Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anyone able to explain how Machida won a round last night? I scored it myself based on effective grappling, striking and octagon control, as per the UFC criteria.  Shogun controlled the pace of the fight, aside from two forward attacks that Machida made in the final two rounds. Even then, Shogun countered effectively, thus nullifying the advantage machida had in initiating the attack. Shogun landed more shots, heavier shots and they were visibly taking a toll on Machida's movement, reactions and ability to counter. Effective striking - Shogun.

Machida mostly moved backwards into the cage, so he didn't display Octagon control at all, he rarely does and that is his whole gameplan. Octagon control - Shogun.

Shogun shot in and clinched a number of times but was unable to put Machida down and barely even unbalanced him.  Saying that though, Shogun left almost every clinch of his own accord, not because Machida forced him to and Shogun left every clinch with a number of effective blows. Machida clinched a few times at the start and landed a lot of solid knees from that position, but they did not seem to alter Shogun's intentions at all so surely they can't be scored as effective grappling or striking if they didn't appear effective?

Overall I had it scored as 50-45 to Shogun. Machida lost every single round. Goldia and Rogan both scored the first two rounds to Shogun, the third to Machida and the 4th to Shogun, giving at the very least a split decision to Shogun if you take their word for the scoring.

Saying that, Cecil Peoples was on the judging panel so I guess he just rolled dice each round to score it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My second Muay Thai fight took place last night in Grangemouth. I was 7th on the 13 fight card. I was fighting a lad called Craig Allan from Base Muay Thai, the camp who were promoting this card.

To cut to the chase, I lost again. saying that, it didn't feel like I lost. At the end of the 1st round I took an accidental groin shot and was unable to continue. A draw you say? Nay, for this is Muay Thai; where real men only need apply (that's sarcasm btw). I was counted out and a loss was recorded against me: TKO. Technical Knock Out.

Do I think it is fair? Well, thems the rules and I knew that unless it was repeated fouls or a purposeful foul that I would have to continue or get counted out. Do I think that is right? Not at all, I have always despised the "macho" thread running through Muay Thai and the idea that unless your cup breaks from the contact of the illegal strike then you must contine. I think it is unnecessarily masochistic to expect a fighter to recover from a full force kick in the nuts in ten seconds. I certainly didn't recover after ten minues, never mind ten seconds! The most annoying thing is not losing the fight or even being kicked in the nuts, it is the way that my opponent showed very little respect in a sport that is supposed to be synonymous with the word. As I was on my hands and knees on the canvas due to the excruciating pain of having one of my testicles crushed and pushed into my stomach, he was jumping up and down celebrating his victory. Yes celebrating. It makes me sick that he would celebrate a victory achieved in such manner. I would be ashamed to have won by hitting someone so hard in their testicles that they could not continue. I certainly wouldn't count it as a win if it had happened just over a minute into the first round where neither of us had any real advantage over the other. I can only hope that he was happy to have won because he felt he was close to losing. That is really the only excuse I would accept.

During the rather short period I got to display myself, I was doing everything that I wanted to and scoring well. Watching the fight back I think it looks like he got the better of the clinch but only because he threw knees as I punched him - knees in the clinch look better and judges will score them higher because the fighter is showing a wider range of techniques and skills, despite effect. His knees were completely innefective and I didn't even realise he was kneeing me until I watched the video afterwards. His main strength was his hands and his left has given me a black eye. My main strength is also my hands, meaning we traded black eyes essentially.

I am happy with my performance and I have a feeling that he was already beaten and it was only a matter of time before I knocked him out. I was completely calm and exectuted almost everything I wanted to - I was relaxed enough to block his kicks, I landed a few of my own and even my weakest element, push kicks, were used and landed to the effect I wished. I only wish I could have kneed him as I had intended. His ribs would have broken for sure because I am quite happy to stand up and say my knees are very powerful and a few exchanges would have seen his breathing become very laboured due to the damage his body had taken. I planned to use my knees in the second round and onwards and to attack his thigh and chest mainly, using my hands to set them up and also possibly playing possum and a slight counterattacking game.

I'm not annoyed at my performance like last time and I am not at all disappointed. I am taking this as a no contest despite what was officially recorded. My balls are quite tender and Lynn pointed out I have been walking like John Wayne! Nothing else is really that sore and I could probably fight next week if I chose to.

