Well here we are!! This is the first update of the training I have been doing. It has been a good couple of days training. I’ve enjoyed it!!
On Monday it was a late starting class, it started at half 7. When I finish work at 5 there is a bit of a wait until the class starts. I get to the gym for about 5.30 and base down. Have a bit of a natter for the first hour or so. When the women’s class starts I get my trackies on and get ready for a run.
6.30 I’m out of the gym door and heading down the river in Newcastle city centre. Headphones in. Not going full beans just a gentle jog. When I get down the hill and onto the flat surface down by the river I turn it up a little bit, start doing lamppost to lamppost sprints. Sprint to one, jog the next. Sprint to one, jog to the next. At this point I am beginning to feel a bit gassed.
I cover about a mile and a half to two miles. Stretching at about the mile mark to make sure I am limbering up correctly. I don’t particularly like running but I have come to terms with the fact that it is important to do so if I want my fitness and endurance to get better. If anything for me, jogging is teaching my brain to power through the uncomfortable feeling when the lactic acid begins to flood the muscles.
When I get back to the gym I get my shorts on and get ready to hit the class!! Yesterday we did a nice drill, it was fun and challenging, like most drills in Muay Thai!
We were working on getting the knees into a combination. We were instructed to do a one two hook combination and then come in with the right knee, making sure you are in range to connect properly. After we drilled that for 3 rounds of three minutes taking it in turn to attack and defend. We then upped the combination.
We were made to do any combination to ensure that the defending partner upped their guard so they were nice and covered. When they were in that position we were reaching around the back of the neck and pulling their head down to connect with the knee that was coming up at the same time. Again, one attacking, one defending for three 3 minute rounds.
After that it was do as you can. Almost a spar but working on the drill. No one person was attacking or defending. It was, if you could get it that’s what you was working toward. The hardest part I that I had to overcome was the fakes. Rolling the shoulders convincingly enough to make my partner raise their guard. It took a few tries but it began to click.
After that we did 6 rounds of three minute sparring. My favourite. It was only light sparring. Nothing too strenuous. As much as I struggle with sparring because I am quite unfit at the minute by the end of the first round I am gassed and clambering to catch my breath.
When I first began sparring I was tense, not relaxed which I have began to find myself doing now. I guess that comes with time. Not been totally rigid and having the confidence to believe in both parties. Believe in yourself that you will parry, check and return correctly and at the right time. There has been a few instances which I quickly learnt from where I dropped my hands and took a sweet right hand or hook to the jaw and that wasn’t the most pleasant of feelings but it made me learn not to do it again.
There is a lot of trial and error in Muay Thai. Or I find there is. Finding out what works for you. The instructor, Craig, obviously tells you what is required and as long as you follow the basic principle of what he says, turn your hips and shoulders and your whole body into the kick then you will be fine and you will begin to put your own spin on what you are doing.
After the sparring that drew the class to a close. We bowed to Craig and bowed “wai” to the Buddha.
Today was a more technical class and more fitness too. We did a 10 minute session on the pads and also a round of 75 kicks on each leg between a group of three of us rotating in between rounds.
I always try to position myself second in the exercise because two straight rounds absolutely kills me!! Like I mentioned before I am still really unfit. I made the mistake when I first started doing Muay Thai going all out straight away. That doesn’t mean I only go 50% for the first half, it means I still kick hard but I concentrate on my technique too. Making sure I keep my hand up while kicking, making sure I turn my hips and shoulders into the kick, swinging my hand down to get that extra bit of power into it. For the final 25 or so I go all out. Kicking at 110% as hard and as fast as I can!! I am totally fucked by the end of it but it feels amazing!!
Next in the class tonight was a 10 minute long pad session where Craig (the instructor), would call the combination that we do. I’m used to three minute rounds. Today was the first time that I have ever done more than that. I can safely say that it was totally un fucking pleasant!! It was making sure that your hands were always up and you were always in your fighting stance and tapping your feet.
It started quite nicely. Jab. One two. One two hook. Jab. One two. One two hook. For a moment I thought “hey this isn’t too bad”… Surely enough I was wrong. He totalled upped the pace by about the third minute. It was non stop for a good 45 seconds and then he would slow it down again. Teep. Knee. One two. One two hook. Uppercut. Body kick. 10 kicks. One two hook body kick knee. It was, what I thought a never ending punishment. I loved every second of it!!
After that exercise we did a push up drill. We would be in the plank ready to go into push ups. We go down, hold it until Craig says up then we go up. Down, half way up, down, hold. Then go up. The challenge is to last as long as your arms, shoulders and core will let you. Pushing through that mental state that is telling you to just drop your knees or put your arse in the air for a rest. If you failed and people were still going then you had to do burpees in the middle. I don’t know what is worse.
Surely enough the time came where I had to get in the middle and do the burpees until everyone else had finished. Much to my surprise I wasn’t the first to give in, so I was happy about that!! After that, it is finally time to take off your gear and bow to Craig and bow to the Buddha.
I quickly run to my bottle of water and drink!!
That’s a basic overview about what we have been up to over these past two days. To keep the blog a bit shorter in future I think I’m going to try and get it done daily.
I really wanna get some pictures to show you guys so if there is someone around in the gym that isn’t training I will hand them my phone and ask them to take a few pics so you can see.
Not only will I be documenting what we do in classes I will hopefully begin the cover other things too, events I go to, reviewing fights (when my knowledge gets good enough), talking about the history of Muay Thai, what certain things are and about the traditions.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. I will keep you updated regularly. I will use my time on the train home to reflect and write as much as I can while I have the free time.
Peace out. Thanks for reading. If you have a question for me, feel free to drop me a line and I will be sure to get back to you. If you have any requests for things for me to write about I am always grateful for things to keep me busy.
Dom – Muay Thai blog UK