This makes four straight weeks of getting good sparring in. it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.
Today I wanted to build on the fundamentals I’ve been focusing on, namely keeping my vision, bringing my jab hand back and keeping my guard in so I don’t get caught with the uppercut. My goal today was to stay off the ropes, move side to side instead of back and not reflexively give up ground.
My trainer is smaller than me and he perpetually comes in, never taking a backward step. My first reaction is to backpedal which is wrong, puts me in a position to do nothing offensively and it’s exhausting.
I did very well with holding my guard and I noticed it slowed everything down. I had to pump the jab and really concentrate to move to the side but it definitely worked. I had to focus really hard in staying in the right stance and time the jab to counter his moves in on me. When I wanted to score i had to commit myself and move forward which is where I became vulnerable. I was pleased with my stamina though all of my good strategy began to erode as it always does when fatigue set in. In the third, trust me, fatigue set in–though not as bad as in previous weeks.
Something else of note. I felt like crap going to the gym today. I didn’t sleep well and I had a few things on my mind bothering me. In the past when I’ve made myself spar when i felt like that i wound up taking a headshot that I didn’t want to take or exhausting myself and really feeling like crap for a while.
Today I felt like I needed to spar. I didn’t want to lose the traction of three straight weeks, I wanted the camaraderie of the gym and I wanted the mood boost it always gives. I got all of that and it was better than any time on a shrink’s couch. It has always been that way for me and I’m not sure why.
Sparring is exhilarating, it tires you out and it gives you a chance to burn off steam. it does something else that i think has to do with the concept of mindfulness. While I’m fighting I HAVE to think of fighting in the moment. I have to be fluid in the moment and keep an empty mind while being able to react. i can’t obsessively go over bullshit that I let bother me. For these nine minutes I have to focus and be fluid at the same time.
Nothing else has ever put me in the moment like fighting.
More than anything else that explains why I want to do it my whole life.
Here’s some of my other sparring diary entries.
Here’s some of the Duffy Dombrowski Fight Club blogs.
Here’s a really cool interview with John “The Ice Man” Scully on the life of a sparring partner