Category Archives: Sports

Softening the sharp edges.

Well, it’s another warm evening here and it’s been a good night training. I’m planning to start tomorrow morning with a decent run before yet another busy day with work. I seem to flow from marginally busy to flat out very quickly, but of late I’ve kept on top of training. In fact it’s fair to say that I’m training all the time again and really with what I should have coming up and what I want to achieve this year I guess that can only be a good thing.

Running is never easy in the heat but its good to find its improving my fitness little by little and I’m enjoying adding sprints into the mix. In fact I even went running with a bag full of weights after training last Saturday. That was good fun and a good push. Besides if you don’t run, then you don’t fight

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. In fact I’ll keep reminding myself of that fact till I’m blue in the face. It’s a long road and good stamina is essential. Sometimes it can make or break a fight. That aside there’s a few things I want to improve this week. I guess if I went into the ins and outs that would be giving my game away. I can still fight well  and that’s the main thing. The rest comes together when I least expect it to. It’s not easy but it was never meant to be. It’s good to be back.

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I’ve been practicing walking meditations of late to work on focus. It’s very easy sometimes to let the internal chatter get louder than you’d like so I do my best to stay in the now It shuts down the internal and often external chatter and distractions in a heart beat. It’s always interesting what I notice.

If your looking for a little guidance here outside of what’s in the link above. Ask yourself what your next thought is going to be and you’ll understand what I mean. Too many people these days lose themselves in smart phones and other devices. It’s amazing what you notice when you switch off and look.

Before you think I’ve decided to venture into the world of self help, staying in the here and now is an important part of my fight training. I’m big on mindset and focus when it comes to combat itself because fighting used to terrify me. Sparring as much as possible not only gets me sharper physically it helps mentally too.

Cutting out the mental chatter helps me focus on the task at hand. Even when something happens that catches me off guard  it means I stay calm and I stay focused. I stay present. The past is the past and the future hasn’t happened yet. When it comes to fighting or anything else.. all that matters is the here and now.

Besides, I’ve always competed with myself because there’s no one similar so that means I’ve always aimed to be the best I can be and not what others tell me I should be. Sometimes that means no matter what I do it’s never enough. I guess nothing is ever really finished.

Getting myself training regularly again has been a tough battle but I’m hoping with new goals to point at the sky is still going to remain the limit. I’m looking forward to another week of martial goodness and still have my sights firmly pointed at mid month. I’ll know for certain later in the week.

So with running back on track, training getting better and a tough week at the gym ahead. “It’s true that the more you put in the more you get out.” I said that once. Being honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Have a great week, and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

 

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On the way back home.

Well, apologies again for arriving a little later than anticipated but as always it’s good to find the time to sit down and write. Despite the mild cliff hanger I left you all on last time, (and getting it out the way at an early stage) unfortunately the lad I was meant to be fighting pulled out with a knee injury a few days before I flew out for the show. These things when it comes to all things martial do happen, and I wish him well and that he’s back on the horse soon.

That aside, the event in itself was excellent and I had a whale of a time and even caught a Muay Thai seminar with Pete Irving  the next day.  I’m hoping that next time an opportunity like that comes round I get a shot at it. Speaking of seminars this week, despite being full of Thai as is currently the norm yesterday I did something a little different and got stuck into some excellent Tai Chi self defense.

I’m a big fan of what some people “scruffy arts” and if you thought there was nothing to Tai Chi you would be completely and utterly wrong. It breaks bones and destroys people. It does it with a lot of finesse too. It’s good to keep your mind broad when it comes to all things martial and it was good to be able to take something away, and of course the same applied to the Thai seminar too. Martial arts has been and always will be an investment in myself.

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So after a good run today (5k with sprints) and feeling my fitness improving as well as weight gradually coming off I’m feeling well and truly motivated to focusing on what lies ahead. I’m pleased to say when it comes to what lies ahead  I should be getting matched up for a show a little closer to home than the last one next month in sunny Wales. (And it better be sunny.) I’ll know a little more over the next week or so but it’s a good feeling knowing I’m absolutely committing myself to training again and that little by little I’m heading back home.

Of course, between now and then there’s a lot of work to do and a hell of a lot of graft ahead but as always I’m looking forward to the push. You can’t beat training when there’s something to point yourself at. Training goals are important, but fighting goals are awesome. There’s still something left in the tank and it’s good to find the time again.

