Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Snow gone, wind dropped a bit - at least the flagpoles along Seafield Road weren't bent double this morning and the sea was staying where it was supposed to be instead of being up and over Newhaven Road! It's still sleeting and horrible but since it's currently not lying I can live with that.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Today's training

On the plus side, I at least made it to spin class today.

It's been a while - probably 3 weeks, if not more - since I last did spin, so I kept the resistance lower than I normally would but kept my speed up. Class was good and I'm glad I went. I always miss spin when I don't go regularly.

Since I didn't make it the hospital, I broke out the home training again tonight.

I started with general mobility work to loosen off a bit, then went straight into some kettlebell swings. I cranked out an easy 25 on the 8kg just to warm up, then another 25 on the 12kg and finished off with a working set of 50 on the 16kg. I also did 100 bodyweight squats to keep up with the 100 reps challenge.

I finished off with some chi kung exercises and a bit of kung fu stance training.

Today was one of those very difficult days at work, and I wasn't particularly inclined to train tonight, but I'm glad I got stuck in. I certainly felt better afterwards.

In other news ....

I got a phone call from the hospital earlier tonight to tell me that my mother is being moved to a different ward. This is the 4th or 5th different ward that she's been in in 2 weeks. By all accounts they're still no closer to finding out what's actually wrong. And thanks to the lovely weather that we're having, I wasn't able to go visit her tonight :=(

Not happy

It is snowing. I am not happy.

I *hate* driving in the snow.

personal training

Finally got back to my personal training on Saturday there.

I started off with chi kung exercises and some kung fu stance training. Then I went on to mobility work before getting stuck into 100 reps:

25 star jumps
25 bodyweight squats
25 press ups
25 crunches

On Sunday after I did my chi kung and stance training and mobility work, I finally picked up a kettlebell for the first time in a while.

I went for 100 swings along with 100 reps which were the same as Saturday's, ie:

25 star jumps
25 bodyweight squats
25 push ups
25 crunches

Once these were done I did some kb presses, first with the 8kg then with the 12kg and then with the 16kb. Then I cleaned two 12kgs to the rack position and did a couple of sets of squats. I then finished off with a set of swings with the 16kg. I did a little bit of stretching and then hit the shower.

challenge update

Challenge no 1 - kettlebell swings
Long since finished - thankfully!

No 2 - 'Lent'
Surprisingly, still going strong. Nearly caved last week though. Was v late leaving work and was absolutely starving. Managed to only lick the vending machine instead of buying any rubbish from it.

No 3 - chi kung and mobility exercises
Unfortunately largely went the way of my other classes and training over the past couple of weeks. Pretty disappointed with that actually, although I got back into the swing of it over the weekend.

No 4 - 100 reps
See above.

Last night's krav

UTP was MIA due to having hurt her ankle. We missed her :=(

We were a small but select bunch who were really put through our paces last night. The warm up consisted of a series of races, done in pairs:

Whilst one of the pair did star jumps the other sprinted out and did either - punch bag, squats or pressups. You then sprinted back and your partner sprinted out and did the same whilst you did star jumps. We did two each of the three exercises for a total of 6 races. My partner duly informed me that I was a nice shade of pink at the end - I think he meant puce actually!

We then went on to our pad work, moving quickly through our combatives. Then we looked at getting up from the floor in a hurry, in case we fell or were taken down by an opponent. That was interesting - I was fine right up until the bit where I had to bend or push off from ma poor wee tootsies.

From there, we went on to defending what I suppose would best be described as 'rear naked chokes'. Somehow I don't think the krav defence for this would be entirely legal in the MMA world!

We then had a quick trot through checking and parrying an outside hooking attack before the lovely Lee lined us all up and had a swing at us all - all in the interests of verifying that we knew how to defend this attack, of course. Then we split into pairs and practised attacking each other. Cue loud sounds of flesh on flesh impact! Sincere apologies to the poor guy that I think I kind of really dunted at one point - hope it wasn't as bad as it sounded :=(

Overall, a good class. Definitely a good workout anyway.

On the plus side ....

.... ma wee tootsies weren't ever broken, just badly sprained.

I popped them along to the osteopath on Saturday, along with a 'tight' shoulder. He's an excellent osteopath but derives way too much amusement from the things I do to myself lol. He does always tell me that at least I bring him "interesting" things to work on.