Back to training on Tuesday and I'll be busy doing my first two Uni assessments for the next two weeks!


Sunday, September 06, 2009

In two weeks I will have fought my second muay thai fight.  My training is going quite well and my reactions and speed are much better than last time. My main strengths are looking to be match winners and I have developed a new weapon for this fight which I am looking forward to testing.  In addition, my weaknesses are getting stronger which is bad news for my opponent.

I always seem to have some sort of injury though. This seems to be common with fighters who are training seriously and fighting at the top level. I can only assume that I have not prepared for my serious training well and my body simply isn't used to training this hard. My diet is ok and I am getting enough rest so it must just be hard acclimatising. I'm certain I will be 100% fit to fight but it is still annoying to continually have niggling injuries.

Mike - We are still in the Cafe Project for Muay Thai from half 7 to half 8 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I grapple with an informal group on Wedensday 4-6 and Saturday mornings 9-11 in the Sports Centre at the High School although it is justan invitation only thing at the moment I think. I really want to try out ammy MMA as well, I would need to get my ground a bit tighter though! Lynn and I plan to move to Dundee when she gets a job, however I start university in Dundee on the 14th and expect to be there a lot in any case. Still wanna meet up and roll with you.

Until after my fight, good day to you all. x

Monday, August 17, 2009

Today I started my second week of fight training. last weeek was much tougher than I anticipated because I was so out of shape. Now, I am not going to tell you I am fat because that would be a bare faced lie but I did have the beginnings of a wee pot belly and I was certainly heavier. I weighed myself before starting training and I was shocked to discover I was about 90kg. That's around 14st or 198lb. Since I am fighting at 79kg, you can understand that I was amazed.

I am now around 82kg since I cut out a lot of crap in my diet and started traiining properly. let me tell you that crash loosing around 8kg is not nice! Every session last week felt like double what it was. At the end of an hour long class I felt like I had just completed two hours of hard sparring. My body was also starting to feel it as my left bicep and left shoulder started to give in. I rested well over the weekend and we eased off a little in sparring tonight so that my shoulder had an extra day but I think my body is adjusting to the harder training now.

I will not give away too much on what I am working on in my training sessions but I've only had one really bad session where I was in a foul mood afterwards because I felt I performed terribly, the rest have been fairly positive.

In training for my last fight I was focusing more on getting my body annd mind ready to fight, in that mental state where you can fight and not be self concious, as I found myself to be previously. That type of attitude is gone and I sorely want this one to end with my arms raised. My mental state has changed the way I approach training and in recognising this, my trainers have changed the training. last fight I only really went into that ring with my right hand, my right kick and rudimentary movement. This time however, I am training all my weapons and all angles. My knees are feeling really good from close, mid and long range. My hands are tighter and I am wasting less shots. My defence is feeling a bit tighter and can only improve as we get more sparring in. My kicks still need some work but they are perfectly functional. The fact that I am concerned more with correcting technique for the judges rather than power (of which there is plenty) in itself displays a marked improvement to the training for my last fight. I am satisfied with my progress and feel I am going to come into this fight a much better prepared fighter than last time. I am certain I will have no nerves this time and will win because I will be better prepared and in a better mental state than my opponent.

I said last time KO in the 3rd but my coach thinks that if I stick to the plan and don't lose my head  as I did last time then I could probably get a KO or TKO quicker than that. I certainly hope so. I want to make this opponent pay for my failure to win last time.

I am hungry.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I have been posting on this blog for  over three years now and this is my 100th post. So what have I done and what have I achieved?

Firstly, the main purpose of this blog was to encourage me to train more and to train consistently in whatever I was doing. At the time of starting this blog I was only training parkour. My first ever post has a good description of parkour if you want to read it.

The main thing I have gained from doing and studying parkour is that what I wanted from parkour was something to give my life purpose. I wanted to feel alive and get caught up in a moment rather than always be extremely aware of the long term.

Physically I discovered that without practice I have strong legs and decent balance and with training I have very strong legs and great balance. I also found out I needed to work on my upper body. I knew it was my weak point but I didn't realise how weak that point was!

After discovering the motto of "etre fort pour etre utile" I found that this hit a nerve with me and the quest to be strong to be useful will now stay with me for life, thanks to parkour and Erwan LeCorre.

