The journey of an aspiring fighter #36

Published On October 13, 2013 | By Helen Harper | Blog

You can say what you want about the Thai’s, but they know how to know a good party! Last night myself, Ben (Nguyen) and Fiona (Muxlow) went off up to Phuket Town to celebrate the Vegetarian Festival in style. More on this later including photos!!

As usual a quick rundown of my week’s training with a few random comments thrown in for good measure:

Monday 7th October 2013
I don’t know what’s happening to me, be I swear I am starting to enjoy my Monday and Friday sprint sessions. I really pushed myself this morning, and felt really good afterwards. The mornings that I do work outs before work (Mon, Wed, Fri) I always feel so much better all day – but I know if I did them Tuesday and Thursday as well I would be too tired. As everyone always preaches at me, rest is as important as training!
Kicking off the week in style with MMA sparring, it’s so good to be back!! Don has us drilling a bit too, so we are able to get more in the zone before we start actually sparring. I for one find this really useful because after I rush to training from work, sometimes my mind is still on “work” so it needs to be warmed up to “training”. As we all know, these things are 90% psychological…
Another beautiful gi class with Olavo followed MMA, I am still so happy to be back to this!! Simple things… I know, I need to get out more… I have been working with Sebastian quite a bit lately during the Jiu Jitsu technique which is great because although he is a little taller than me, he is skinny and light and we are about the same level so pretty much the perfect training partner.

Tuesday 8th October 2013
I am feeling a lot of love for wrestling right now, and it is mainly because of Don. His teaching style really fantastic, I know I go on about it all the time, but I can’t get across just how good he is at explaining things. This week the wrestling techniques we have been looking at, were high crotch take downs and defenses, and I got a few legit takedowns in the live rounds!!!! I was so proud!!!!
Boxing was interesting after Steve Petramale’s influence last week, everyone is trying to work the things he has taught us, and looking around it is really making everyone focus much more and think about their technique. Giom has been great at promoting the boxing techniques that Steve taught us, and reminding us when we revert back to our old ways!

Wednesday 9th October 2013
Explosion workout was not so bad this morning, I usually feel like my calves are going to split in half for the rest of the day after doing this in the morning, but today it was pain I could deal with… and I beat my time AGAIN wooooo!!!!! The first round I got 5.24m which was distinctly average, but the second round I got 4.47m!!!! So I was really happy with that. It’s really not getting any easier, but at least I am making progress with my times.
I had a pretty rubbish day at work, because everyone decided to start bitching at each other, so I couldn’t wait to get to MMA sparring and let my aggression out! Don ran a brilliant session as per, so that cheered me up a treat!
The legend that he is, Don also gave me some help with my striking to take downs after the class, which really helped.
The fourth and last session of the day, BJJ gi class with Tommy today instead of Olavo. I worked with Sebastian again, and we got a good roll in too.

Thursday 10th October 2013
I had the worst day at work I have had since I have been there (2 weeks shy of 1 year) and ended up pretty much crying all day, feeling absolutely awful. The teachers got super bitchy at each other, which was a side to them I have never seen before, and never want to see again. I HATE conflict, which is probably weird as a fighter, but I really really hate it, so tried my hardest to keep out of is as far as I could, however when the teachers were rude about me, I had to stick up for myself. The day left me feeling drained, weak and out of control so decided to go for a run to try and clear my head. I ran the big block which is between 5-6km and definitely felt better afterwards.
After the run it was time for grappling which is my favourite class of the week. Tommy took it tonight and I absolutely love Tommy’s classes, but I just couldn’t focus on anything, and it literally felt like my first day on the mat. I still couldn’t stop crying because all the things the teachers said to me were going round and round in my head, I felt like I was back at school myself. Horrible.  I am grateful for all my friends who spoke such kind words to me and tomorrow is another day – hopefully a better one too!


Friday 11th September 2013
I spoke to a friend of mine for a while last night, who convinced me to go back to work with my head help up high and just “roll with the punches” with the attitude of “You might have a problem with me, but I have no problem with you” so I did just that, and brought some biscuits just in case that didn’t work… A combination of the biscuits and my new attitude did work, and everyone started being nice to each other again (It wasn’t just me they were horrible to, they turned on each other as well) Hopefully that’s the last of it, because quite frankly it was unpleasant to go through.
I did my sprints session with such determination this morning, and I must have been quicker than normal because I got back about 5 minutes before I usually do!
After a much better day at work, I had an awesome couple of sessions at Top Team. Firstly wrestling with Don, where the wrestling technique was a further look into high crotch take downs. I really got it today, especially the last technique which was a high crotch where you hook their knee and come into side control. I can’t wait until I can do some of these technique in actual live wrestling, that will be a happy day!
Tommy took the Jiu Jitsu gi class again as Olavo is off with a bad shoulder, and he had some help from brown belt Adam Saunderson. We looked at the transition from side control to north-south and back to side control the other side – with some submissions on the way round. I actually picked it up quicker than I expected to, which is always nice!

Saturday 12th October 2013
This morning, Muay Thai was amazing! I feel so much fitter now! I went for a run to warm up but almost got blown up by fireworks several times on the way (there was also a parade which went on for over an hour that went directly passed the gym) We watched the parade during the warm up and stretching too, it was absolutely fascinating. For those that don’t know, the Vegetarian Festival (Jay) is celebrated in many different ways, not only by the lack of meat in your diet for 10 days, but also no smoking, no drinking, no sex, basically nothing fun (actually sounds like my life every day….) and everyone wears white, throughout the festival. During the parades (of which there are many) many Thai’s also stick swords, knives, guns, and pretty much anything they can find through their mouths and other body parts. This is supposed to signify the amount that they are willing to sacrifice, and their belief in the festival. I am not going to put any pictures on here because you really have to prepare yourself before you look at it, but if you Google “The Vegetarian Festival, Phuket” you will see many pictures and probably a better explanation!
Anyway, back to Muay Thai, we did 4 rounds of pads, two of which of mine were majority clinching – which I find way more tiring than normal pad work, probably because I am not as used to it. I felt good by the end of it, actually strong if anything, which is a bonus! I really love that I still get to work with Bung even though my fight is done, because he is hard on me, and really seems to care that I am improving, which is amazing. After the pad work, we worked a little on the bag before focusing on low kicks with Daeng. Really loved this session.
After Muay Thai, my last session of the week was wrestling for MMA. I asked Don if we could go over a few of the take downs we worked on yesterday because I was having trouble remembering some of the details, so he kindly went through some of them and then taught us a few new set ups. I got a little confused on the last one, but I think I got there eventually.
Finally it stopped raining in Phuket after a week of solid rain, so we got to go to the beach!! Although I went to the beach with Don, Anthony and Bri – the only picture I have is with Nik (Harris) and Peter (Davis), not sure how that happened! However here is that picture:


Yes, I am on tip toes….
Anyway, the evening came and myself, Ben and Fiona headed up to Phuket Town for the Jay celebrations. The food was absolutely amazing, and there were a lot of fireworks. Also the place we decided to go had next to no farang (foreigners) so we got to experience the more Thai side of the celebrations rather than the tourist version.

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About The Author

English Mixed Martial Artist fighting out of Andy Roberts BJJ and Legacy BJJ with a pro record of 4-1.

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