When I booked my private with Craig, I knew I was in for a hard session and surely enough it lived up to my expectations. I started with a pretty standard warm up, on the ropes for about 10mins, then did some sit ups and some stretches, combined stretch, stretched the hamstrings on the ropes of the ring and a few more.
When we got started he mentioned that I wasn’t using my right cross properly so he said that we would work some on that, he got me on the bag and then said that it looked okay so he wasn’t really to fussed about working on that for today. We then did a few rounds on the pads, working on finding my range and getting the smaller things tweaked. He said that my technique is really good, when I said that I thought that my boxing was my weakest area, he said he didn’t know why I thought that.
Any way so after the rounds on the bags he said that the only way to put into practice what he wanted me to work on, which was timing and getting to land punches in a fight sort of situation that the only thing to do was a bit of sparring. I remember the first time I sparred with Craig I totally shit my pants! I thought I had to get my game on, he said that we shouldn’t work on strength/power all he wanted me to work on was speed and accuracy of my shots.
So that’s what I did. We did 5 or 6 rounds or three minutes (I think) and it was fucking awesome! Getting the chance to spar with someone who is far far far more experienced than what I am, to the point where I could only aspire to be that good one day, I (without sounding as though I have a case of vaginitis going on) honoured to be able to do that. In-between rounds he would tell me what I need to do differently, the first round he told me that I needed to throw my right kick more often.
So I did. he was getting through with straight jabs, which was really frustrating, that is what I need to work on. Defence. My striking is okay, something that with time will only get better. My defence is something that is lacking, I know this because I took enough shots to the face to think I don’t want that to happen again, but it did. So in my next private session that is what I think we will work on, he will like that, getting to punch me! Oh, totally unrelated to todays post, yesterday! I had left my gloves in the gym over the weekend and he has posted a picture of them on Facebook and said that however many likes this photo gets the owner of the gloves would get as many body shots.
I had to take 150 body shots in yesterdays class. 150!! I mean come on!! So I know, from personal experience, that he enjoys punching people! It has nothing to do that he was a professional fighter or anything, just that he took so much pleasure in causing me a shit load of pain! But yeah, back to today. In the next private I need to work on defence but saying that, I think I did much better this time round than what I did the last time round. Which is something that I was pleasantly surprised with, I didn’t think that I had come on that much in the past two months or so.
I think with it being Christmas and me not being in the gym a great deal throughout December that it took me a lot longer to get back into the swing of things. Saying that, I feel I did today, the best I have ever done. So after trying through the five or six rounds to land the right leg kick, I managed to land one or two. Using the tips that Craig had given me throughout the session. Set it up with a one, two, hook or just step back and let them come forward and when they do, throw the kick! I hurt my, this is going to sound so pathetic, but I will run the risk, I hurt a toe on my right foot in one of the rounds so it was hurting throughout the final two rounds but I managed to power on through.
After the session he came to me and said that he was really impressed with what he had seen in the sparring. He said that it has been a while since he has been surprised and that I had surprised him! I mean, what!! He said that I need to stop fucking about and get the weight off me so i can begin to fight! He said that after today, I would be more than welcome to join in with the advanced classes. Which before Christmas, we were told that it was only people who were either training for fights or had been training over a year or two and for him to say that I would be welcome in the advanced classes, I honestly felt really proud.
I have only been training for seven months and to be asked to join the advanced class, I was more than happy to say yes! So after the private with him, he asked if I was staying for this session, it was an advanced class. I was tired, my toe was hurting and I wasn’t sure whether I was going to. His words were “Are you staying for this session because if you’re not, you can do some fitness.” I thought about it for a split second and said, fuck it. Why not. I just didn’t want to do the fucking fitness!!
In the advanced session we worked on moving around around our opponent and getting of the centre line and striking when we have got there. It was fun, it is something we have done a little bit in the beginners class. We worked on travelling with the switch as well for setting up the kick. Which, I think I heard him say, would score quite highly if you got to kick your opponent on the back. After we had done that for about 20/30mins Craig shouted “Sparring!!!”
More sparring, a part of me thought shit, a part of me thought awesome, a bit of sparring with someone at about my own ability or just a little better, not at Craig’s level and it was awesome!! We did 5 rounds swapping partner each time. I sparred with Gary, Davie, Sarah, Martin and Ruairi. The rounds I did with Lee and Ruairi were my favourite, they are about the same size as me and made me work the hardest.
I managed to put into practice what me and Craig and been working on in the private in landing that right kick. That is my weapon, in Craig’s words, “You should use that all the time, that is your bread and butter” Which worked. It felt so good, Ruairi managed to land a fucking awesome head kick on me though and hurt my jaw. I’m even struggling to close it as I am reading this. It was a corker!! I was okay while I was sparring, with him, at least I know I can take a punch, or kick!
To round up today’s post, It has been an awesome day. I day that I am very proud of. To have Craig say that to me and to feel as comfortable as I did while sparring and what not I definitely feel as though I had turned a corned in my Muay Thai journey. I just need to get this weight shifted and you will soon be reading about my first fight!! Before that though, I have an interclub lined up in Leeds in a few weeks time, at Bad Company Gym, or at a place that they are putting on which should be totally awesome!! I so excited to be going doing down there and seeing what that will be like!
Thanks again for reading, I know this has been quite a long post but I did have quite a lot to say so I hope you enjoyed reading. Also, before I go, for any of you out there that might want to answer a few questions from me, I have been working on a list of questions that I would like to ask professional/aspiring fighters or gym owners. It would be done in text format and not via Skype or anything, I would email you the questions and you can take as long as you need to get them back to me.
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Thanks again for reading!! Wish you all the best for the rest of the week!! I would love to hear from you, so please get in touch!!!
Peace – Dom – MTBUK