Total rounds: 16
1. Jump Rope - 2
2. Shadow - 3
3. Double - 2
4. Speed - 3
- I can feel myself getting better on the speed bag. Of course being good on the speed bag doesn't mean that one is a good fighter, but it does show that one is not a beginner since it takes time to get better on the speed bag.
- I can hit with decent speed and timing, but of course not as fast or as long as the most experienced guys in the gym but I definitely don't sound like a beginner anymore.
5. Mitts - 2
- I usually do mitts with the head trainer, probably 4x/week. I think compared to most of the other guys who come in and out I hit the mitts rather hard. I can feel my coordination getting better where I can fire off 4-5 punch combinations with relative ease, but the problem is more my conditioning than anything else. I just get really tired, and so I get lazy in not putting up my hands.
- I realize that putting up my hands is the single most important habit I need to focus on.
6. Sparring - 4
- I didn't mean to but I ended up sparring twice.
- First, I sparred with MarvinH again. We talked this time and turns out he's 39 years old, been boxing for about 7 years, and this November will be his first fight. He said the year before 40 he wanted to try a match. He only weighs about 150 lbs he said, and is about 5'8. He's quite thick however, and in really great shape with a lot of muscular build.
- It wasn't a real fair match since I was just way taller and bigger than him. He said I was so wide it was hard for him to spin around, since I would tag him with my jab when he did spin. I did notice he was fast.
- The first round I did mostly jab, and 1-2 combos. However, I notice I'm really slow getting back to my guard after throwing a right hand so I'm vulnerable to a left hook or jab. He's fast so he dodged a lot of my shots. I got him with my jab a half dozen times however, so he didn't advance much.
- The 2nd round, I decided not to throw any rights at all just focusing on my jab. He asked me later why I didn't use my right, and I said I noticed him stepping around quickly and then countering, so I started baiting him with my jab and then stepping in for a right uppercut. I got him in the corner once, and feigned a few 1-2 combos but not throwing my right just the jab, and when he relaxed and came in I got him with a bunch of uppercuts and hooks.
- Basically, my hooks and straight rights are really slow. I have to work on them more. I have to be really patient with my right, and focus on jabs and then uppercuts if the person does advance.
- Things to work on: Instead of doing 1-2, do a 3 hit combo next time and finish with the left hand even if it's another jab. I think I should start working on a 3 hit combo where the last is a long reach uppercut/underhand jab. It's not doing damage so much as keeping the person away after I use my right hand.
- My 2nd match was against a lanky fella. He was about 5'10 but really thin. He said he's 31 and been boxing for about 2 years, but has never been in a match and doesn't really want to enter but likes to spar. He weighs only 140lbs so he was shocked to find out (after our match) that I weighed 230. I had 90 lbs on him even though I'm only two inches or so taller.
- He asked me to spar, but I said I was tired, so he said let's go lightly. Turns out we didn't go that light, though neither of us hit very hard just tapped our face guards. (He was wearing a full guard as well.)
- His style was like Ali's with his hands down and daring me to get him with the jab. I think he underestimated my jab, b/c I did get him a few times and so he put his guard up. He was fast in moving around, but once I cornered him he had nowhere to go. So I ended up jabbing and getting him with a bunch of inside hooks and uppercuts.
- I used a bunch of defensive styles, so jab, jab, jab and when he advanced I would use an uppercut or jab uppercut. One time he came in and I got him pretty hard with a hook but he blocked my arm with his arm. Even though I ended up hitting him, the inside of my left elbow where the two bones meet is really in pain now. I can't even massage it b/c it hurts so much. This was probably my most serious boxing injury since I never got hit too hard in the face and just had that slightly bloody lip from before.
- It doesn't help me too much sparring guys who are so light and especially shorter. If they're tall it's not so bad since I get to at least work on my outside fighting, but I'm just too big. I need to lose weight only so I can get closer to my sparring partners.
- This is like a dream session if I can get 4 rounds of sparring. It's also fun to spar with different people since they have different styles, respond differently. I'm just concerned I'm building bad habits since I'm sparring guys that are almost always shorter and much much lighter than me, even if they are more skilled.
- This is why I like sparring MikeT and RoyJ. MikeT is so much much better than I am, but we're similar in build so I can at least feel what it would be like to box someone my size. RoyT is much lighter than I am, but he's really lean and strong. I would be his weight if I were as lean as he was, well maybe not but he looks like he's about 6ft, maybe 6'1, weighs 175 or so with no fat at all, maybe 5-7% bodyfat. He's much more fit than I am, but he's also a beginner so we're fairly evenly matched. +he's a southpaw so I get a different kind lesson with him.
- I really enjoy sparring days, the whole fun of boxing is in the sparring. I think even if I never am part of a match, if I spar regularly it'll be fun just doing this for a long long time. It's kind of like a match, but no prep, no making weight, and of course only going at about 50% so it's fairly light but one can still try new things.
I found out that the tournament is held only once every two years. So the next one will be in November 2015, and I'll be 43 by then. I do commit to doing it then as well, but this time at 81 kgs so around 179lbs. I'd have a lot of weight to lose, but it'll be fun trying. They said even if I get down to 200, it'll be pretty hard to find a beginner at that weight. At least if I get down to 180, I'll be more experienced as well + easier to find someone at those lighter weights. Oh well, I can't control what I can't control.