To write regularly is really easier to plan but much harder to do! I am happy I decided to, except for normal articles, write a personal post just once per a season, not once per week…
The summer has passed and many things happened. To start with, I had a pretty down time after my fight in Thailand in March, which resulted into sitting down and deciding whether I still wish to be in Hong Kong. I stayed and switched gyms. This was a particularly painful decision, because I pretty much was at home at the old one. At first, I planned to have sessions in one gym and some in the other, but later I found myself much more in the other one. My new head coach is the same guy who cornered me in Thailand, so I call it a destiny that I went there. With that, my training has radically changed over the past two months. Especially, when I got into a camp. It was my first camp, when I really had a training plan to follow and all my training partners to help me (push me).
It was emotionally very difficult.
It was difficult physically too, because I suddenly had to train longer and more intense, that my body was literally telling me: No, no, no. Particularly well I remember that class with 600 knees into heavy bag. But harder part was to deal with a different mentality, adapt to a different coaching approach, culture etc. I found myself stressed and tired and frustrated, and not really because of physical training, but of course my body also reflected my mind too.
I have just returned from a fight two weeks ago, which I lost, but seeing how I have changed just confirmed what I was thinking already, that I made a good choice and I should be training at this gym. I felt more ready not only technically (I felt a big jump there), but also mentally. I need to take care of the emotional part of my training in the next camp, which is difficult because nobody else in the gym have the same stressors with me (they understand the language, they are home here, the culture is not alien to them, they live with their families and have their friends here – have some other people outside of the training), so they not only do not understand what bothers me, but cannot help me either.
So for my fight, I have lost to a liver punch that was right on spot. It was a difficult fight, since my opponent had good strength in her punchers and early in the round made my face swollen. I usually write down a list of things I need to improve after every competition and fight, and this time for the first time ever I wrote down things that went well too. Such as, I was not afraid to step outside of my comfort zone and pushed her to the cage, and I am very proud of myself about this. It really made me happy. Second, I did some combos that I trained. Third, I used knees, and I never trained knees before I joined my new gym. My coach put 300 knees per day on my list. Forth, I was not scared when I entered the cage. Fifth, I was still not scared when my face started to hurt and was looking for solutions. There are more things that were bad, of course, but I think this is so far my best fight I had. One more thing I am very happy for: I honestly had doubts. Training with men heavier than me all the time makes me sometimes feel fragile. I was thinking: Am I even tough enough for MMA? I asked myself last time too, but I had no scratch, and I won. Now I lost and my face looked like Hulk. And I can finally say, under these circumstances, I am tough enough. And it is so empowering!
I need to say one more thing, I am totally grateful for my coach (and all the other coaches we have and my training partners). Because he gave me so much effort, time and energy during the camp. I could see what he was doing, how he was pushing me but still trying to monitor if that is a right amount of push. It is a challenge for me, because I am the only woman among the fighters there now, and besides the gender differences, there are many cultural differences too, but it is a challenge for my coach too. I am still getting so many instructions and comments. Until now, I was always a lone wolf. It is a huge difference, I am constantly touched because of it.
Kung fu and work
Yes, I am still training hung kuen and yes, I am still a kung fu person, in case you were asking. I did not change mma for kung fu. But I spend some 20 hours in training per week and kung fu is more minor now. I believe this will change in few years again, but mma has an age limit, kung fu does not. I am using kung fu in mma, mainly in the way how it prepared my body for this. But also, in striking, I understand the principles and see the angles, see the footwork, and it is helping me a lot. Now I need to put on the gloves and use it!
In June I competed at the World Kung Fu Championships, I wrote an article about it here. Since then, I have not retired from competing, but I am really tired of poorly organized events or judges that I do not trust they know what they are doing. Because of that, I want to chose carefully where I will compete, as it will also disrupt my fighting camps for several weeks too. Yes, I do practice regularly, but when I compete, I do no want to come with what I have in my pocket just then, but to show the very best I have and that takes preparation. I can imagine I will be quite satisfied with another events from the European Federation in the future.
During the summer, I taught a self-defence class, few sessions at summer camps and my own summer camp, which was fun and gave me lots of energy. This week I started my regular classes again and I have all the good kids in, so I am really looking forward to it each week. Besides, one of the private classes I am now giving is for a duo, father and 4 yo son, which I think is very special! I love that idea.
