Tag Archives: Muay Thai life

Training still is..

Well it’s been another good week of training. I’ve been cruising through the week in second gear so next week I’ve got every intention of putting my foot down on the gas a little and making sure as always I’m putting in the work. The end of November is looking promising so I want to make sure I’m at my best, as of course I want to finish off the year on a good note.

It’s good to be able to train all week and living in the land of self employment (when I’m not punching people in the head I’m a freelance IT consultant) I can make sure as always that I put in the time I need to keep at my best or make sure at the very least I’m working towards it.

I’ve made sure I’ve put in some time for running this week as I want to get my fitness back up to where it should be and I find it always helps with a weight cut too. I share the same mentality as most  that if you don’t run then you don’t fight so it’s been good to start working on some cardio and endurance outside of the gym.

I think I’ve ended up running nearly every day this week which is great, and also gives me the peace of mind that my shin has healed up well. In fact it’s been through some pretty grueling sparring sessions of late so it’s good to know that it can still take a battering.

Yesterday’s pad work at Team Tieu had a nice format to it and was very similar to the way I was used to training out in Thailand earlier this year and last year. Although combinations are important, you can still develop a flow through powerful single shots, and I’m pleased with how it went although I need to start working on fast response.

I hit and kick hard but my reactions need to improve. I know this will get a lot better over the coming weeks and I’m putting it down at present to not putting my fighting head on. I’m pleased to say I feel a little more focused at the end of this week so I’m sure I’ll hit the ground running next week onwards. Like with everything Thai drilling is really the key.  My left roundhouse is still my favourite thing, and my hot shoe shuffle right switch (if you’ve seen me do it you’ll know what I mean) needs a lot of improvement although my right kick has got a little better overall.

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I’ve decided that I’m going to adopt a similar format to training as out in Thailand and make sure that before every session I’m running to give myself a good warm up and of course to push myself a little more than usual. It’s something I used to do religiously along with the other fighters from my gym when I trained in Bournemouth (if we had fights coming up it was a given that was what we were expected to do before the session started).

Speaking of Thailand, I’m heading back out for the third  time next February and of course I’ll be training at Sitsongpeenong Phuket again. I’m already wishing the remainder of the year away, and I’m sure it’s as always going to be time well spent. I guess when you’ve got the opportunity to train with the best you need to make the most it. I also intend to head across to Bangkok one weekend to play catch up with a couple of friends of mine, so all in all good times lie ahead.

I’m still doing my best to work on developing myself with fighting and I feel that I’m making some headway. As with all things in life it equates to putting in a lot of hard work to best at my best but I think I’m going to end up getting there. So when I look at myself and training at present it’s still a lot of fun and fighting is still a big part of the overall picture.

There’s no reason to stop doing something when you can see yourself getting better at it and your putting in the work to make it happen. In the meantime, next week it’s back to some good old fashioned graft. Some old friends of mine in Portsmouth once said to me ‘you’ve changed so much since you started training!’ I thought then and I think now that really they ain’t seen nothing yet. Have a good week, train hard and just like the last time, I’ll see you on that road.

Potential pt 2

The week ahead is full of potential. I’ve never been one to think in terms of limitations and with Muay Thai it became very clear from an early stage that like with any martial art it really is what you make it. Of course it’s important to understand your own strengths and weaknesses but like the late great Bruce Lee said..’ if you always put limits on everything you do..’ well you know the rest.

I trained a reasonable amount last week, and I’ve made sure I have been putting in enough work to keep things ticking over. Weight cutting is never really a huge issue for me and I’m confident I’ll be down to my fighting weight soon. At the moment I’m not 150% sure who I’m fighting only that I should be matched up.

Really it’s just about getting myself ready at present (it has been for the past couple of weeks but the last 2 or 3 are always the toughest )  and it’s good to have a goal to work towards. I have pretty much a full plate at present but boxing and fighting is where I’ve found the best parts of me so it’s always more than worth every second of my time.

