Many of my mornings at Petchrungruang are like this, with me the only person around. The Thai kids all run and do some light training at 5 am before school, and then the gym is open for a session at around 9 or so. Not many westerners come at this time, leaving the gym more or less empty. Because Pi Nu will only hold pads once a day, I try to have my padwork done in the morning, often with just him and me there. An empty gym is also a really nice place to focus on bagwork, this was my bagwork this morning:
What My Bagwork Looks Like Lately
So this is what my bagwork looks like at the moment. I regularly do 5 rounds at 4 minutes and I’ve been focusing on moving around the bag more so that I have to throw kicks from different angles, rather than “setting up” for them, but I also try to stay close to the bag. So I push it away rather than backing myself away.
I’m also working on my left hook, which is something Sifu (WKO) has been helping me with. I still “coffee cup” the angle a little bit because I don’t raise my elbow enough, but it’s much improved already and the power on it is great.
And with my kicks I’m trying to keep my swinging arm extended out for more control of the kick, rather than throwing the arm behind me. I’ve been instructed in both methods and have worked on both, but the extended arm gives me more control so that’s what I’m working with right now. My work with Arjan Surat at Dejrat gym I think really got me focused on this more.
For about a year and a half at Petchrungruang I trained on one of the softer bags in the gym. I just felt very comfortable on it, and because it was in the corner I could just keep to myself there, but I’m beating on this bag now because it’s the heaviest and least forgiving at the gym. There’s one at WKO that’s like hitting a cement wall and Sifu makes me hit that one, so this bag is a more “body real” firmness to that. It doesn’t swing too easily and it’s very solid, which masks some of the power of strikes. I try to keep that in mind when I watch this clip (when I’m hitting it I just go by feel, so that’s fine), because it looks like I’m just swatting at it, visually. That’s a little disheartening to see because I can really feel the thud and power, but it also reminds me that while the power of a strike is in the strike, a visually powerful strike can be deceptive or have a double-impact; so I need to make my energy more explosive, more visual, its a factor in judging. My favorite fighters do that really well, so I’m going to try to work on that more as well.
The bare-fisted training is something I’ve been doing since mid-December when I took this private with Sifu: Sifu McInness Bare-Fisted Training and it has really stabilized and stiffened my hands. I either do all bag and cornerbag work bare-fisted, or with a light gauze wrap (if I’m waiting for padwork). I’ve left gloves behind for this work as I’ve come to believe that they hide imperfections in a strike, things you’ll feel and correct if your bare-fisted.
Something more I’m working on, which isn’t included here, is a different kind of knee taught to me by Dieselnoi a short while ago. You can see a clip of me drilling it here on Facebook. It involves a more vertical placement of the shin, and a deceptively powerful hip twist. I’ll be writing about that in a few weeks, along with the whole private I had with him. In the meantime I’m trying to work on his knee technique which is really amazing.