So over the last few months I have continued my quest to become a true mixed martial artist in order to stave off the long term effects of a mild case of cerebral palsy. I have not been posting really regularly just due to a crazy busy summer filled with work, classes, moving from a bad apartment in a nice part of town to a nice apartment in a bad part of town and whatnot as well as training 4 to 5 days a week in all of the various disciplines required to become a mixed martial artist. So here I come with a small update and some fun news and stuff. Anyway the rest will be after the jump in a series of paragraphs detailing each area of training.
I started training in a gi in March under Warren Stout, a Renzo Gracie Black Belt, and things have been going quite well. In the beginners program Warren has a 20 week curriculum and we just finished up last month and I have begun my second cycle of 20 weeks. The biggest thing I am starting to notice is how I can use my grips both on the feet and on the ground to control the pace when I roll live. I am a big fan of keeping things slow until I want to speed up at just the right moment, however I am still iffy on guard play off of my back. I am sure that it will take some time to get used to as I have only been doing this for 4 months and I wrestled for 8 years. But apparently I am growing enough in my skills to have earned my first stripe on my white belt. My shrimping is also getting a lot better as well as guard passing. I love standing and opening a guard before using my speed to get the pass but I am trying to focus on my movement and making sure all technique is correct.
Well I finally am planting my weight on my back foot and really sitting down into my punches. My slips and bobs are coming along and my speed on pad work is getting really good. Still not allowed to spar a ton but I am looking to change that shortly. Being a southpaw my right jab and hook are getting better and I am getting faster with all of my punches.
This is probably my toughest area as the flexibility required for my kicks is taking quite a while to come along. However I finally am getting better leg kicks both inside and outside as well as body kicks. My jap/push/teep kicks are both getting better on both sides and I definitely have power in my knees, accidentally dropping someone in sparring a few months ago.
Fight Club Pittsburgh MMA just started an official wrestling practice a few months ago on Saturday mornings and I am ever so glad that this happened. My wrestling is extremely rusty but I am slowly getting it back after not having done any sort of mat work for 4 years. The biggest thing I have learned is that Olympic Lifts really do work, as I have never had tons of strength in my legs, but I all of a sudden have a good power double off of a snap down after having had to use mostly hand fighting and the low single, ankle pick, knee grab and high crotch series that I used in high school and college.
MMA & Conditioning
For the most part my mma training is no gi grappling and some stand up however I have started doing more conditioning and this along with finally maintaining a gluten free dairy free diet is starting to show results. I am now walking around under 155 lbs which has not happened in 5 years and every day my lungs are getting stronger. I need to get back into the weight room and start running more but that will depend mostly on my last summer class ending to give me a little more free time.
Thank you Bloody Elbow for all of your continued support and I will win big and make you all proud!