Saturday Bo Staff, and Striking workout…Wood Jokes, Hit me Harder, Muay Thai Fight

2.5 hours of Bo Staff training, and Striking. Then I got to go to Amateur Muay Thai Fight my team mate was in. Woot! Health update…my tests came back all normal, and I am allowed to go back onto BCAA’s again. The protein he was seeing was the excess my body was not using. I have a small cold given to me by my lovely germ filled children. =) But other than that I am good to go. So I took yesterday off of working out to let my body heal.

I got to go see my teammate, and fellow student at a amateur Muay Thai fight yesterday. There were 7 fights on the card and it was super fun. I am sitting here at home typing this up, and enjoying just having an off day with a cup of coffee. I got home at about 11 pm last night and did not have the juice to finish this post.

Bo Staff Training – Wood Jokes

Today in Bo Staff training, the wood jokes abounded. We were all joking and yucking it up. It was a beautiful day, and we soaked up some needed sun while learning how to control a huge piece of wood.

I took video of us working on Bo Staff drills because I have had a few friends asking to see what we do. =)

Bo Staff practice Watik Staff Drill. I got a fist bump by my awesome teacher Kru Krysta.

Bo Staff practice Redondo Staff Drill. As you can see I need to remember to keep my hands about 2 fists apart and not hold the staff like I am holding a baseball bat.

I got a fist bump from Kru Krysta. She said I was doing really well. Its nice that the Kali practice we do translates well to the Bo Staff. We just have to manipulate the butt of the staff a little differently.

Striking – Hit me harder

In striking we worked on parrying and counter attacking. We often learn how to throw a punch properly. We drill doing combinations of strikes, like hands to feet, feet to hands, knees to hands, and elbows to knees. We shadowbox those things as well. However for striking we worked on parry and entries after that. Catch a punch, parry a cross, slip, gut punch, upper cut, cross, then leg kick.

Working with one of my friends who is newer to this than I am I was being gentle. He asked me if I was hitting him as hard as I could. I looked sideways at him and said no, not at all sweetie. He said, “ok hit me harder.” I laughed and said ok I can turn it up a notch. I did and he said go up again. I continued to adjust, because he wants to learn how to take a punch. So I kept my intensity in my punches at the point where I could hear him grunt.

Striking class was fantastic, and I am looking forward to sparring more. Which is new for me. I used to be super scared and nervous about sparring. Worrying that I was going to mess up, or forget all that I have learned. Yay progress!

Amateur Muay Thai Fight

Now on to the most exciting part of my day by far. I was super excited for my friend Jorge. I was excited cause I have never gone to see a fight in person before. I have gone with my class mates/fellow Muay Thai training partners to a bar to see a Pay Per View fight, but never in person. The energy was amazing.

There were 7 fights on the card. Including 1 exhibition fight. The video below is just Jorge’s first round. They were three 2 minute rounds. Jorge did a great job. Just getting into the ring is hard. Hell I have a hard time sparring still.

Here are some things I realized and learned while watching this. (Note: I realize this is me watching from an outside view, up in the ring I would not have this perspective, and would be more focused on trying not to get killed. =) )

  1. Kru Kristen is right when she says, “you never rise to the occasion, you will resort to your worst habits when the adrenaline drops and you are in the ring.” Like dropping your hands while fighting, instead of covering your head.
  2. I could see what both Kru Kristen, and Kru Krysta mean by people over committing, or just committing to a punch, and the openings for using their movement against it.
  3. You can tell who has been training Muay Thai and those that are just MMA fighters.
  4. I got to see a haymaker windmill. (don’t do the haymaker windmill… it does not work) This one dude who was fighting was clearly an MMA fighter, and his punches were very wild, coming out wide, and he was trying to muscle them in. He would over commit on a punch in his effort to muscle the punch in. In that time he would be off balance and if his opponent was better at Muay Thai he would have used his momentum to drop his ass on the floor.
  5. Cardio is so important. So many of the fighters were getting gassed, after the first round.
  6. The last three fights – the one before the two main fights and the two main fights, the fighters were using combinations. They were doing hand to foot, foot to hand, combos, knees, and keeping their hips in when in a clench so their opponent could not knee them. This made for a better fight, and far more interesting to watch.

