It has been a while since I posted a photo of the coveted "pantalones caliente". So why not put one up with the purple sash that I earned last night?
Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about testing here. To review, I really don't like the tests too much. I deal with stress and sh1t in my normal life with job, family, and all the rest and use the gym as a sort of "escape" from the every day stuff and to get a good sweat on. The last thing I want to deal with is my instructor putting me on the spot for a missed technique or asking me a curriculum question from the last block. But so it goes. I talked about it once again last night with my instructor and the book is pretty much closed on the subject; our gym tests - and so shall it be.
One good thing I found out last night is that my sparring is really improving. My fears are starting to go away and I am starting to develop a "game". When I was a beginner, my mission was to throw a single technique and get out of range. Now I am probing my opponent, looking for weaknesses and setting things up. I am becoming a much more complete fighter.
I sparred one of my rounds with a pro fighter last night and did pretty damned good, if I don't say so myself. I used to dread sparring with the higher level guys, but I cherish and welcome it now. I hate sparring with women. No offense to the women, but they are simply no match for me when we get into the clinch. I am just too strong for them. The women in the advanced levels are highly skilled and you can see that when they spar. But I am not just going to sit there and let them pot shot me from range. For them, I just eat a leg kick or something and then get into the clinch with them and they are toast.
But it is a different story with the higher level guys. When we clinch it is a war at times so that isn't the desired strategy unless you feel that you can absorb damage better and dish more out. You have to work your overall game.
I am starting to notice that I feel the blows from others less while we are sparring as well. Things that used to send me to the floor don't even phase me anymore. From this photo you can see that I took (at least) one to the snout last night - I didn't even know it happened and didn't notice the bruising until this morning. That is a good thing. Honestly I am not sure if this is damage from punches or elbows.
Remember in sparring we always try to pull our techniques so we aren't totally killing each other. But at times, sh1t happens. My legs are pretty well chopped up as usual, and I have lots of cuts and other stuff on my arms.
All the ab work I have been doing is really paying off for me though. I remember distinctly getting kneed and punched in my liver/kidneys. It hurt at the time, but I really don't feel that bad today. All in all a good night.
We have one more lesson on Wednesday, then a seminar on Saturday and that is it until January. My body will like the break since everything always ramps up in intensity right before the tests. And I have a running race on New Years Day. Yes, it never stops.
Oh yea, one more thing. I realized last night that I am almost half way to earning a black sash. Six years is how long it takes to earn it at my gym. I have been doing MT for just over 2.5 years now. What a life changing experience this has been.
I think the best part is having a new "family" - my dysfunctional gym family. They really are great people.
Lastly, as always, I need to thank my lovely and wonderful wife for allowing me the time to go to the gym twice (or more) a week. I couldn't do it without her. Although she will give me the berries tonight because of the facial bruising. As she should.