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Training was good last week, with focus on some simple combinations and some good sparring too. There’s been a lot of emphasis on cardio recently which always helps. Fridays lesson was good, working on stepping off the centre line and countering as well as fighting off the back foot. That’s one of the harder elements of Muay Thai for me and something I need to spend more time working on.

Countering seems to be coming along fairly well, and I’m realizing more and more than rushing in isn’t always the smartest way to fight. It’s good to be aggressive but it’s also just as important to wait for your moment rather than throwing everything at them bar the kitchen sink.

I spent some of last week sparring with guys a lot taller than me and although it’s always tough, I really feel I need to keep working on closing distance and working in fast combinations to keep pressure on opponents. Remembering not just to stand in front of them or back off after unloading whatever is needed and ‘resetting’ is always important, and I am going to try and improve overall flow. It’s there, but sometimes I fall into the trap of focusing on power a little too much.

I think if I continue to work on pressure fighting and improving my counters, working on fakes etc then I’ll develop into a much tougher fighter to deal with than I am at present. It feels that I’m changing myself and my mentality at present towards Muay Thai but I am hoping that it’s a step in the right direction. Like one of my trainers said the more you train or compete the more you develop a style, and I think mine as always is a work in progress. It’s not too shabby at present.

I understand fighting is going to start to get tougher  so I need to step my game up, and I know any doubts or limiting beliefs I have about myself are always countered easily the more work I put into training. Every training session holds potential to improve just like every competition holds the potential to be the best I can be. It comes down to what I’m prepared to give and luckily it’s just as much as it always was. I’ve never been a fan of small thinking. Have a good week and I’ll see you on that road.

What I want the most

This week like the week before and the week before that has been a good week training. No matter how hard it gets, no matter what I do and I don’t do well, it’s always a good week training. But that’s just me. Always learning. I finished the week heading out to Team Tieu in Cheltenham for a Saturday training session and had a good run today.

I’ve been training hard this week as usual and I’ve decided to have a booze break to get my fitness back up to scratch. It’s good at the moment and it’s not like I’m getting leathered every week, but you certainly notice the difference when you stop drinking. When I’m fight training the rule is no alcohol full stop. After a week or so my body starts to say ‘thank you’ and my fitness starts to go through the roof. And besides six or seven weeks down the line you certainly don’t miss it.

For me, fitness is a  big part of success with competing. But also for me so is training religiously. I got taught a good few years ago now that if your fight training your at the gym no less than five times a week. If your not training then you should be running. It’s a big commitment granted, but it is just the way it is. I guess it’s dependent on how much you want to succeed in a lot of respects. Regardless of commitments outside of the gym, if I’ve decided to compete I’ve always found the time to put in the work.

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But that’s fighting. It requires a lot of time,effort and sacrifice no matter what level your competing at and where you want to get to. I’ve found  that the hard work, blood, sweat, tears and general graft is always worth it. And really when it comes down to it that’s what Thai boxing is in a nutshell. Graft. But only the best kind of graft.

When it comes down to winning and losing I’ve found that regardless of the result your always guaranteed a wealth of experience. What you do with what your given afterwards is down to the individual but I’ve always done my best to learn. But that’s me. Ha..always learning. Maybe I need an L plate.

It’s true in some respects that you learn more from losing than you do from winning. For me, it’s taught me how to get back up and come back stronger and most importantly it’s taught me what I have inside. I’ve learnt that fighting is all about mental toughness as well as the flesh and the bone. I guess that’s why we train so hard for our fights. I’ve also learnt when it comes to fight training if your not putting yourself through hell and back your basically doing it wrong.

When I’ve lost I’ve carried on regardless, and little by little relentless optimism rears it’s head utterly defeating any despondency that still exists after a competition. For me training is the best medicine. But that’s me. Always.. hey you know the rest. 🙂 When that negative feeling mutters ‘you’ve not started believing in yourself again have you?’ I can always answer it with a ‘might of’ and a smile. Ok it’s usually a grin.

And when I’ve won? it’s the best feeling. It’s knowing that I can be better than I ever thought I could be and it feels like Christmas when I was a little kid. I work hard at what I do and it doesn’t come easy, so there is no better feeling than knowing the hard work paid off. And that feeling? it’s mine to keep.

