So for those of you following my blog – you will notice that I am a little erratic in both my blog posts and my attendance at Combat Academy HQ. Life, for me, is not static and one day is not the same as another, let alone a week. So no, I have not been consistent in my training sessions. You see, this should be part 7 of the Fighting Fight blog posts but I missed a week so I won’t spend too much time reflecting on that session.
What I will say, is that no week is the same. I don’t plan which week to go it depending on what will be covered. It does mean that I can’t do any prep work. Which does add to the realism of the situational training that is offered.
Last week, we paired off and I was paired with 2 people that I hadn’t worked with for a while. Again, I can see the relevance in making sure that we don’t get comfortable and that we are constantly challenged. The fact is, we are training fundamentally, so that if we are ever attacked, we are able to protect ourselves with confidence.
Now to review the session and my feelings, we did a warm up before splitting into our groups of 3, and we were then informed that the final warm up exercise would be carrying a tire to the far end of the field, 20 pushups over the tire, bringing it back to our group, 20 pushups, and then the next person would go. I won’t lie, I was terrified. I know I am not fast, I try to avoid cardio. I won’t excuse it as the chronic pain in my feet, I just hate it. It bores me. But okay, yeah it hurts. And then we have the fact I would be carrying a tire? Oh and I had 2 people relying on me. The was the problem, I know my own limitations which are entirely my own fault, but I didn’t want to let anyone else down. I went last, after cheering on the rest of the team, and was given some valuable advice on the best way to carry the tire. And … and… I didn’t die! Right? Amazing! And it gets better – Our team won!
Now, that was a much needed boost and I have to say, I was a little happy that I had been adding pushups to my workouts because they are not easy but my body didn’t go into shock at the exercise. But moving on, I was nervous about our group because I was being trained by the lead instructor who is not someone you want to mess with. It isn’t that he scares you in a way you ever feel unsafe. But he also pushes, and won’t accept anything but your best. Having seen people go against him and be reduced to tears I knew what to expect. The session was a killer of both cardio to tire us out and again, push us to our limits. It was physically exhausting, but mentally, it was inspiring. I did things that I didn’t feel capable of. I was screamed and shouted out, I was annoyed with myself but able to see what I was doing wrong and adjust quickly. I watched my team mate be put through her paces, it was brutal but inspiring. I was coached by both team members, encouraged, and learnt to stop over thinking things. Stop picking apart what you need to do, think you should do. What you did, what you didn’t do, what you could have done. Just do.
It is something that is almost… counter intuitive for me, I need to critically analyse what I do, if I did it well or correctly so that I can replicate, if i haven’t, I need to know why so I can adjust. But no, in a real combat situation I would not have the luxury of second guessing. It seems that sometimes, the simple lesson sticks when you stop trying. Or ironically, stop thinking. When we did our pressure test at the end of our training session, I was picked first. Although I hate being the center of attention, in a way I am happy to go first as it takes pressure off me and i don’t over think how to approach it. And …nailed it would best describe it, I didn’t think, I forgot about everyone around me (to the point I left the circle) and went in for a take down and hold that honestly hadn’t given a second thought since last year. So, I can see real progress in my sessions. In a way this is harder to see than working out at a gym. I can’t see physical changes, but when things click and muscle memory is allowing me to counter unscripted situations with relative ease.
And I recently went on a night out – not something I do with any regularity. I was drinking, and aware that as I am clumsy enough without added influences.. it was a little bit of a concern. But I was also aware of ho easy it is for something to happen. I was out of my comfort zone, not really the sort of night out I am used to. I started seeing how predatory people could get… and it clicked, I was being wary and aware but also… the point of being able to act out of instinct and not thinking things through? That is exactly the point. If you are relaxed, on the phone, drinking.. an attack coming out of nowhere… I mean if it has come to an attack, it means you were not aware of the possibility. And you don’t therefore have the luxury of time to think. You have to act. A lightbulb moment!
If you want to learn more – check out the website – there are lots of combat academy training centers, the most recent opening it’s doors in Leeds so worth seeing if there is a center local to you. Lots of information on the main website – CLICK HERE