Getting in the ring takes a special kind of person. I knew that one day I would end up getting in the ring but last week I didn’t have a clue that the weekend would be that day.
As you all know I train Muay Thai, The art of 8 limbs, Thai boxing whatever you would like to call it. All names that ring throughout the combat sport world as one of the most deadly striking martial arts.
I have trained for a little over a year now and have loved every second of it. When I was in the gym on Monday and Tuesday I was feeling really good. On point, getting fitter now I have finally stopped smoking… but much to my surprise, my lungs and whole system was in for a shock!!
When I got home on Tuesday night from the gym there was a message from Craig asking me if I would be up for jumping into the Ultra White Collar Boxing event he was putting on at the weekend. Now for those who don’t know, the UWCB is an event in the UK where beginners go and train for 8 weeks for free and then fight at the end of the course to raise money for charity. To find out more information and sign up head over to the UWCB website and find one in your area. I would definitely recommend it if boxing is something you have thought about getting into or you fancy getting a bit fitter and get to him someone at the end of eight weeks!
I was supposed to do the last one with a couple of the other lads from the gym but due to confusing circumstances I was not able to do it. This time round there were no excuses, other than my wife going into labour but I had told her to try and keep a plug in it for the next week so I can box at the weekend.
Anyway, I was more than happy to say yes to help out. I was dying to get in the ring and see what it would be like to fight someone. I didn’t have a great deal of time to over think the situation or psych myself out about it because by the time I had done my weeks training it was time to make my way to the venue and get ready for it. It was a good weeks training I got in, like I said before, I was feeling good! We covered some good Thai techniques and I was loving it!
When I got to the venue I was beginning to feel the pre-fight nerves. My stomach was going crazy and my hands were beginning to tremble. I started to get my kit on and begin shadow boxing when the event had started. Technically speaking I was far more advanced than the kid I was fighting.
When we were warming up in the changing rooms I could see that my technical abilities were far further than that of my opponent. I was confident going in. Safe to say though, I was shitting myself at the same time.
When I walked in to ‘smells like teen spirit’ by Nirvana it got me pumping and rearing to go. Craig gave me some tips as he was walking in trying to get my head in the game. Before I knew it the bell rang and we were exchanging punches!!
The rounds felt so long but ended so fast. It was a totally surreal experience. Everything disappears. Kind of like Billy Elliot when he is talking about dancing. It is that feeling of flow. Everything apart from you and your opponent disappears and it is just you two, alone in the ring.
After the first round I was totally gassed. I didn’t quite expect to be that tired after the first round. Craig told me that the body shot was working for me and I was to try and use it a bit more by setting it up with something up top. So that’s what i did in the second round. Much to my dismay, things went a little downhill, I was way to tired to think about what I was doing. It’s a shame really.
I know that I am capable of much more than what I did during the fight. The final round was just me hurling punches and hoping for the best. To be fair, I thought I did enough to take the win, I had hit him with a lot more punches and got him a bit more wobbly. He was quite a lot bigger than me, he was taller than me and weight slightly more than me, maybe 3-4kg heavier. Not that I am making excuses, I was a little disappointed with my performance overall if I am being totally honest.
Every challenge is a lesson learned though. What I will take from it, is that, going forward I will try to be as prepared as I can, both mentally and physically. It was an amazing experience being in the ring for the first time. One that I hope to become a lot more familiar with in the future. I would definitely love to fight Thai. I feel my legs are my main weapons in Thai and my hands are there to set up my legs.
Leg kicks and body kicks are my absolute favourite thing to do. If I could do a full round of sparring using just my legs I would be over the moon! It has definitely been an experience that’s for sure. Taking a fight on such short notice for my first fight was possibly a good things. As Craig said it was to get the experience in the ring and get a feel for what it is actually like.
What I have taken from it is that it is over very quickly. I mean, you barely have time to think about what you are doing and then the fight is over. Maybe that was the adrenaline and it slows down a bit once you get a bit more experienced, I don’t know. Another thing I have taken is that it pays to be fit. I can’t stress that enough. The fitter you are the better. As a result of the fight at the weekend I am definitely going to start running. I read an article somewhere the other day where, if you are in Thailand and you are wanting to fight then you had better get running. I guess I should apply that to my training here too!
Lastly, have fun with it! When the final bell rings and the time is out, knowing that both of you have given your all is just the best feeling ever! even though I didn’t know the guy I fought, we will hugged and shook each others hand and the end and said “what a fucking experience!” Neither of us had ever been in the ring and he said that it wouldn’t be that last for him!
Well I think that somewhat sums up my first experience in the ring. If you would like to see my arms flailing around like a mad man, then feel free to watch it on the video below. I can safely say though, the next fight will be better. It will be Thai. It will be badass!
Until then, keep it real. Look after yourselves, train hard!