Friday, October 24, 2008


I've never been so sore, not since field hockey practice, and that was back in the late '80's!

When I was a field hockey player back in high school, we would start training two weeks before the beginning of school. I knew the day that school ended that I would have to begin exercising to prepare myself for field hockey. Did that ever happen? Not once.

You think I would have learned from the previous year what the first day of practice was like. My coach, Sandy Adams, was a hard-ass, and rightly so. We had one of the best teams in Washington County, NY, and always made it to sectionals. The first day of practice started bright and early at 7am, rain or shine. We ran, a lot. We sprinted, jogged, sprinted, passed a ball around up and down the field, those of us not ready gasping for our breath. She even came up with this exercise we lovingly termed "killers": sprint one end of the field, grapevine up a side, sprint the other end, skip down the other side, and then sprint diagonally to start all over again. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you get the picture.

The day following the first practice I could barely walk, and we had to go back to practice and do it all over again. Eventually I would stop being sore and began to be in great shape.

Last night as I left my first ever Muay Thai kickboxing class at Vermont Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I was reminded of those long-ago field hockey practices. I was shaking, queasy and had a difficult time unlocking my car and seeing straight. This made me laugh, because when I had pulled into the parking lot I was full of jitters! It was crazy. I'm not sure why I was nervous, maybe since this was something very foreign to me (or the fact that I fear going places where I know no one)and I just didn't know what to expect. It also could have been precognition.

As I walked in I was impressed by how nice a dojo this was. It was in this large warehouse, so there was a lot of space for training. I arrived at the end of BJJ class and watched a bit as everyone rolled around on the floor and thought to myself, "I really have no desire to train in this" (sorry Steve!), but was enthralled by how it was done. So the class ended and those of us who were masochistic in nature entered the room.

We began innocently enough with three one minute rounds of ab exercises, rocking on our backs with hands and legs extended, pushing our hips off the floor. Part of me felt this wasn't going to be so bad. We then progressed to pad training, with the first combination of jab/cross/hook/roundhouse. Now, I should stress that the roundhouse used here is very different from the karate roundhouse that I love to do.
Here's a good example:

The mawashi geri that I've used has more of a snapping action to it instead of throwing your hip into it. Needless to say, it took some getting used to.

As I was hitting the pads I realized how much I missed training this way. I also realized how long it had been since my body had felt this kind of training. There were quite a few moments where I needed to catch my breath. I believe the term "sucking wind" could have been used.

The next combination involved the above, but with a twist. Another cross was added after the left hook, followed by a strike to the left inner thigh and then immediately followed by a roundhouse kick. Phew. We did not do as many of these, so I was spared the embarassment of wheezing. We ended the class with 10 repetitions of 10 punches followed by 5 burpees. Burpees! I got through four rounds before my muscles gave out, but I did manage to pull off two more rounds.

As I type this I can barely get my fingers to work. Last night when I got home my hands were shaking, and I don't mean with the nervous jitters. I haven't punched like that in months. Does this mean I'm never going back? Of course not! That was the most fun I'd had with that type of training in a long time. It's also been very needed in my life. As I've mentioned before, I love to push myself (I know I should link back, but I need to finish this so that I can stop typing), and the harder the better.

Next week it begins. I will be training karate three times a week! I'm so excited. I will also include the Muay Thai training. My son will begin pre-school, which is three days a week, giving me at least nine extra hours, which means at least one hour on two of those days to do karate training. Two of those days I will be training my friend, and one day Sensei Moe come up to make us work. Ah, it's never felt so good!


Michele said...

Good for you! The Muay Thai class sounds like an amazing workout. I recently started Tai Chi classes in addition to Okinawa Kenpo. I am finding the movement difficult but every Tuesday I can not wait to get to class.

Donnie Baker said...

I'm honored that you used my video clip as an example of a muay thai kick, Thanks! Switching from a defensive system such as Karate to muay thai is going to take getting get used to, all that muscle memory. Just remember to lean forward. I hope you stick it out!

somaserious said...

Hi, Michele. Tai Chi is a wonderful compliment to any martial arts. I hope you stick with it.

Donnie, thanks for stopping by! I felt that your kick really exemplified what I was trying to do in my class. Nice kick! I do plan on sticking with it since I feel that it's a great training tool for my karate. Lean forward...I'll remember that!

BBat50 said...

Our school has been teaching the muy thai straight leg kick over the past two weeks.

I'm glad to have found your blog. I saw it on the website. I took their courses also.

frotoe said...

I love that kind of soreness. I'm feeling it today :)

Mathieu said...

Glad that you hare loving your training. :)

That's the best part, Loving what we're doing.