Category Archives: Muay Thai

Me time

Hi. I hope your week’s been a good one and that training in whatever form it’s currently taking is going well. Despite ultimately confusing advice from the government here it’s plain to see that we’re going to be navigating our way through the remainder of the current crisis not only by the skin of our teeth but for some time to come.

Sadly, this means when it comes to all things martial we’re unlikely to see gyms reopen for a good few months yet. Personally, I’m hoping it’s going to be before the end of the summer but only time will tell. Of course, like many others, I’m still training.

This week, like the week before I’ve spent time working on my fitness through running, with a bit of core strength training, stretching, and shadow boxing plus Dieselnoi/ Sylvie knee and elbow drills.

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Boxing sparring at Sitsongpeeenong 2014 

When I’ve been running this week, I’ve spent some of the run focusing on staying present. I do this by listening to the sound of my feet on the concrete.  My run in itself is pretty relaxing and tuning into my breathing has also helped me switch off from distractions and noise.

Being honest, I’m currently missing hitting stuff. This appears to be a mutual feeling in Thai boxing circles at present, and although I love my own company I miss training with my friends and the gym as a whole. We’re a good club and no one’s happy about our current situation. I’m planning to get a small portable bag mid-month that should keep things interesting and most importantly keep me sharp.

Keeping sharp and focused also heads back to the mindset training I was talking about a minute ago. Switching off from the clutter and working on my cat zen is the order of the day as is going with the flow and focusing on the same goals I had in the gym before the pandemic hit the UK.

I thought I’d leave you this week with some Muay Thai goodness to keep you motivated, this time from Yodkhunpon Sittraipum The Elbow Hunter  on pressure fighting. When they push you in that ring, always remember to push back with everything you’ve got, keep the pressure on and never, ever give up. Have a good week, train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

Still training in the age of COVID-19

Hi. I thought I’d take the time to catch up. How’s your week been? When it comes to all things martial mines not been too bad at all. Despite us still being in lockdown here it’s good to see the weather getting warmer and I think that’s been one of the drivers for some truly awesome runs this week.

I’ve started sprint training again to keep my fitness up ready for when I get back to the gym in the next couple of weeks. There are a river and woods near me that make for a pretty scenic 6 or 7k and it’s been good this week to just let it hang out a little and really push. I  start off running to a light jog and then gradually build-up into a decent pace after the first couple of kilometres of warm-up. From there, I start to sprint.

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What’s been pretty awesome about sprint training this week is that I’ve managed to push through the breaking point and have just kept going. That’s important to me for a couple of reasons. It shows me my fitness is good and it also makes me a little tougher inside. It’s true when they say your mind gives up or gasses out before your body   so it’s been good to hit the point of no return and breakthrough. Nothing, as they say, is permanent and I’ve learnt over time if I can beat myself I can beat fucking anyone.

When it comes to sprints, this week I started with 10-second bursts and have ended with sprinting to just over 30 seconds at a time. Despite the lockdown, there’s still a reasonable amount of people around, so to try to keep distancing at points I’ve used them as sprint markers as well as trees, lamposts and assorted shrubbery. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a country bumpkin disco out here and I’ve not heard one banjo yet but you know..

Along the way, I’ve also found myself working on a little bit of presence and visualization techniques. Staying in the now can be walking or in my case running meditation and today, I focused on my breathing and the sound of my feet hitting the concrete path. I’ve worked through rounds 1 to 5 even with the last 30-second push of the fight and I’m pleased to say I’ve still got it. It’s never been easy and it’s never going to be.

As well as my sprint training and runs of awesomeness I’ve also done some decent home training this week too of between 35 minutes to an hour at a time. I live in a top floor flat heat rises in blocks and at the moment..boy is it warm. My living room has become my ring.

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As soon as the front blocking leg hit the ground I came in with my battle axe rear knee. 

I start my home training sessions with around 100 to 150 situps, followed by around 40 kettlebell swings and another 30 goblet squats. As a disclaimer about kettlebell training, I’m not that great (I watched a video I made of myself earlier and almost heard a twang.) and then 50 to 100 press-ups After a 6 to 7k run with sprints this usually destroys me but I keep going.