Difficult and challenging

That's about the kindest description of last week.

Not only was my mother (who was 80 in February) still in hospital, but significant redundancies were announced at work. So far, it would seem that I am not currently at risk. I suppose I should be grateful / relieved / pleased etc, but it's hard to feel anything for myself when lots of other people will have to leave. I think there is more of this to come as well. The situation is not good.

At least I finally got to go and visit my mother last week. She's in a high dependency ward (which tells its own story I suppose) and I wasn't allowed anywhere near whilst I still had the cold. She certainly better than she was when she went in, but her doctors are still no closer to finding out what's actually causing her symptoms. She has low blood pressure and can't walk without falling over. Actually, she can't even sit up for very long. All a bit worrying really.

I was on annual leave on Friday and spent a chunk of the day charging around doing bits of business for her, eg paying bills, sorting out her pension etc. It's a really good thing she set me up with access to her pension and bank accounts at the tail end of last year really.

I suppose I should be glad that she's at least in the right place, but I don't exactly live next door. I'm not a million miles away but far enough that I don't get into the hospital as often as I might like. Still, just got to get on with it I suppose. There are worse things that could be happening right now.

That didn't last long!

Being 'back', that is.

My cold got worse and the last thing I felt like doing was training. I was halfway ready for krav on the Tuesday, but realised the best thing to do was to stay home. So I did.

And it panned out that I didn't really do much of anything last week either. I just felt so run down and out of sorts.


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I'm b-a-a-a-ck!

Went to krav class night, despite tender toes and a cold. And I survived without too much pain.

I chose common sense during the warm up and walked instead of running. Felt a right numpty though when I got 'lapped' several times. After the warm up we moved on to our benchmarking. I normally like the challenge of this, but I was a bit concerned that I maybe wouldn't do as well as I could due to my cold. Well, I shouldn't have worried about that! Shoved a menthol cough sweet in my mouth and off I went.

Press ups: 60 (55 - improvement of 5)

Bodyweight squats: 175 (140 - improvement of 35)

Really, really wanted 200 on the squats. The legs were willing but the rest of the body cr@pped out on me! Felt a wee bit wobbly - esp around the arms - afterwards and it took me a wee while to get into things once we moved onto the pads.

We started off working alternate palm heel strikes - jab, cross, jab. Once we were comfortable with that we worked on punches, elbows and knees - jab, cross, straight elbow, upward elbow, knee. Here we were training the footwork and body positioning for each strike. Finally we added in shin strikes delivered off a roundhouse kick, first one then two. Lee quite correctly picked me up for not kicking properly, but UTP jumped in to remind him I had a sore foot! The kick was right footed so I needed to spin on my dodgy left foot which I was being wary of.

We also practiced hammer strikes from a variety of angles - high downward, side and low downward. Lee pointed out that this particular strike is much more effective when the arm is kept relaxed until the point of impact. Hammer strikes are fun!

We then looked at defending a roundhouse kick. This involved a variation of the 360 degree parry from last week. Essentially it's the same move, but delivered at a low level to parry (or indeed catch) the kick as it comes in. The parry takes the defender off the line of the attack, puts the attacker off balance then allows the defender to move to a zero pressure area where they are chest to back with the attacker. This allows the defender to deliver a variety of moves, eg kick to the groin, hammer fist to the head etc.

This led onto to hubud. Hubud is similar to the pelampas drills I've done previously. The one we practiced last night involved defending a right hook attack on the inside using your left arm to check the attack, then folding at the elbow both to 'pass' the attacker's arm and to begin pressing it down. You then bring your right arm up to continue to pass the attacker's arm across their body, and then use your left hand to press / check the arm down across their body.

Although I'm used to this style of drill, I found it hard to remember to 'fold' at the elbow before passing the arm. I'm not sure if this is because I've just gotten used to just passing the arm 'high' then checking down or if it was a height (lack of) issue. It was certainly easier to fold when working with UTP who is shorter than me. The folding movement certainly makes sense, so worth practicing.

This was a v small class - only 5 of us and just the one guy. Poor guy fairly got picked on for the demos esp the kicking to the groin lol.

Got spin class today, so it will be interesting to see how the foot holds up for that. Will decide later about krav class tonight.

