Thursday, February 17, 2011

Golden Gloves Tomorrow Night

How often do you & your friend/significant other/mom look at each other & say:

"What do you wanna do?"
"I dunno. What do you wanna do?"
"I dunno."

Tomorrow night is the final night of the 2011 Golden Gloves competition for Travis County. Tickets are only $10!

Everyone says MMA is so brutal blah blah, because once your opponent is down you jump on him & try to pound him into submission or break one of his limbs. The thing is, boxing has always scared me way more. In MMA there are loads of ways to win or lose - choke out, tap out, knock out, or just be outmatched.

In boxing someone is hitting you in the head, hard, over and over and over. I think that's scary.

Needless to say, I'm gonna go watch some boxing tomorrow night. If you'd like to come, too, click here for more information.

Boxers are brave and they are incredible athletes, and boxing has been a way out of poverty for young men as long as the sport has existed. Come support these local fighters and do something different this weekend. I guarantee you'll have stories to tell at work next Monday. I hope to see you there!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Doctor Is Not In The House

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, so I'm not telling you what to do, I'm telling you what I do. Use your own brain regarding your own body.

My forward fall breaks & side fall breaks are decent. My back fall breaks, not so much. We'll have to do high fall breaks at my next Phase, so at a couple of workouts every week, where I have access to a crash pad, I practice them. The goal is to help me get over the fear of falling backward through the air as much as practicing the technique.

So the other day when I was flinging myself to the ground repeatedly like some sort of confused schoolyard bully trying to steal my own lunch money, I managed to whack the back of my head on the pad quite nicely. Not too bad, no little flash of light, but a couple of hours later my neck stiffened up & didn't want to swivel my head around the way it's supposed to. No real injury, just an inconvenient boo-boo.

That night in GB's class we practiced slow sparring & Matt kept grabbing me by my headgear & slinging me backward & forward to headbutt me. I was gritting my teeth because he's already being so careful not to bust open my gut where I had the surgery, so I figured I should just suck it up. However by the end of the class someone yelled, "Stop slinging me around by my damn head, my neck is killing me!". The voice sounded suspiciously like mine - my mouth betrayed me once again. As I listened to his brief by heartfelt lecture about how it's my responsibility to tell my partner these things (shut up, please) I wiggled my head & shoulders around, & guess what? His cruel massage fixed me. My neck felt totally fine.

We get lots of inconvenient boo-boos in Krav. The question is, when do you train through it & when do you stay home & watch Family Guy? For me, the general rule is if its stiffness and soreness from training, more training will make it go away. Go to class. If it's a limb that's out of commission, I have other limbs. Make accommodations for the the injury by protecting it, not using it, etc. Go to class. If there is a risk of making an injury worse so that it will remove me from training completely for a week or more, or if my doctor says, "wake up!" then I'm watching class only, or watching Family Guy.

It can be difficult sometimes to be objective about our own lives and our own bodies, so the goal is to take one's ego out of it. Training when our situation is less than perfect teaches us to endure and to persevere. We can do much more than we think we can, just be smart and don't make a moderately bad situation worse.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mateo Says So

My sweet friend Matt is amazing. Seriously.

That's him in the pic with me on the top right corner of your screen. I've often wondered if he knows he makes it all look so easy, and I'm happy to find he does know that. He wrote this blog post recently for Fit and Fearless' website, and he's been gracious enough to let me borrow it for y'all to enjoy. Every word he says is true.

How To Be Amazing

Have you always been athletically gifted? Are you one of those people to whom martial arts flow from your limbs as if you were born to strike? Well if you are NOT one of those people, you are like me. I know that a lot of times when I teach class, especially Combatives Conditioning, I may make things look simple, rather, easy. I know that sometimes if you take class with me, it may seem that I struggle much less than others or perhaps not at all. Trust me, this has not always been so. Everything that I have attained thus far is a product of hard training, commitment, and repetition, repetition, repetition. Did I mention repetition yet? Good.

For the purposes of this blog, for this post, we are going to FOCUS on KRAV MAGA only, although this can be applied to almost any aspect in life.

I work like crazy at the things that I care about and appreciate. If I am not good at something, I will work at it until I am good at it. If there is an exercise I hate - I do it until I love it. I do it until I am good enough at it that only a malicious exercise combination or very ambitious amount of reps will make me weary of it. It becomes some form of obsession. Let me tell you that when I first started Krav Maga around 4 years ago I practiced EVERYWHERE. While I was in the car I would practice where my hands would be in a fighting stance and at the lights I would practice inside defenses dry. I would punch and focus on body rotation and form in the shower (slowly of course). If I ever did any ab workout or was just lying on the ground watching TV I would ALWAYS get up "the Krav Way". I would turn corners in the house with elbows, hammerfists, whatever I could think of! ... What is the point in all of this? The point is this - although I might make it look easy, which sometimes it might be for me now (depending on technique), it has only become so because I put in the work and continue (keyword: CONTINUE) to do so.

We have just concluded the New Years Resolution month - that means, it's time to separate the "Talkers" and the "Doers". Those that talk of big change, of moving forward, and of perfecting a technique or skill-set AND...those that ACTUALLY DO IT. Be the one that DOES it. There doesn't have to be any losers either. If you are reading this post there is no reason you can't be a "Do-er"

So a student comes in, he wants to learn Krav Maga. He starts training and then gets distracted, he does a technique a few times and wants to do something else. He does a gun disarm five, six, times and says, "I got the basic idea." No my friends, this is not the way, this is not the way of the warrior, this is not the way MY instructors trained - this is not the way I train - this willnot be the way you train.

Commit to your training - do whatever is necessary to be the best for yourself, for your family. Use wraps and gloves, take cardio class to gain some endurance, take conditioning classes, get some private lessons, use the Level 1 classes to PERFECT the techniques you "already know" - if you are a level 2+ student please do not get caught in the mental trap of being "too skilled" for Level 1 classes either! Commit to yourself - commit to your training and do whatever is necessary to achieve your goals!

I was focused on what I needed to do, nothing else mattered. It is simply a mindset. You go for it, you don't stop and look to the side of the road; you just keep driving. It all starts in your head.

Do today what others won't and tomorrow you will do things others can't!