Workout Recap - Week of April 2, 2023
One of the benefits of going to two gyms is that it affords me some flexibility in terms of maintaining my training around obstacles like statutory holidays. I'd gone into this week expecting to have only four classes, but since the two places chose different approaches to their closures, I was able to keep things rolling along with minimal disruption.
During the warm-ups for this class, we did wall walk bridges, and I was seemingly the only person going all the way down and back up for those (the coach remarked that I must be used to bridging, to which I could only reply that I indeed am). The class itself was mostly about working on bodylock takedowns going into various chokes, like the anaconda or the D'arce. I think those are overly fancy for my purposes compared to a guillotine or rear naked choke, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to know they exist and to have a little practice with them. I did two sparring rounds with someone who was a much better wrestler, so I got smashed for positional control, but I remained sound enough defensively that I was quick to get out of the one submission attempt they threatened me with. It was frustrating because the coach was also giving me advice during one of the rounds that my mind just kept failing to put to use, but there was a minor silver lining that I eventually forced a scramble into taking their back and threatened a rear naked choke as time expired.
Muay Thai class
We focused on fundamentals in this class, keeping things limited to two- to five-strike sequences and aiming to execute as cleanly as possible. There was an odd number of trainees, plus the kru was mixing in doing rounds with some of the fighters, which all meant that someone had to be willing to shift partners, which I volunteered for to work with as many different people as I could. As a result, I got in a few rounds of drills with two competitive fighters and one aspiring fighter. I'm anticipating being back at this gym full-time, because I genuinely enjoy the classes here.
This class continued the focus on side control escapes from last Friday. Unfortunately, my partner hurt their wrist during one of the rounds of drilling at full resistance (I think their hand got caught up under my bottom shoulder at one point while I was shrimping out), which sucks for them, but at least it meant I got to do a few rounds with the coach (who clearly could have thoroughly smashed me at any time, but he understood how to work with someone who sucks and gave me opportunities to have some success). One of my sparring rounds was against a much larger and more skilled person who dominated me well enough that it felt kind of useless for me to learn from, but maybe I did pick something up from it subconsciously because the following round I did with someone closer to my level (in terms of both size and skill) ended with me finally managing to get a tap in open sparring (by rear naked choke, which seems to be my go-to move overall).
Muay Thai class
This class was back to long striking sequences to push our stamina. While I was getting some good pop, I felt inconsistent about it, so I should be more mindful of getting powerful hip/shoulder involvement in all of my strikes. On the plus side, I was doing better than usual about maintaining my balance during multiple strikes with the same leg, so at least there was that progress, and when we started mixing in some counterpunch slipping, I think I was doing well to coil up and then lash out hard on the following strike. All in all, I'm starting to believe that I really am hitting harder with my punches, but that's not to say that I can't still improve more.
Muay Thai class
Since the kru was running just one class this day, it focused solely on boxing. We did a lot of weaving together offense and defense, which my partner struggled with, but they got into the flow of it after some time, so I feel like we were still having productive drills. I ended up with some soreness in my right ankle, so boxing classes continue to be the toughest on my legs of all the martial arts I train. Still, it was a good class, and I think getting more reflexive with firing back after blocking strikes is definitely something that I need to improve at when I eventually return to sparring.