Monday, 15 March 2010

bruised but unbowed (and unbroken)

Decided not to waste NHS time by going to have my toes x-rayed as I was walking much better - albeit slowly - by Saturday morning.

In fact, I'm *almost* back to normal today, although it might be a wee while before I'm running or jumping / skipping again. Now all I have to do is work the 'kinks' out of my calf and the opposite hip which took the strain when I was hobbling about ....

Of course now that the toes are better, I've got a cold lol

Friday, 12 March 2010

uh oh

Showed toes to Uni Nurse (henceforth known as "Nursie"). When Nursie had finished laughing, she suggested it might be an idea to show the toes to a radiographer at my local A&E dept. I did ask her where her sympathy was - she said I'd find it in the dictionary between 'sick' and 'syphilis' and if I made an appt she might be able to rustle up some compassion ....

On the plus side, so far the cat has not stood on my toes. She's a hefty lump (bit like myself really lol) who likes to sleep on the bed with us and is noted for clomping over your feet and ankles during the night.

this week's classes

Despite the whole Busted Toes Incident, this week hasn't been a total loss in terms of training. We have had:

Saturday - circuits
This was a bit of a 'mean mother' of a class, to be honest. We had:

standing rotations with a 7kg medicine ball
kettlebell swings and snatches
rollouts with ab roller
ladder (to improve foot speed) with bodyweight drills at either end
plyometric jumps (I was pants at these on the first circuit, but nailed it on the next)

Once we done several circuits of these stations we moved onto kettlebell drills (eg swings, presses, squats etc) followed by some bodyweight drills. Then it was onto the bags for some timed combinations, which inevitably end up being more challenging than you think they ever will be. We finished off working the Thai pads in pairs, with the padholder shouting out the combinations and keeping the defender moving. This one challenges the brain as well as the CV system! Good class, good workout.

Monday - krav maga
This one started off with the challenge of the sprint shuttle runs, in which my main achievement was being slow lol. Once we'd burst ourselves doing that we did some bodyweight drills to really finish us off.

We then looked at some of the level 2 strikes in isolation before moving onto the pads to work some combinations. Poor UTP (Usual Training Partner). I was slightly over-enthusiastic with a front kick and the pad smacked her in the nose. No harm done and she got her own back with the "1, 2, 3 Ow!" dance later on.

We then revised the check / block and counter defence from last week. UTP and I kind of flailed at each other for a bit before we settled into a rhythm. If I'm honest, this one always throws me when done at speed because krav seems to prefer to work this defence on the inside whereas I previously trained something very similar but from the outside. So there's a whole mental flap going on which can make me flail at bit at times. I'm sure it's highly amusing for others to watch.

Tuesday - krav maga
We started with skipping, then moved onto bodyweight drills - 3 sets of:

25 squats
25 pushups
25 crunches
25 star jumps

Then we moved onto working combinations on the Thai pads with our partners. These got steadily more complicated, and moved us through the striking ranges from close to medium to long.

Marcus then split the class into student levels so we could work on the relevant self defence. In our group we worked as a 3 on defence against a side headlock, on parrying and defending striking and on stop kicks. 5 mins from the end we had the whole Bust Toes Incident ....

Wednesday - no class
Not specifically because of ma wee tootsies - I had already signed up to go to a lecture in town.

Thursday - chi kung & kung fu
I wasn't sure how the toes would hold out but it was generally fine. Although I normally find chi kung v relaxing, I was actually quite fidgetty last night. Because I've been limping, my right side has been compensating for the left, so my right hip is all sore.

I wasn't sure how I would get on with the kung fu class, but the Sifu was brilliant. I stayed at the back out of the way and did what I could. In the stance training, I kept my stances shorter so that I didn't have so much weight on the left foot. The footwork training was generally ok, but I was slower to move because I had to 'think' more to make sure I didn't put too much pressure on my left foot. Striking work was fine, kicking was tricky for balance but I was ok if I speeded up.

We had an odd number in class so instead of partner work, I kept on with the solo training then rested my foot towards the end.

Going to class was obviously a risk, but because the training isn't high speed or high impact I felt it was one that was worth taking. I'm finding that keeping the foot moving is more helpful than not.

Today I have much more flex in the foot so am v hopeful that it's really on the mend now.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


My toes have gone several very interesting colours. It should be worth a couple of photos later on lol.

