Category Archives: Sports

I shouldn’t of left you.

Hi. I’ve finally decided to sit down and update this blog of mine that being honest was starting to get bogged down in a sea of procrastination. Procrastination is of course, no friend of mine and it’s good to get my groove back and get this thing moving in the right direction again.

Whilst we’re on the subject of groovy redirections I’m pleased to say I’ve spent some quality time of late at the gym. If you follow me on Twitter you will of seen me posting several small violin themed training videos of late.

In between feeling sorry for myself for not being automatically at Baukaw level as soon as I even sniff the heavy bag I’m actually enjoying my rigid, not that great probably not as bad as I think it is return to regular martial goodness. By regular martial goodness I mean actually being able to kick and punch shit before socially distances classes start later this month.

My trainers being nice like there are letting us use the space in ones or twos at the most before normal service resumes. Of course, it’s great to be able to get some genuine gym time in because lets be honest home training has its limitations and my sofas past it and generally not up for a makeshift heavy bag beating, and there’s nothing like putting things into practice rather than shadow boxing them all the time.

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I’m pleased that my left body kick is slowly but surely breathing life into itself and my hands are nice and strong. My cross would totally punch your soul out your body or your spine and skull out your back (for all my atheist pals out there) and I’m confident my left low kick could still make orphans of your future children.

As you can probably guess,  I’ve been working on my basics at a just above average level and have finished the week hungry for more. As such I’m starting next week on the good foot with a run in the morning and intend to get some quality me time in during the week. Look out for a few more videos and a lot more ranting over the course of the week and from  next Sunday onwards. Train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

This is where energy flows

Hey. 🙂 Nice to catch up once again and I hope your week has been a good one so far. I’ve noticed since lock down began that the days and evenings seem to blend into one continual seven day run of monotony that of course of late, has been broken up with writing, demos, more writing and what appears to be an endless fountain of creativity that I’m loving tapping into.

Training wise things haven’t been too shabby at all. Last week saw me maintaining my 4 run a week threshold and I even got a decent amount of home training in as well. In fact, I’ve started to make sure I put a little more time into actually training at home. For the past couple of months I’ve found myself in a place where I am

Shadow boxing round my flat when bored (which is totally fine)

Running and training when I get home for thirty or forty minutes. (which is also totally fine.)

The other day I decided to make things slightly more interesting, I went running and decided to train for a whopping great one hour when I got home. It consisted of the usual stuff I’ve been doing  weights, free weights, knees, elbows and so on and so forth, I just spent a little more time than usual shadow boxing and working on specific combinations. Afterwards, as I lay soaking in a hot bath I noticed that my muscles ached.Slightly bemused, I realised that I haven’t actually ached from training in well over two months. Of course, I thought to myself grinning.. this can only be a good thing.

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WRSA light weight Muay Thai area title 2013. 60-62 kg 

It can only be a good thing because I know that when I ache I’ve worked. I also know that if I haven’t worked then that’s not acceptable. You don’t get anywhere in life by taking half measures be it with writing, activism, running a business or anything else you want to get really good at. When I’m giving something my all, I know that this is where the energy flows and what it gives back is mine to keep.

I guess that’s why towards the end of last week I found myself over the common with friends and whilst my friend’s girlfriend caught some rays, we decided to hit some pads and then as nicely and as socially distanced as possible attempted to beat the snot out of each other with a few minutes sparring.

Despite time out from this kind of training I’m pleased to say I’ve still got it. In fact, I’m that convinced I’ve still got it that trips to Europe to catch one of the best martial arts shows on the face of the planet later this year seem almost a certainty.

I’m hoping to spend a lot more time as lock down eases up focusing more on pad drills and light sparring here and there. It’s a little disheartening to see the continual cluster fuck the so called government here have made of this entire thing giving green lights to the best of the best in the combat sports world (ok, they may be Olympic and world class standard but to me that’s not the point) and not the rest of us, but as always we adapt  and train the best we can in the interim. Of course I’m sure we’ll back on track soon. Hazmat suit or no.