Going to the fight was awesome! I really loved getting to go and see my friend fight. I really liked to go and get to have some social time with team mates. I am going to keep working on my combinations, keeping my guard up, and looking for entries, and using my opponents movements/momentum against them.

This is a day late, but I got it done. I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Thank you for reading. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Saturday Striking…Pak Sao Da, Violent Rainbows, and a kick for good measure

I missed Krav today because I got home from work at 1130 pm. I was exhausted and really did not want to wake up. I decided sleep was more important. I only did 1.5 hour Striking workout today. We focused on JKD, or Jeet Kune Do.

Today we worked on dealing with a jab, and returning a strike. For instance we worked on what to do when some one was throwing out noise, or just crappy jabs that were not committed. We need to watch the body movement for when they commit to a jab and put their body into it. One way is the Violent Rainbow. Where when they jab you perry, grab the glove pull them in, and elbow them. I then like to grab a hold of the person and then knee them or kick them for good measure.

We worked on slipping the jab, and then hitting them with a gut shot. Coming up with a uppercut, hook, cross, and then a nao tek. Or what is referred to as a nut shot.

The hardest part is watching the other persons body, and realizing when they are actually going to commit to a shot. You have to do this analysis all while you are parrying incoming hits, and trying to avoid getting hit in the face, or kicked for that matter.

It seems to me that a lot of people do not realize how much brain power goes into these arts/sports. When you see a person get into the ring to fight it just looks like two people going at it. You don’t see what they are actually doing internally. You have to:

  1. protect yourself,
  2. you have to block hits
  3. you have to return hits
  4. you have to look for openings
  5. you have to also look for committed shots so you can use their momentum against them
  6. you have to learn to read people
  7. you have to look for minute shifts in their stance

These are are hours taken to learn, and so many more hours spent training your body to have a reflexive response. This allows for lightening fast reactions.

I am not at that level yet. I have to actively remember to protect myself/block, I have to consciously look for openings, and I am still studying people. I have however, seen times where I block as a reflex before I knew what I was doing. I have also returned shots/kicks, that surprised my training partner, that I did, because I have been training to get those in, when I get the opportunity to. I assume its my training starting to seep through.

One of these days I hope to have some skill. Alas for now I will just keep training. I had a great day, and it was a fun class.

I hope you all have a great rest of your day. As always thanks for reading.

Thursday Muay Thai and Kali…Thai Rank 1/Level 1 test and Espada Y Daga

Today was an exciting day! A welcomed exciting day because yesterday while I trained Muay Thai for about 2 hours and got good training in. I had a bad head day. I could not get out of my head yesterday so it colored my training yesterday.

I did get into the store and did some retail therapy, I got a pair of jeans that are 2 sizes smaller than the jeans I have at home. Yay for non scale victories. They are from the same manufacturer as my previous jeans… yay! But that is neither here nor there.

Today was exciting, because a friend of mine was going up for her Rank 1 test. We need to celebrate each other. I was excited for her, and was happy to give her pep talks just to stave off some of her nerves. To give you reference. I am 3rd arm band in…or orange. She went up for Student Level 1/ Rank 1. The solid blue band on the chart above. I have 4 bands between me and that test. *eye twitch* Yeah its a bit daunting but I will take each test one at a time. I may be up for testing for green arm band next month. We will see.

We got a chance to work with another person D, and learn some of the things he learned. You see he just got back from Thailand and was able to train at some 8 gyms in Bangkok and is a wealth of information. After training with him, we all stopped to support A, encourage her, and help count her kicks and knees. For this Student Level 1/Rank 1 test she had to get so many knees and kicks in during a three minute round. She had to do two, three minute rounds back to back. She did fantastic and she was awarded her blue arm band. I am so very proud for her. She did fantastically.

Here is a video of one of the rounds that she had while testing.