Even though there's still not much 'flex' in the toes, at least I'm walking a bit better now. Driving was a lot easier today as well, which is all good.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Well, a couple of toes any way.

I suffered what would be best described as an "imapct" injury at krav last night. Now, I'm not 100% sure what happened, as I was looking at the guy I was kicking rather than at my foot. We were practicing stop kicks, I kicked and we both think he misread the line my kick took. Result - my tootsies met - I think - the edge of his foot. I think they bent under rather than back. I do know that it hurt quite a bit and sent me to the mat yelping and swearing. Amusingly I did manage to leave the imprint of my toes on his foot so not one he'll forget in a hurry lol.

It was just one of those things, no fault no blame and definitely no malice intended. Poor guy was more upset about it than I was - gave me a big hug at the end.

It was funny though; it was one of those classes where you got that kind of sense of 'impending doom' during the warm up. You know the feeling - that one that says run for the hills cos this is gonna hurt! I have a few lumps and bumps to go with my limp today. I remember pulling my neck / back as well, but again I wasn't the only one. We were working in a 3 practicing defence against side headlock and I think we all ended up with neck / back strains.

I've managed to make it into work, although I was swearing every time I had to change gear. I have to drive into town tonight, which is a bit of a concern. If my foot is really bad though, I will get my partner to come out and get the car.

Maybe I am getting too old for this malarkey ....

Ma poor wee tootsies a couple of days later ....

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

a new dance

At krav maga last night, my Usual Training Partner (henceforth to be known as UTP) came up with a new dance. It went like this:

1 (block to arm)
2 (grasp wrist)
3 (strike to neck)

1, 2, 3 Ow!

1, 2 ... you get the picture!

Dementia has finally set in!

Couldn't work out why I couldn't get into the car last night. Till I realised I had my work 'smartcard' in my hand instead of the car key .... Our smartcard system is good but not THAT good.

A clear case of early onset dementia - must be all those punches to the head lolololol

Some wise words

but not written by me!

Excerpt from an interview with Chris Kent, Jeet Kune Do instructor and student of Dan Inosanto ("Combat" magazine vol 35 no 12, cover date March 2010):

"When it comes to cultivating your body as a martial instrument, do not compare yourself with anyone else. The only meaningful comparison you can make is with yourself. While anatomically and physiologically we might all be the same, variations occur with regard to such things as an individual's age, their genetic pre-disposition, their degree of physical fitness when they start training, and their commitment to training etc. You don't know what you can do until you do it. So don't look round at other people and compare yourself to them. It does nothing but waste your time and energy and has noting to do with your own path. The level of skill of another is irrelevant to you because they are not YOU. Be your own story."

I think this is brilliant and probably should be given to every martial arts student and definitely to every instructor. I actually parted company with a couple of instructors because whilst they claimed at the outset to respect every student's differing physical abilities and skillsets, the reality was that they didn't really understand that no matter how hard they trained, not everyone could be as physically able as their favourite students. One went through a phase where he got very angry and confrontational when people couldn't meet these arbitary standards. This is the same instructor that I overheard tell one student that his severe asthma attack was all in his mind. Unsurprisingly I left shortly afterwards.

Don't get me wrong here - I'm not saying that instructors shouldn't be able to define the standards of fitness and skill which are required as students progress. Nor am I saying that these must be set to some kind of lowest common denominator. What I am saying is that any such standards should be set at a level that the average person could achieve with appropriate training and support. Where possible, allowances and adaptations should be made for those with physical or health limitations. Perhaps students could be rewarded for improving on their own performances rather than being punished for failing to reach standards that may have been set by people half their age and without health limitations!

Training in the martial arts / combat sports has so many benefits to offer, and it concerns me that people are missing out due to the impatience and ignorance of a number of instructors. I can understand how rewarding it must be for an instructor to teach those students most able to learn and learn quickly. I can also understand the extra work that must be involved in offering classes that continue to attract and challenge the top students, whilst keeping the less able involved. But how rewarding to see those same less able students progress!

If some of this reads as bitter, it actually wasn't intended that way! I have had some unfortunate experiences around the martial arts in recent years. I am 42 years old. I am short, fat (let's not beat about the bush here!) and have hypothyroidism and asthma. Despite the medication a wonky thyroid can have significant impact on both physical and mental capabilities. The amount of grief I had from more than one instructor for not being as able as some of their other students wasunacceptable at times, and this was despite me putting in extra effort in my own time to learn! For this reason, I have huge amounts of empathy with those students coping with far greater challenges than my own.

