. The longer I’ve trained for the more I’ve noticed them when I’ve  taken some time to cross train a little in different systems.

I’m hoping that I can look at situations from a different perspective this year when it comes to combat and even with training itself. if you always do what you’ve always done.. well you know the rest, and despite that little mantra still ringing true for me many years it’s good to know I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

Over Christmas I spent a lot of time running mainly to repent for meals out with the family and the usual over indulgences that always strike over the festive season. I’ve decided to make sure that this year especially while training isn’t at it’s usual regularity I keep that on track too. If you don’t run then you don’t fight and although my fitness is still pretty good I want it to be better. Not only am I currently setting intentions I’m making up for a lack of new years resolutions too. 🙂

So, from next week onwards I’m going to make sure that every little helps and most importantly counts until I can start to up the ante again. Where there’s a will there’s a way and if you’ve got heart you should never give up. Here’s to 2018. Until the next time.. I’ll see you on that road.

I´ve started so I´ll finish.

Well, it´s nice to be back. I think it´s a second or a third week now this blog of mine has arrived on time and it´s great as always to catch up. This week, unlike the week before I haven´t been training at all. That rhymes. I´m a poet and I didn´t even know it. Go me.

I´m currently out in warmer climes spending some well earned time with my family. Well, its not that much warmer but as always it´s fantastic to be here. I feel a little older and wiser since my recent birthday and I´m gradually (if not begrudingly) accepting at some point I may settle down and get on with life as normal. Christmas makes me think of stuff like that. The real world makes me realize I still have a lot of living to do.

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Muay Thai boxing at Lumpini Stadium. Muay Thai/Thai Boxing Bangkok Thailand March 2003 ©David Dare Parker /AsiaWorks Photography

 

So anyway, it´s good to be out the loop and off the radar for the holidays. It gives me more time than usual to reflect over the past 12 months or so. Training along with everything else in my life has not been without it´s up and downs but just like with everything else  I´m making sure I continue to move forward.

It´s fantastic to be looking at 2018 with some pretty solid goals on the radar when it comes to all thing martial and other wise and although it needs a lot of work I´m getting my focus back.

Although I haven´t been training this week due to travel, work and  everything attached I´ve made sure I´ve been running. In fact, since I got to ever so slightly warmer shores that much has been a given. With a little bit of shadow boxing thrown in for good measure too. I´m still taking it home with me and I think I always will be.

When I´m not at the gym I do my best to think like I´m at the gym. I hope that makes sense. Thai boxing moved from a hobby to a vocation a long time ago. Looking at things realistically I don´t think I´m likely to get any training in before the new year so I´ll keep some sort of momentum up any way I can. Every little helps as they say.

I´ve met some good people over the past 12 months and have seen a lot pass me by in the martial world I would of liked to have got involved with but for one reason or another didn´t have the time, commitment, focus or finances to do. I´m hoping in 2018 that changes but I still maintain a  balance with everything else that´s good in my life.      I´m a firm believer in putting others before myself. That´s not likely to change.

In the meantime, I´m looking forward to a lovely Christmas with my nearest and dearest and a good run first thing tomorrow morning. Running round the block equates to around 6k so I guess that´s a good thing. If I´m feeling really christmasy I might push it to ten. I guess I´ll see how it goes and just like the time before and the time before that… I´ll see you on that road. Here´s to 2018. May you win all your fights, martial and other wise. Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at the gym.

Training this week has been well worth my time. Despite feeling rusty, sloppy and generally not as good as I know I can be I’ve seen it through from beginning to end and walked away with near on 5 sessions under my belt. It’s motivated me to fit in a last couple of sessions before I’m off to warmer climes for Christmas towards the end of next week and to hit the ground running (hopefully literally) on my return.

Speaking of running, it’s still something I need to do much more of so I can see Monday morning calling even before it’s arrived. Thai boxing  can bring out the best in us when we least expect it so it’s nice to know the motivation and drive to get out there and do it is still as prevalent as ever. I’m still young, both inside and out.

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I put a lot of that down to the training and what it gives back to me. If you keep training hard you get fit in no time at all. I almost begrudge the fact that it’s taken me the past couple of months to motivate myself to start taking things seriously again and stop skirting round the edges. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into 2018. I want it to be a good one.

Before I start reeling off a lists of “should of could of would of’s” for 2017 I have to remind myself that despite a pause with training intensity (bar the strings of full on weeks here and there) I’ve enjoyed taking the peddle off the gas and have taken away a lot more than I thought I would.

I’ve been training at my current gym for a good couple of years now (time flies ) and I’m starting to feel settled in. Memory wise it reminds me of my first camp and also of my second from time to time. I enjoy what we get taught and we always get pushed. Next year I want to get myself fighting fit, motivated and ready to walk from 2018 achieving everything I promised myself this year, but for one reason or another never got round to. It’s called procrastination. Now and again it strikes.

