Tonight’s session was amazing! I got totally pasted! I did two hours tonight… One hour strength and conditioning and then one hour Thai. Strength was a good session, we began by warming up doing pull aparts, dislocates and goblet squats 10 of each 2 times round. So was feeling pretty warm after that.
We were going for personal best on both back squat and push press. We began with push press, this is something I feel quite comfortable with, we started by doing 5 just with the bar, two sets of 5 with little weight on, 2×3 with a bit more weight on and then when the weight was up to a point where you were feeling the strain we went to one rep.
I was the only one in the group that was training that managed to get to 80kg, which is my PB at the moment but I did feel as though I could have gone a little bit further so I look forward to pushing that a bit further next time.
Next up was the squats, squats are something I feel at home with, I have quite big legs so I feel confident with it in general. We didn’t have time to go right to our limits but we got up to 100kg which is okay, it is over my body weight but I could have gone a lot further. Next time I look forward to getting to the point where I nearly shit my pants or I go really really red in the face!
After the strength class, which I really enjoyed, the actual thai class we did was awesome! It was a beginner class but it really pushed me to my limits today. Got to the point where my lungs were ready to totally collapse and just give in… But I digress. We began the class with a nice warm up, a little run around the mats, press ups, squats, burpees and sit ups, good solid warm up.
We were instructed to partner up as we were going to work on basic pad work, so I got myself a partner and got ready for the rounds to begin after Craig told us what we would be doing but just before Craig began telling us my partner was swapped and I was left without. So throughout the class getting told what we would be doing, I was looking around looking for someone to partner up with but I couldn’t find anyone.
When the rounds began I went to Craig and said I don’t have a partner, he said… Looks like you’re with me then! I was scared and excited at the same time! It’s ace doing pads with Craig and all the fighters really, don’t get me wrong, I just love pads in general but when the likes of Gordon, Gaz or Craig hold the pads for you, you can push yourself to another level. So yeah, we began just working on the singles and twos, jab, cross, jab cross, hook cross, cross hook. We did that for 3 minutes or so. It has been a while since I had Craig hold pads for me and to be fair I felt on really good form.
After the singles and twos we then began throwing in the defences, so he would throw leg kicks and hit me with the pads if my hands weren’t up after the combination. For the first few rounds, his leg kicks were being checked, he was getting me to get my weight on my front leg and then throwing the leg kick, which is ensuring that I am on the balls on my feet ready to check at all times I do have to say though that by the end he was definitely landing a few more of the leg kicks!
After that we introduced kicks into the mix. Kicking is my strongest point but at the same time, in sparring I have to be very weary of them because I can sometimes lose control and I hit a little harder than I would like to, I mean, I know when we are sparring that we are there to get a feel what it would be like in a fight or what it is like to actually get hit. So, when we introduced kicks to the round, this is when I seriously began to start gassing out. Craig loves to make you do 2, 3, 10 consecutive kicks and by the end of that alone I am ready to collapse never mind carry on into the round and keep my guard up, keep doing what he is calling all while remaining switched on to defend when necessary.
It’s awesome man, I love it! I was cursing him something rotten while we were in the rounds, even cursing him in between rounds! For the fourth round we threw in knees. So there was now, single punches, two punch combinations, kicks and now knees. Knees are something I don’t particularly utilise as much as I should do really, not for any particular reason but I intend to get using them a bit more. After all, it is called the art of eight limbs for a reason!
By this time I was totally gassed, struggling to breathe, keep up my guard, my technique had suffered, I’m sure I stroked the pad at some point because I just couldn’t punch with any decent amount of power and Craig just laughed at me then threw the pad at my face!
For the final round it was a free for all, do what ever the pad man wanted basically, any of the combinations that they want. It’s the kicks that take it out of you. It has been so long since I have just had a total pasting on the pads and to be fair, much to my surprise I fared up quite well! I felt fluid and relaxed and as though I was just having fun with it, while trying to concentrate on my breathing and just enjoy it! Which I have learned is key! Why else would I go there?
So after that everyone who had been holding the pads were about to switch and get to have a go on them, Craig told me that I was going to go on the bag and do some clinch work and I was happy with that, I haven’t really done much clinch, at all. Pete then came into the gym and wanted someone to spar with and Gordon piped up and said that I was free to have a spar with him!
Now to put it into perspective Pete is an ex cage rage champion and totally frickin’ awesome at clinch and is super fast. He is the nicest guy, really clever and totally an unexpected brute! He said to me in the changing rooms while I was grabbing my gum shield for me to take it easy on him because he is old… Me? Take it easy on him? I was totally up for a spar but after the pad work I was feeling a little bit tired and I was his ‘warm up’ before his clinch class.
It was good, he gave me a couple of good pointers to take away and try, like bringing your leg out as though you are going to kick but then at the last minute turning it into a teep, he also gave me a good point where your opponents shoulder position dictates what kick you should be using. So if they are square on to you, a teep would be suitable and if they are turned to the right (if they are orthodox) looking as though they are ready to give you a boxing then the back leg kick would be a good one because it would be very difficult for them to be able to check it and get it decently defended.
One thing he did show me is that my guard was down; after I had kicked him he came in with a right hand straight down the middle and popped my nose. Blood had a steady trickle for a few minutes. Since I got it punched the other week and it bled it has been a bit weak ever since that, I should really try and let it heal before the interclub but it doesn’t really hurt when I get hit in it, it just has a funny feeling and then begins to trickle. It is a strange sensation; I haven’t ever really been made to bleed before, not properly anyway.
So tonight was a bit of a master class really, I have to thank Craig and Pete for giving me a thrashing. There’s nothing better than getting a beating at the gym, leaving with your head held high knowing you did the best you could and looking forward to the next time you get back in there to blast your old PB or to work on the techniques you used and try and implement them in the sparring or pad work. It was the best session I have had in a long time!
I have a few projects in the making at the moment; I have made a pact to myself after listening to Sean Fagan’s podcast with Paul Banasiak that I am going to get at least one blog post per week. Be it, a fight review (of which the first one will be going live on Monday), documentation on my training or whatever it may be!
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Thank you for reading my babbling, I know this was quite a lengthy post but it feels good to be writing again, it is just a motivation thing for me really, actually setting the time aside to get it done! All you bloggers will know that it isn’t something that takes two minutes to blast one out.
Well head over to each of the social media sites and give us a follow and a like and also, don’t forget to head over to my interview with Phil Shedden one of the promoters of The Main Event which is one of the biggest shows in the UK at the moment and give that a read we touch upon a number of things that you may find interesting! You can find that here:
Keep training hard and keep being awesome!
Love and respect to all!
Take care – Dom – MTBUK