Once this motto was a part of my self identity, I decided to take up boxing in order to supplement my parkour training but ended up accidentally taking up Muay Thai, and I have never looked back. Muay Thai took up much more time than parkour and eventually completely replaced it. I was immersed in studying and practicing Muay Thai. My main goals were to gain self confidence and keep fit. I never imagined I would fight.

Three years on from the start of my blog and my life is in a completely different place that I would have expected it to be. I gave up a decent paying job with good prospects and good security to return to studying and have now really discovered who I am. I will be attending Dundee University to start a three year MA Psychology (hons) in September and I plan on using psychology as a career in itself, either councelling or therapy of some sort so that I can continue to help people, but in a more effective way.

That theme of helping people continues in Muay Thai. I am fighting for the second time on September 19th so that I can help train other people for fights and so that I can tewach effectively and with the respect of my students. I do plan on becoming a Muay Thai instructor, which is actually within my grasp this year if I put my mind to it. My coach had nothing but good things to say about my future plans and even my planned foray into MMA competition even though he does not like grappling and ground fighting. It was he who has encouraged me to teach and to become and instructor, even going as far as saying that if time permits I should open up a club of my own in Dundee!

Although it is fractured and split over 100 posts and three years, you can look back over this blog and see me change. It is more apparent than ever that I am now a completely different person than I was when I started. I am no longer scared of physical confrontation and my instincts are changing from flight to fight. My diet is getting better and I'm starting to cut out all junk food and have found that I mostly don't like it at all, apples are way better than snickers! Lynn and I are about to celebrate our first year together as a married couple and we have a bright future ahead. I've even started to get a handle on my money and anyone who knows me will know that money doesn't just burn a hole in my pocket, it burns my pants right off!

In the future:

I would like to fight maybe 3 Muay Thai fights in total and a few MMA bouts.

I would like to have two children.

I would like to be a psychology doctor.

I would like to have a clean, whole food diet.

I would like to save 10% of each monthly income.

I would like to visit France, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, Russia, Brazil, Thailand, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

I would like to call one of the above "home"

These are my new plans for the future. The blog title "kieran in motion" remains because I would like my life to be constantly in motion and embrace change as the necessary force it is. I do not want to be come stagnant. I want to remain in motion.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wow, totally forgot to post on the 20th! I have been matched for the September fight but I got the wrong date. It will be Septermber 19th.

My (mostly) bodyweight training is going quite well considering I've only been doing it for two weeks now.

Week 1 - 06/07/09 to 12/07/09

Monday - Jump Squats up stairs x 3. Three sets of 15 stairs in the entry to my flat. Only rest between exercised was the tie it took to walk back down the stairs, about 45 seconds maybe.

Calf raises with 10kg weight on shoulder - I could say it was a sandbag but I'll be honest and say it was cat litter!

Bulgarian split squats with 6kg hand weights, 5x5 on each leg.

I woke up on the Tuesday with a twisted knee, probably because I didn't warm up for what was quite a tough workout for me so I didn't do anything else this week because walking hurt!

Week 2 - 13/07/09 to 19/07/09


Pull ups, 5x5 - Used progressive weight addition, first set w' no weight, 2nd with 3kg, 3rd with 6kg, 4th with 3kg and 5th with no extra weight. This is the formula I follow wherever I mention progressive weight addition, the weights will be different though.

Towel Fly, 5x5 - This is where you start in a press up position with two towels in your hands, slide your arms out as far as they go then you use your shoulders etc to pull yourself back into a press up position. Can be done with dumbells too.

Dips, 5x5 - progressive weight addition with 3kg and 6kg

Raised feet pressups, 25 - just to finish with something that would push me, test me and hurt me in equal measure!

Tuesday was Thai boxing where I didn't have a really hard session but instead worked on footwork and angles in combination to 1-2 and 1-2-3 combinations involving punches, knees and kicks on the freestyle pads. Worked the heavy bag with same things but at full pace. Technically a rest day!


Assisted leg raises, 2x10 - this was leg raises using a skipping rope looped around my legs so that I could ensure it was slow enough to work my core properly.

Dorsal raises, 5x5

Mountain climbers, 4x30 seconds

Single leg plank, 30 seconds

Thursday: I was working so didn't go to Thai boxing.

Friday: Was scheduled to do lower body but knee was still a bit tweaky so I didn't want to risk it.


