Spar Sunday – Five Weeks Out and Feeling Confident

After Spar Sunday’s session just gone I was a broken lady as the picture above clearly shows. The session only lasted 1.5 hours but let me tell Sensei turned up the levels BIG TIME as our Dan grading draws nearer and this is the level I need to maintain.

The session started off with a 5 min warm up on the spinning bikes. Whilst keeping up a decent pace, it gave the four of us in attendance a chance to catch up with each other, for I was absent at last weeks sessions due to work commitments.

It also gave me a chance to briefly catch up and warmly welcome back Dee, who has been off for some time with a back injury. Heart rates increased and legs noticeably a little heavy we stretched out, completed our joint mobility exercises, gloved up and was ready for the session to begin.

After bowing in, Sensei told the group to go straight into technical sets 1-8, but rather than go at the fast pace we are used to he wanted us to go through each one slooooowwww. I partnered with Dee and Jo partnered with Darren.

Going through the tech sets at a slow pace feels extremely weird, but for Sensei this made it easier for him to spot and pick out any faults (no matter how minor) within the sets we were completing.

When he felt confident we were executing them correctly and consistently he would ask us to pick up the pace. My guard would drop at times, but nowhere not as much as previous sessions and my parry’s were alot tighter as less floppy.

Tech sets 1-8 completed with ease and it was time for us to blast out a three minute round on the heavy bags.

Now I personally LOVE this part of the session as I weirdly look forward to putting my body through hell (aka the burn) but if you have ever had to throw punch combinations on a heavy bag for one minute yet alone for three full minutes, you will understand and appreciate just how tough and taxing it is on ones lungs!

With less than a 20 second break it was time for another 3 minute blast, this time incorporating kicks as well as punches.

I struggled through the last minute of the round due to tiredness but somehow managed to keep my brain and limbs communicating by keeping the combinations coming (although somewhat repetitive).

Sensei called time and were allowed a minutes water break before jumping into technical sets 8-16 (in my case) and 8-20 for Darren and Jo for they are both going for their 2nd Degree Black Belts (impressive right?).

Again, going through the sets slow to begin with (this allowed us to get our breaths back) Sensei would walk around the room, carefully analysing each move and correcting us where needs be to ensure we ironed out any mistakes and bad habits.

I made a conscious effort to keep my guard up high and retrieve it back to my face once I threw a punch or block. Tech sets 8-16 completed and you know what’s coming next right?

Yet more heavy bag work, as if we wasn’t tired enough already!

Having not made up a routine prior to Sunday’s session I found myself throwing the same punches and kicks.

As a result, I heard Sensei call my name and yelling out an array of kicks and punches to execute in order to mix up my routine a little bit as I desperately tried to finish the 3 minute round on the heavy bags strongly.

We completed a few more tech sets before finishing off the session with cool down and variety of stretches.

I can honestly say that I have NEVER worked up soooo much of a sweat in all my time whilst training. My newly sported Ilu Fitwear leggings, top and Sports-bra were that drenched I struggled to get them off of me once I returned home (I was a sweaty mess).

On a separate note yesterday’s usual kb sesh was an absolute blast!

Despite wanting to make the smart decision to take it easy from Sunday’s antics I still went in haaaard, to the point where I was that tired and completely zapped from the effort I put in my brain outright refused to communicate with my body 10 minutes before the session ended (easy punching combinations became a complete myth at that point haha).

As I count down the weeks to my 1st Dan Exam, and despite being covered in huge battle scars aka bruises, I am feeling really confident this time around.

I am enjoying my training, embracing the progress I have made for once, and love to constantly break boundaries during training my sessions as I edge one step closer to obtaining my 1st degree black belt in kickboxing.

Next week we will see the incorporation of light sparring as we will need to do a bit of this in our exam.

This means that my head guard, gum shield and chest guard will come out to play having had the pleasure of hibernating for the best part of a year. Sparring is an area I need to improve on the most for I hate getting hit but with anything practice makes perfect.

Happy Tuesday Ladies and Gents, remember we can achieve anything in life so long as we are prepared to put in the work required!