Training Diary: Week 8

Two sessions of Grappling and one of Taekwon-do this week.

More take-downs in the first lesson this week which was cool. Some sweeping type techniques from Judo too. Then some work around the guard in terms of passing, countering sweeps, disrupting the base of someone sitting high in your guard both by pulling in their upper body and some other sweep like movements. It was a nice class format in terms of breaking down where we were getting stuck and what sort of techniques we might use from that position. When rolling, I had some interesting situations come up where a more experienced student got some chokes in from the top but I was able to elevate both their legs and sweep them over, usually straight into mount.

I seem to be in some regards to have pretty strong joints as I seem to have quite a bit of time to escape a number of the submissions (though I am sure an expert could make me tap straight off) and have pain higher in the leg before any pain in the ankle for a heel hook. I put this down to the basic small kinds of flexibility you get from doing martial arts for a long time but that no Taekwon-do black belt would ever notice developing. A lot of our stretches, especially in the arms are exact mirrors of how the arms would be in various locks and the complex and uncomfortable stances do build up some strength and flexibility in the legs I would guess. However, as always, the tendency is to take things too far and a slight “tiredness” in my shoulder suggests that I should return to my initial practise of tapping super early. However, the constant pressure when pushing from a bent knee position or maintaining guard clearly shows I will need to be picking up a lot more strength in this position and I’m sure some flexibility there will follow too.

Taekwon-do lesson this week the first thing approaching a full lesson since the end of the summer. The instructor didn’t mess about and went straight into combinations with ten repetitions each side. Cardio fitness is much lacking, as Taekwon-do line work is much more tiring on your cardio fitness than the slower pace of hitting pads with contact. In a sense, it exposes that the myth about hitting pads and rolling being enough is not entirely true. Some faster paced light work can really push you even further.

Some sparring in the lesson too but my stamina is way down, not having the opportunity to train in the Summer. The other thing that goes without practise too is the light footedness and quicker reaction to initiate fast counters. It will be good if I can pick that up gradually over the next few sessions whilst we have a huge influx of new students. I’m going to try and increase my flexibility and confidence with the turning kick too which will mean going for more head kicks in sparring (something of new territory for me as I’ve usually kept it basic with kicks to the body and punches to the head) and trying to get better techniques when drilling at fast pace.

Next week, likely a little more Taekwon-do than grappling as I need to get back into it and possibly help the new students.

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