I was grappling from 9-11. Worked on guard and half guard. Drilled guard passing. had a good war with Neil. Finally got a sub! Triangled Neil twice although one was a tap due to exhaustion on his half!


I was grappling and doing padwork with Alan and Graham in the morning. had a rally good workout and sweated a bucket.

This week has been patchy since I was working a lot of late shifts and was simply too tired to train.

20/07/09 to 24/07/09


Weighted split squats, 5x5 with 6kg hand weihts fashioned onto my shoulders like a barbell

Stair squat jumps x3

weighted calf raises, 12x3 - same as split squat weight arrangement.

Tuesday I didn't work and took as a rest day. trained muay thai at night and had a blast smashing the pads and my shins doing drills involving checking kicks with a new fighter with us called Ross.

Wednesday I was working late.

Thursday I was working late also. I had planned on doing upper body but have not done this.

Today I had business to attend to and had this scheduled as a rest day. Went to Dundee and bought supplements for my training. Reflex One Stop is getting a try out this time - all in one vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs, creatine and glutamine!

I completed each rep of every exercise slowly to recruit more muscle fibres. The concentric contraction (pulling myself up in pull up for example) was 2 seconds and the eccentric contraction was 3 or 4 seconds depending on exercise and my own judge of time since I used a rough measure of time (elephants). I used 1 min rest between sets and 5 mins rest between exercises in most cases. Apparently you can gain upto 755 of your strength this way abnd thus work yourself harder than you normally would be able to. This would equal greater gains in the same time.

Tomorrow I will be doing a demonstation of Thai Boxing with my camp at the Seafrong Spectacular. We will also be fundraising so I hope it is a nice day. Going to a Buddy Holly tribute in the evening, should be good!

I will be following the above type of schedule for my fight but also adding Thai training Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat evenings fo two hours also. I will be swapping some exercises for others in order to make it more fun and also to recruit different secondary muscle groups. I hope this will result in me being stronger and in better shape for this opponent. I'm predicting a stoppage in the 3rd - you heard it here first!

Finally, it has come to my attention that more people than my wife regularly read this, so if you are one of these people then thank you very much for following my blog, sometimes my writing is so terrible I hope nobody else reads it! My 100th post will be a summary of what I have achieved since I started this blog and what I want to achieve in the next academic year.


Monday, July 06, 2009

This is my 98th post in this blog. My 100th post will be to explain what I have been doing recently in order to get stronger. I'm firstly trying a bunch of routines three times a week using minimal equipment and I'll do this for four weeks.

I go on holiday to Tiree for the first week in August, during which I want to be running on the beach regulalrly and kayaking in the sea! Lynn and I are also going to do a lot of walking and photography of the local wildlife and scenery.

When I come back I will either be buying weights or joining a gym for a month to try out another routine, which will be followed three days a week for another four weeks UNLESS the bodyweight and minimal equipment routine makes a large difference to my size and strength. If I am to be fighting on September 18th then I would rather not go to the gym unless I have to as travelling there and back (either to the garage we will keep our equipment in or to the gym) adds on too much time since I will be working  as well as training muay thai almost every night. If using minimal equipment and bodyweight exercises is not giving me the results I need then I'll try out the gym plan even though it will be more expensive in both money and time.

I've been sorting out my nutrition too and the food plan and shopping Lynn and I have been following has been going for a year now. I'm still eating some processed and junk foods (white bread, ice cream etc) but most of the stuff we eat is made in the house from scratch. I've not mentioned it on this blog much but my personal finances are being managed better. I plan on keeping an accounts book and logging receipts and expenditure in it so I can keep track of my money better. I also need to start internet banking.

I bought a notebook to use as a work and training diary so my next two posts will be updated straight from there at two week intervals. The plan being that I will look and feel great at the end of these next 4 weeks. I'm working legs, core  and upper body on different days and also grappling at least once a week and muay thai at least once a week, should be two - no need for running or sprint intervals yet. The full plan will be uploaded on 20th July, the start of my third week. Since I am keeping a training diary I will be able to upload to this blog the honest excercise, reps and effort I've been putting in.