When it comes to martial arts I’ve always been very much an open book but as I’ve trained I’ve learnt to find what works and what doesn’t reasonably quickly. I’m quite pleased with sparring at the moment in particular, and I think I’ll keep practicing what I know I can use well and build on. Maybe I still need to open up a little but as long as it’s effective then it’s a big thumbs up from me.

The trick is not to become predictable  so I’m spending a little more time thinking about range and waiting for the moment. A good Thai fight can often escalate into a series of increasingly brutal counter attacks with both fighters doing their best to become the aggressor. I think it’s important for me to stay sharp and keep the pressure on but not throw kicks for the sake of kicking and to keep looking for the openings. (something I’m getting better at.)

So, as you can probably tell I’ve got my game face on at present when it comes my training and everything else attached. The old saying “never give up” always rings true and as long as I’m facing the right direction, all I have to do is keep walking. Have a great week, train hard and I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

You and me.

Well, I thought I should check in to keep this blog of mine up to speed. It’s not been a bad week training and I’m really excited about heading overseas next week. I’m not just looking forward to the fight although that’s the priority but the whole weekend too. Flight booked, accommodation sorted.. yeah. Good times ahead.  This is is something I’ve been wanting to do for about the past 2 years and it’s going to be good to step up again.

It’s a good feeling knowing that I’m at the first stage of finally achieving a goal.  It’s a good feeling seeing that goal in front of me knowing I’m about to step into it, that I’m actually making this happen and that’s yes it’s real. It’s a great feeling that I can finally shut down the critics internal or otherwise, and start listening to the guy who might be a little better than he thinks he is. I cope well under pressure. I stay focused.

Yeah. Sometimes you have to listen to yourself and you have to keep pushing yourself forward. Do I sound a little arrogant? over confident? You know.. maybe sometimes I can be like that when it comes to fighting. Maybe I’ve got bored of staying where you want me to be. Either way, I’m only ever just me and  I’m going to be with a good team on the day and in all round good company. It’s good to be back.

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“it’s good to be back.” I keep saying it to myself. And it’s good to know that despite the butterfly nerves that have started rising up from time to time I’ll be ready by the end of my last week of training. If I’ve set my intention to make this happen then now is the time to make sure that intention is set on winning. It has been but I still don’t feel as pushed as I should be.

I let my inner critic tell me  that no one gives a fuck about me doing this again but then remember that’s not true. I give a fuck. The relationship between me and my old fight trainer became toxic and  I’ve never really got why, but we achieved quite a lot together and I don’t forget things like that. These days I have good people around me.

I’ll have good people around me out there too. These days I surround myself with good.  I’m glad I’ve found my new home but I have only ever wanted to fight for me. The only person I have something to prove to is me.

I think this summer I’m going to have check in with some very old friends from when I used to train and fight out of Sakprasert in Bournemouth. I want to start networking again with people on the fight circuit and with the help of my current gym find what I’m looking for because there’s still something left in the tank.

So anyway, next week is nearly upon us. I’m going to start it how I finished this one with a run at some point in the day.  I’ll put down work and procrastination and just go and do it. Sprint training hasn’t been fun and it’s harder than I remember but I know that every little helps, then Tuesday and Thursday is the last big ones before the weekend. I’m sure when I’m in it and it’s real  before I get in the ring I’ll be afraid. I know fear. Me and fear are old friends. Here’s to turning it into fire. Have a good week, train hard fight easy and just like that last time..I’ll see you on that road.

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Weeks of graft.

Evening.  It’s nice as always to see you again, a little bit later than anticipated this week granted but I thought I should stop making excuses and just sit down and get this thing written. So here we are again you and me. Like I said a sentence or two ago, nice to see ya.

I’m into my second to last week of training before I head out to box for the first time in over 2 years and although it only started on Tuesday, and today’s run could of been a little longer than it was it’s still got the hallmarks of  a week of graft.

On reflection I don’t think that I’ve pushed as hard as I should do over the past week so I’ll need to hit the ground running (literally) tomorrow morning onwards. I may even see if I can push the boat out and train twice on Saturday. Maybe I need a larger mental kick up the arse over the next week or so. Either way I’m getting sharper and I’m looking forward to fighting again.

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Can I get a six pack like this one from back in the day  between now and next Saturday plus drop another 2 or 3 kg? There’s no such thing as I can’t!. besides I’ve always been a lean fighter. 