From there, I move into around 150 bicep curls with my free weights and squats. By this point. I’ll usually have a pause and do some light stretching.) I seriously need to more stretching, but that’s nothing new.) and then around 25 to 30 minutes of shadow. After that’s done I’ll usually finish with Sylvie / Dieselnoi knees. (Check out her videos to see what I mean)  They are a work in progress and an absolute killer.

I’m going to build up reps and drills next week onwards. At present,  I’m very pleased with my hands and elbows and knees. I do my best to keep things simple (jab teep from one end of the room to another as an example here ) and back then build the combination up.  My movement needs a bit of work so I spent some of today practising some footwork too.

This week I’ve been running 4 times and trained at home 3 times. This is a big improvement from my sporadic 20 minutes of shadow here and there when bored the week before and it feels like I’m creating a bit of structure to what I do. I hope from May the 7th things begin to return to normal and that I’m back at my camp soon. It’s good however to get my focus and motivation back and as always I have no intention of giving up, It may not get any easier but it does get absolutely better with time.   Train hard because you’ll fight easy, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

We’re still training in the age of COVID-19

Hi. I thought I’d take the chance to catch up with you again. It’s good as always to sit down and write and I’ll make sure I get my blog back to it’s regular Sunday slot this week onwards.  Despite gyms still being closed and things across the globe looking increasingly like 1984,  I’m pleased to say I’ve stayed motivated and ok although I need to train from home a little more than I am at present, I’ve kept the running up and I don’t have any intention of slowing down.

In fact when it comes to all things Muay Thai I want to make sure I’m ready to step back into training regularly full time when the lockdown over here lifts. A little voice is telling me that’s going to be sooner rather than later so if I feel a little low about not being able to hit a heavy bag or spar or train with friends at points, I take a little strength in knowing that things will inevitably get better.

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Right now, we’re looking at a lift on this thing in around 6 months, but that’s not to say gyms will be shut for that period of time. There’s been talk of us seeing things return to  whatever classes as normal around these parts by around late May or June,  I’m sincerely hoping that’s the case because although I’ve always wanted a Twins teardrop knee bag, I think I’d begrudge setting one up in the living room and besides I’m planning to get myself out to Europe to catch one of the best martial arts tournaments on the face of the planet as well as do a little traveling.

But in the meantime we are in a state of lockdown so how do we do cope? what do we need to do exactly to make sure we stay sharp and competent for when we get back to our camps and get our fighting heads on once more? I think first and foremost the most important thing is to keep the training up and keep the training consistent.

If you’ve been a little like me at points and struggling to stay motivated (let’s be honest, it’s an easy trap to fall into) then it’s worth catching Sylvie’s home training videos and work on developing your own daily routine. Today I changed my run route a little and along the way caught sight of a guy shadowboxing by the river near my place and intermittently skipping. Turns out he trains at a camp I trained with when I first moved to Bristol way back in 2012.

I could see he is a beginner and it was nice to see someone staying motivated despite everything and I shadowed a little myself. I think in hindsight it felt a bit too Jean Claude Van Damme for me to do regularly but hey it broke my run up a little! I realized that I absolutely need to be training from home more and I’ve already got my eyes on a small portable bag for the living room and intend to get a daily routine worked out for my Thai boxing. Even if it’s 40 minutes at a time (I did an hour or so the other day) it should be enough to keep a degree of rust off my tools.

So far I’ve managed to left body kick the clothes horse into submission and even had a go at making a temporary heavy bag out of the sofa’s cushions yesterday. For a moment back there it was nice to let my hands go but it’s still not the gym and what that tells me is that I need to get a bit of structure into my training at home rather than bursts of activity and moments of so-called inspiration.

I’ve got free weights here and a kettlebell, just about enough space in the living room to have a nice move around and there’s even a strip of grass at the back of my flats away from others (this is seriously so strange. ) that I can use if the weather holds up and it gets warm. From tomorrow onwards I’m going to make sure I’m training twice a day as well as running four times a week. Let’s see what happens. I’m sticking to my guns because there’s still no time like the present.

