Archive for February, 2010

To tap or not to tap

February 20, 2010

If it’s possible to choose between a fight or flight response, six months ago I would have opted for flight every time. Even up until six weeks ago I’d have preferred to bolt for the exit than fight back.

I can’t say that ‘flight’ is a conscious decision. It’s just that my natural response has always have been to get out of a situation before getting involved in one.

So, of course, standing my ground in a ring has been a tough mental battle with plenty of tears and frustration. But for the first time last Thursday something inside of me felt very differently about sparring. I felt what could have been aggression for the first time! (Much to my trainer’s relief, I’m sure.) Rather than counting down the seconds until the final bell, I didn’t want the round to end. Had I had the chance to get back in the ring again I would have done. To finally feel that way having wanted to feel like that for so long was amazing.

This ‘fight back’ mode seems to also be translating in to Jiu Jitsu training. Rather than opting to tap if someone has something on me, I’ll fight with every inch to get out.

I’ve been waiting to turn this corner for nine months and it feels great to have arrived. However, it has come with a downside: my reluctance to tap. As a result, in the past few weeks I’ve passed out cold from a choke (an odd, if not entirely unpleasant experience) and, frustratingly, succumbed to an old rib injury after battling to (successfully) escape an arm bar.

With only two weeks until Thailand it’s an incredibly annoying injury that’s sidelining me during a time when I want to be going all out. But I’m taking the advice of people who know better than me and laying low for a couple of days. I don’t do ‘sitting still’ very well but it’s time to get a perspective on things. For nine months I’ve trained hard to be in a position where I can step in to a ring in Thailand. That time is nearly here. If I have to take it easy for a couple of days in order to still get there then so be it.

Perhaps it’s time to watch something of those fight films I’ve had lined up for so long.

14 days to go and counting. Bring it on!

Interesting female MMA blog

February 8, 2010

Came across this blog today about female mixed martial artists. This girl has a 19-0-0 record. Yikes. Very impressive.

We share roughly the same weight and height but she’s a few years older than me….so there’s hope yet!

http://femalemixedmartialartists.blogspot.com/

Mental preparation

February 2, 2010

I originally thought I might write an update on last week’s ‘countdown’ but, in all honesty, it’s been very similar to the previous week (aside from a bruised nose from sparring – mental note: chin down, gloves up!)

So, instead, I thought I’d write about what I’ve mostly been experiencing this week: Fear.

It was only yesterday that, while stretched out on the gym mats, the enormity of Thailand finally sunk in. For nine months, life has been about eating well and training hard. Thailand has always been so far away but now only five weeks remain. Everything I’ve trained for is only a matter of weeks away; weeks that I can count on one hand.

I sunk my forehead on the mat and took a few, very deep, breaths, trying to get a handle on the mixed emotions jostling away inside: Fear, excitement, intimidation, motivation. But among all those, the one thing that stood out was how much I really, really, REALLY want this. When I step in to the ring, I’m aiming to win and if I can knock her out all the better (for someone who doesn’t normally fight it feels kind of odd to say that, but I think my mind is beginning to finally believe the words that are coming out).

It’s both physically and mentally tough, and so, so far out of my comfort zone that my body and mind are dragging one another to a place where neither one of them are entirely at ease yet. The whole thing has been a journey and a life-changing one at that. The pivotal point is only weeks away and the seriousness just kicked in.

So here’s what I’m concentrating on to help prepare for the fight:

  • Knowing myself and my strengths so that I can be confident in my combinations
  • Stop focusing on what my opponent might do and focus on what I’m going to do
  • Build my aggression to the point where pain doesn’t matter…but not so far that I burn out
  • Believe in the victory and visualize it. Say that it is going to happen. The more I say it, the more I will believe it
  • Not be put off by my opponent’s mental game; just focus on myself

If anyone has any other tips on preparing for a fight or for competition, I’d love to hear them.