So this weeks post is a little different. I normally post a Martial Arts Week post. However, this week ended in a culmination of a test. The hardest Muay Thai test I have ever attempted in my journey. I have been prepping for it about 4 to 5 months.
We have been doing extra pad rounds. We have been working on our technique, and our cardio. We have been doing test rounds to get used to the test, and upcoming pad rounds.
We have been talked to, discussed strategy, tried to recreate the test as best we can. But ohh boy that adrenaline drop, you cannot recreate that. Not exactly as it is this first time.
I have been nervous about this test. I have been working on making my everything better. The nervous anticipation has been ramping up, and this last week has been super hard. Its great that I have been busy.
However, beginning of this week… my nerves shot through the roof. The night before all I could tell myself was what I told myself before a big test in school.
“I know what I know, there is no way to cram more in.”
“Khun Kru would not let me test if I was not ready.”
” It is what it is, I can only do my best to pass and see what happens.”
That was all I could tell myself, but that did not stop the creeping doubt. It just staved it off Wednesday night. No training, just working at work.
Day of test: Thursday 02/27/2020
I go to work at 4:30 am. I have to get my orders done and then get home. Being busy helps to keep the mind off of the looming test.
But once I got home. I had to make sure I had all the equipment I needed. The hour before the test, I felt a little nauseous. All I could think was. I don’t want to fail the technique demo, the boxing 20, Thai 15, and I don’t want to fail the test rounds.
At the Gym:
Everyone was encouraging. Everyone was telling us we had this. I was happy, and appreciative of the positive
I see that Shane is going to be feeding my first round. That is when the fear set in. This dude is called action hero for a reason. His physique is amazing. he is built and hard to move. Full of muscles and I have trained with him before. Checking kicks from with Thai pads on left me with bruises on my shins for weeks. I love the man but he is terrifying.
I sat at the corner, and my coach Tony told me to sit back/lean back and relax. I sat back but relaxing was not easy to do. He told me to keep my feet on the floor and, “have you ever been sky diving?”
Coach Tony, “well when you jump out of the plane you can’t get back into it. You will keep going. You have to do this now.”
Me: I just nod.
The music/drums are going, the bell rings, and the adrenaline drops. My vision narrows. I don’t hear and see anyone else. Just Shane who is feeding me. I start kicking and getting knees in. He is teeping me. I know he is. I feel the impact but not the pain. I feel the torso kicks but not the pain. I know they are landing, but my adrenaline is pumping so hard, I don’t feel a thing.
I get through the round to my surprise. I did not realize how much the adrenaline drop takes out of your energy reserves. I felt like it was a 30% drop in my reserves, and my cardio preparedness.
When the round stopped, my corner team guided me back to the corner, and it was good thing they did. I don’t know that I would have gotten there myself. I half heard what Tony and Jorge were saying. They asked me if I needed anything. I could not even tell if I did. Tony was massaging my legs and calves. There was a haze. I could not see anything else but what was in front of me.
The bell goes off again, and I am off. The second round felt like I was drowning. I used to be a competitive swimmer. I have done many races, competed in hundreds of meets. Never felt like this. I had to keep going. I could barely hear the people yelling. All I could see and hear was Khun Kru Krysta in front of me. All I knew was I had to keep going, no matter how many times I was hit. I could not even get a shield in. I just had to keep going.
The ending bell goes off and I am done. I finished. I did my best. She gave me a hug, and they led me back to the chair, and my corner. I just wanted to get my gloves off. But my training paid off. I was gassed but recovered after about 30 seconds. Yay for training. I did not know how my numbers were at the time. I was just happy to be done.
I was shocked to hear my numbers. It was surreal to be done.
This test consists of:
- Technique demo ( kicks, elbows, knees, teeps)
- Boxing 20 drill
- Thai 15 count drill
- The the pad rounds. 2 x 3 minute round with 1 minute rest between.
- you must get 60 kicks and 40 knees per round to pass
- you must get 60 kicks and 40 knees per round to pass
My rounds numbers:
First round 70 kicks 45 knees
Second round 82 kicks 47 knees
82 kicks on the second round! That is nuts.
