Day five CFIC

Today was awesome. I got a whole extra half hour in bed. It was amazing.

Training started off with a quick warm up before moving onto slow fighting. I was happily working with James Hobson (G5) when Eyal came over and asked to work with me. Eyebrow raised with suspicion, I started working on getting my range with him. He’s got some long limbs, and his kicks and punches come from some bizarre angles and he disguises his attacks with spins and fakes making it very difficult to predict what may happen next. So, with that in mind I moved into the clinch which with my aggression and hard head is my strong range. I ate a couple headbutts and got bitten on the hand and neck. Great. I backed off and managed to catch one of his head kicks. Brilliant. Sweeping out his back leg I scored a takedown on the man himself. Yeah sure on his way down he eyes gouged me and got strong hit into my love spuds but I’m still happy – currently looking smug with myself hours after the event. In total we worked for thirty minutes solid. Both of us were smiling and laughing by the end of it trying to workout what each other was planning and trading blows. He’s over thirty years my senior and managed to keep up with me and react faster than I could ever hope to. He’s a definite Master of his trade.

Once we’d finished up with the slow fighting, we got helmets and gloves on and got armed with sticks. I love stick fighting and it is by far my strong point (there will be a video up on my Facebook page for you to look at). Jacek and I went at it for a while and he completely wiped me out in the first round with a takedown and some good old fashion ground and pound. Round two went a lot better for me. My fitness paid off and after being disarmed I managed to resist his grappling and even get a cheeky disarm while he tried a takedown. Unarmed he decided to jump back in and leave me with a couple of digs before running off. You can hear us laughing at the end of the video. It’s possibly one of the best training environments I’ve ever been in as everyone is comfortable with the own abilities and there is no ego leaving us to just get on and train and enjoy it.

Major (and Dr) Ole Boe (E3) from Norway took us for an amazing lecture on Reactions to Stress and Danger. Ole covered lots of different areas from the seven different Fight/Flight responses to different levels of stress can cause such problems as critical stress amnesia to bilateral symmetry (no I’m not going into detail – that’s what Google is for!) and how all of these effect your ability to operate as a fighter. This is a really interested subject as its something we work on in class already but need to work on even more. For those of you who train with me prepare for the stress. I will cause it because I care…

After the lunch break we warmed up gradually with multiple attackers while keeping to the theme of operating under stress and how it affects out physical abilities. Having to do simple tasks such as typing a text message or tying shoe laces are easier or harder depending on your heart rate. With my resting heart rate I could perform these tasks easily but I was actually quicker at these tasks once I had a heart rate of 141bpm. Higher than that and my ability to perform and make decisions started to deteriorate. It was an important lesson to help us understand the value of staying calm even when out numbered and physical fitness – which has been linked to stress relief for years – is a big help.

Once we had finished with the multiple attackers (the final round was against two knifes, a stick and a puncher – calming…) we started on some grappling. Jovan ran us thought some basic drills from his grappling knowledge and then fed them in as preventions for some of the chokes on the ground and the guillotine. I was working with Honzi Cerny (G3) from the Czech Republic. He’s a very big, strong and funny guy. It was really fun training with him as he keeps quiet most of the time but when he gets going he’s good at what he does and you can have a laugh with him too. One of the highlights was my headbutt drop attack to his groin from standing. He was on the ground and I had his legs pinned open. I could have just used a stomp kick but I got caught in one of those ‘what if’ moments. I learnt that groin guards are harder than my head…

The day ended with Alan Dennis punching me in the groin after I had taken off my groin guard off (you cheeky swine, you!) and Tibor and I singing along to the radio on our escape from Harlow.

Happy days, Sam

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