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[personal profile] frankenrhythm
Hit class again last night. I may still be wired on adrenaline, so I may go on at length. We worked on clinch range dirty boxing.

Dirty boxing involves getting in close and tying up the opponent's arms, throwing elbows, shoulder strikes, and headbutts... Things you're technically not allowed to do in boxing but everyone in boxing does anyway... They just don't get caught. If you're fighting someone who knows a thing or two about dirty boxing, then going into the clinch is pretty much the exact opposite of taking a rest... You basically get the shit kicked out of you.

We weren't throwing elbows last night, and we were making an effort to not throw headbutts, although that's difficult. Incidental contact happens. If you're used to stand up, "boxing range" fighting, it's a bit more difficult to be defensive for a few reasons. First of all, you can't really see what's coming. Everything is chaotic enough in there that you just have to try and be random and spiky. Second, zoning is a bit more difficult. It's harder to just move out of the way of a punch when the other guy is stuck on you.

We started just trying to land punches, going nice and slow. As it turned out, I ended up doing stuff that Makoto added in for the second round of drills, which is to try and tie up the arms while keeping yourself free to move. This can be challenging, but there are a couple of tricks. Arm drags are incredibly handy for zoning purposes. Get a hold of an arm above the elbow and move it across center so that you're now on the outside. Their free arm is all the way on the other side of their body, so they have more difficulty hitting back or defending.

EDIT: Just realized that you can go from an arm drag directly into a throw in the other direction. Gotta try this at some point. /EDIT

Along the same lines, if you're clinched up, and you underhook their left with your right and reach across and grab their right above the elbow, you now have both their arms trapped while you're only committing one arm, freeing you up to punch with the other. I like to do a ton of this stuff in that range as a result of my past wrestling knowledge.

The third step was to add attacks to the arms as well as the body and head. It's just sort of the type of thing we do. Destroy the weapons so they can't attack.

Finally, we busted out the double sticks and did some drills... Free form stuff... Siniwali, hubad, pak sao cycle, sombrada... Whatever we felt like. At some points, we'd just sort of flow between the drills without planning to... Just kind of flowing and, well, having an awesome time.

My endurance is obviously still horrible. Makoto told me right at the beginning to pace myself and if I wanted to, sit out every other round to catch my breath. I took him up on that offer because I needed it. The relaxation breakthrough I had months ago has gone away, and I'm a bit tense in there again. So that's tiring me out... I managed to overcome that crap before, so I'm sure I can do it again.

Had a neat point where Makoto noticed I wan't taking advantage of a certain position, and told me to think about the moments where I can go from striking to dumog. He pointed out that if an opponent has your arm, technically you also have his... And you can just use structure and movement to take advantage of that. So, while Mike and I were doing some rounds, I found myself tangled up on the inside with one of his arms. I did a quick triangle and turned, holding the arm across my chest. Basically, something similar to a pro-wrestling arm drag. I didn't follow through all the way, but I managed to lift Mike off his feet. Mike's a pretty big guy... But if I had followed through, it's possible I would have put him through a wall. That's some serious shit.

Aside from the lack of endurance, I feel as though I haven't slipped too much. I still seem to have a lot of the skills, although at some points, I'd forget the specifics of a transition or I'd let someone get my back through a stupid mistake. My balance and footwork is still okay, albeit a bit rusty. It's not like I was falling over all over the place... Just not as sure on my feet as I would have liked to have been. I'll have to build my leg muscles back up for that.

I'm moderately sore today, but in many specific places. My hips and my calves hurt from the footwork. My abs and obliques hurt from all the bobbing and weaving. I've got bruises on my arms from where I got hit. Oddly, my shoulders are totally fine... Probably because I was continuing to exercise them through my extended break. That's the nice thing about having taken so much time off... I think it gave my shoulder time to heal properly.

Anyway, it'll take some work to get me back into fighting shape, but it'll happen. I'm considering breaking some bad dietary habits I picked up over the last year or two that should help with losing some fat and improve my mobility. So, yeah, I guess I've got a personal project this summer.


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