Workout Recap - Week of September 4, 2022
Due to the holiday on Monday, combined with taking Tuesday off of work for other reasons, I did another solo practice session on Tuesday to keep up with doing five training sessions this week. I felt pretty good about it, and I was actually looking forward to getting into the open sparring session on Friday, but my plans for that got upended when I found out that fucking Nathan "Carnage" Corbett was doing a three-hour elbow strike seminar nearby on that day. One of my favorite fighters, teaching at length about one of my favorite technique families? Yes, please.
Unfortunately, this does mean it'll be another two weeks before I get into sparring (since I have medical reasons compelling me to not train on Thursday or Friday this week). That's certainly a downer, because I want to start putting what I'm learning to some better simulations of actual use in order to get a clearer picture of my worst weaknesses, but there isn't much to be done about it other than taking it as an opportunity to try getting a bit more polished first.
Muay Thai solo practice
I did more focus on my round kicks this time, especially with my left leg, and while that side still feels awkward and weak, I think I am at least starting to get more consistent about turning over my hips and getting the blade of my shin normal to the target surface while still keeping my torso fairly upright. I also did some elbow work, having been inspired by this video from Sean Fagan, which I guess I'll have to work mostly on my own since I think we've only done them twice in the eighteen classes I've attended (and one of the more experienced students had mentioned before that elbows and clinching tend to get less practice than other core stuff with this kru). I think it was a productive session, which makes me a little sad that my work schedule will get in the way of doing it often, but maybe I can suss out a good weekend time to do more.
Muay Thai class
Back to focusing on flowing into and out of knees for another Tuesday. I've got no complaints about that; after elbows, knees are my favorite technique family because they're another robust striking point that works very well at close range, and as a shorter person who's training primarily for self-defense purposes, I want tools that'll work well inside of punching range. Whatever I did in the morning session for my left round kicks also seems to have helped, because they felt a little better than usual in this class, but more importantly, the kru mentioned there's a kickboxing seminar happening in the Toronto area being run by a former world champion nicknamed "Carnage". If that's Nathan Corbett (which I think is likely, both because "Carnage" doesn't seem like a common nickname and because he'd mentioned being on about a month-long seminar tour in his last YouTube video), I absolutely intend to be there. I'll have to talk with one of my classmates who I haven't really had any contact with for more information (didn't seem to have a good opportunity to do so after this class), so even odds on whether that part of the whole experience ends up being positive or negative, but getting to learn something straight from Corbett would almost certainly be worth even the worst outcome there.
Muay Thai class
We did the rotating line of padwork drills today, which I'm told by another student is something that happens when everyone's sucking (I doubt this is actually the case; more likely it's something the kru decides to do based on class size and what she wants us to train); my conditioning held up pretty well for the first five stages, needing just one brief moment to catch my breath, but I was running on fumes for the last one. Honestly, though, I don't feel too bad about that, because I was also going fairly hard on all of them (despite one of the students suggesting I pace myself to avoid gassing out). We also did a little boxing-focused work at the end, using smaller target mitts and mixing in some slipping mid-sequence. I always like it when we add in some movement or defense, since it feels more useful that way. Also, the seminar is indeed being run by Corbett, and it's even being billed as focused on elbow strikes! It sucks a bit that the timing overlaps with this week's sparring session, but I can't just skip learning about that straight from "The Golden Elbow" himself.
Muay Thai class
It was a very small class today, for whatever reason. I also came earlier than usual, but there was an actual reason for that; I noticed after the last class that one of my gloves was torn on the exterior between the thumb and palm, so I wanted to talk with the equipment shop manager about that. Fortunately, that seems like it'll be easy to resolve; he took a photo to send to the fabricator and get replacements. Aside from that, I got to work with one of the larger students for padwork this time, which was a good experience. I'd worked with him once before, and I felt much more capable of holding the pads for his strikes this time, so maybe I'm getting better at anchoring myself. Unfortunately, the person I had agreed to spar with this week wasn't at the class, so I couldn't let him know that I'd have to skip sparring for the seminar. I suppose I'll just have to apologize about it the next time I see him.
Nathan Corbett seminar
This was fantastic! Not only was Corbett a good teacher, but he was also very down-to-Earth and open about his experiences, and he sprinkled in a lot of talk about the psychology of fighting that resonated with me (such as not practicing to waste time and game the system to win a judges' decision; get in there and do everything you can to put your opponent down, and if they're good enough and tough enough that it doesn't go that way, at least you can face the outcome knowing that you didn't hold anything back, which adapts well to my own purposes for learning how to fight). I think he's also even more attractive in person than he is in video, and one of my classmates was also quite enamored with his appearance, so that was a nice bonus. It was a long seminar (roughly five hours, including travel time), and part of me wishes Corbett hadn't altered his approach to mix the elbows in with typical boxing sequences to fit better with the general Muay Thai style in Canada, but overall, it was a wonderful experience that I'm glad I was able to take part in.