21 rounds of sparring and interclub this weekend! my first blog post of 2018 (how disgraceful its only taken me a month to get here).
Saturday was a turning point for me. I have had a world of things to compete with personally and professionally which is why Muay Thai Blog has slowed down – a lot. I am still involved in the sport just on different levels now and I am in the process of building something that will hopefully bring an unlimited amount of value to Muay Thai in the UK; but less of that for now. Today I will be talking (or completely rambling) about my past couple of training sessions and how I felt in the gym.
To completely narrow it down, the two words are… Fucking awesome! I haven’t trained properly in what feels like forever, by properly I mean more than three or four times per week. Obviously, having two children, a full-time job and building what I am doing keeps me busy but training is something that really clears my head and gives me clarity.
When I walked into Northern Kings it quickly became clear to me that I was incredibly unfit and fat and really need to do something about it. On a Saturday morning, there is a mixed Muay Thai class for all to attend at 10am and a sparring session at 11am straight after the class. I was hoping to make it to the mixed class but only managed to make it to the sparring sessions once I had managed to get everyone fed and sorted in the morning (parent win!)
There was a good variety of abilities in the sparring session which gave me chance really concentrate on my basics. Taking the time to assess where my feet were, what my opponent was doing, my breathing, where my hands were, what my defence was up to. Only a fraction of what actually goes through your head when you’re sparring.
I love the form of meditation that goes along with training, I’m sure that I’ve spoken about it before, how you can use it as an outlet to think about so many things but at the same time; absolutely nothing. It’s magic. I love that feeling. Being completely in flow state where you are just letting your senses do all the work and just letting the techniques flow. That’s why people say: “time flies when you’re having fun,” because it actually does (kinda).
I did some good solid rounds, met some awesome new people, got punched in the face and checked some kicks – all in all, it was really good. I felt very controlled and able to see what my opponents were doing and also put into practice combination. Working on my punches and linking them to a kick on the end. That’s something I really have to work on. I love to kick. I look for a way of using my legs all the time, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, that does leave me vulnerable when it comes to defending punches and combinations that start with head work.
Fast forward to today and I was back in the gym for an advanced class. Got another 6 rounds of sparring in and some pad work. I must say, working with some of the juniors in the class and sparring previously and seeing how far they have come technically is awesome! It’s so exciting to see the next generation coming up and rising through the ranks. I wish I had discovered Muay Thai when I was 12. Ah well.
We did a bit of pad work in the second half of the class, working on the liver with a 4/5 attack combination. Jab, Cross, Left kick, Left body shot. Then Jab, Cross, Left kick, feint right hand and walk left knee. I love the right cross, walk left knee. It is such a good feeling little combination and works really well too. Once your opponent is off balance with the long right hand you throw, the left knee swings in beautifully into their abdomen causing ridiculous amounts of damage.
I have put my name forward for an interclub this Sunday to help raise money for Simon Flannagan, who, unfortunately, had a little girl who was born sleeping at 39 weeks into his partners’ pregnancy. The whole Muay Thai community in the North East are coming together to have a Muay Thai day to help raise funds for him and his charity of choice. My sincere condolences go out to him and his partner, I really can’t even begin to imagine what he and his family must be going through and to see the community come together, as with any community, is such a beautiful thing.
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