Last night's testing was probably the most interesting one I have been through. This is my third testing. Over a year and a half at Muay Thai now. Man, how time flies. I am glad I have been documenting this journey here - it is pretty interesting to go back and read my old posts on MT. For me anyways.
In the beginning of the test everybody in the advanced class was asked a boatload of questions on combinations and how to counter. Everyone missed some questions. It was tough. I can hardly remember what I did yesterday, much less a clinch defense from four months ago. But I got all of them right that I was asked except for two or three. Better than most.
Later in the test our group really got it together for pad drills and a flow that we had been working on for quite some time. At the end the conditioning was tested. After doing the flow for two rounds (this is very tiring as you are hitting pads the whole time) we did two five ups. These are pyramids of kicks where you kick 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 with each leg, while giving a punching combination in between each set of kicks. That is 30 kicks. We are expected to complete this in a short period of time (approx 60-90 seconds) so you really need to motor. After that, two rounds of sparring (I will get back to the sparring later). Then, push ups, abs, running, squats and some other stuff that I couldn't remember. In all, about an hour and a half and the test was over.
The class in general received a pretty good tongue lashing after this one. This is in contrast to the last one where the test was phenomenal. The instructor was obviously disappointed in the class, and noted that class attendance was down, people weren't helping each other with encouragement, and that the class was out of shape. I am none of those things, but he was really trying to make a point and I think he did. I feel that he grudgingly passed some people who were there, but also think that in the future he will just not let people test if they don't attend class enough. We will have some new people in the advanced class next year and maybe that will motivate some of the guys to get more out of themselves.
I received recognition as having the best test in the class. I was pretty honored, and received a gift certificate for money off the pro shop. This comes in handy as I need new gloves in a bad way.
My whole left side is pretty sore today from the sparring we did. I was matched up with a guy who has been there forever and he was very good, but so was I. He caught a lot of my kicks, and even caught some of my knees (never been there before). We both tossed each other to the ground several times. He delivered one body blow to me that almost put me down but I recovered and pushed through. That one I can feel in a big way - no bruises this morning, but I guarantee there will be some battle wounds showing through in the coming days. By the end of the second round of sparring he was gassed and I was able to pile up some points and had my way with him from long range. It was fun to kick and punch him without getting anything returned. I was extremely happy with my sparring, and my strength training really paid off in the clinch as always. The instructor complimented me on my sparring and told me for a guy who isn't planning on getting in the ring I look pretty damned good out there. I was very happy.
Today is my first sports massage and it couldn't come at a better time. We have just two more classes, on Saturday and Monday, and these should be easy, "wind down" type of classes before we start into curriculum again next year. The gym closes on the 23rd until Jan 5 so that will be a welcome rest for me; while the gloves are hung I will just do some basic cardio on the stationary bike and treadmill. My body needs the break - I have been training pretty intensely for this test. And I am glad I did.