I am delighted with what I have achieved through practicing martial arts. I will probably never be a world champion now (too old) but I've done things I would never have thought possible (handstand pushups anybody??). Training has been such a positive influence in my life, in spite of my health issues. I guess I just get irritated at the negativity of some instructors.

Martial arts instructors can have very powerful influences on their students' lives. In an ideal world these influences would always be positive. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Thankfully this is often not deliberate, but is a result of ignorance and inexperience.

I would hasten to point out that this is absolutely NOT directed towards any of my current instructors. I may not always be their fittest or most able student but I've had nothing but encouragement and support from them. I thank them most sincerely for this.

Disclaimer: This post went in a direction not initially intended and may be edited for content at a later date! We now return you to your regular programming.

Where I meant to go with this post: I thought of the words at the top when I trailed in a dismal last during the shuttle runs at krav class last night. Once upon a time (and not so long ago actually) I would have been pretty upset with myself for being last. I would have been looking around at everybody else and wondering why I was so bad at running etc. I would have been pushing myself way beyond my physical ability and probably making myself unwell.

Last night it was more about accepting the fact that I'm never going to be a fast runner, that I would push myself as hard as I was able to manage, and tough if I was last. The speed I did was faster than was comfortable for me and if it was slow for everybody else, well so what. It's all relative.

That is a v grown up and enlightened attitude for me lol.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Maximum power!

I got to thinking about power in the martial arts over the weekend, or more specifically the application of 'force'.

I am short and - well, 'chunky' would probably be about the kindest way of putting it. My lack of height and extra weight mean that speed has never been my thing. I do find it easy to put on muscle so I've concentrated on that. Pound for pound I'm probably stronger than the average woman, at least in the sense that I can lift heavier weights more often. I've certainly found this useful to a degree in the martial arts, since I know that my weight and musculature means that I can generally hit fairly hard. Given that I can also take a punch, it's one of those times where I can effectively use my weight to my advantage.

However, the ability to generate 'force' or 'power' is more than just about physical strength. There is a young American lady who trains with our krav class. She is significantly taller than me, but judging by her slender build, very much lighter. Despite this, she is the real 'big hitter' in the group.

Why should this be?

First of all, heavy musculature (ie hypertrophy) does not necessarily indicate functional strength or power. Many lightly built athletes are known for their exceptional strength.

It should also be noted that strength and bodyweight are of limited use in delivering powerful strikes if those techniques lack skill. Skill is more than successfully executing the technique in isolation, it also includes recruiting the entire kinetic chain - effectively getting your body 'behind' the technique in order to generate force. Skillful technique also includes speed, timing and appropriate target selection.

Clearly this is something this lady is well on her way to mastering, and I'm still in the process of learning about.

Friday, 5 March 2010

architecture and morality

I got to thinking this week about the ethics and morality of blog-writing.

When I started this blog towards the tail-end of last year it was more about having an appropriate ID to comment on other people's martial arts blogs. It was also a place for me to reflect on my own training.

It is a personal journal, but because it's in the public domain and other people read and comment on it, I'm quite careful about naming names. For those that I do name (primarily my instructors), I do my best to do so in a positive and respectful way. One of the reasons I do name them is in the hope that if there's anyone local to me reading then they might be interested in coming along to classes.

I generally won't name the other people that I train with. These guys have signed up to train not to be talked about in my blog! This isn't Facebook, so I feel quite justified in protecting the identities of my training partners.

This was something that I decided for myself, but it's come to the fore recently. Someone that also trains at krav has their own blog where they not only name names but are inclined to seriously 'rip into' the people that they train with. Unfortunately for this person, their blog is visible to those they are friends with on Facebook .... which includes many of the individuals they criticise! Perhaps not the best idea .... I do know that a few of those mentioned in that blog have been irritated by the things that have been said about them.

Now, a blog is a very personal thing, and as individuals I guess we're entitled to express our opinions as we choose, negative or positive. I've chosen to keep my blog for what is effectively positive reflection. Actually, I'm generally quite a positive person anyway, so that's not too hard. On those occasions where I might have something critical to say I'll either front up and say it to the person's face, or I'll go and have a wee rant about it at home and get it out of my system.

