Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thinking Outside of the Box

I am pretty broke... Well I guess most people struggle after grad school so I am not alone. I am trying to find creative ways to get in extra strength and conditioning outside of practice. Work keeps me super busy with the two and a half hour total commute and the fact that teaching is a job one takes home. I also do not have the money to join a fitness gym. Yesterday I ran all the way to the pet store and then back with a 40 lb bag of dog food. I am looking to find practical, inexpensive and quick ways to get in small strength and conditioning work outs! Suggestions are welcome! Any ideas out there?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tonight's Lesson

I need to hit more. I know my stand up has become so much better in the past year. I know I have the skill and capability to be a great stand up fighter. I am quicker now, I can kick, I can throw combos; but there is still that little voice from the past telling me to hard block so I do not get knocked out by my teammates.

I guess what that boils down to is trust. Like Pavlov proved: a behavior is learned through consequence. At one time, if I threw some punches and left myself vulnerable I would pay a price for it. So, my brain is hard wired to believe that if I make a mistake at practice I will pay for it.

I have become much better at trusting my teammates and knowing that my past is not my present. I do not "pay" for making mistakes at practice; rather, I learn from them. I have very good teachers and teammates. Yes, they do often teach me lessons, but it is never out of cruelty. I know that all of these people want to see me tap into my full potential and would like to see me achieve my goals.

So last week my lesson was "circle left." This weeks lesson is "trust fully in myself and my teammates." That means I better throw some combos :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A True Fighter is a Believer

In retrospect, the place I started MMA was not where I should have been. I was already lacking confidence in my life and capability and I began to lose more as the years continued. I did not believe in myself or my fighting ability. During those years I was struggling to find who I am as a person and as a fighter. I was, in a sense, lost. I was in that place between adulthood and childhood where one has to struggle to define his or her role in the world. The best thing I could have done for my life and fight career was attend the University of Michigan where I discovered my true path set out for me.

I now have a firm understanding of what it means to be a part of a brotherhood, a family of fighters. I would do anything for the people I train with and I know I can expect the same loyalty from them. I believe in my coaches, teammates, my family away from home, my best friends, my brothers. I believe in the bond we have and the support we create for one another.

I believe in the message Professor Crabtree sends to his students. He has instilled in me something I always strove for all along; working for what I have and earning what I want. I have known Professor Crabtree for a long time. From the outside I saw how much his students loved him, the sport and each other. I envied that bond and instruction. I am thankful to both Professor Crabtree and his team for accepting me as a part of their family.

I have become more than I ever thought I could have because of his instruction and the support of this family. I have tapped potentials I did not think could exist. Only a Mixed Martial Artist could understand this, but the proudest day of my life was not receiving two bachelors degrees, a masters by the age of 24, having the President of the United States address my graduating class or even becoming a teacher; the proudest moment in my life was accepting my blue belt from one of the people I admire most in this world. I know I worked for it, and I know I earned it. I am thankful for GRBJJ and their support in my pursuit to earn my place in this world.

There are no words to express the sincerity in knowing how blessed I am to train with Master Khillah and Team Lightning Kicks. Master Amir is one of the most talented people I have ever met and he has opened doors for me that I did not even know existed. He has fostered my growth as a fighter and is the truest and kindest heart I have ever met. He cares very deeply about all of his students and spends more time with all of us, helping us excel, than I have ever witnessed. I am blessed to train with the most talented crop of fighters in the state of Michigan and to train with some of the best fighters in the world on occasion. I can never explain what all of these people have meant to my career and more importantly my life.

I am a believer. I have faith. I have been accused of dreaming entirely too much, but then again do fighters not have to dream and believe and put complete faith into the trainer and team they are a part of. I believe in who I am and who I will become despite those who do not think I can make it. I have pushed through door and windows for five years and I am proud of where I have landed. I know the road will still be full of twists and turns but that is all a part of the journey. I know I will do great things... just wait and see.

I am back

It has been a long while since my last post. Since the last thing I wrote I have received my M.Ed. and I have nearly completed my first year as a teacher. The fight career is going well. I moved to the West Side of the state and I am training with two of the best instructors and teams I could have found. I have grown as a fighter and I am looking forward to showing that to myself and everyone else when I hit the cage June 18th at the Lansing Center. Legion! Oss!