In the meantime, it’s good to have started off this week with a nice if a little shorter than usual run today, and I intend to continue in the same vein tomorrow followed by a bit of living room graft to finish. Regardless of what’s happening out there when it comes to training and all things martial I intend to just carry on as normal. Sometimes, it’s all I know.  Here’s to the gyms  reopening and us fighting again before the end of 2020. I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

Training gets political

Hi. Despite rolling in fashionably late as always it’s good to catch up. I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to see procrastination off earlier than expected and as always it’s good to sit down and write. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently, from blogging, to speeches and poems about racism  (Thanks to Tash Roberts for creating spaces for black voices and for the fantastic art )and so called “patriotism” it’s fair to say I’ve been keeping busy. I’ve even started working on my “Last of the good guys” project again.

Other than keeping the creative juices flowing I’m still training from home and running regularly. it’s good to know we’re only a couple of weeks away from gyms reopening (fingers crossed anyway) and although it’ll be a tough stitch filled return filled with lower back pain and lots of griping I have to say I’m looking forward to it. Seriously though, I’m not that old. In fact, I’m confident that a return to the gym isn’t going to be as half as tough as I think it’s going to be.

It’s been inspiring  watching global protests against police brutality and systemic racism over the past few weeks, and it’s clear that it’s something that will continue for the remainder of this year. But, You know something? It’s also been interesting, infuriating,  and sometimes shocking catching the ignorant, naieve and outright racist views fly across social media, in particular Facebook coming from those you know, those you kind of know and those you’d rather not have anything to do with at all.

They are highly charged often angry and sometimes deliberately antagonistic. More often than not they are incredibly right wing, which has always been my personal issue with that particular political sphere. It gets shouty quickly and if you don’t like what it says it gets nasty, tells you to respect our troops, the flag and screams “all lives matter!”  or “traitor!” because you know.. “patriotism”.

And that’s fundamentally the issue in the UK as it is in the US. Inequality, intolerance of difference and vicious systemic racism, all seemingly amplified ten fold as most of us have been locked away in our homes due to inconsistent and incoherent messaging from the powers that be. Tempers must be frayed and cabin fever is clearly setting in for some. From my point of view, this doesn’t however excuse ignorance. Attitudes may be changing for the better but we have a long way to go before we make real progress.

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Black Lives Matter London. I’m genuinely sorry I missed it… 

If your an angry vilifed member of the white working class reading this blog, I feel your pain, but in order to understand ours it’s time to unpack the napsack.  I really do think it’s in everyone’s interest to take ownership of a global situation and understand that right now the fight is against white supremacy, racism and dare I say it priviledge  

It’s something that emerges not just in day to day life but in training circles too, and as gyms are universal, multicultural and generally friendly microcosms of life tackling ignorance and racism when it emerges in the gym is just as important as tackling it out of it. I don’t believe in giving it space to grow any more than you do.

Runter Vonder Matte! Kein Handshake Mit Nazis  (Get off the Mat! no handshake with Nazis!) is a project that tackles hate politics  in martial arts, in particular the presence of the extreme right wing and Neo-Nazi movements that have taken hold not only in Europe but in the United Kingdom too.

“Neo-Nazis in sports are nothing new – but their style in the gym and in the ring is. Various actors and structures organize and network in order to spread their misanthropic worldview. With hip designs, the fashion labels try to make their ethnic, racist and inhuman messages socially acceptable. We fight for fair martial arts without racism and prejudice!”

If your sitting on the political fence, feel that gyms are  Apolitical spaces or are as anti-racist as White Tiger and Freedom Fighters I’d like to think that fascists are the one set of people we can all agree no one wants in our camps or dojos. As we head closer and closer towards to a return to training as normal (whatever that looks like these days) we should take note of the political climate we’ve been in for the majority of this year.

Although we say we are the same,  if our training partners  are black, POC or from any other marginalized group they are likely to be treated differently by the police and overall system we find ourselves in. When they are training with us it may be their only safe space from the abuse and harassment they face in day to day life.

Being aware of this doesn’t mean embarking on anti-racist witch hunts  it just means being decent humans and talking to those we train with if we can see something is wrong and calling out bigotry when we see or hear it.  It means we need to be decent martial artists and look out for one another.

Maybe if we can do this in our favourite places we can extend that mentality to the rest of our lives too. Martials arts can be an incredibly macho and intimidating place at points, it would be good to see gyms state that racist and bigoted views are not welcome. I think personally think we’ve got a lot of work to do.

It’s going to be good to get back to training. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to hitting the sofa cushion heavy bag later and yet again shadow boxing round the living room. Have a fantastic week, train as hard as you can and click your heels and wish for July. We’ve got alot of graft ahead as fighters and a long way to go as a society. Black lives matter. I’ll see you on that road.