Basically - I value and respect the people who teach me and those that I train with. I will not risk the positive relationships I have with them just to try and make myself look better than I actually am. Anything you might read on here which seems to highlight what I've done is just my way of celebrating those little achievements that make me happy. I'm happy to acknowledge the things I'm bad at, and I'll always be first to laugh at myself. There's always room to improve, and I look forward to sharing that journey.

more classes

It's been a busy old week this week. So far I have had a class every night.

Monday - krav maga
Tuesday - krav maga
Wednesday - kickboxing
Thursday - chi kung and kung fu
Friday - ?? decisions decisions

Wednesday - kickboxing
This is a new offering from the Combat Ready gym where I do my krav maga. I've been keen to do either kickboxing or Thai boxing for a while now, partly for the fitness aspect and partly to build on my existing combat skills.

I'm really glad I went! It ended up being a really good class. There was an excellent turnout, with a healthy mix of new starts and existing students. My usual Monday night krav partner turned up, so we paired up and thumped some pads. We did also seem to have a combined mental age of about 10 during the class, and did an awful lot of laughing. We still worked hard though, we just had fun doing it.

Sadly I can't go next Wednesday as I'm off to a talk.

Thursday - chi kung & kung fu
I really like these classes. They're very small classes which really enhances the learning experience for me. There's also a very positive vibe about them, which means that I really look forward to training. The teacher seems quite young, but he has terrific patience with his students. In this particular style the emphasis is on becoming more skillful through training the basics in real depth and progressing slowly. Each week we start with the fundamentals of footwork and stances, strikes and defences. Each time we work on becoming more skillful at these and each time we add just a little bit more.

I do love the poetic Chinese names for each movement where a turning / roundhouse kick becomes Naughty Monkey Strikes Tree.

So far I have found that these classes offer a nice balance to the pragmatism and dynamism of the other classes I do. I love the pragmatism and utility of krav maga and I suspect that it will remain my default combat 'mindset' should I ever be attacked. There is however an art and philosophy to the kung fu that is quite appealing to me.

I definitely prefer the kung fu to the kuk sool I tried a while back. I just couldn't get engaged with that at all, and I think it was possibly because everything was done with such a degree of speed and complexity that I found it became quite stressful for me. I certainly don't intend that as a criticism of either the art or of the instructor (who is excellent) - it just didn't work out for me in terms of the way I prefer to learn. I certainly enjoyed the very physical challenges of the training - it appealed in the same way that the krav does - but I can be quite slow to pick up new and complex motor skills, especially if I feel pressured to do so. I do like to be challenged and pushed both physically and mentally but I found that I just wasn't a good fit for kuk sool. It was a shame, as there were a lot of really good people in the class.

My martial arts journey has certainly been an interesting one so far!

challenge progress

Challenge no 1 - kettlebell swings

No 2 - 'Lent'
Still going well, actually. Is a surprise to me lol ....

No 3 - chi kung and mobility exercises
Still keeping up with the chi kung. Have let the mobility slide a wee bit which isn't so good.

No 4 - 100 reps
See mobility above.

Since I finished challenge no 1, I haven't quite managed to incorporate the 100 reps and mobility work back into my daily life. When I was doing all those swings, it was easy to mix the 100 reps into the KB sets. Next week I will need to work on doing this.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


my right shoulder hurts.

That is all.

Carry on, chaps.

classes, classes

Saturday - circuits
Marcus and Lee were both away on a course so lucky Michael got us for circuits. It was an interesting mash-up of the standard type of stations that Lee has us do (loads of kettlebells plus bodyweight exercises), plus lots of padwork. I think everybody enjoyed the padwork because a lot of it was kicking tae kwon do style, inc the infamous jumping 360 degree turning kick. This particular kick has no real application outside of sport sparring but it's fun to do and good exercise.

Monday - krav maga
OMG - shuttle runs done sprint style! I am a s-l-o-w runner, and my asthmatic old lungs didn't especially enjoy this wee warm up. I suspect that I'm probably too heavy ever to get v good at this, but that certainly doesn't invalidate the exercise. Was glad when we stopped though lol.

I was really well chuffed for my usual Monday training partner - she totally won this one, destroying all the guys in the process. Way to go!

