June 14, 2012
I Can Haz Groove Back (again)?
I've also been doing a lot more conditioning work lately since, as much as I love grappling and as much as it makes me sweat, the standup stuff kicks your ass into shape like nothing else. Saturday morning kickboxing has become a routine for me now. It's a smaller, more informal class than the weekday sessions but just as intense. Once, when Dom was teaching, I partnered up with a tall, lanky youngster that I've decided to call Kicker. The reason for this is that he decided - I'm still not clear on why - that he did not care to wear shin pads like everyone else, and spent the whole class kicking the same spot on my thigh with his bony shins...quite hard. I didn't want to be one of those whiny partners that bitches and moans about being too rough, but after a while it really started to hurt and I started to get irritated. So I began kicking him extra hard in return. He's a nice kid and we get along just fine, but I have some anger management issues and very low patience levels so I'm guessing we both went home with giant black and blue patches covering our legs that day. In retrospect, I probably could've handled it better, but what's the point of doing MMA if you can't get a little violent sometimes?
Last week was one of those lazy mornings and only two other students came. Jazz, presumably not wanting to inflict my epic levels of incompetence on either Archie or Kicker, paired them up together and took on the task of working with me, which was almost as good as getting a private lesson. He pushed me like a boot camp sergeant to work extra hard, focusing purely on developing my technique, which is often nonexistent. After 45 minutes, my punches were getting more technical and less flaily, and felt a bit more solid. I was even starting to get that warm fuzzy feeling one experiences when it seems like you're finally doing something right. Then came a bit of live sparring and it all fell apart. Once he realized what a particular disaster I was, Jazz started from scratch to teach me some basic defense, which was a big help although I still left with my ears hurting from failing to block too many times. On the upside, Xena is coming in once or twice a week now, which is nice considering she's 1) a much more experienced kickboxer than me and 2) actually in my weight class, so I don't stumble halfway across the gym every time she throws a kick.
After Fundamentals this week, I was trying to leave but Liz convinced me to stay for the start of the late class and do a "light warmup roll" with her, "just until Carlo's ready." I should've known not to trust either of them. Liz took the opportunity to kick my ass up and down the mat, enjoying herself way too much as she threw on one ridiculous submission after another, with Carlo sitting a few feet away, enjoying the show as he slowly ate an energy bar. Every time Liz started cranking my arm in this or that direction, I would call out asking if he was ready to take over yet. He just smiled and shrugged, and kept fucking eating. I think he's still bitter that I never gave him a proper nickname.
Best night ever: Christian, after seeing a bunch of updates on Facebook about my love for Backstreet Boys and NKOTB, decided to loop the same three Backstreet songs for an entire class, much to the dismay of everyone else. While I was rocking out to "Larger Than Life" over and over...and over...the boys looked like they were ready to have some kind of group meltdown. I have to say, it just doesn't get better than watching a bunch of badass tough guys kickboxing to "I Want It That Way" and "The One." It really doesn't. Frodo was the only one who wasn't tearing his hair out and that's because he was too busy laughing. Doubled over, nearly in tears, he was so entertained by the fact that I like old school boybands so much that he's still joking with me about it a month later.