I’ve also gone for long bike rides to keep my fitness up but still can’t get over how surreal my home is right now. Nothing is permanent and I know it will change for the better but Bristol feels like a ghost town.

It’s worth remembering at this point that what I take away from training has always been mine to keep so on that basis I’m not going to let it go to waste. Here’s to staying focused and motivated. Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

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Training in the age of COVID-19

Hi. I hope as always your keeping well, and that you are staying safe.  At the moment with gyms having shut their doors and the UK being in a state of lockdown it’s important to stay fit and healthy.

Despite the outbreak and authoritarian restrictions, it’s good to stay positive and stay focused and most importantly, even it’s through phone or video call stay in touch with friends and family.

When it comes to training it’s been nice to see martial artists such as Sylvie Von Douglaas-Ittu sharing regularly sharing home training videos as well as the Warrior Collective keeping us all motivated with useful drills and training tips we can practice at home.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a martial family then maybe you’ve got someone to hold pads for you and if not it’s worth considering picking up a cheap bag to set up at home to keep sharp and fit other than just via shadow boxing and running or cycling. In terms of outdoor exercise, I’d suggest making the most of it whilst you can.

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I’m upping the ante next week to running 4 times a week as well as my usual bit of cycling. I’m also making sure I dedicate more time to home training than I have done this week. I’ve found it useful whilst watching some of Sylvie’s training videos to shadow box at the same time she is.

It kind of gives that training together feeling and if you’re anything like me you’re a people person. I miss seeing my friends as regularly as I was but we’re keeping in touch and my gym has a Whatsapp group that we can all share training videos and tips through.

Right now, the state of play is that we might be under lockdown until June, so the worst thing we can do is let our training fall to the wayside, and our tools get rusty. I keep focused on training goals for the rest of the year and I can’t wait to get back to the gym.

I’ve always been someone who takes my art home with me, but that’s just me and as I’ve always said, I’ll be training when I’m 60. I think in these ever turbulent times it’s important to remember that nothing is permanent and everything changes. Tough times only ever make tough people. All we ever have is situations and opportunities to be the best we can possibly be.

From next week onwards I’m going to start blogging about what I’m working on in particular and what drills I’ve been practicing over the course of the week,  if you follow me on Twitter you’ll see me tweeting stuff like “jab and teep from one side of the living room to the other..” or ” block off the rear leg, lead teep, rear leg knee”

It’s not just my train of thought, well ok it is, but it’s what I’m working on too. Maybe that will help give others a little inspiration for shadow boxing drills from home. They’ll be a little more from me on home drills this time next week as I’ve said and On that fairly positive note, I think I’ll leave you with this video from Sylvie on things you can train from home. I hope it helps you stay motivated. Never give up and train hard…and just like the last time, I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

Whilst you’re here

Evening all, I thought I should check-in. Whilst you’re here I thought I’d take the opportunity like many other people are to talk about COVID-19 and the impact it’s having on our training lives as well as many other things. Respecting the fact that not everyone that reads my blog is UK based, here in sunny Bristol we’ve only just begun to start to shut down.  Cases of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus (the last one’s a bit less 28 days later and apocalypse sounding) are unfortunately rising here 

From my point of view, it’s important to not buy into misleading or false information about our situation. I could easily begin to panic about this. Maybe I should. My parents are both retired and live in Spain and have for many years. The country is rapidly entering lockdown. My other family members in the UK are in other cities and many of my friends here like myself, are currently self-isolating.

If you looked up apocalyptic scenarios, you’d probably see this one coming up time and time again throughout fictional history.  No one takes the situation seriously enough and off we go, off the cliff edge. The reality, however, isn’t quite like that. Communities and people in times of hardship pull together. The mutual aid network that has emerged is outstanding and locally has helped me with food and medicine on a few occasions.

You can find a list of UK mutual aid networks here.  There are also many Facebook groups set up by mutual aid organizations to help us. What is mutual aid? Well, if you’re curious about the principles you can learn a little more here.  Right now it’s about supporting one another when we need each other the most.