In krav we worked some combinations to warm up:
Jab, cross, hook, knee knee
Jab, cross, hook, round kick etc

Lee quite rightly picked up that I have become quite "tappy tappy" when punching. I think this is a partly me not wanting to upset the pad holder by leathering the pads too hard, and also I think my distance is wrong. I always seem to think I'm taller than I actually am(!), so I tend to be further away from the pads than I should be, therefore my strikes are losing some oomf by the time they land. I will need to work on this ....

We then started looking at what I'm guessing may be a variant of the krav 360 defence. It's basically a check, parry move against a straight punch. We trained to use this from inside the punch. I know this particular move, or very similar, from my previous training, but there we were encouraged to utilise this defence from the outside. It's good to train it inside as well, as you may not always have the luxury or opportunity to move to the outside.

Tuesday - krav maga
Wot? 2 days in a row? For some mad reason, it seemed like A Really Good Idea to go to last night's krav class. It was a big class. It was a good class. I was the only girl. I have many bruises, esp on my foot where if I got trodden on once, I got trodden on about 20 times!

We did much skipping to warm up - slightly tricky on a crowded mat lol. I ended up with the world's shortest skipping rope and kept clouting myself on the back of the head. Was better than catching my toes though, as that really stings!

We also did loads of pushups. I can manage 'wheelbarrow' style (where your partner lifts your feet off the ground) but the handstand variant was well nippy! Is good thing our partners were supporting our legs cos my balance isn't that great these days. Mind you, first time we tried I landed on my face lol.

There is a real gulf in intensity between the 'mixed' (read: guys plus the odd female) and women-only classes. We leathered some pads to warm up, then started adding in a takedown or two. I'm fine with takedowns but it was interesting last night because:
a) the Thai pads didn't half get in the way (cracking noise on breakfall though lololol)
b) the guy I was working with is lovely but he's a big hefty lad and I was toiling to make the takedown really work for me.

We then worked as groups of 4, effectively doing a Circle of Death. One person attacks and takes the defender to the ground. The other two then join in and all 3 give the defender a right kicking(!) The defender then has to pick their moment to regain their feet and get away. This was an important skill to practice, as it was training several things:

1) the importance of using the 'foetal position' to cover up and defend your face / head and stomach / groin.
2) using momentum to regain your feet.
3) picking your moment to regain your feet.
4) still covering up while regaining your feet.

It was also good in terms of learning to take some good hits! Mind you, thank god for all that MMA training - my mate Tracy hits harder and is meaner than any guy I know. She has lamped me some beauties over the years and I was grateful for that last night!

Marcus chose this moment to point out to the guys that they should hit me just as hard, something along the lines of since I'd chosen to come to krav then I needed to take the hits lol. I did, of course, point out that not only did I get to hit back, but I know where it hurts .....

Then we went back into our pairs and did a drill where the defender takes a shot to the face, covers up then moves into their attacker until they can manoeuvre their opponent into a chest to back position. After we'd worked that for a bit, we started adding in a takedown. This takedown seemed like a bit of a combo between a hip throw and a shoulder throw. Slightly tricky for me to achieve with my partner, due to his size and his reluctance to be thrown. Was carnage on the mats though, with bodies everywhere!

Overall, good class although my shoulder is nipping like beggary this morning. Have no idea what I've done it. Probably combination of all those bleedin' push ups and falling on it ....

Monday, 1 March 2010

challenge progress

No 1 - 10,000 kettlebell swings
Day 13 26 Feb 750 swings
Day 14 27 Feb 1,000 swings
Day 15 28 Feb 2,000 swings

Total: 10,000 swings or 100% complete!! My hands are in *bits*!

NB I may do a wee mop-up session. I did count swings complete in things like the circuits classes, and I don't know that I'm that happy about that now. They're as legitimate as any other swings, but I'm anal about that sort of thing ....

No 2 - 'Lent'
Still going fine. Ate out on Saturday and avoided both fizzy juice and chocolate.

No 3 - Mobility and chi kung exercises
Still doing both of these

No 4 - 100 reps
26 Feb - 100 crunches
27 Feb - 100 bodyweight squats
28 Feb - 100 bodyweight squats

Now that I'm finished with the swings I will be able to expand on my range of exercises again.