Today didn’t look good. I drove my beat up car through hail to my gym where I had to stand in the rain and put towels over my broken window as the students of the gym walk pass. Such is my glory.
Gym was pretty active, and I was happy to see Shane there. Shane and I have been working together off and on for the past three years and have a good, competitive rapport. Worked:
— Three rounds each, one man only defense and the other offense; emphasis on head movement, footwork, mental clarity through the barrage. — Three rounds just kickboxing sparring. Good, hard sparring. — Six rounds full sparring, takedowns and ground and pound included. No letting the other man up, every round to be won.
At the end, while going over the sparring session, our conversation turned from technical talk to bluster, so we decided to go three more rounds.The rounds were hard.
Biggest things I noticed: — Almost in fear of losing the round from being taken down, I go for the takedown. I shouldn’t be like this. — At the end up the third round I wouldn’t give up on a shot. We stayed fighting for the takedown for a whole minute or more, me trying to get it and him defending. I shouldn’t do this, it is a waste of time and energy.
So: — Be more objective and confusing when making that call to shoot in or clinch up. — As soon as I understand the takedown to be futile or something long and arduous I should abondon it for strikes and capitalize on their compromised position. From there I could choose to dive in again on the shot after they are absolutely a step behind.
Aaaand just right now I go out to my car to put the towels over the window because of the rain, and once I get to the window this neighborhood cat perks to attention in my passenger seat. I would of felt bad to kick him out to the rain, so I went inside and got him some soup and just put the blankets up with him inside. I’m a sucker.
Called one of my students to join me in my Sunday bag work. He’s a good grappler, and real diligent and passionate, but his striking needs the work and I enjoy the company. It can be hard to get work in alone in an empty gym. Did my normal Sunday bag workout along with Coach Sommer’s WOD.
Bagwork; rounds are three minutes with thirty second breaks, two rounds per technique—first round more about technique and instriniscally understanding the body mechanics, second round more about power and output: — Three rounds shadowbox. — Two rounds Jab — Two rounds Cross — Two rounds of Jabs and Crosses — Two rounds of L and R Hooks — Two rounds of everything. — Two rounds Low Kicks — Two rounds Mid Kicks — Two rounds High Kicks
Afterwords was Coach Sommer’s workout of the day (WOD): — 1x10 Cast Wall Walks — 1x5 Pike Box Press Handstand — 1x10 Straddle Box Press Handstand — 10 minutes of HS Wall Runs — Finish with 2x10 Wrist Pushups
Thoughts: I feel like I wasn’t lucid enough through the bag workout. I went through it well, but didn’t feel like I was really listening and learning from my body (which really, to me, is the whole point of my bagwork) until the last few rounds. No bueno, need to focus more. Nothing real notable outside of that.
On the WOD, it was embarrassingly brutal for something that looks so innocent in text. Had to scale the press handstands for raised press headstands; ugh. The ten minutes of handstand runs was scaled to five minutes, with probably a minute of it just being a wall handstand and not running. I’ve always ignored handstand work in favor of just more ring work, and it’s really showing in my lack of shoulder girdle strength. Coach Sommer is very smart with his programming, so I will be more diligent in following the WOD’s and not substituting workouts based on my own personal interests.
It’s all a learning process—if you pay attention. Sometimes it’s further learning of a technique or theory, and sometimes it could be as soft as learning about your yourself: something small of your ethic, your direction, your anything. Today was the latter. I’m working hard physically but not focused enough intellectually, and I’m playing favorites with my workouts.
Pro practice today was: — Three rounds shadowbox — Three rounds padwork — Puke drills — Grappling — Mile sprint.
Pretty easy hour and a half, a bit uninspired. Coach has been gone for the past month or so filming a TV show (which, if you’re a fan of the sport, you’re most likely to see), so it’s been up to us (some to more credit than others) to plan our group’s workout. It’s attempted in best efforts but really, it’s hard to program a weeks workouts and run it, especially when personal fatigue lingers and tempts you to play to your ailings. That said, it’s kind of nice to have an easy Monday, still have zest left for my evening session, and not be too burned out for Tuesdays—which are always hard.
