Well, I can finally say that I train MMA. Until recently, I hadn't been making use of all the classes that my gym offers. I'd only been doing Fundamentals 3 times a week (which was plenty for someone just starting out) plus open mats here and there. 2 months in, I've finally reached a point where I'm in decent enough shape to spazz my way through kickboxing before Fundamentals and/or BJJ afterwards. I've also built up to going more often and on different days of the week. So with those adjustments, I'm getting well-rounded training in all areas: standup, clinch and ground plus gi. It's important to note that I don't actually do MMA, but I am officially training MMA in hopes of someday being able to do something resembling it.
Two weeks ago, I finally stopped making excuses and hauled my ass to kickboxing. As expected, it was an awesome workout that included a death circle of abs exercises, which wasn't easy, especially since I don't have 500 packs like some others in the class do. But I was also not disabled by it for weeks afterwards like I was when I first came in. Clearly, six weeks of grappling is paying off and I'm slowly getting in shape whether I realize it or not.
This week, I got snarky with Rascal and he decided to torture us with 30 minutes of intense cardio. Unfortunately, the class also involved a lot of pushups and I suck at pushups. It's kind of incredible that anyone could suck at pushups as much as I do. Arm strength is nonexistent. It's like...one wannabe bicep and the rest is Pillsbury Doughboy material. I was able to do maybe 5 half-assed pushups at a time before flat out collapsing (mind you, the goal was like...40), so it didn't go very well. But I will endeavor to do better next time.
Fact: I boxed during high school. Which makes my current performance in the standup classes all the more shameful. I've actually forgotten how to box. Like, completely. I feel like a total ditz when I throw a punch now, and I'm sure I don't look any better. One can only hope, for my sake and for the sake of any and all future kickboxing partners, that I get my shit together and pick up the techniques soon enough, because as of now, my attempts have been about on par with the Three Stooges. I paired up with KGB on Tuesday and he was kind enough to not punch me in the head too hard, although I'm betting that by the end of class, he wanted to. For my life, I could not get the side blocks or the ducking/twisting part down. I was having some kind of dyslexic attack and doing the exact opposite of what I should've done. Rascal says I'll get the hang of it someday.
My jiu jitsu needs a lot of work but apparently, my wrestling is getting decent. I find this amusing because I've always hated the idea of "wrestling." My younger brother was a big WWF/WCW fan as a teen and I was subjected to hours and hours of campy fake fighting performed by steroid-abusing wannabes in fruity outfits. So that is, unfortunately, what I most often associate the word with. It's kind of funny that real wrestling is now something that I enjoy so much.
Saturday, Dom ran us through a defensive drill where our only goal was to tap each other's legs. If your partner's hand so much as brushed your leg, you had to do 10 pushups. The point was to be so awesome at hopping around and getting out of the way that you could avoid the penalty. Basically, I rocked the shit out of this exercise. Homeboy got my leg once right at the start and I had to crank out a set of 10 but after that, I was the one tapping him, again and again. When we switched partners, I paired up with Southie and he had to do an epic amount of pushups. I didn't feel bad though, because Southie is huge with an amazing physique. It couldn't have been too hard on him. When we switched again and I was paired with The Kid, the poor boy was getting desperate as he'd lost so many times already. He was flailing and I lost track of how many times I tapped his leg. He did a few token pushups at first but then eventually stopped doing them altogether. Personally, I had a total blast and was smiling and feeling pretty damn smug the whole way through. The boys did not look so pleased.
When it comes to groundwork, I've greatly improved my side control technique and my use of the Shoulder of Justice. Have to say, I really enjoy using it on other people but am not at all fond of having done to me. My jaw still hurts from practicing half-guard escapes with Archie last week.
During Monday's class, I rolled with Rascal to warm up, which I thought would be a lot more intense given his drill sergeant approach to kickboxing, but he turned out to be a really good, laid back partner. It was kind of jarring. No, it was totally jarring to hear him talking in such a quiet voice and being so nice. I wanted to ask him WTF he did with the real Rascal. Later, I rolled with Spaceman for the first time in a while. In round one, I did a nice takedown but he caught me in a guillotine on the way down, and I ended up in a bad enough position that I pretty much choked myself out while attempting to stack him. I was entirely on the defensive the whole way through, with no chance to attempt anything but escapes, but except for the first round, it took him a lot longer to pass guard and sub me than on previous occasions, so I'm happy enough with that.
Thursday's Fundamentals focused on headlocks, which sucked for me because that's something I can't do until these damn stitches come out. Instead, I rolled with Yanitza a few times and got my butt kicked, as usual. Rolled with Curly once and that was downright ridiculous. Dude had a busted shoulder and I still couldn't do anything to him. Couldn't even pass his guard. It was not a good night for the ol' ego. After coming up with as many excuses as possible to head home instead of joining the gi class (I'm tired...my knee hurts...my calf hurts...I haven't been getting enough sleep...I only have one gi so I wouldn't be able to wash it before Sunday's open mat...), I eventually ended up totally pussing out and took off. Liz wasn't buying any of it and kept giving me looks that said I've got your number, you lazy bum. But in spite of her pep talks and my genuine wish to join in, I just didn't have another hour or two of workout left in me that night.
On my way out, I stopped in the lobby to look up something on my phone, which was going so slow I thought I might start bashing it against the wall (fuck you, iphone), when Rascal and Curly came down and invited me to hit McDonald's with them. I've actually sworn off Mickey D's ever since I got severe bouts of food poisoning at two separate locations, but I joined them anyway and just hung out while they ate. Yes, I've become that girl...the one who has a salad with nonfat dressing while everyone else is devouring bacon cheeseburgers. Then again, everyone else is probably not trying to lose 20 lbs, so screw them. It was still fun just hanging out and listening to the boys bullshit and do impressions of Brazilians and Italians and panhandlers and fuck knows what else. Pure entertainment, those two, I'm telling you.
Today, at long last, I forced myself to go for Rocky's Saturday morning hour of hell, which kicked my ass seven ways from Sunday. Grappling is just dandy for working certain muscles but I need to do more conditioning work to build up overall strength and endurance so that people (Yanitza, for example) can't go around grabbing my fucking arm fat. Ironman came in for open mat today, so I rolled with him for a while and ended up a sweaty, hyperventilating mess. Passing that guy's guard remains an impossible task. I did a good job and got around the legs twice but the rest of my attempts were an epic failure. Still, the two times that I did succeed were pretty cool. I even got his back at one point but the man must have a neck of steel because I tried to choke him out for two minutes straight and nothing happened. I was sure that everything was in the right place but I guess something was off. I did manage a successful armbar though, with him giving some really good advice on how to pull the arm through when the person's locking up.
Anyway, it's been a great experience branching out from Fundamentals. It's given me the chance to train with a lot of new people, to try out new things, and to exercise brand new muscles that are now aching but not screaming bloody murder like they did on my very first day. I hope to keep this routine going strong and to continue improving in all areas, because I like how I feel right now and I can't stand to lose that momentum. We all know what happens when I fall off the wagon...lazy ass couch potato extraordinaire. And I damn sure don't want that to happen again. I'm finally starting to feel hopeful about fitting back into my xx-small t-shirts in another few months.