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)