Thoughts: Nothing real technical, just a small day of what can largely just be called conditioning. If I keep the diet straight and stay good it could be a little notch I’ve gained and which can then work from to the next notch in cardio, so I need to stay strong with the diet. Rolling wise, I felt a bit lazy but technically decent. I’m getting better about seeing grappling for what it is—the smaller battles which ultimately determine position—but I need to work and log my sequences instead of just playing it by some feel-of-the-month by ear whim. I will start figuring these out and log them.
Time to rest for an hour, get to the jazz club and setup, then go back to the gym for my technical session before I have to get back to start the band. Ah!
Technique in the evening, just got to the gym for ninety minutes before having to get to work. Had a good hour of uppercut work; this week is uppercut week. All uppercut training this week for my technical sessions, since I consider it probably my less skilled punch and because of it’s particular devastation when used by specialists.
Thoughts: Not much. No real epiphany moments or notable understandings occurred. My uppercut is decent, it’s not like I never land the thing, but today I just got to get more time throwing it in a variety of bag work and drills. I did get a little more comfortable with my uppercut as I know it now, but I’m hopeful that as the repetitions and focused work goes on I will get those “eureka” moments and develop deeper understandings about the mechanics and applications.
A couple of work friends came over after work last night and Victor, being the classy guy he is, brought a bottle of two and a half dollar wine. I only had two drinks, albeit maybe kind of big, and woke up today with an annoying hangover. I didn’t want to acknowledge it and give it the power to interfere with my workout.
Pro practice today: — Six rounds warmup of jump rope/shadowboxing — Seven rounds of two minutes sparring kickboxing. — Five rounds of three minutes MMA sparring. — Round of bag blowout.
Thoughts: Tried to incorporate the uppercuts, but was whiffing on all of them. Jab work solid and staple, footwork and feints are useful and strong. Over-under feels good, I feel I can be completely comfortable and hit my takedowns and work, but I do need to work on my shot confidence—I’ll give it my full attention one of these weeks. Wasn’t A-game, to some part I blame the hangover and the minor ear-consciousness from the bulbing, painful raw cauli.
Technique session: (three minute rounds) — Three rounds shadowbox, emphasis uppercut strategies. — Three rounds uppercuts on heavy tear-drop bag — Three rounds uppercuts, focus on the angles and entrance, on wall bag. — Three rounds padwork, emphasis on the uppercut of course.
Thoughts: Feeling more comfortable with the angles and the path of my uppercut. Head feels safe, footwork feels good. Developing some intrinsic sense in the hip movements. Sometimes release uppercut too early. Always working the far uppercut and never the in tight, but that’s ok, the far uppercut is my priority.
Need to start trimming the weight. Won’t mess up by toying with hangovers like that, it’s not self-loving. Else wise I feel pretty good all around.
I started writing this while I was having my post-workout meal of chicken and veggies. Like anyone can, I figured, I should be able to eat my meal cleanly with utensils so I can type on my laptop. A few clumsy minutes later I had that who-am-I-trying-to-fool acceptance and just tore into the chicken with my hands and devoured it in speed.
Pro Practice: — Three rounds general warm-up — Seven rounds hand fighting — One round of six minutes of one man against the cage, and every minute a new person locks up and goes for the takedown while the objective is to be taken down the least amount of times when it’s your round to be against the cage. — Thirty minutes of grappling — Drilled a short series of achilles locks grips: From basic position to cup and saucer, from cup and saucer to curling your chest in and grabbing your bicep, from the chest-curl-bicep-grab to the Italian Salute; from least to most painful. Also quickly went over the shoulder roll to defeat the toes curled back defense.
Thoughts: I was taken down seven times, which out of the seven of us there was the third best, not bad in a room where I’m outweighed by everyone but one typically by atleast thirty pounds. My balance on the single leg defense is good, but I’m aware that I freewheel an in-air butterfly-ish position when picked up from the high-crotch, which is typically where single-leg goes against me; this is good, it works, and I need to note it. My focus feels good, I’m feeling more in tune with it, and can call it up when needed; I think I credit this to my more focused breathing.
