So it has been a few weeks since my last training update and I figured at least a few people on BE might be interested in how I am doing. Maybe not, but I am updating you all and you will like it. Long story short, I started training in January at Fight Club Pittsburgh MMA. It is probably the best facility around me, with the best trainers, for the most affordable prices, plus has a Renzo Gracie BB teaching BJJ. I will explain how each area of my training is coming in a paragraph each so you all don't get a wall of text.
I am a lefty, but with my wrestling background and shooting from my left leg forward, my trainers are having me learn orthodox stance rather than southpaw, at least for now. My jab and cross are really getting good, and I am finally getting used to putting most of my weight on my back leg, and the footwork which is wildly different from wrestling. In addition I finally have started figuring out how to relax my muscles, so they are not tensed up when I strike and this helps both my punches and kicks really get that hip whip a little bit better. I still really need to improve my hip flexibility on my right side and well as my balance but that will definitely come with time.
I haven't learned a ton of defense yet, other than parrying strikes and some basic head movement, but am starting to work on elbows, hooks, and upper cuts as well. Wednesday nights are usually clinch work nights in Muay Thai as well so that is coming along too.
My wrestling transitions off of striking are coming pretty easy as well, pretty much blast double off of a jab or a blast double off a cross parry. A few single legs in there as well are always fun too.
Two weeks ago I began BJJ under Warren Stout, who is a Renzo Gracie Blackbelt as I mentioned before. I was having a bit of difficulty at first, with keeping my elbows and arms in when I was on the ground and stuff like that, but as soon as I learned shrimping, it has become much easier. The biggest thing I have learned is movement is key, and to not stop and wait for the other guy to make a move. Another thing that has helped me tremendously, and I have heard that this is good advice for white belts before starting MMA, but two weeks ago during MMA grappling, my coach had us work primarily on positioning first, submissions second. Since then this is all I have worried about is getting good movement and positioning, while not really thinking about submissions and surprisingly I have been getting tapped less, and getting subs a lot more as well.
Conditioning & Overall Improvement
I have slowed a little on conditioning, since my trainers and coaches are having me take a slow approach, that is I will probably not even take an amateur fight for six months to a year from now, as they really want me to have solid fundamental technique in all areas before throwing me in there. This is the best plan, as will my cerebral palsy I am already at a disadvantage, I don't need to be sloppy and give my opponents any more openings. Plus, like a few of the pro fighters have told me, this game is way more fun when you are conditioned like a king and can run through people. I am hoping to fight at bantamweight although my weight has settled around 160 even though I keep getting thinner so this means I am putting on muscle, and if this is the case then 145 is fine too. But I feel great, I am learning a ton, am improving tremendously and this is definitely my favorite hobby ever. Most of my non-mma friends don't understand why I want to do this, as I never plan on it being my primary occupation, but I am thoroughly addicted to all aspects of Mixed Martial Arts and am so excited to represent BE over the next few years or so as a competitive and hopefully professional fighter.