In a way, it’s similar to training. As fighters or as martial artists as a whole, we support each other in our gyms and dojos. We’re always in each other’s corner and we should always have each other back, in or out the ring. Over the years I’ve heard gyms described as a microcosm of society, so although many of our spaces are now closed for health reasons let’s try and keep that attitude alive regardless. Being a martial artist extends to much more than our personal accomplishments.

On that note, it was good to see Sylvie Von Duuglas-ittu write a nice blog on home training that if your anything like me, should keep you motivated and inspired over the coming weeks and possibly months. It’s been less than a week since I was last at my gym and it already feels like forever. Training wise I can do free weights at home, sit-ups and press-ups, shadowbox and skip and if needs be I may even buy a small bag to put in my living room to keep sharp.

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I also intend to keep myself occupied by writing a lot more, running and helping those in the community by getting involved with community support as well as getting my head into my books with studying and reading in general. Today I shared a picture of my home bookshelf on my Facebook.  I’ve never done that before but I was going through a cat stuck indoors moment at the time.  It made me feel better because I was totally thumping my tail on the carpet. Work-wise, I hope things remain positive as I run my own business and can work remotely if needs be.

It’s difficult to say what things will be like over the next few months but I would recommend remembering that no matter what level of emergency we face, we have rights as citizens. Do check in with organizations such as the network for police monitoring Netpol on Twitter and Facebook for updates on what’s happening with emergency powers as well as Big Brother Watch some are saying we are witnessing an erosion of our civil liberties under the mask of a national health emergency. Only time will tell.

Most importantly I think it’s worth keeping abreast of the situation globally as well as locally. We are not an Island who are cut off from the world despite recent political choices and inspiring tales from overseas as well as closer to home can often uplift us here. I’m sure you’re all sick to the back teeth of do’s and don’ts around good hygiene standards so I won’t start preaching, but if you want to run over the dos and don’ts over the widely misunderstood social distancing you can learn more via this NHS link.

As for me? well, I’m doing good thanks. How are you? I had some symptoms but they seem to have dropped off now and I have a few days left of isolation left so I can only hope for the best. I expect a quiet world but I don’t expect a fearful one. We the people protect one another, and in silence, we can sometimes find the greatest peace. Walk tall, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing shape

Hi. Nice to see you. I thought I’d take the time to catch up, fashionably late as always but life’s like that. Training wise things are going well and I’m looking forward to competing again when the weather starts to get a little warmer.

I’ve been thinking recently about the need to change my shape when it comes to competing. Just recently, I decided to step back into the interclub world to shake off a little ring rust that’s developed and to make sure that my head would be in the fight game the next time I stepped up for real. Being honest here, I don’t really need to take this route, I train hard and spar regularly but it’s good fun and usually a challenge.

Before I stepped into the square ring (I admit I was buzzing about it)  my inner voice said to me  “fight like you mean it.” Although I could feel the rust when things got going, everyone told me I did ok and I felt confident that with a lot more training and maybe another interclub or two I’d be ready for the next competition that came up.

You see, I’ve been worrying recently about not being able to cope with the pressure of a win-lose or draw fight, due to having those moments (we all get them from time to time) when being hit hard in sparring is no fun and I just don’t seem to want it enough. I miss shots, I feel slow and I don’t always cope when they give it back.

I don’t think it’s helped me by clinging onto the particularly negative memory of my last fight, which I was immensely unprepared for and didn’t take anywhere near as seriously as I should have done. I was more determined to put things right (I’d lost the fight before that one)  than remember me and “short notice” don’t really get on, my body kicking was terrible, I was far too predictable, I panicked in round one an- see? I’m doing it again.

There’s nothing I can do to change results. I don’t have this magic time tunnel that lets me reset, train for six or seven weeks and then give it my all. All I have is the here and now and all I can ever do is learn from my mistakes, build my skills and develop who I am as a boxer.

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To do this has a requirement. And that requirement is that I become a different person from who I am now. Human beings are multifaceted and what we see is very rarely what we get with each other. I have the ability to shapeshift just like you do. I have said before that fighting is brutal. It’s not for everyone and in order to be ready the next time I step up I have to be a different person in that ring. The nice guy needs to stay at home and the fighter needs to step into the driving seat.

