Workout Recap - Week of March 5, 2023
Only four classes again this week, though it was due to inclement weather and unexpected priority changes rather than injury this time, which is at least a better reason to skip a class. It seems like I'm making some progress with my grappling, which is nice, though I've obviously got a very long way to go. I also enjoyed the special Muay Thai seminar, even though the fighter who gave it seems to be someone who I wouldn't get along with in a general context, based on what I've seen on their social media.
I was terrible enough with the initial drill we did in this class that I got to work with a grappling dummy for the first time. It was an interesting experience, and I have to admit that I had not expected it to seem useful at first, but it was actually a neat way to practice. We did drills for some guard passes from headquarters position and then transitioning into a couple of submissions, and while full-body coordination remains a problem for me, I'm at least getting a little adjusted to staying low and close while moving around the other person. There were only three of us still around at the end of class, so we finished with a number of sparring rounds with people rotating out when the coach judged that one person had secured a positional advantage. I was mostly a short break for the other two, but there was one round where I managed to take the back of an aspiring fighter and came close to locking in a rear naked choke, and then I fended off their attempt to choke me in our next round, so I'm pretty happy about that.
Muay Thai seminar
I was actually a little late to this because of some other matters, so I missed the opening round of shadowboxing while I was doing my handwraps. In any event, though, I got to join in by the time the real stuff started, opening with some light back-and-forth practicing checking round kicks and then working on options to exploit that reaction after faking a kick. Afterwards, most of the seminar was spent on clinching positioning, manipulation, and simple throws, which was a great middle ground to apply some of my grappling practice in a different environment. I always seemed to struggle with the sweep drills that we did at this gym previously, so I have to admit it was fun getting to dump some larger people for a change. All in all, this was a cool and useful seminar; probably not quite as content-dense as Carnage's seminar was, but enough to have been worth the change of pace from the usual classes.
It was more guard passing today, building gradually into further attack options. I got a lot of compliments from the coach, and while I'd guess they were assessed against my low skill level, the fact of the matter is that self-defense martial arts are mostly about being able to protect yourself from an untrained attacker, so just being above the bottom of the barrel is good enough for now. There was a transition from back control into an arm bar that was really weird, which probably meant I was screwing it up, but since the majority of my offensive-grappling needs will be served by chokes instead of joint locks, I'm fine with leaving it as something to get better at in the future. Speaking on my goals and needs, I did a few rounds with a new student at the end where I was able to get into a rear naked choke and earn tap-outs a couple of times. Granted that the person seemed to be a bit smaller than me, so not representative of a likely assailant, but all things considered, it was a confidence-booster to have that success.
Muay Thai class
Things worked out that I got to do a padwork trio with a couple of competitive fighters for this class; one kid who was 2022's Ontario Muay Thai Fighter of the Year for their age bracket and another who just learned that their fight on the following Saturday was canceled because their opponent was only weighing in about 5 pounds heavier than me and so wouldn't be a fair match-up for the sanctioning doctor (which naturally meant that I got to hold the pads while they worked out their disappointment and frustration). One nice thing with the trio sessions is that we set a rapid pace, though, and both the matchless-fighter and I tried to make things useful for the kid (me by forcing a lot of footwork to track my movements and testing reactions to when I'd raise the pads, the other fighter by mixing in countershots to defend after each offensive sequence). They also gave me a few tips to help refine my technique (much appreciated), including a form adjustment that lead to me almost blowing the matchless-fighter off their feet on a teep despite the roughly-20-pound weight difference between us (the kru even noticed it and called out that it was a great kick). While I'll probably still try to avoid partnering with the competitive fighters this week (unless they ask me to) due to many of them fighting at the event this Saturday, I think I should try partnering with them more often during classes afterwards.