Friday, July 11, 2008

Fighting, a passion

I have this secret desire. It involves training hard. It involves focusing like I've never focused before. I'm talking about this (the fight starts at 2:30, so just skip over the reality stuff). Yup, it's fighting in a ring with nothing but my wits, my technique and a pair of small gloves. I'm not talking about MMA, either. MMA is okay, but I like Muay Thai fighting better. It's quick, it stays up, there's no ground and pound. The techniques are finer, especially when using elbows. This is my opinion. Plus I really love to kick and use my knees and elbows. I'm short, it suits me.

I must admit that I love watching Gina Carano fight. She's got great form, but her Muay Thai fighting is so much finer and smoother than the MMA she does. The best thing about Gina's fighting, she takes no prisoners (she's at the end of this montage, the one who's fighting isn't at all sloppy). She keeps her balance, she's grounded, she's got a mean hook. I absolutely love it! Another impressive fighter is Kerry Vera. This is a great fight, and pay close attention to the knockout. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any recent information about Kerry and am not sure if she's actually in the fighting circuit. Such a shame....

What is it about this violent sport? Why does it get me revved up the way it does? It involves getting hit, and getting hit pretty hard. It involves possible broken bones, and definite bruises. It involves the shedding of blood on more than one occasion. Maybe it's the fact that it's all about you and what you can do, your power and your strength. I know I write a lot about moving from hara and kata being the best thing for training, but way down in the pit of my stomach is this tiger who really, really wants to fight. It could be I want to see what I'm made of, to see what would happen if I were to step into a ring with another woman. Fighting in that capacity intrigues me, it's that simple.

There is, of course, a caveat: the older you are, the harder it is to recover from injury. I'm 36, a bit old to be getting into this type of sport. My body does not recover like it used to. The training for Muay Thai is very difficult and would take a considerable amount of time out of my week. Would my body be able to handle that kind of beating? My right shoulder was injured not long ago and has healed very nicely (two months of PT and one Corisone shot later) and I've finally been able to get back into harder training. This past Tuesday I hurt the left one while throwing a 250 lb. man off of me (we were practicing the throw where someone is sitting on top of you holding both of your arms down). What would happen if I followed this passion to fight? It's one thing to be 26, but 36 is a whole other ballgame.

My age, of course, would not stop me. I'm not sure if I'll pursue this dream. Burlington has a Muay Thai training program, fighting included. It may be something I train for only and never enter a ring surrounded by a cheering crowd.


John Wood said...

I know what you mean. I look at MMA fights and think "how would I stack up" but since I take Aikido and the rules are against using wrist locks I think that competition would actually work against my training. I hate seeing someone get beat up and blood (as expressed by my post about that guy getting beaten up) but I secretly wish I would've gotten there 2 mins earlier, or a fight would break out in a bar I happen to be in. I think all fighters secretly wish to know (REALLY KNOW) where they stand when actually using their training outside a dojo. It's something I wrestle with every day, so you're not alone :)

Bob Patterson said...

My advice is to train Thai style if you want to and skip the fight. You're married and have a family? No? It just ain't worth it...

I remember when I first got back into TKD. My Sabum has a room full of trophies and even won a gold in the junior Olympics.

I secretly wanted to spar him and be allowed to box, shoot for the head, etc.

Well the first time I sparred him with Taekwondo rules I tried boxing, PPCT, and what little kung fu I knew. He absolutely murdered me and he did so with control. In fact, he knocked me on my ass at least three or four times.

This was with protective gear on and it STILL knocked the wind out of me. Without it I have little doubt that he could have broken bones if he had wanted to.

The funny thing is before he moved away I told him I always wanted to spar him as close to no-holds-barred as I could get because of the challenge. Not to dishonor him but to see if I could hold up against someone that good and someone who was about 15 years younger.

He said: "You'll have plenty of OTHER mountains to climb."

I agree.

There's plenty of challenges within traditional arts and most of us have no need to get hurt.

somaserious said...

JW: we must be careful what we wish for, though....thanks for the words!

BP: you're absolutely right about not getting into the ring. I would never do that unless I had trained first, anyway. It's so different from normal sparring, a different mind-set, too. This is just the part of me that craves that kind of knowledge. I do plan on training in Muay Thai, but just for fitness purposes and to keep me in shape for karate. It's really not worth it to get hurt in that way, not for me or my family. It's still fun to think about it, though. Nice, cat, BTW...

Steve said...

I wish I knew why got into karate at this age (I'm 37). I know we're never too late, maybe we're supposed to be coaches to somebody?! Imagine combining that passion with teaching!

And pity the fool that tries to attack you in real life from what you've learned - nevermind the ring!

Blackbeltmama said...

After all the training you've done, it's no wonder you'd like to put it to the test. I agree with Bob. Train it but I wouldn't start brawling on a regular basis. This from the ACL recoveree who got hurt while sparring and has yet to go back. ;-)

John Vesia said...

Muay Thai is brutal. All the things that are prohibited in karate matches - low kicks, elbows, knees etc. are staples in MT. Not that those techniques aren't taught in karate. I've heard that the average competitive MT fighter only lasts about 4 years before injuries take their toll.

I'm with Bob, train only. That'll be challenging enough.