Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday 14, 2011

Today was much of the same as yesterday which is good. I love a sense of continuity, balance and repetitiveness in my training. That last part was what made me so good at McKrotty (do this kata 1million times and think about being Ryu from SF).

Got there early again (I like doing that, I work late so starting my hobby early makes me feel less umm... like a slave?) and after stretching Karim had me warm up with skipping some rope. My form is finally good. I got the light steps, the back and forth hop, the nice rhythm and everything; only bit I'm lacking is the actual ability to keep it up for more than 10 seconds at a go. Oh well, it's not like I'm unaware of the 10+ kilo sack of shit strapped to my abs or anything and the fact that I haven't run a lap in weeks doesn't help either.

James and Rich (the only others to show) arrive after and I go into "lead leum" (shadow boxing) while they stretch and skip. During this Karim has me do "speed knees" and punches a couple of times and I do another myself but hold it for waaaaaaaaaay less than the "minimum" of 30 seconds he held out.

After that is bagwork. I felt sloppy and not as sharp as yesterday mainly because I didn't have a temporarily crippled MT Master going "Oweeeee" every time I hit the bag and because the massive bruises and near-crippling (maybe not THAT bad) pain in my left foot hadn't really subsided and it was a mutherfucker to hit it each time. I took it easy and focused on good rhythm (the bao bao thing) and remembering the combos from Somboon days. That and my kick checks were a bit better as I tried to stay more on my toes, but he kept teeping me across the ring... still gotta work on defense.

After a couple round of that I get pulled into the ring for some more excellent mitwork. The combos today were 1-2 kick, 1-2 elbow, 1-2-knee-elbow, teep, check-kick, and finished each round with 10 all out kicks in a row (fucking love that part) and I got some go "di di (good good)"'s and "Oweee's" from both the owner and Karim (who I find hard to impress).

After that the others took their turns with Karim and I lazed about again, completely exhausted for about 10-15 solid minutes. After that I did about 2-3 minutes of jumping on a tire, but having never done it before it felt sort of alien and I wished I could ask Karim how to do it properly (I'll try and remember to ask after class finishes tomorrow).

Then we circled up, did 50 pushups in sets of 10 (like last time) and pushups (the others did 100 in sets of 25, I barely made it through 60 in sets of 15). While we were sitting up I noticed Karim's gf snapping photos of us at our most silliest... thanks.

We ended with a group shot of us 4 in guard (I got a good look of how a sweaty, exhausted, run down fat me looks like which is not a pleasant image to keep in my head) and that was that. Good class.

Tuesday 13, 2011

Today was excellent. Well, yesterday was.

Arrived "early" and started warming up and stretching with John. After a while Karim had us start some shadowboxing, emphasizing "move like a boxer" around the floor. We did this for 2, maybe 3 rounds (still too blind to see a clock and too tired to think about it) and it was during this that the rest of tonight's crew arrived (James, Rich, Dylan... the others from my school, no one else from the other English schools aside John made it today which meant a LOT more room and 1on1 time with Karim and Boom didn't show either but it didn't matter so much with the smaller class).

While the others warmed up and started shadowboxing Karim had us move onto a few rounds (again 2 or 3) of bagwork with turned out to be very, very intense (I actually have a massive bruise on my foot from it and from kicking with the foot and not the shin so many times). Ajarn Do (I think that's his name?) had planted himself next to my bag and decided that I was to get some serious tutoring on how to whack a sack of sand.

The main focus of his instructions were to keep a rhythm with what I call the "Thai Bounce" and what sounded like "bao bao" or something (maybe). It is a bouncing on the balls of the feet with an up and down head and hands motion. It helped make a pace that wasn't too rough but didn't let me stop moving either. He corrected various technical fouls on my strikes which were:
Kicks, stay on the ball of the foot and keep the leg fully extended on impact and keep one hand on the chin at all times (the other used in a swinging motion for momentum)
Elbows, keep the back foot planted and on the toes
Knees, pivot and shoot it directly in
Say "ESSSSSS" with all the kicks (He found that hilarious)

After the awesome and devastating (to my legs) bagwork Karim calls me into the ring for my first "full" Thai Pads work. This was incredible. Punches, kicks, knees, elbows the works get thrown in and you go full force against the trainer and his pads. I did 2 rounds and felt like dying from exhaustion.

Again, during this my lack of "bouncy" on my feet cost me getting kicks in the ribs a lot from Karim with little progress made.

So after that he put me with first Dylan (a righty) then James (a southpaw like myself) to practice shin-checking for a while. I really appreciated this practice and hope to get more of the same on Wednesday's session because I still feel it's my biggest weak area as far as the basics go.

After the blocking practice I slowed down as Karim started mitwork with the rest of the guys and sort of skipped rope for *maybe* a minute or two then sorta walked around for 10 minutes until we were all called into the ring for an end-of-session pushup/situp/stretch which sucked (I hate pushups and situps and couldn't really do any).

Things to remember for next class:
Bounce and Block with the Legs
Keep balance and focus (for blocking)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back on Track

Okay, so while the classes before I was bemoaning a fate of following the "beginners" I am now happy to report everyone is pretty much at the same level now and I followed the rest of class. How did this happen? I have no fucking idea.

Anyhoo, today was all about defense. I show up, stretch out and get warmed up with walking knees. We do this for a while (seemed like forever and I started to slack).

This was followed by about half an hour of shadow boxing and technique work. I am also sorry to report that I slacked here too and spent much of the time standing and staring and making an act of being tired. Oh well, sometimes it happens.

After that we practiced round kick defense with the shin-block and grab as well as lowkick shin-blocks, dodges and defensive teeps. I paired up with John again which seemed obvious but wasn't actually the best choice as we were fairly lackadaisical and spent more time talking about technique than actually getting into the exercises and giving it 100%.

I also slammed my shin pretty hard against his knee a few times which really, really sucked.

We did this for the rest of class with variations and general practice with corrections. Boom (another trainer from Somboon's place) was around and was a huge help to everyone.

Overall it was a good class, and if there's anything lacking it was my own spirit and level of commitedness during training today.