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Black Lives have never mattered enough.

Hi. It’s good as always to catch up with you.  It’s pretty inspiring to see that worldwide protests against police brutality and racism are still taking place. I’m still over the moon that police abolition and defunding is a growing topic of conversation and seeing autonomous police free zones emerge in the US is pretty exciting. Maybe a better world is coming.

Before this blog heads back into the realms of Thai boxing once again I wanted to take the opportunity to first remind you that if you think “all lives matter” is an appropriate response to Black Lives Matter your absolutely part of the problem. You see, black lives have never mattered enough.

The murder of George Floyd and our ongoing struggles against the police was the main reason I wrote my speech for the protest that took place here on the 7th. Being mixed race I’ve experienced racism a lot of my life, and as some of my family are African American I  wanted to get my thoughts on George’s murder and the struggles of my brothers and sisters out to a wide audience.

I wrote about how this felt last week, and if you want to catch some of my speech you can find it here.   Below is the speech in full. It was a labour of love that just as with all things martial came from my heart. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Have a good week, home train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

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Black Lives Matter protest speech, 07/06/20 Bristol read to 10,000 beautiful people. 

“On the 25th of May 2020 George Floyd was choked to death by officer Derek Chavin.  I watched as Chavin, like it really wasn’t a thing at all, pressed his knee into George’s neck. I realized after around 2 minutes with mounting horror I was witnessing a murder.

“Why isn’t anyone helping? Get the cop off him!” I yelled at the video like they could all hear me. Like we were in the same room. On the same street. then I saw the photo of the other 3 officers holding George down.  When George Floyd couldn’t breathe I couldn’t either.

This is not the first time a black man, a human has lost their lives at the hands of the police. We remember Michael Brown and Ferguson. We remember Mark Duggan. There are so many names and so many beautiful black faces we will never forget. How can we carry the weight on our shoulders? How can we tell our children to respect the police when we know they want to kill us?

I’ve watched the events of the past couple of weeks unfold at points like an apocalyptic end of days movie.  Last week, my cousin in Louisville, a strong black woman messaged me on Facebook. “John,” she wrote “Remember I am in America. 7 people were shot at a protest for Breonna Taylor yesterday..”  I felt my stomach churn. I felt the rage rise up when she told me she’d been on the sharp end of racist abuse. That she was frightened for her family. I felt helpless. I felt powerless. I couldn’t breathe…

Martin Luther King once said that riots are the voices of the unheard. We should remember that these words were spoken from a place of truth. There is a line in the sand, a thin blue line if you will that is a burning fuse and as events have unfolded, as we wait for another defense of police brutality, of inhumanity remember that the police are the escalators, the agitators, the fragile white victims “just following orders”. Remember that police are the problem. The police don’t change, but we can fight for change. We can demand it.

The problems we see in America do not exist in a vacuum. The UK is a pioneer in inequality. The systemic racism of the police is just as common here as it is in Minneapolis. As it is in New York. As it is in Louisville. Malcolm X once said that the struggle for black liberation is a human rights issue. Never has this seemed more apparent than right here and right now. My father lived through apartheid, he survived the white minorities supremacist machine. We know so-called authority can make monsters of people. We know because we have just seen a monster kill George Floyd.

My own experiences of the police over the course of my life, in particular over the past few years has not been a good one. From regular stop searches in my home town of Portsmouth to fitting a description simply because that description was a mixed-race male to fit-ups, targeting and harassment from Avon and Somerset police because of my colour and anti-racist activism it’s fair to say I know the police are not here to protect me. They only protect themselves!

Last October, the United Friends and family campaign and Netpol (the network for police monitoring) stated Since 1991 on average, there has been a death a week at the hands of the police.  Let that sink in for a minute. A death a week. Over 1500 deaths and still no convictions. The system we find ourselves in, that we are constantly fighting against has protected those who abuse their power for too long.  You cannot reform a system and an organization that was never meant to be reformed.

I  believe we need real alternatives because we are at the point now where it is clear the problem is policing itself. We cannot allow them to police our communities without accountability anymore. If the death of George Floyd has taught me one thing it’s that when we stand together we can hold power to account. We can shake their racist system down to it’s very foundations. If they won’t change it then we will! No justice no peace!”