I think at the moment when it comes to training I’m striving to get back to being the Thai boxer who won an area title in 2013. I feel frustrated that the fighters still there but he’s clouded with a lot of self-doubts.

At points, I wonder if I’ll ever see him again and I think I need to remember that since then and now I’ve made a lot of progress. He’s always there when I need him the most. It just takes time, dedication and practice and the courage to rise to the challenge, to stay brave as a friend once said and to remember that I’m a warrior.

The easiest way to face my doubts and fears is to get on with the work ahead so on that note I’m pleased to say I’m training later. I’m training Thursday, Saturday, and twice Sunday too. Yesterday I swept someone clinching. I forgot I could do that. But there I go again. proving me wrong. When it comes to this Thai boxing game, I don’t think I can ever really lose. Train hard, fight easy and just like the last time…I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

 

Better late than never

Well, it’s nice to catch up as always. Here we are again you and me, and here I am, better late than never. Training like life can have its ups and downs but I was pleased to spend more time than anticipated at the gym last week.

I spent the majority of last week in sparring thinking about speed as well as precision and was pleased on Sunday to find stuff just happening, like the right hook that came out of nowhere not once but twice and finished with a low kick, and the high low combinations including a nice left body shot in the ribs. My hands seem to be improving massively and my kicks are getting better too.

I have to remember at points, its not always about K1 style speed and volume but about the catches, sweeps and more that make Muay Thai so varied in comparison to other combat sports. I have days when I catch a lot and counter, and days when I try and close the distance through pressure alone.

Both methods seem to work, and what I do know is that I’m improving. Being honest, if I wasn’t improving with the amount I train every week, something would be wrong. Small steps can lead to big results and it’s nice to train out of such a technical Muay Thai camp. I’m enjoying the basics just as much as I’m enjoying the more advanced drills we get shown.

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Awesome imagery from “Muay Thai the art of eight limbs” AboutThailandliving

It’s the basics however that often sees me through under pressure so these days I’m making sure I spend as much time drilling them as well as time spent working combinations. Are they getting better? well, my left kick mid and low certainly is, and I’m trying to work on the golden kick because It’s a faster and less Captain obvious way of delivering some real power. It seems to be getting there and I’m going to try it in sparring next week if I can.

I think my fitness is good enough to keep building on my speed right now and if I can get my legs working at the same rate as my hands I’m going to be a happy guy. I don’t kick slow but it can always be faster. I also want to make sure I work on dictating the pace of a fight. It’s very easy to let someone else take the lead, There’s nothing worse than fighting at their pace and not your own.

Like everything else Muay Thai, it is as always a work in progress. I thought I’d leave you inspired this week with some of the formidable Saiyok showing us what training hard is really about. Well worth watching for some Monday inspiration! I’ll be back, as usual, this Sunday, and here’s to another good week at the gym, Just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

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Good for the soul

Hi. I thought I’d take the time to get this blog of my up to speed. I’ve been meaning to do it all week but as always have discovered that the best time to write it is, of course, a Sunday.  Speaking of Sunday’s mine’s been pretty good. I headed out to PCT interclub earlier today with a few of the lads from my gym, and I’m pleased to say we did well.

There were 55 fights over the course of the day starting with kids and juniors leading into adults as the day went on. For those that don’t know, interclub is a stepping stone into the world of competitive Thai boxing. From there you’ll find yourself in the amateurs and then onto semi-professional and professional fights or B class and A class Muay Thai.

Interclubs can be a great way to as I found out today, to shake a bit of rust off, get used to being in front of a crowd and/or gain the courage to step in a ring and square off against someone from a different camp. We’re all at different levels doing this and it was nice to see a mix of skill and ability.

I did ok, I think I could have done better but I always think I should do better. I’ve become adept at forever giving myself a hard time about fighting and training. This is the nature of things with me and anything remotely competitive. Ironically, I did better today than I did in my last competitive bout but I didn’t feel as sharp as my last interclub.

