My bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Back on track.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I´ve started so I´ll finish.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at the gym.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

On Switch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pornsanae Sitmonchai’s Leg – Kick Destruction

 

 

Still got it.

Well, despite having a small break with writing again everything else appears to be heading back on track and this month there’s a lot of good things happening that’s keeping  me on my toes. I’m slowly getting my training back on course and despite having let things fall to the wayside a little (being honest I’ve been busy, but then again I’m always busy and there’s always a lot of excuses to be made)  I’ve stuck with it as always and have found myself getting back to a semi respectable few sessions this week and last.

I’m aiming to have next week follow suit and keep things moving forward in the same vein. 2017 appears to have shot by (I think as you get older time does seem to move quicker. Oh the woes of a 30 something.) and although I haven’t got myself back into the ring this year, I still have that as a goal for 2018. It was nice to be asked last weekend if I could fight short notice and despite deciding I haven’t been training enough ( I really haven’t to warrant stepping up for a contest right now.) I’m sure I could get myself ready with enough notice and not only that I’m sure I could get back in there and win again.

My life has never been about short cuts or easy options and if memory serves me correct the next one will be a lot tougher than the last one even if from outside appearances it seems deceptively not that way at all. Speaking from personal experience, there’s no such thing as an easy fight. I don’t think there ever will be.

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I’m pleased that the fire is still there and that I still won’t back down. I hope that I can carry that energy through into 2018. Avoiding a lengthy ramble (or rant however you want to look at it) into the realms of how Muay Thai forges you into a better character and so on and so forth I’ve noted over the years the one of many things it gives you is courage. It’s something that I’ve learnt to apply to all of my challenges in the ring, in the gym or otherwise. We all have to face our fears and I’m just as brave as I always was. Still just as lazy some days but you know…

On a final note one thing I’ve had a severe lack of this week is running so I intend to start the week off with a big run (well reasonably lengthy. It is Monday after all..) and then of course it’s back into the mix Tuesday onwards. I’m going to start running a few times a week again. Like the rest of it, getting that focus back is a lot harder than you think but if you want to get good as these things you have to put in the work. And speaking of work I’ve got a lot of coursework to catch up on so for now that’s all she’s wrote and I’ll do my best to catch up with you next week too. Thanks for reading as always. I’ll see you on the road.

 

On the up.

Training this week has been a little more balanced than previously. I’ve found the time to spend more time at the gym than the week before and hope that next week onwards I’m back on the up. Although it’s still been ever so slightly under my ideal threshold (only a few sessions this week) It’s better than none at all and I’ve still got my sights on getting back into the ring at least few more times before I train for just training’s sake.

There’s no driving urge but it’s something I know I can still do and succeed at and most importantly it still looks like fun and a good challenge. We shall see how things progress and the main thing right now is to keep focused. There’s a few people at my camp that would like to take a step down (or get back onto) that path and opportunity always knocks when you least expect it.

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Skill and technique obviously are a big part in fighting but rising to the challenge is something that doesn’t come easy. Even stepping into a ring at an interclub level can be a daunting experience at first, especially when you don’t know anything about the person in front of you. I did about 11 or 12 interclubs before I felt ready to step up.  15 fights and over 30 interclubs later I still feel just as passionate as I did at the beginning.

Even if I’d won every single fight I’ve ever fought I’d still see beyond winning and losing. I’ve only ever had something to prove to myself and until I stop having something to prove to me I’ll keep boxing. Fighting to me is about winning but it’s also not just about winning. If I had to associate it with anything I’d say it’s part of my quest to always be  better than who I am.

And that’s never meant I’m better than anyone else.  And If you think the latter is what   what I think inside  you don’t get me and you never will. I train because I love training and I fight because I love the challenge. Nothing to lose and nothing to prove. (at least not to you anyway.)

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Encountering fear in anything you do  is a lengthy subject but if your passionate about something and want something enough you’ll learn to overcome your fears and use that energy as a force of good.

When it comes to Muay Thai I’ve learnt to use that energy as a weapon. It’s irrelevant what level anyone is fighting at doing what we do, because the doubts and the reservations we run into are the same across the board from the person stepping into a ring for their first interclub, right the way up to professional level. Granted the stakes may be a lot higher but the courage that’s needed is the same.

I’ve learnt that turning self doubt into self belief and fight nerves into aggression in the ring doesn’t just see you through a fight but can win one. It can also bring out a side of you, you never knew existed. Martial arts gives a lot back to you but courage and self belief has got to be the best gift of them all.

You know, it’s easy to worry about how you come across to others at points but I’ve found the more you worry about what other people think the less you get done. If you want to succeed at anything you simply have to go for it and do your best. I’ve found more often than not what I need  I already have inside anyway.

So this week, I feel positive. You can probably tell. In fact, I’ve been feeling positive about a lot of things for a little while. A friend of mine said to me recently “things do get better.” It made me smile because the thing is things have been getting better for a long time. In fact, ever since they did I’ve never looked back and I don’t think I ever will. Here’s to next week and 2018. Train hard, and I’ll see you on that road.

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