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Workout Recap - Week of July 23, 2023

It was nice to return to sparring this week, especially with getting a full gamut from going very light while bullying a teenager (productively) to having a round of hard smashing to finish. As for the rest of the week, there are definitely things for me to improve on, but I'm generally feeling less and less out of my depth with the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm still dead nervous and twisted up with anxiety at the start of every class, but I don't feel like a complete beginner anymore, especially after having been able to recognize a second instance of someone giving me dubious advice.

 

Monday

Muay Thai class

This class was a fundamental review, with drills emphasizing one or two punches into a kick or knee strike. I got to partner with one of the gym's better competitive fighters, so we also had fun mixing in movement to manage distance/angles and defensive checks. They said that I did a very good job of implementing the occasional adjustment tips they'd give me during the drills, which was nice to hear since I personally get annoyed with people who don't do that when I'm the one trying to help them out. Also, I appreciated that they were willing to hit hard and force me to stabilize myself; I returned the favor when it was my turn to throw knee strikes, which got me a couple comments of praise.


Tuesday

Muay Thai class

This class focused mostly on extended boxing sequences, albeit with a sprinkle of knees, elbows, and defense mixed in. As someone who likes using those close strikes in general on top of finding them extremely practical, I had a good time with it; my rear straight punch also seems to be shaping up into a good weapon. All in all, a pretty simple but effective training session.


Wednesday

Muay Thai class


A slight change from the usual, this class focused on kicks and movement. The heavy leg involvement made it tiring despite the simplicity of the drills, but as someone who recognizes that my movement is rather lacking in general, I appreciated the practice with making adjustments in the middle of offensive sequences beyond just maintaining good spacing for my strikes. That said, I still had some stumbles while recovering from lead leg kicks, so that definitely remains a point I need to spend more time outside of class working on smoothing out.


Thursday

Muay Thai class


We focused on short offensive bursts this class, using sequences of two to four strikes with an emphasis on power shots. My partner for it was a bit annoying; they kept trying to "correct" my form with tips that, while valid in themselves, were realistically just alternatives that I was aware of and choosing not to do intentionally (such as doing a crossface guard with my rear hand on lead leg round kicks instead of keeping it in a high guard; I prefer to use torso rotation to get my lead shoulder to protect my jaw from straight punches instead while either posting or sweeping my lead arm, since I find the crossface guard obscures the lower part of my vision and gives me no defense against a simultaneous high round kick from my opponent). I didn't make a fuss over it at the time, since they were quite young and showed signs of a fragile ego when it was their turn to strike, but I'll admit that I enjoyed ripping in a few low kicks hard enough to make them stumble when we were doing those to finish up.


Friday

Muay Thai sparring


I met my personal goals for this session of doing at least four combined left uppercuts and left knees each round and of maintaining enough core tension to absorb every incoming body shot comfortably. Unfortunately, only one other person showed up to do Muay Thai, so my rounds skewed heavily towards boxing only. That would have left me feeling annoyed but for two factors. First, the other Muay Thai person (who is also a competitive fighter) asked my weight afterwards and said they couldn't believe I was able to hit so hard despite being some twenty pounds lighter than them (I'm assuming they mean from experience doing padwork with me, since we went light-to-moderate for the rounds we did this day). Second, the last boxing round I did was a hard round with someone who was both a few inches taller and about 30% heavier than me, and not only did I get out of it with no notable damage, but there was a definite drop in how eager they were to punch me after I ramped up my own power. Altogether, it left me feeling a little better about my punch defense and about being able to overcome my slightness. Good vibes all around.

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