Tag Archives: fights

Finally got the DVD of my fight through yesterday and it’ll be appearing on Youtube later on tonight. It was a pretty even match and it does look like a proper amateur fight (which is of course what it was). Who wants to see it?

The Aftermath

Originally uploaded by mhoulden

A week on from my fight, and since then I’ve been partly chilling out (I took 2 days off work afterwards) and partly doing my blue arsed fly impression (started a new project when I came back). I made it to BJJ on Monday and Thai boxing on Wednesday and Friday but I was taking it fairly slowly. The nose is still a bit fragile and I had the fun of bleeding on someone’s nice white gi on Monday. It was his own fault for pulling my head into his chest. After a couple of weeks of careful eating to make weight I’ve also been indulging a bit this week. Not enough alcohol (total for May and June so far is 2 pints of beer and 2 small glasses of wine) but I have had a few pizzas, cakes and other things. From next week though it’s back with the programme. I want to get down to about 85 – 86 kg at the beginning of the session at the gym which means losing about 2 – 3 kg from my fighting weight and means I’ll be at Thai cruiserweight. I’m slightly shorter than at 5’8" but I’m heavier built than he is (I found an interesting discussion about weight loss on the Hendon Mob website). Not sure what my weight will be on Wednesday but I’d be very surprised if it hasn’t gone up and with a bit of work it’ll only be a temporary increase. There must be something more interesting to eat than pasta and chicken though.

As far as the fight itself went, in rounds 1 and 3 I was only behind by 4 points and with an extra block and kick in each one they could have gone the other way. That first punch in the face in round 1 really makes you realise that it’s real and that it isn’t training or sparring. Round one was probably mostly adrenaline. In round 2 I got a bit distracted by the electronic scoreboard, and in round 3 I think I began to get into it and think about what I was doing. I’ll probably remember more about it when I get the DVD through in a couple of weeks time, but the main bits that stand out are:

  • Getting my opponent in the balls with a slightly too low body kick
  • Losing my gum shield at one point (I really need a better fitting one) and falling over at another
  • The opposite corner shouting out instructions on how to beat me up (!)
  • Getting bopped on the nose and blasting out the blood so I could breathe. I knew something was coming out but I had other things to worry about at the time

Fighting is very different from training, and I think the biggest difference is being able to cope with the pressure of attacking and defending when someone’s trying to do the same to you. You can’t call for time out and you’ve just got to keep going. I’d say one of the most important bits is being able to keep your nerve. Not everyone can, but the aftermath of my bike accident was probably a lot harder. It’s interesting to think about how many people say they think they could deal with it but go to pieces or wouldn’t even try it in the first place. Usenet trolls for a start.

The main thing people have asked me about the fight is if I enjoyed it. I think so, but I think I really need to do another one to decide. I’ll probably go for amateur Thai rules next time (more what I’m used to). I’ll give it a couple of months and it obviously depends on when the next one is, but I’d like to do one around late August/early September. The trophy I got from this fight is pictured with this post.

A gentle way to spend a Saturday!

Lost on points: 76-98 (you get 2 points for a kick or knee and 1 for a punch). However I went the distance and kept going even when I got hit hard on the nose and got a nose bleed. Given that this was my first fight, I was fighting under unfamiliar rules and wasn’t used to wearing all the pads I’m very pleased with how I did. At the end of round 1 we were both on about the same points, and although I dropped behind in round 2 I didn’t let him increase the difference in round 3. After my own fight I watched a couple of others and they were stopped when the points difference was more than 40, so not getting outclassed was pretty good going. Photos and other stuff to come later. I’ve only just got back home.

I think it’s safe to say that it is possible to overcome dyspraxia, grotesque obesity and a serious shoulder injury with a bit of perseverance and self discipline. This was my first fight and I’m going to chill for a bit now, but it certainly won’t be my last. As Winston Churchill said, and as I hinted at in the title for my previous post, this is not the end and nor is it the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.

Weight Milestone 6 and the end of the beginning

With 2 days to go until my fight I finally got confirmation that I’ve been matched and that it’s going ahead. Over the last few weeks I’ve been working hard to make weight for it through the traditional way of eating carefully and getting plenty of exercise, and I think I’ve had enough pasta and lean chicken to keep me going a very long time. Over the last 3 weeks I’ve lost 3 kg or half a stone, which isn’t bad progress when the dietician told me I haven’t got much more to lose. My session at the gym yesterday was my last before the fight: I’ve been told not to train tomorrow but I might go out for a gentle run instead.

