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Workout Recap - Week of August 20, 2023

I dinged up my ankle a bit early in the week and still have some bruising, but it's mostly a matter of minor discomfort that didn't stop me from doing anything. Aside from that, it was good to get back into sparring this week, especially with some indications that my skill level is improving gradually. I'm still on the lower end of the skill levels for people who show up for that, but it feels good to be landing some clean hits against people who used to just toy with me the whole round.



Muay Thai class

The pattern was broken as this was a head-to-head defense day for this week. We focused mostly on guarding against power shots and returning in kind rapidly, which is generally what I try to do in sparring, albeit ideally following by closing for knees or elbows. In any case, I ended up with some irritation on my forehead from where I was bracing my hands, but I felt like I did well at standing my ground despite my typical size disadvantage. It was a good and fun class, although I think I clipped my right ankle against someone's knee at some point because it was atypically sore and bruised by the end.


Muay Thai class

This was a stamina-focused class, with a secondary focus on knee strikes, so I was well at home. I kept up my pace aggressively, and I was firing in my knee strikes hard enough to knock my partner back several times. My ankle was still bruised from the previous class, so I was glad that we didn't do any thrusting kicks. Granted, I was still getting a pulse of irritation from it on my round kicks despite focusing on keeping the impact of those on my shin only, but in any case, it wasn't a real issue, so I'm not worried about how it'll hold up with some more time to heal.


Muay Thai class

This was another stamina-focused class, this time with lots of repeating kicking with alternating legs. My bruised ankle was indeed holding up fine despite doing front kicks and side kicks, so I'm confident it should be good to go for sparring this week. Speaking of side kicks, we work on those rarely enough that it took me a few reps to reacquaint myself with them, but it was nice to get decent impact once I was back in the groove. I still prefer front kicks in pretty much any situation, but if nothing else, it's good to work on doing them so that I can have some basis for how to defend against them.


Muay Thai class

Working on stamina was the theme of the week, it seems, this time with long sequences of punches and kicks. I don't really recall the details because my partner tried to compliment my stamina at one point by saying that I almost seemed human when I needed a moment to catch my breath towards the end. I laughed it off in the moment because I'm fairly sure it was meant without any malice, but as someone who's used to that kind of language being used against me, it did bother me a bit. Still, I guess as long as it's a one-off thing, I don't think there's any need to make a big deal of it the next time that person shows up for a class.


Muay Thai sparring

In contrast to my last few times showing up for sparring, it was a full house of almost exclusively kickboxers this time, so I got to have a lot of kickboxing rounds with a variety of people. My goals were to land at least two knee strikes per kickboxing round and to parry>counter at least one thing each round; I think I managed to achieve at least one of those goals each round, so I took that as a partial win. I also felt really good about how I held up against some of our most skilled competitive fighters (one kickboxer who's going to be eligible for professional fights after one more next month, one kickboxer who's in trials to fight for Canada's national team, and the gym's best boxer); while they were clearly better overall, I had instances against each of them where I got them to bite on a feint and punished the opening that left on reaction, which then got them to respect the feints enough to be more conservative in how they defended against the original techniques. Perhaps it's not much, but it made me feel like I was improved enough that they couldn't completely toy with me anymore. Beyond that, I felt like I also did a better job that usual at defending kicks to all levels, and I was also rolling under a few more punches than usual, so I've got some evidence that my overall defense is improving as well. There's definitely still a long way for me to go, but it's exciting to notice real progress.



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