In Kali we worked on Espada Y Daga again. This time it was not so melty of the brain. I was able to get off the line and figure out my angles. I was able to gunting the 1-5 attacks, and deal with a dagger attacks from the other hand. Today Kali was clicking. I was getting it. My muscle memory was working. I was getting the shots in, and returning with what would be devastating blows had they been real blades.

So over all a great day. I got some clothes that fit better, and got to help support a friend for an awesome nerve wrecking Thai test. I got to practice Kali, and it did not melt my brain today. It seemed to all click. But I am prepared to run into trouble later, when we add another move and I need to wrap my brain around that move and get my body to do the thing my brain is telling it to.

If you got this far and are still reading, thank you! I hope you have an amazing rest of your day. Keep up your work, and keep trucking as we say around here. As always if you are feeling frogy drop me a comment and let me know what you think.

The Team I Love!

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Off Balances and Half Beats oh my!

I just completed 2 hours and 30 minute training.

1.5 hours of Muay Thai. For the first 30 minutes of my training, I did 200 kicks over a foam roller, and 100 knee number 3’s into a heavy bag. We then worked on basics again. It’s amazing even though I know these techniques I was having a hard time with them. It occurred to me when I was working on my jab, cross and then horizontal right elbow that maybe I am stiff cause of weight lifting yesterday. Or I just might be having an off day. We worked on entries after the jab, cross.

Then we worked on off ballances so that we could get range from opponent to get your knees in. We got to do the leg bump off ballance which is my favorite. I was asked to come up and demonstrate it to the class where normally I would hesitate and be embarrassed. But to my surprise as I sit here and think back on it, I jumped at the opportunity and to do the move on guy taller than me. I was able to execute it so fast and accurately that he almost fell over and my instructor was impressed. It’s a great off ballance for me cause I am short and shorter than everyone in our class. My instructor always says use what you have to your advantage. If you are tall use that if you are short use that. So I get in close and my opponents cannot see my hits coming if I am fast enough.

The mind bending Kali was also fun. We worked on off beats in Kali. Where we were performing standard six and adding a witik into it. I like the outside deflection witik and the lower back hand almost gunting type off beat. I messed up a lot, and you just have to keep going and pick up the beat again.

Shower and sleep is in order next.

Anyway here is a video of me doing it slowly cause I just learned it today and need to practice.

Again think you for reading and watching. Talk to me if you want. Let me know if you like anything, or want more information on anything I am doing.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Thai minute changes, Kali and chewing gum

I am going to try to document my Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday Thai and Kali workouts here.

I just got home from 2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali. In Muay Thai we were working on our transitions from punch to kicks. I am at a point in my training where it’s it’s minute changes that I have to make. Like kick through the person, after kick bring back and keep knee up. Things I have to consciously apply to get my body to do it. I got a compliment on my speed again from a few people and a compliment on my punches to kick transitions from my Kru. Just have to keep knee up.

In Kali we worked on High box, Low box, and Middle box. Double stick is a brain workout. Making your body do the things you need it to do and avoid getting hit is a full time mental activity. My practice partner was talking to me and getting my brain to think other things. To hold a conversation about something completely different to what my sticks were doing was like listening to a skipping record. I had to start and stop my sentences to keep my hands and feet moving. It’s like trying rub your tummy and pat your head. Or for us even less skilled walk and chew gum! 😃

Thank you Kru Kristen DeBruycker, and Kru Krysta Scharlach

As I write this up I notice a bruise blossoming on my foot just now. Lol 😆 I did not even register I might have hit the edge of the Thai pads wrong.

Anyway thanks again for reading and my adventures will continue on. Let me know what you think, what content you are curious about.

Starting Muay Thai at the age of 37…What is it like to start a combat martial art? Am I crazy?

I started out life athletic. I was lucky and tried various things, soft ball, volley ball, tennis, swim team, and water polo. I had the traditional tiger mom, that wanted me to have a sport, have straight A’s and play at least one instrument. Tiger Mom: a strict mother, who stereo typically is Asian, rules with an iron fist, pushes her kids to succeed in academics, music, and sports. She uses tough love, strict rules, and discipline to force her children to succeed. What ever bad or good she did, I have a drive to do well, and be the best I can be.

