I've just spent the last few hours winding down, and having a sulk about my foot. I was sparring this evening, and despite my spectacular shinguards, (SMAI sock-type) I managed to catch a foot on foot mutual right leg kick. The other guy was fine though, and the hit shouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that I am currently suffering from a healing Hematoma (spelling?) on the top face of my right foot, just below the instep.
It was a poor timing and spacing judgement on my part. and I paid the penalty for it.
So while I sit here nursing my injury, I'll recount tonight's good points.
The night started off really well. The skipping passed largely without any brutal toe-whipping incident, and my drilling partner was a much younger guy (20 y/o, I'm 31) and really talented with natural athleticism. (I suspect he was a rugby player in college, I'll need to confirm this.)
So we started with a double left jab to right round elbow combo, and this was heaps of fun. Once you have your spacing (and pacing) worked out for the double jab, the round elbow just feels so smooth and natural, and combos that flow smoothly are really nice for fast drilling. The next combo we did was a huge overhand right following a double jab. This one was actually a little more awkward, since we were still using thai pads rather than focus pads for a fairly technical punching combo. The overhand right needed to be drilled at least 80-90% power with encouragement to really smash it as hard as possible, this made incorrect pad holding painful for our partners. (we COULD have changed to focus mits, but my partner and I were in a good rhythm, and wanted to keep up a good pace without stuffing about changing pads).
The next combo we worked on was also pretty tricky, too. It was a left jab, into a swift left round elbow, into a loaded right round elbow. Legit Tekken stuff. Working the left jab into the left elbow took a bit of practice, but once the left elbow finds a home, the loaded right elbow once again, flows pretty smoothly.
The final combo drill was more of a 'super-combo' drill. It was jab, cross, left hook, right round elbow, loaded right round elbow. A genuine 'guard-breaker'. The final elbow was so punishing, we generally ended up taking a full step backward while holding the pads afterwards to accomodate the follow through.
With the drilling finished, we started sparring. Now, although the class is a Muay Thai class, please understand that a significant portion of the boxers are also MMA fighters, including several sponsored amateurs. This means that takedowns from clinch are acceptable in sparring, as kind of a house rule, we just don't chase the fight to the ground. (we are supposed to be doing MT tonight after all) and the first round of sparring actually felt like an exhibition match.
This was pretty awesome actually, there were a few beginners at training tonight, and it's actually kind of an honour to be instructed to spar in front of the class. I felt honoured, anyway :D It was me and my drilling partner I had for the evening, and we had clearly established a good pace with each other, so I felt pretty comfortable sparring with him. We quickly established a sparring 'rapport' and once we found our distance, we picked up the pace. I am a big bloke with short arms, so I like to climb inside and take the clinch if possible, and if not, just to barge in with elbows, leg kicks, and knees until I CAN take the clinch. Once I had this position, I (in an almost gimmick-like fashion) tagged my partner with a picture perfect Tai-Otoshi (threw him to the ground with a leg trip to those without judospeak). This solicited snickers among the room, and myself and my partner alike giggling along with it. Thirty seconds later, this room-wide infectious giggle would transform into uproarious laughter once my partner grabbed me from clinch, attempting the same throw, but lacking the same background in Judo, fell victim to a pretty straightforward reversal, him ending up in precisely the same position on the floor he occupied less than a minute previously. The timer rang, and we took our well earned breather, and had a chat about our little 'match'. We agreed to take another 3 minute round, and this time - be a little more businesslike about it. That's precisely what we did. Looking for openings with leg kicks and jab-hook type combo's, trying to be more of an outside fighter; I'm hoping it will help round-out my game. Due to our sparring rapport, we both changed pace up once again, starting to punish a little more rather than just tag with the kicks. We both got some great shots, some great blocks, and even a little more scrappy clinch action.
After our little bout was over, the whole class split up into pairs for individual sparring. There are quite a few different personalities and ages at the club, so we have (on the same mat) some beginners sparring against each other nice and slow and technical, and also some amateur fighters on the other side of the mat, preparing for RING COMBAT RAWR and therefore sparring at an appropriately competitive level. I got a chance to spar with both the competitive guys and the beginners, and at this stage of my martial development, it's really great for me to have such diverse partners.
Well, I'm pretty exhausted, and I'll do what I can about updating this post with photos, but other than that, tomorrow night is MMA fundamentals and BJJ night. I'll deliver another report at that time.