The level of training we are doing in MT class has definitely been amped up a notch this year.
The system is a bit tweaked. You can tell that the instructor was very disappointed at the shape some of the other people were in at that last test, so now every class is ending either with sparring or conditioning. Next week we are evaluated for a stripe on our sashes. That will be a no brainer for me.
We are doing a lot more sparring in class now. About 70% of the advanced class dons the headgear right now. I just won't, and I can't. If you do not have headgear on, you are limited to what is called "body boxing", where your hooks go to the shoulders instead of the head, your jab goes to the chest, and so on.
I need a broken nose like a hole in the head right now. It does sort of make me feel a bit wimpy, being one of few in class without headgear on, but so it goes. Wimpy is sort of a relative term. I still get hit in the head on occasion, and, of course, get kicked and punched everywhere else on my body. Not to mention knees and other fun stuff in the clinch. Sparring is 100% exhausting.
The nights are very long at the gym. But in a good way. After my strength training I have class, then fighter programs. I have been running the fighter programs as we are short one instructor at the gym right now. The guys and gals really seem to appreciate the fact that I am doing it for them.
In sparring, the fighters are really going at it - at times I have to tell them to back it down. Even with the headgear on, bloody noses are a normal, every day occurrence. Not for me.
I am noticing my weight starting to go down again to levels I am not comfortable with. I will need to ramp up my food intake another thousand calories or so to make up for the insane amount of work I am putting myself through. But I enjoy all of it, and the people at the gym are becoming like an extended family to me.