I think Thai is one of the reasons I’ve not only stayed in good shape but I’ve stayed young inside too. When you find something that constantly gives you challenges, makes you healthy and competitive (I never thought I’d see the day) and brings out the best in you as well as teaching you how to look after yourself in the ring or otherwise you know you’re certainly onto a good thing.

People often set goals and stop when they achieve them, I’ve found with martial arts the goal is ever evolving, always challenging and always good fun. Training as much I have week has reminded me of the importance of self investment. Rusty bits included.

So for now that’s all she wrote. I could go on patting myself on the back for pulling my finger out but I’d rather do that at the end of next year. It’s a good journey and a lot of graft but I’ll do my best and maybe bring some of the good stuff to me. Let’s see how it goes. In the meantime have a good week, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

 

On Switch.

Yes I’m back y’all. I’ve always wanted to say that on this blog and  I feel after a couple of weeks out it’s more than an appropriate term to use. I’m a funny fucker as a well as a writer.

It’s good to make the time not just find the time to get this blog of mine up to speed and as always it’s nice to see you. “Thanks for listening in”. This week, unlike last week I’ve hardly been at the gym at all. Sometimes you have to prioritize other areas of your life and there’s always a lot to keep me occupied.

Winter time historically sees a drop off in training and I’ve noticed the gym getting quieter but I’m hoping to clamber back onto the proverbial horse next week. It’ll be good to finish the year on a good note training wise and I’m doing my best to adopt the like it or not approach I’ve been lacking recently.

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It’s frustrating not getting to the gym as much as I would like to but in the same respect it means I value my time there more. I’ve set some fighting goals for 2018 and want to make sure I make them happen. This year has been hit and miss with training but I’m still just as determined to stay in it and come back better than I was before. As always it’s been a learning curve and I’ve learnt a lot about me.

One thing that’s been on my mind this week (well mainly today) has been the importance of being able to switch on or flick the on switch when I’m in a combat situation. I wrote about this earlier this year (or maybe it was last ) and I think next week I’m going to devote a lot of my time sparring into doing that. I’m an aggressive fighter and very forward in my approach but it’s taken time to develop my trigger.

Fighting is a brutal game. In fact, it’s safe to say it’s a downright nasty business. When we step in the ring the one thing it isn’t  is a tickling contest. It’s how I learnt to leave the nice guy at home. It doesn’t mean you hate the person in front of you but you’re out to destroy them.

I’ve found to be able to get to that place I have to put nerves and everything else to one side. To turn my fear into a fire as the saying goes. In order to get to that place I need to have a trigger. An old trainer once told us that he used to rub the bridge of his nose and a friend of mine told me that when he puts his wraps on he feels ready.

For me it’s banging my gloves together just before I start my walk. (it’s not something I’ve always done but there’s been a few fights when I have. )When I actually walk up to the ring I really gain my focus and fear evaporates. The nerves stay until I’m in the fight but just before my fear leaves. Banging my gloves together is the trigger (literally just before I’m called) but seeing the ring is my real on switch.

I think it’s important to be able to relax mentally before a fight after you’ve warmed up so it’s absolutely essential to be able to switch on. I’ve paid the price before for not doing so. When I’m not in the zone I feel tired and I feel weak. The adrenaline kills a lot of pain but it also makes me feel like nothing I’m throwing is hurting the person in front of me. I think points these days more than I used to but really I’m all about damage.

When I’m switched on I feel strong. I know I’m tough inside and out and I know I can take an opponent to pieces when given half a chance.  I have a tunnel vision thing happen. All I can see is the person in front of me and all I can hear is my corner, but everyone seems far away. Almost in the next room. If you’ve ever fought or are still fighting you’ll get what I mean.

When I’m switched on I don’t seem to feel anything other than knees. Knees hurt. When they land properly you can’t help but feel them. The adrenaline takes a lot of the sting away. Punches just feel like thuds, and kicks are just the same.

It’s important for me to set my intention with anything I do and fighting is just the same. Having a trigger or an on switch gets me in the right place for the task at hand. When I’m in the fight I love every minute of it win or lose. I guess that’s why at the moment I miss fighting so much. As soon as an opportunity comes up I’ll no doubt remind myself I must be fucking nuts to be doing this again. Until that day re emerges I’ll keep training and will make sure from here on in I’m training hard.

I thought I’d leave you this week with some martial goodness from my favourite fighter Pornsanae Sitmonchai. I’ve always been a massive fan. In the meantime, train hard have a good week and be aggressive. I’ll see you on that road.

Pornsanae Sitmonchai’s Leg – Kick Destruction