Mentally I’m firing up for war. At points it seems like everything’s annoying me. If there’s a button that needs pressing I currently have several big shiny ones that are usually fixed with a trip to the gym and a lot of sparring. Good places for the energy to go. There’s nothing like letting Mr nasty take front seat in the ring. I have to be a different person in there. Fear should always become fire. Fire should be used proactively in training between now and then.

Nothing we do is ever a game but it is always a lot of fun. I don’t seem to have remind myself that I’m standing up again because I’ve always regretted standing down for as long as I have. It’s a fight, it’s just a sport but it’s a martial art I love and feel I have a lot of time left with.

I think really my goal isn’t just to win (because I know that I can) but to be the best I can possibly be. I haven’t revisited my last fight because I can play it back mentally any time I want. I think I’l learn a lot and it will be good to get the rust off. I know where I’ve gone wrong before and I’m confident that this time I can walk away the victor. Here we are again you and me. I’ll see you on that road.

 

 

 

 

 

Super simple stuff.

Well, here we are again you and me. It’s good to be back on track. I’ve just come back from a fat fighting run of only 3 or so k but it was still hard work. It’s pretty warm out there at the moment so I decided to head out with a hoodie on to sweat a little more than usual. It’s how I’ve always managed to get weight off. Training hard, running lots and ok well, cutting out the booze and eating (reasonably) right. I’m lucky enough to have been blessed with a high metabolism so after a while the weight just starts to fall off.

I’m fighting in 3 weeks yesterday so that gives me a couple of weeks to really push and bring out the best in myself. Luckily, I’m starting to get sharper. Kicks can still be too slow but they are strong and the technique is better. I usually find when I’m actually in there I respond well anyway. Sparring has been going well and everyone whether they know it or not are really pushing me.

I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of what’s improving and what’s not on here. (there’s nothing like giving your game away) but suffice to say I think slowly but surely I’m going to end up teaching myself some new tricks. It’s never going to be anything at the level of ground breaking as I’ve been training and fighting for a long time and know myself but I can still build on what I already have logged and most importantly, what I know works.

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When it comes to fighting I’ve remembered it’s really important to keep it simple and also to remember that  regardless of what level you are fighting at basics will see you through. I guess that’s why it’s important to have a strong foundation as well as a big heart. I’d rather be a fighter that may not necessarily be spectacular to watch but that gets the job done vs throwing cartwheel kicks that don’t land. (as an example.)

Having a strong foundation combined with a good defense is something I think is enough to help me win my next fight and ideally win some more after that too. When I’m close enough I can start to apply pressure which is one of my strengths as a boxer. A good defense and counters can help me close that gap. Maybe I’m giving my game away a little.. but I love talking about what I do. It has been and always will be good fun. If it wasn’t then what would be the point?

So keeping in the here and now (it’s always the best place to be because the past is the past and the future hasn’t happened yet) I’m looking forward to rounding the week off later. Training next week needs to be a real push and the week after that too. No one said it’s going to be easy but ultimately it’s going to be worth it. I thought I’d leave you this week with a video I came across from a few years back. Pornsanae Sitmonchai training for his fight in Ireland against the formidable Rungravee. See? Super simple stuff. Have a good week, and just like the last time.. I’ll see you on that road.

 

Courage.

Evening all,Here we are again you and me. Sorry I’ve arrived later than anticipated but as always it’s nice to see you again. It’s starting to get warmer here and at the moment it’s the sort of warmth that manages to hang around until the evening.

It’s quiet where I live at night. In fact it’s so quiet it’s a good time to reflect or to think of nothing at all on the reasonably long walk home. Some days the latter is always the better.

I think I spend more time these days writing on Twitter than I do actually writing this blog so I think it’s about time I changed that around. It wasn’t until earlier today when I watched this pretty inspiring lecture (sorry Geoff) on procrastination did I realize that the time I’ve been moaning about not having for writing, training enough, fighting and so on has suddenly been given to me once more.

I had to make a decision to put one part of my life on hold (again) so I could start to get the other bits right. I’ve studied with the Open University for many years now and the perpetual ground hog day I’ve found myself in with the last year or so of study has found a way of successfully catching me off guard a couple of times now.

