Workout Recap - Week of March 12, 2023
Bounced back up to five workouts this week, thanks to injuries and weather cooperating. A few things seem to be starting to come together with the grappling training, but there are still vast gulfs of blank space between them for now. And frankly, that'll likely still be the case in a few months, but anyway, I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
The coach was doing some one-on-one fight preparation, so a wrestler took over instructing for this class after some time jockeying around in clinching. We focused on fundamental body positioning drills and some solo exercises-that-also-help-train-movements, which I think actually made it one of the more useful grappling classes I've had so far since those kinds of foundational basics are what I'm more realistically going to be able to learn in a short time, compared to sophisticated transitions into various attack options. That said, it was also quite bizarre that the class ended with a demotivational pep talk about how much wrestling sucks to learn but helps build toughness if you endure this awful thing long enough to get better at it. It left me curious why the person wouldn't have rather done a martial art (or whatever other hobby) that they'd actually enjoy, but hey, their life, their choice.
Muay Thai class
We opened with repeated low kicks, then proceeded to do a drill station gauntlet before finishing up with more padwork. I was mostly satisfied with how my stamina held up, both for the gauntlet and for focusing on sequences with repeated attacks from the same leg afterwards, since those both tend to be tough to keep up the intensity for the full drill duration. Incidentally, the drill gauntlet is always an interesting experience to hold pads for because you get to feel the differences in how everyone executes their attacks, both in terms of personal preferences (e.g. focusing more on punches, kicks, speed, power, defense, etc.) and in terms of their general abilities (e.g. strength, quickness, balance, efficiency of converting body mass into impactful snap, etc.).
It was more guard passing today, starting from a knee drag and building into gaining back control to finish with a choke (either a one-armed short choke or the full proper rear naked choke). At the end of class, we did some situational sparring (starting from initial back control and trying to finish a choke; I had a partner with similar size and skill this time, which made it a nice learning experience to have a mix of successes and failures), and then I finished with a single five-minute open round against someone more experienced and likely over twice my weight. Under the circumstances, I'm pleased with how I did; granted that I don't know how seriously they took it, but I only tapped once, and that was because I'd wanted a positional reset because I was clearly not getting out of the "choke" they had on my jaw and didn't want to just lay there for another two or three minutes.
Muay Thai class
Given that three people at the gym had fights coming up this Saturday, I was not surprised that this was a class of head-to-head defense drills. We focused mostly on round kick defense (also unsurprising, since those score highly in Muay Thai rules and the kru is constantly getting on people to check more kicks in sparring), with a little jab defense mixed in as well (during which I got a reminder from her to stay mindful of my hand getting back to my head after catching a punch, which I appreciated). In a surprise twist, rather than doing some calisthenics to finish, the kru gave everyone a pep talk; one that was leagues better than the wrestler did on Monday. I'm anticipating coming back to this gym full-time once my membership at the other place expires.
The coach was doing fight prep again this class, so everyone's favorite demotivational wrestler was in charge of things again. We continued to work on roughly the same stuff as from Monday, though advancing to getting an actual takedown after the initial contact. It was a good class, honestly, and I like that this person seems to have a gradual progression in mind with their teaching. And yes, we did finish with another demotivational pep talk. The gimmick is growing on me enough that I hope it continues, even if the actual speeches leave me tempted to hug the lug and say it's ok to stop if they really hate wrestling so much.