So when I look towards the future and what I want to achieve, I think really it boils down to an insatiable hunger to keep training, to keep improving and most importantly to keep competing. Your only young once, and as an old friend of mine with many years experience training in Muay Thai once said to me ‘do it while your young’. These are memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life  and really there the ones I want the most. Have a great week, train hard and chok dee for all of your fights. I’ll see you on that road.

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Winning.

This week I’ve got back up to speed with my training. I’ve even managed a couple of runs and things appear to slowly be winding their way back in the right direction. It’s a good feeling to put in the amount of time I feel that I should be to my training, when I’m not  it just feels that I’m missing out. I’ve always seen martial arts as an investment in myself and I don’t think that is ever going to change. The more you put in, the more you get out and all that PMA type stuff.

My fitness is just as good as it always has been and at points I’m very happy I inhabit a strong body that let’s me push myself when I need to. Mental toughness to me is just as important as physical toughness, so that little battle I was talking about a few weeks ago? well I’m pleased to say that I’m winning and I’m still feeding the good wolf. That’s really the way I think it should be.

Some of my training this week has focused on understanding why we’re doing what we’re doing other than just using techniques for the sake of them ( I used to find that a really easy trap to fall into sometimes especially when  under pressure, so these days I try to focus a little more on finding my shots rather than just firing them off willy nilly) and of course we’ve spent a lot of time drilling techniques too.

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A couple  of my classes has us usually practising some nice hand and low kick/body kick combinations that will usually lead into a more complex drill as it progresses. From my point of view it gets you thinking and it keeps you sharp. And there’s a couple of combinations I like that I’ve used before and no doubt will use again.

A week after next I’ll take the bold step of kicking with my right leg again (it’s improving and has been healing for about a month now) but I’m pleased I’ve been focusing on my left low kick and body kick simply because I’ve not really had the choice and most importantly, that’s where my power is. I’m determined to get it back to being a battle axe for fighting, and so I’ve made the heavy bag my friend in Saturday morning bag work sessions. The technique is sharpening up I just need to make sure the speed is there too.

Speaking of my Saturday morning session that’s not a bad use of my time. Yesterday I got 200 hundred knees in and about 150 teeps and I always make a point of working combinations again, on the heavy bag. Like with everything else Muay Thai its all about repetition, but I want to make sure I’m responding rather than just reacting under pressure so getting the simple things in life rooted in my sub concious is more than worth the time.

I’ve finished this week feeling very positive about training and of course about fighting. I’ve still got that mental roadmap  laid out in front of me, and although I know that ultimately there’s a lot of work to do I’m enjoying the learning and feel that I’m starting to make progress again. I’m really pleased that I’ve also got the opportunity to train at a Team Tieu gym on a Saturday morning, and also an MSA gym  (Grandmaster Sken’s camp ) too as well with my usual trainers. It’s funny because I was talking about progression again a couple of weeks back. I guess it’s true that you can sometimes attract the right circumstances and people.

So in terms of fighting I’m thinking about the next few months ahead in a positive light, and although it’s not going to get any easier it’s again more than worth my time. I hope that one day I get to a point where I am good enough to be able to teach people what I know. That was kind of a goal of mine when I first started training, and for me fighting is part of the journey. Part of my Muay Thai quest if you will.

I think it’s important to set ongoing goals with what you do and it feels like what I’m doing right now is just part of a much bigger picture. In the meantime, I’m focusing on becoming a better fighter.I’m sure in 10 years time I’ll look back and all my memories will be good ones. I guess when something is your passion they always are.

So next week onwards I’m back at the gym, and all being well I’ll keep the training momentum up. It doesn’t come easy so I know that I need to put in the work. Really I wouldn’t have it any other way.. and ok after this week, you know what? It feels like I’m winning. Have a great week, train hard and I’ll see you on that road.

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“which wolf will win?.. the one that you feed.” – Two Wolves – Native American Cherokee wisdom