Swimming was what stuck. I loved swimming and the feeling of the water. I loved the feeling of getting better at a skill and seeing it in my competitions and winnings. I loved how my muscles felt after an intense day of training. I loved it all. My strokes were 200-meter Butterfly, and 500-meter Free Style. As you can see I am a distance athlete, and always have been. I swam through part of college and then life happened. I stopped doing it and during my early 20’s I stayed pretty much the same. But always that drive to be the best at everything I do.

Fast forward to 28 and having my first child. I let my body go after stopping swimming. I did not take care of it, and I did not do any exercise. When I was pregnant I was told not to start a new workout routine, and since I had not been doing anything before pregnancy. That meant I could keep my sedentary life. I don’t need to explain that I became soft, my cardio was shit and I did not care because I had my new little one, and another one on the way only 9 months after my first was born.

Fast forward again to 37 and I am 3 years 6 months into my fitness journey. I have been lifting weights as well as running. I feel because I started off as an athlete I was better able to get myself a schedule and set myself goals to strive for, then execute. Repetitions, cardio ladders, burning muscles, and sore delayed onset muscle soreness (D.O.M.S.) is all normal and expected.

My husband the love of my life, an introvert, handsome, amazing father, and computer geek, that did not do a day of workout in his life. Decided he wanted to start getting healthier. He started running and about one- or two-months in. I am not certain the time frame I was not keeping track of his workouts only mine. He said he was interested in checking out this gym. My curiosity had me asking 20 questions. Because if it can interest him there had to be something to it. To my surprise he wanted to try out Muay Thai. I was shocked, and impressed, and super supportive. I did not have a desire at first to try it. I was squarely ensconced in my routine of running cardio and Heavy Weight Lifting. I was happy to have him have something to investigate and look forward to doing.

For two weeks his love for it burned so bright, he would come home buzzing. Telling me the things he learned, how hard it was, and how even though he was tired he was so jazzed. I laughed as he went through the learning process, about gassing, body confusion/muscle confusion, and his D.O.M.S. He would say wow I did not know it would hurt this much but also how much I just look forward to doing it. For you see he did not understand why I regularly went to the bench and did a super set to fatigue and would hurt the next day, then do it again. There is a high, an adrenaline that you get when doing it and a satisfied exhaustion that takes over your body when you ask it to do that hard thing and it comes through.

I was intrigued as to what would get my husband to go and keep wanting to go. So I decided to check it out. I was hooked after the first class. The energy in that gym was fantastic. There was no judgement at my inability to do the things they were asking. Yes, I am strong, yes I can lift heavy weights but this was a completely different skill set. Asking different things of my muscles.

So now I have been learning/practicing Muay Thai for 9 months. I started April of 2018. I love it, and I sit here right now slightly sore from last night’s class and know tomorrow morning I will be a little sorer than I am now. Then I will go to another class that afternoon and will loosen up and start the muscle abuse all over again.

What is it like to start Muay Thai, a combat martial art, at the ripe old age of 37?

What is Different:

  1. Frequent D.O.M.S. – I feel D.O.M.S more frequently than before. For me I feel it about 24 hours after my workout. It seems for husband it’s more like 48 hours.
  2. Joints hurts – When I first started my joints hurt a lot more now it seems to have evened out.
  3. Stretching – Stretching is more fundamental to my survival now, than it was when I was teens to early 20’s. If I don’t stretch well I will pull a muscle.
  4. Exhaustion – I am exhausted but still have to deal with my kids, household chores, and work. =)
  5. Supplements- Pre workout drinks, B.C.A.A.’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids), and caffeine, are really helpful.
  6. Muscular Skeletal support – Glucosamine, and Chondroitin are also helpful.
  7. Muscle gain, and weight loss – not as rapid as before.