 

 

Journeys

Hey. It’s been a couple of weeks since we caught up last but I’m glad that I’ve finally made the time to sit down and write. Training wise the past couple of weeks has been pretty much consistent and I’m still pretty sharp. I’m keeping my fitness up running and I cannot wait for the gyms to reopen. Some are saying July, but we will see.

It’s been a crazy year alright and a stressful one. It’s also been one full of immense change, a lot of which has begun from the ground up. That’s why after the brutal and undeniably cold-blooded and racist murder of  George Floyd on the 25th of May by Minneapolis officer Derick Chauvin, It’s been liberating, heartbreaking and inspiring to witness worldwide resistance to police brutality and racism.

Being mixed race (my dad is South African and my mum is white) black liberation and civil rights is a cause that is very close to my heart. In 2018 I had a piece published about me in Mixed race faces  that gives a nice explainer of my heritage and how I feel about it.  My dad survived the white minority’s supremacist machine in South Africa and both of my parents have always been firm believers in taking a stand against injustice as have other members of my family. I guess it runs in my blood.

Journeys. Thai boxing for 14 years to speaking on 10,000 strong protests.

Last Sunday I headed down to the Bristol Black Lives Matter protest that was starting from College green in the city. I’d been asked if I wanted to speak at the event and feeling as strongly as I do about civil rights and anti-racism (it’s something I believe in and have always believed in fighting for)  I was really happy to have my voice heard.

I spent the best part of the week leading up to last Sunday getting my speech together, not really knowing at first how to express myself but finding after a time it just seemed to flow. I let my heart talk because when I watched George Floyd’s murder my heart broke. I burst into tears and an outpouring of grief I wasn’t expecting caught me off guard because the monster on the video killed George because of his colour.

Police brutality and white supremacy were in action, shaking hands like the best of friends. Over the course of that week, I reflected on my own experiences with the police over the course of my life and the ongoing fight for justice I’ve found myself on for over 2 years now. I thought about my family in the US and felt liberated watching the abolition and defund movement voices become louder and stronger.

You see I’ve learned over time, the police are not here to protect you. I’ve adopted a staunch abolitionist stance over the past year or so of my life and sincerely feel we need an alternative because the problem has become policing itself. As they often say the UK is not innocent which is why I find it liberating that Minneapolis is abolishing its police force.

If that’s too much for some of you (it probably will be) then I’d suggest taking baby steps and learn about the origins of the police and why they will never change. My speech, in the end, was highly charged and very powerful I’ve been told and resonated with many. You can catch some of it here.   I think in a couple of weeks time I’m going to publish the whole piece via this blog and I have a feeling it’s the start of a new journey for me

Like Emma Thomas, I found it empowering to speak in front of so many people. Listening to the other speakers was truly amazing and there were so many important voices that I thought I was going to be overcome by tears before I was called up.

The march in itself was fantastic and strong heading through town and out to Castle Park. Talks and music went on for what seemed like forever and it was almost like a pandemic had never even happened. When I found out later that day that the statue of notorious slave trader Edward Colston had been torn down   I knew something important was beginning. Resistance, when it blossoms, is a truly beautiful thing.

This week I’ve watched with enthusiasm as the statue of Robert Milligan was taken down in Oxford and being honest, I can’t wait to see all of the nefarious figures from Slavery’s shameful past fall. It makes me smile inside to know that I’m still just as hungry for change as I was twenty years ago. They say you’re meant to become conservative as you grow older, I’m just thinking of more reasons to eat the rich. It kills time in between the home training and waiting for my camp to reopen hopefully in July.

You know, martial arts and activism is a journey, and both are long ones. Like my parents have said we just have to hope what is happening now continues its momentum because “another world is not only possible, she is on her way.”(Arundhati Roy)  have a good week, train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

(Thanks to Black Lives Matter, Bristol Rising for the speech photo, some are my own and thanks of course to independant media outlets for the last couple.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teep

Hi! Nice to catch up with you again, despite clocking in just before the end of Sunday at least I’m here. I guess , fashionably late is ok some days.  I’ve currently reached the bouncing off the walls stage of lockdown and do my best to stay healthy with running and of course home training.

I realized yesterday that my fitness is improving but  I think it could be better if I have a little booze break, so I’ve decided to live dangerously and have a couple of weeks of clean living or possibly longer from Monday onwards. It’ll come as a welcome change and hopefully add a little ray of sunshine into the monotony of lockdown life.