I stood my ground more, I was a bit too hesitant in the last round, I need to come forward a bit more I need to work on my clinch, my boxing, and low kicks was good, and finally, I didn’t throw enough body kicks but the one I landed was alright. I even managed to get some half-decent knees in as well. 

I didn’t feel old and past it but I did feel marginally rusty. The guy I got matched with is fighting in April and I said I want to fight again this year, but will probably do a couple more interclub to get my head in that zone again.  “Don’t wait too long,” he said. Noted. for now, I’ll keep training.

I’m not getting taken to pieces in there. There’s a limited amount you learn from being someone’s punch bag for 5 rounds. The good thing is I still want to fight. Before I got in the ring I was smiling. I could almost see the sparkle in my eyes. Fighting as a whole is exciting and a good challenge. It makes me happy and is good for my soul.

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The first gym I trained out of Sitnawoi Muay Thai, way back in 07.. this photo is from when I paid them a visit in  2015. Time flies. 

I haven’t trained this week as much as I have of late but that’s primarily due to work and other commitments. Next week I intend to make sure I’m back up to training 6 times a week again. I think I need to move through the little rise of fear that keeps trying to fuck with me when I know I’m getting pushed in there and remember that I need to be a different person when the situation demands it. Turn fear into fire.

You know, I feel like I’m beginning again. It’s strange and I can’t get over it. The fighting spirit won’t go away.  As I’m sitting here writing this it’s come in and filled up everywhere. I’m going to have to work hard at the gym to get to the “getting good” point again. It does not get easier you just need to train harder and you know what? It can be done. And because it can be done  I will never ever give up. Have a good week, train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

Round 5.

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. 

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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.

 

Deep end.

Hi. Well, it looks like I’ve done it again. For the second week running, I appear to have beaten procrastination. This week, as I anticipated, has been a little lighter on the ground training wise but hey, from next week onwards I’m training 6 times a week again and of course, that’s always a good thing.

Although it feels like I’m picking the ball up where it was effectively dropped towards the end of 2019 it’s good to know that  I can find the time to train and put the work in that I need to. Even when I train a little less than I’d like to its always time well spent.

Of course, I’ve got my sights firmly set on fighting later this year but as I’ve said before there’s a lot of work to do between now and then. I’d like to fight over spring and summer, it’s good to have something to work towards.

Today I read this article by Under the ropes on British Trans Fighter Tara Wolf whom I gave a mention to a couple of weeks back. Fighting brings out the best in people and not giving up can be a lot harder than you think.  Learning something positive like a martial art can change your perspective on a lot of things and it’s great to see someone gaining a lot from it.

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Today, I’ve been thinking about comfort zones and why it’s best to avoid them. like Geoff Thompson says there’s no growth in comfort.  I’ve always been someone who’s been bold enough to take a plunge into the unknown and even if I’ve sunk before I’ve finally swum I’ve got to see what it is I want up close and personal.

By taking this approach I’ve learned to know my fear. What it is, what it sometimes looks like and the lies it tells me to prevent me from doing things I’ve always wanted to do. When I’ve come out the other side victorious or not I’ve been able to decide if what I wanted is really for me.

After a three year break from fighting and after losing my last few fights for my current gym it’s safe to say competing is something  I still want to do this year onwards. I need to get better at it. And ok I didn’t like the home truths my trainers gave me but I’ve done my best to take it in and listen without letting my feelings get hurt and my pride flare-up…  I stretch more, I focus on my technique more. Some days I’m fast but I get sloppy quick.. Like all things, martial  It’s a work in progress.

You know being honest, I feel out my comfort zone sparring with some of the guys at my camp. Some days I look for easy options especially if I have a hard time the round before. The tough part is making sure I’m always training with people that I know will always give me a hard time. If anything there’s only ever growth in discomfort

With anything you want to achieve in life, it’s important to give it a shot when your ready to do so. You learn a lot from failure but you learn nothing from repeating the same mistakes time and time again, although sometimes that’s what needs to happen to truly find your way. If you jump in at the deep end you’ll usually find the waters warm and you’ll want to stay there, and even if you don’t the main thing is that you took the plunge. Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.