Stickers are big in Hong Kong, but this year instead of giving out stickers after class I got membership cards, where I will indicate the level (cycle) and kids (or adults) can collect a sticker as motivation not to skip classes. Panda stickers are for attending, dessert stickers are for doing extra good job.
Speaking about working, semester started last week and this one I am teaching Sport Industry and Research. The later is particularly good, because I love doing research and I really miss it. On the second lecture I spoke about philosophy, paradigms and nature of truth, and their heads exploded. It will be fun. In November I will finally get my PhD diploma, after almost a year, so my colleague asked me whether I want the students to now call me Dr., haha. Nope.
I had birthday!
I turned 31. My friend L took me to Macau to watch the Legends MMA and it was legendary! We met great people there and first time ever I went to an afterparty. Everybody was drinking Conor McGregor’s whiskey, but I enjoyed all those little cakes!
My attempt to celebrate with my mma family was partially successful. We had hotpot (3 people) which was fantastic, and my coach one day decided that TODAY we gonna celebrate my birthday, which was a bit touching for me, too.
I got a package from home and my parents gave me wrestling shoes!
Eating, running and ferries
I found myself stressed about several things in the past camp, one of them was food. I did some meal preps every Sunday, but honestly my cooking is just ok, nothing more. Chicken and vegies, usually. I planned to have a meal plan for entire week long time ago, and never did it. I also don’t really enjoy cooking, and eating out here in Hong Kong can be same prize and sometimes cheaper, if you eat like locals. So I instead started to plan which day I eat where, and what for dinner too, so I can pick it up at lunch and eat it when still at work, 2 hours before I start my training. Hopefully this will work!
So here it is. I restarted running, I know I have to plus my coach made it quite clear. I must say, it actually feels good. I mean, not the run, but when I finish!
I spend lot of time travelling, especially on the ferries. It is like a tram, but on sea, not much difference. I usually make use of the time and either eat or read, and sometimes write. In 1999 I started taking notes after classes and I still do it. These days I usually do an audio note on my phone and once per week put it all down into my training notebook.
I must say I am pretty jealous to my Czech friends because of their vacations! One week here, one week there, beach, mountains… I went home for two weeks, but that is not really a vacation. I saw my family, which is distressing and lovely at the same time. Luckily, I also spent a weekend in the mountains with my friend and few days at a geek convention. That’s it, my entire holidays this summer. I hope I can go somewhere for few days before Winter; not for training, not for fighting, not to visit a family, just travel, just for me. If that will happen, I don’t know yet. In two weeks, I am going to Phuket, Thailand, thanks to the public holiday here in Hong Kong. This “vacation” will be 3-4 training session per day. But I love it and can’t wait to be back there, for the fourth time. As soon as I smell the mats and the boxing bags, I will feel home!
Next fight and random joys
All my life is now around fighting, it is pretty obvious. I have no social life, and I think twice before I eat every time. I am giving it all I have now. Now is the time. My next fight is waiting to be confirmed, but if it works out, it will be something amazing! So fingers crossed for November!
This week I am so full of life! I feel I have improved and I am enjoying the time with my mma boys. My coaching is giving me joy, too. This week I also had two funny episodes.
The first one was with F, we rolled together and at one moment I thought is a great idea to go for a toe hoe submission. But he had the exact same idea. So there we were, trying to toe hoe each other and laughing loud.
Second one was when my coach showed me after training how to pass half guard in a really cool way, after I failed all the expectations… Two days later we were doing positional sparring, starting from a half guard, top one trying to pass and bottom one sweep or go to full guard. I thought, “If I won’t do exactly what I was taught two days ago, I’m dead.” So I watched guys fighting for their positions 1, 2 minutes; we were looking for a fastest time. Then it was my turn, I was really nervous about this one. Coach said: “Start!” I passed. Coach said: “Stop!” Everyone died laughing.
I passed within one second. I was very lucky, to be honest. But I never laughed so hard when sparring.
1 year anniversary of my living on Lamma Island!
PS: MMA photos by WOTD, Way of the Dragon Championships
I have been practicing martial arts since 1999. It became the reason for moving to Hong Kong and it guided many of my life decisions. I am addicted to hung kuen kung fu and MMA. Further blog posts are sharing of an enthusiast.
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