I’ve not trained at my gym for over 2 months now and despite keeping training as varied as it can be at home it’s really not the same. I miss having something to hit. I need something to hit. In fact, I need something to hit so much I even stacked the cushions of my sofa on top of one another just to try out my new gloves. It’ll be me vs the sofa if this sorry state of affairs carries on for much longer.

Even when I’m not specifically training for 45 minutes or so after a run I more often than not spend time working on basic combinations and my front leg and rear leg teep at varying points in the day. In fact, my front leg teep has become a thing of beauty. I’ve even been practicing faking my rear leg and jumping into my lead,  jabbing and then teeping straight away from one side of the room to another, jabbing, rear leg blocking and teeping, and teeping and left body kicking.. the list goes on, and despite everything, it’s keeping me sharp.

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“At least you got your bastard heel off the ground.” said my coach. 

When used properly and with good timing the teep can be a pretty destructive kick either on the defensive or the offensive. I’ve gone through stages of throwing the kick at the wrong time and throwing the kick for the sake of it but have gradually learned to use it at the right moment.

Sometimes in clinch sparring I’ll suddenly teep my partner to wear them down if I can see they are gassing. When you don’t see it coming it can be a truly horrible kick that knocks the wind out of you. I’m missing drilling it with another person but I’m doing my best to keep it functional. It’s also great for self-defense. I once read about a female fighter who had been jumped in a car park and stopped her would-be mugger with that one kick.  If someone comes charging into you then you can stop them in their tracks.

I’ve spent a lot of time of late visualizing an opponent in the ring or even out the ring trying to rush me and I’ve just planted my rear leg and kicked through. Putting the jab in front is a nice distraction and sets the kick up well. It can also lead to a variety of attacks to follow up with such as a rear knee or body kick or even low kick. I’ve always been someone who’s very forward in my mentality when it comes to Muay Thai so if I’m pushed I like to push back.

I thought I’d leave you this week with a great video from Muay Thai Scholar  Masters of the Teep  from 2017. I hope it helps with home training and most importantly keeps you motivated. Here’s to gyms reopening, to many more fights, and to never ever giving up. Have a great week, train hard, and just like the last time… I’ll see you on that road.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Staying motivated

Evening all. It’s great to catch up as always. It’s been a long time. Or maybe it just feels like it has. My new Twins 10oz arrived a couple of days ago and ever since then I’ve been itching to try them out. I kind of know what the experience is going to be like as I as I’ve sworn by the brand for many years, but right now hitting pads or jumping on the heavy bag would feel brand new again.

We’ve got at least another three weeks of lockdown left here so as always I’ve been doing my best to keep the home training going and to keep my fitness up with running. This morning I had a truly awesome run in the woods near mine, and I already can’t wait to do it again.

Training at home isn’t always easy so this week, to stay motivated  I’ve started getting into strength training as I have a kettlebell and free weights that have been gathering dust for a while and feel now is the time to put them to good use so on that basis I’ve been doing Kettlebell swings and goblet squats as well as free weights.

I’ve been enjoying watching Sylvie’s training videos and have taken a lot away from her Dieselnoi inspired knee drills and like the elbow reps too! although I’m not training as much as I should be I’m going to make sure I’m doing something for at least 45 minutes to an hour a day next week onwards. Works quiet, I have the time, it’s waving a glowing neon sign in my face saying “FREE TIME DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH ME.” so I think I should put it to good use.

Other than the generic physical strength, fitness and shadow boxing I’m also going to spend a little more time working on flexibility. I threw a body kick the other day shadowing and although the kick wasn’t too bad my flexibility made Robocop look bendy. Seriously, I was expecting a twang! 

There is lots of great resource out there on flexibility and mobility and if your not soaking up 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory on youtube (don’t get me started) you might find videos such as this from the awesome Cyrus Washington  useful.

In fact, there’s some great home training material out there such as 100 Solo Training Workouts from the Warrior Collective  from some of the biggest names in martial arts. Whether you’ve been training for a few months or like me you’re a war-torn stormtrooper who’s been training since the dawn of time there’s something for everyone. It’s your journey, make the most of it. 

On that cautiously optimistic note, I think it’s fair to say that for now, that’s all she wrote. Let’s hope life returns to whatever it is they call normal soon (I’m just about avoiding a damning communiqué about society) and that the pad rounds are many. Stay motivated, stay focused and train hard and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

Muay-Thai (1)