We seem to have a bumper crop of new fighters at the gym. As always I am there to help.
Speaking of, I have a reward of sorts coming. One of the best fighters at the gym has an MMA fight this Saturday night. He asked me to be part of his crew. I will be one of the guys who gets to walk to the ring with him, and will help out cornering. More than likely I will be the one who carries the water, towels and stuff, but I was honestly pleased that he asked me. I have trained this guy on the pads pretty strenuously for the past several months and this was his way of thanking me. I am totally stoked as I have never been ringside for a fight, and can't wait to hear the leather snapping into the flesh and bones of the poor opponent. The concensus in the gym is that this one doesn't go past one round.
But back to the new guys. There are a lot of guys training at the gym for some fights in September - our gym usually does what is called a "12 week camp" for most fights. Some of the new guys look pretty good, some look not so good. All are a bit out of shape and need a lot of work. We will get them in order, of that I am confident.
The first few rounds of training, we did some basic drills. We are still teaching the new guys how to hit pads, and what drills we like to put them through. After that there was sparring. Pretty ugly stuff. But they are new and I remembered how I looked when I was sparring early on. Timid. No self confidence. Afraid to unleash my techniques. Scared. Tight.
I couldn't take it any more and told them that they each had to go a round with me, and the others had to watch and learn. And learn they did. The new fighters were presented with a blizzard of punches and kicks from me. One of the larger guys thought he could throw me to the ground in the clinch, but my strength training paid off and he quikly found out that the clinch was "my house". The new fighters all tired toward the end of the round and then I picked up the pace.
It was a good exercise for them. They don't know yet how to be confident in their abilities. They need to get off on their angles; just walking forward and putting out techniques is so 70's.
All the time I was very encouraging and pumping them up on the good things that they did. And they did some good things. But they have a long way to go. I can't wait to see them in 12 weeks for their fights.
I told them last night that they will hate me in training, but love me when it is time for the fight. And that is true.