You have to take it seriously, just like you have to take fighting and training seriously or else your just not going to do it. Being honest  I think yet again I took on a little too much so although stepping back wasn’t the easiest thing to do it really feels like it was the right one. I’m back in the mix in 12 months time. By that time I’ll have my first book published and my business will have become a multi national. Just you watch.

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I’ve never been afraid to admit my flaws and it’s true there is a gift in every situation we encounter in life. Because that is all we ever have. Situations. I think when I stepped away from this particular one I realized what I was looking for had been there all along. And on that basis, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been training 4 times a week again. It’s looking like this week I’ll be back up to a healthy 5.

And I should think so too. Besides, I’m fighting in under a month. I’m running (though not as much as I should be ) and I’m getting sharper. I need more though. I need to add a little more. I don’t see the point in procrastinating and telling myself I’ll do this in 6 months I’m looking forward to getting back in there now. You are never too old when your heart is big and I’m a good fighter. I like pressure.

So despite checking in a few days later than planned it’s nice to touch base with you all. It’s been a half decent week training so far, and there’s tomorrow night and the weekend to go yet too. Then there’s the running. I don’t feel nervous at present because at the moment it doesn’t feel real. I’ve been out for a little while and I can’t wait to get back in but I don’t feel the usual nervousness that gets me about now (or is it next week)  and I can’t help but wonder why that is.

Trust me when I’m  back in the square ring next month it will feel nothing but real. Fighting is brutal full stop but in the ring you don’t have anywhere to run. You have to stand your ground and show that person who you are.

Fighting is also fun. It brings out the best in me and I love the challenge. I always step out the ring a little bigger than who I was. “Good fight mate good fight!” Yeah I miss that.. And the nerves. And the tunnel vision And the courage it takes to stand your ground and fight. I’ve missed being a fighter.

So for the rest of this week, It’ll be more of the same. Training harder and starting to push a bit more. As the song goes “If you don’t know me by now, you will never ever ever know me at all.” Have a fantastic week and train hard. I’ll see you on that road.

Back on track. (because it’s still a long road.)

Well, here we are again you and me. It’s been a crazy past few weeks and It’s felt like at points I’ve never really had any time to myself. If you’ve wondered if my blog had dropped off the face of the planet for good, I’m pleased to say it’s back. It’s back and it’s pissed off it got put down for so long. Writing is therapy.

So, what’s new with me in the world of all things martial? Well, quite a lot. I’ve finally managed to punch through the glass ceiling and get myself matched up to fight overseas in June. I’m pleased to say my trainers said ‘ok’ (cheers Dave) and people at my camp seem pretty supportive.

I’ve been through the grinder a little emotionally with a few things of late, but not letting irrelevant morons, pathetic self pitying trolls and general losers (luckily none of whom exist at my current camp but turn up in walks of my life ) grind my gears too much it’s good to be gradually heading back in the right direction. Bullying takes many forms and bullies regardless of who they are have always been and always will  be small pathetic little people who inevitably dig their own holes.

Whenever you feel at your lowest they suddenly appear to try to either play games or kick you when your down. Or do both. Either way like Public Enemy said. Your gonna get yours. I had to mention those kind of people because when we stand up they become afraid.

So here we are again you and me, and here I am. Standing up again. In June of this year I have my 16th fight on the cards. I’m fighting under IMFA rules  5 x 3 minute rounds, anything goes or Thai rules  Which is what’s called “A” class here. We just have a little bit of padding (luckily no head guard).  It’s going to be a good way to get back into the swing of competing. I feel ready to turn it up a notch again. I keep saying it to myself over and over. It’s good to be back.

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I’ve got 4 and a bit weeks to go before I fly out to fight, a bit of weight to drop, a lot of running to do and training to focus on. I’m pleased to say the alcohol got thrown out the window on Sunday. I already feel healthier. Pretty soon my body will start saying “thanks” as is it’s custom. Just like they did with the Bionic man, I can rebuild the fighter in me. He’s never left. This time round he’ll win all his fights.

I’m hoping to continue in the same vein when back home after the next one but it’s better to focus on what’s ahead rather than the next 6 months. I’ve never really set fighting goals other than winning (that took it’s time) but I think I’m out to shake the rust off and most importantly be the best I can be. Which of course, means smashing the person in front of me. I can do it. I have heart. I’m a better fighter than way back when. And I’m tougher inside and wiser too. It’s good to be back on track and as always it’s a long road. I’ll see you on it soon.