What is the Same:

  1. The muscle burn is the same at any age – at least for me.
  2. Cardio has bounced back fantastically
  3. D.O.M.S. seems to resolve itself in the same amount of time as before. – As I mentioned before I will be slightly sore the day after, late the day after or early morning second day I will be sore, but it will be a non-issue after second day concludes.
  4. The satisfaction of learning how to move your body, get it to do what you want.
  5. Tired satisfying exhaustion after an intense workout.
  6. Team comradery  

What is New:

  1. Bruises – So many bruises and having to explain to my customers that I am ok and not battered. I did it to myself. I am training in a martial art.
  2. Being amazed at the power of my body at my age.
  3. People being impressed that I am learning this amazing art form.
  4. Confidence – I am surer of my actions, and I know I can handle myself if for some reason an altercation happens.
  5. Coming into myself – you see when I had my kids, they were my world, I did not do anything for myself, and I lost my sense of self. After 9 years I did not know who I was any more. I was their mom. I loved them. But I was not the same as before.
  6. Getting hit, punched in the face, kicked – Not as scary as it was before. Still getting used to it, but much more used to it now.

I would be leaving something out if I did not say that the thought that I am too old to start something like this has not crossed my mind. I worry that maybe people are laughing at me. But then I find myself in the gym, and I forget all that. I am at a place I love, doing something I love. I will keep doing it till I can’t any more.

So yeah, I am much older now than when I was swimming. I let myself go for a while but decided one day to pick up the reigns and untangle all this mess. I have a family, and a rich full life. I have a hobby? No… A sport?… Maybe… I have a new love, and it is Muay Thai. I am growing and learning and will continue to do so. At this point in my training I am third prajioud or armband/orange armband. (Armbands are similar to belt system in many other martial arts.) That means I have passed three tests. The armbands have a tradition of being given to the fighters for good luck. Now we are honored to have our Kru give it to us. I have risen in the ranks. I have surpassed some of my fellow gym mates. I am amazed that I have gotten this far. I will keep going and keep learning. I will…

Thank you for reading this far again. I am amazed anyone reads my blog. I started this blog just as a place to put my thoughts down. I seem to be able to unpack everything inside my head when I put it on paper. As always talk to me, leave a comment and have a wonderful day.

Next Blog: Kali melts my brain but I love it!

First Workout of the Year

I completed my first workout of the year. Woot!

Today I went and worked on Muay Thai for 1.5 hours. Today is New Years day and we did not have class today so we thought we would get into the gym during open mat time and get some work in. More practice makes me better.

My goal for this session is to warm up with footwork. Being able to move helps you avoid being hit. Then work on cardio/conditioning rounds that fatigue the muscle. This makes it harder to execute the exercise and creates muscle memory during fatigue and stress. The theory is your body will know what to do in auto pilot when in a fight when you are tired and stressed out. Finally I always need to practice form and execution of the moves. The more practiced and relaxed I am the harder I hit.

Workout/Training:

  • I started off with a warm up of the agility ladder for 10 minutes, and then some stretching.
  • We then worked on the boxing 20 combination.
  • I then did a set of conditioning rounds that were 3 minutes each with 30 second rest period in between them. (I am a puddle of sweat and sucking air after those.)
  • We worked on four counts, they consist of left kick/cross/hook/right kick, left kick/cross/hook/left kick, right kick/jab/cross/left kick, right kick/jab/cross/right kick.
  • I then did another set of conditioning rounds that were 2 minutes each with 30 second rest period in between them. (I was dead after that.)
  • Worked on some elbows, off balancing your opponent, and clench work.

Then it was time to go home. I needed to make new years diner for us. Can I tell you that using the vegetable spiral noodle maker after punching tells you just where your muscles  are sore and tired. I need to remember to roll out my muscles later tonight.

It’s a special time in our family. New Year we celebrate on English New Year but with Japanese food. Because you see I am haffa, or half Japanese. So we had rice, chicken, and veggies. We ended with the traditional mochi and other special sweets. The kiddos loved it and we all enjoyed our time together.

It was a great way to punch in the New Year. Keep being awesome and kick some ass everyone. Happy New Year to you all. I hope this year is filled with love and happiness for you all.

(I added a video under Moving Pixels, it is of me doing a Thai 4 count. I am still a novice and have to work on so much, so keep that in mind while watching. I have received the Orange band or third band up.)

Next Blog: Healthy Snacks, Hells yes!