We were congratulated by everyone. There was a lot of clapping and cheering. It was amazing. We all three of us who were training passed the test. Woot!!!
Khun Kru Krysta said when awarding our red pra jiad, “Sometimes our tests are to see what you know, this test is for US to show you what you know.”
That will be something that something that stays with me for the rest of my life. I was honored to receive my red student level 2 pra jiad/armband after the test. (note: you can see the progression chart below)
This is a milestone, because at this point my instructors/gym said we are able to with the proper training now, to go into the ring and fight if we want to. That our coaches and trainers will corner us if we so choose to go down that path.
The next day: Friday 02/28/2020
I was sore, in a way that I have been working out and my body is tired. I was just tired. I wanted to rest. We took it as a rest day. My trainers and coaches said to rest. We did not have to be told twice.
I wanted to rest for several reasons.
- Physical: My body was tired, it was telling me to rest and recuperate. I was sore and tired.
- Mental: We had been training for months for this test. I just wanted a break. We no longer had this test looming over us. I did not have to think about what it meant, what I had to do, and how I would have to perform to pass. It was a huge weight off my shoulders.
- Reward: For hard work we passed, and we were able to just rest.
I thought hrm… I am not to bad off. My ankle was a little pissed at me but other than sore, tired, and muscle aches I was ok.
We did absolutely nothing, and it was wonderful. We went out for Pho for lunch and the broth and veggies were absolutely wonderful.
Training day: Saturday 02/29/2020
We were back at it. This time just for an hour. I was still tired and slightly sore but over all doing well.
Boy did I learn something. I was slightly sore, I just wanted to be lazy. That was my bodies way of telling me hey, we still need to rest. We start doing pad rounds and every hit to my torso was painful. Not in a way that I am dying. But in a way that yeah I was teeped there a lot, I had two people kicking me in the torso there. So every knee, teep, or kick I could feel it. I could feel parts of my abductors that were damaged not horribly but would make themselves known when they were met with impact.
Its funny laying on the couch or in the bed or even sitting, did not reveal these little fun pains.
Don’t get me wrong I could handle it, I was just amazed. I thought I had gotten out of the test pretty unscathed.
Oh and my ankle feels a little jammed or annoyed. Not certain, but does not feel terribly off. Just need to let it rest and stop irritating it.
I learned something knew about the test. The required kicks and knees are part of it, but each test is individualized to a certain extent. When we were training, we were told to keep our numbers close to the 60 kicks and 40 knees, because it showed that we were doing well at managing our time and pace. So when I got 10 and 20 more than I needed for the test part of me worried that I did it wrong.
My trainer wanted to test me on my resolve, and my ability to avoid over thinking things. Because you see, I get into my own head. I mess something up and it had in the past derailed me. If I get hit I think, “wow I should have shielded that, I messed up.” Or I think, “wow I failed to get the flow right on that technique.” Damn It! I get down on myself and tell myself I could do better but then it makes me stop. I know I need to fix this and just keep going.
So she wanted me to keep going, when I was completely gassed, and almost unable to keep going, she wanted to see what I would do. Would I get into my head. Would I put my hands down and just stop? I did not and I kept going. I told myself the day of and right before the test rounds. “Do not think. Just do. Do what you trained for. Just do it.” I did not want to over think thinks.
She told me as well, that she knew I could take a beating and keep going. It was the test of how much in my head would I be, and could I keep from over thinking things.
This was an amazing test, and I feel like I have passed a hurdle, and as silly as it sounds, I feel like I can progress even more now. I have come to a check point and I am now at a different level. It all might be psychosomatic and just something in my head. But I will take it.
I am going to take this momentum and keep going. I am going to keep running, keep training, keep learning and most of all keep learning to avoid getting into my own head, and getting down on myself.
I recorded each of our test pad rounds. There were three of us testing for our red pra jiad this test. Here they are if you are interested.
Thank you for reading. I hope you success in all the of you endeavors, and tests in the future.
Up for me next: more training, more conditioning and getting ready for the Thai Camp this summer.
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