I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago. On top of my normal Muay Thai lessons I am taking a six week course in holding pads properly for a fighter. The pad holding course is for an hour before my regular class.
We are two weeks into the pad holding course and we are already seeing tons of improvement. Believe it or not there is a right way to hold the thai pads and focus mitts.
We have spent a lot of time getting the basic combinations down and talking about the psychology of a fighter - what they need, what they don't need, what they want and don't want. It is really involved and pretty fascinating.
In the later classes we will be shown how to hold pads on the ground to help train the guys (and girls) in the gym who are training in MMA. Kick...f*cking...ass.
I am having a ball with this. With the pad holding you can get so creative and watch the other students and fighters - and tell them what is wrong, or right. We also motivate and condition the fighters. Tonight I asked a guy to quit dropping his left hand about ten times, then yelled to him to KEEP YOUR F*CKING LEFT UP. The instructor walked over to us and said that he was watching everything that was going on and approved in a huge way. So did the fighter that I was working with. What fun. I can't even explain what a rush it is mixing it up with the fighters, calling off combos to them and helping them. It is truly art in motion when you really get moving. We really create a good bond between everyone too - they are training and we are helping them.
I am getting a bit worn down though. I do the pad holding for an hour (half of that time I am hitting for a pad holder) and then I do an hour of my regular Muay Thai classes. My shins are a complete mess since we are currently doing a block of kicks and defense for kicks. Even with the shinpads I am bruised up pretty well. Two hours of MT is tiring, to say the least.
Not that I am going to quit, but I might skip one of my weekend workouts to rest up a bit. Nah, I am a zealot, I won't be having any of that. I can rest on the Fourth of July or something.
The gym is really becoming a community. There are seminars going on all the time and a lot of people will be attending the fighters upcoming bouts. I have heard that we are going to be having some UFC nights where the gym will show UFC fights on a projection TV for everyone. Also, there is even a nutrition seminar coming up that I will be attending - I am looking forward to that as well. Outside of Muay Thai, there are several things coming up for the MMA and Jiu Jitsu guys, and a great seminar about how to fight effectively on the street. That will be sweet.
I would like to take a moment to thank my wife who is probably not reading this. She lets me abandon the family twice a week every Tuesday and Thursday night to do my thing at the gym and I just want her to know that I really appreciate it. For the record I also go to the gym on Saturdays, but she is always at the barn doing horse stuff at that time. Anyways, thanks hon. Oh yes - don't forget - you got me started in this stuff.