Couldn’t have an evening practice, I was pretty bummed about it. My car is broken and I had work at seven; it was an hour walk and a half-hour bus ride. You gotta do what you have to do, I guess. It seems that no matter how much I work, and how much time I give to giving effort, I can’t ever come up; I’m broke, broke, broke.
Pro Practice: — Three rounds shadowboxing — Three rounds bagwork — Six rounds Kickbox sparring — Five rounds MMA sparring — Three rounds grappling with punches.
Thoughts: Lackluster. Nothing was working for me standing up, just getting hit and countered by the real basics. It felt just like one of those days where you’re off and nothing works, but I didn’t want to admit it to myself and let those thoughts manifest through my acceptance—that’s giving up and helps nothing. Focused on baiting the leg kick and shooting in on their kick, which was decent and I should keep high on my priority lists of takedowns. Grappling felt strong, the principles I learned from Javi are becoming stronger and more effective.
No car, no night training. I’m also very exhausted from the two hour walk home from training today as well. I think I’m just drained spiritually. I have to run to work tonight to teach classes, I’m going to take my mask out running for the first time. Should be a tough three miles. Blah.
Memory is kind of foggy. Fairly light workout of some bag rounds, some kick-catching, and some very-light sparring with students of the gym; mostly just teaching and drilling techniques.
Taught and drilled: — Cross counter against a leading left hook. — Left hand blocking left hand to bait the right cross and countering with overhand. — Left hook to bait the cross and countering with overhand.
Light, couldn’t really call it much of a workout. But in teaching you do get to further cement techniques in your vocabulary, and if there’s a small plus there was that.
Pro Practice: — Three rounds jump rope — Three rounds shadowbox — Three rounds bag work: Combo then immediate sprawl, nonstop. — Kick shield work, then holding. — Two rounds focus mitts, then two holding. — Two rounds thai pads, then two holding.
Went intense, blew wind out. Very hard. Wasn’t the prettiest, but it was good cardio work.
Evening Session: — Seven rounds against cage defending takedown. — Fourty-five minutes with opponent on back, me working to escape to feet, live.
Thoughts: Josh was there watching, pretty much just giving me a refiner on the basics; it always seems comes back to that, just newly understood. At the end was doing great and was always getting to my feet, I need to drill more to get it further ingrained. Slight changes to the order of my task-list when it comes to defending from the back. To note: — Fight hands, get to the proper side to trap arm. — Fight hands. — Clear top hook. — Small movements turning into him, subtly getting the floor-side arm inside and around his body. — If stays on back and creates a scramble, peel fingers and stand. Elbows always defending. Never shoot ass under him to guard, but away from him to knees/standing.
Pro Training: — Three rounds jump rope — Three rounds shadowbox — Three rounds boxing sparring — Six rounds kickbox sparring — Three rounds mma sparring — Round of ground bag blowout
Thoughts: Exhausted, pooped, blah! Weight is pretty good though, so no need to stress off that. Reverting back to my more Thai-style stance and standup and liking it; more consistency and easier to continue your rapport. Grappling felt strong, feel real solid. Was too exhausted to really work my takedowns.
Evening Sesh: — 45 minutes of low right kick and mid left kick on bag.
No one was at the gym to work with, and I was pretty beat from earlier, so just worked technique. Worked on really feeling the heavy leg, the powerful hip turn, and the pivot and tiptoe all together as one cohesive feeling; just further instrinsic understandings. It went well enough and was feeling it. Repetition never hurts, either.
Coach comes back tomorrow from filming his show, excited.
Kind of a rest day. Met up with my buddy Oblanksy; an incredible Muay Thai fighter. Just beat China’s number one ranked fighter, a guy who went the distance with Buakaw and recently beat Malaipet, handily. He’s looking to get into MMA so we’re kind of exchanging private lessons with each other; to me some standup and to him some grappling.
Worked with him on straightening my punches, and learning his very good right cross. Also worked on developing the left mid kick, which he is also very good at. Good stuff, am aware of what I need to work on and look for now, and will be able to improve with work.