As far as the weight goes, I’m fighting at 88 kg which is what I’ve been trying to get down to for a while. On Wednesday I got there: 88.8 kg at the beginning of the night. The weight class I’m fighting at (cruiserweight) tops out at 88.6 kg so I’ll be at the top end of it but as long as I don’t have that second cup of coffee for breakfast I should have no problems with the weigh in. The weight I’ve been using over the last 2.5 years for these updates is my dehydrated weight at the end of the session, and yesterday this was 86.4 kg. From my peak of 133 kg that’s a total loss of 47 kg. In old money I’ve dropped from 21 stone to 13 stone 7 and lost a massive 7 and a half stone or 105 lbs. I think there’s scope to lose a bit more weight, but I think my original target of 80 kg for milestone 7 might be a bit too much. I’ve always had a stocky build but with 5 years cycling, 4 years Thai boxing and 1 years Brazilian Jiu Jitsu my calf and thigh muscles in particular are getting ridiculously big.

I got into Thai boxing 4 years ago partly out of curiosity and partly because I wanted to try something different to get fit. I had a bike back then but I only rode it once every couple of weeks and most of the time it was just a couple of circuits of the local park. I’d also tried swimming and a weights and exercise bike type gym but I found them pretty boring. I did have some fitness but I knew my health was in a mess and I had to buy the biggest clothes in the shop in the hope that they might fit. 4 years on I’m fighting at competition level and I’m finding clothes labelled “medium” are sometimes a bit too big.

In the scheme of things I know this fight isn’t particularly big: it’s a controlled contact novice fight over 3 rounds of a minute and a half and both fighters will be wearing body, head and shin pads. However from a personal point of view it’s a massive step forward. It’s no longer just training for exercise but working towards competing in a sport where I’m the only person who can win or lose. I’m always careful with the words I use because I don’t like to describe myself as something I’m not, but I think I can now legitimately say I’m a fighter and an amateur Thai boxer. This really came home to me during our warm up on Wednesday when I was thinking “my fitness is pretty good. No problems keeping up with the fighters. Er, hang on, I’m one of them now”. I’ve got ideas on how to keep things moving and it’ll be interesting to see what people say at my next training session after the fight, but that can come later. From where I started to having my first fight has taken a lot of time and hard work. My approach has been to make hay while the sun shines. There may be a time where circumstances prevent me from training as hard as I do now, but I’m going to keep going until that time comes. Meanwhile I’m looking forward to a fight, a pint and a nice pie (Leigh is close to Wigan after all) on Saturday. Of course I’m planning on fighting to win, but I’m just pleased to be fighting at all.

7 days to go…..

This time next Saturday I’ll be the other side of the weigh in and just waiting for my fight to begin. After 4 years training I’ve finally got to competition level. It might be the lowest possible level but it’s a start. I’ve got an idea of where I’d like to take things but first I want to see how this goes. Since my interclub in February I’ve been training hard, doing private sessions with a Thai instructor, going out running and cycling several times a week and of course spending hours at the gym. I’ve also been working on my weight. Normally when I post updates it’s of my weight at the end of a session at the gym when I’m dehydrated and it’s a bit lower, but next week I’ll be weighed when I’m not dehydrated so it’ll have to be lower still. I’m down to fight this one at 88 kg and it’s taken a lot of work to get my “normal” weight to anything below 90 kg, but I’m nearly there now. At the beginning of last night’s session I was 89.1 kg and at the end I was 87.7 kg. Going by the lower of the two, that’s a total weight loss of 46 kg, 102 lbs or 7 stone 4 lbs and a reduction of 35% of my original weight. I know some people who weigh less than that. Compared to the albino Shrek of a few years ago I also look like a fighter now: not just thinner (although I’ve lost 15″ off my waist) but a lot more muscly and better toned and with a lot more life in my eyes. Got to behave myself a bit longer to make sure I lose the last bit, but I should be OK as long as I put in plenty of training over the next few days and stay away from the pies.

Fight Part III

Entry form filled in and left with my trainer to send off, so now the fight’s definitely on. Still to decide what exactly the rules will be but the only difference will be a possible extra 30 seconds per round and a couple of extra allowed techniques. It’ll be over 3 rounds of either 1.5 minutes or 2, and wearing shinpads, a head guard and a body pad. There’s a £30 entrance fee but I do get a DVD out of it which will probably be appearing on Youtube in due course. Certainly come a long way from my first ever interclub in 2007 (pictured in the user icon for this post).

Meanwhile I’m hoping my MP3 player starts working again once it’s dried out after I got caught in a massive thunderstorm tonight.