Hope everyone is enjoying the sun and summer - I'm not, but that's another story!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Started up a Flikr account. I'm over at

I really enjoyed photography when I was doing media studies at college, after I left school and continued onto Dundee College to study photography. Circumstances dictated that I had to leave and on top of that, the SLR that I owned at the the time had a severely scratched lens. Being poor and stupid I threw it out, not thinking to keep the camera body, get my lens polished or even just buy a new lens (all possibilities now that I thiink back). I really enjoyed photography, despite the fact I wasn't very good at it. I really enjoyed the darkroom and processing of films and photos and I enjoyed taking pictures without the aid of a digital viewscreen for immediate consideration.

Anyway, a friend was selling a number of old Soviet cameras and I purchased them (personal note - pay Graeme!). Also, my wife bought me an old Praktica from the charity shop where she volunteers. I now have a healthy collection of vintage cameras and lenses. These are:

Praktica B200
Fed 5
Zenit 12XP
Zenit 19

The Praktica is a German camera and came in  a nice wee leather shoulder bag with seperate compartments for the camera and lens, another lens and a hotshoe flash, all included.  I'll edit this post more when I have time to check the sizes and specs of them.

The Fed 5 is Ukranian and was made in the '70's. It is a Leica copy so I can buy new lenses for it as long as I get Leica lenses. It comes in a lovely brown case. This is probably my favourite camera because it feels lovely in your hands and the mechanics sound so smooth. Winding it on and releasing the shutter is actually a pleasure to feel and hear. It may not be satisfying to people who prefer the huge CLUNK, but it is to me.

The Zenit 12XP and 19 both came with a variety of lenses and were both fitted with their standard 58mm lenses.  I have a 28mm wide angle lens, 2.5/120mm lens, 4/120mm lens,  Macro lens and also an 80-200mm zoom lens. I was trying out all these lenses the other day on an excursion along the cliffs in Arbroath so hopefully they come out alright. I've only used the Zenit 12XP so far because the Zenit 19 is a total beast of a camera and also only works with two watch batteries, which I don't have right now.

My future plans for photography is to get the chemicals and spiral tank to develop my own black and white negatives and eventually get an enlarger and the approprate equipment to be able to process my own pictures. I can always "black out" a room to use as a dark room and we have a cupboard that can be gutted (minus Lynn's sweing equipment) and used for this purpose if need be. It costs £7.99 to get a roll of B&W film developed in Arbroath and takes 2 weeks! I want to speak to the college and try to convince them to open the labs they have to the public (I.E. - me!) so that i can use there rooms for B&W photography. I prefer this over colour, but then again if you look at my Flikr you will see the lovely colours that the Fed 5 produces that have started to sway me to colour, if only with the Fed....


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thoughts from first grappling session

I have been thinking about my grappling yesterday.  I think that the reason ground fighting is so exciting is because it is like learning to walk again. We have only a very basic knowledge of how to move on the ground and most of this knowledge is either crawling or attempting to stand up. In a fight, crawling is giving your back and will not help at all and standing up simply isn't an option at times. It is interesting to learn how to move on the ground when you are on your back, or on your knees because we do not have the experience of this. Since this blog started off as an exploration of movement (hence the name kieran in motion) I find it quite ironic that things have moved full circle.

Anyway, when I was rolling yesterday I found I was able to sweep my more experienced partners more often than I or they expected or anticipated but when I got myself into a more dominant position I lost it very quickly.  My partners were often not getting the submission on me that they intended because I had good defennce anticipation but they tapped me out with submissions that I gave them through leaving openings while defending something else.  This shows me that I have a decent level of defence to start with but that I need to remember that nobody else but me is thinking of things in sigle movements. I will sweep from in guard to full mount then immediately be put on my back again, for example and this happens because I am thinking in my head "right, now I am in mount" and trying to switch to "mount" mode in my head whereas the other guys are thinking "I can sweep to mount and then flatten him out and pressure him into a keylock and if that doesn't work I will move up and try forr the armbar" etc etc.

Secondly, I  am completely forgetting about my own position when I go for submissions. A perfect example is when going for a triangle I will put all of my attention into breaking his grip or straightening his arm (etc) that I forget to keep my legs tight and he pulls out or passes my legs.  I know what I am supposed to do if I ge stacked when going for a triangle but I focus too much on one aspect and neglect positional safety. This ties in with my previous point. I am thinking about the arm and only the arm wheras my partner is thinking that he can pass my legs then get into side control then pass to mount. I need to think more strategically in terms of positional hierarchy and body mechanics.

Finally, my legs and arms are not working in concert all too often.  This ties in with everything I have just said. I am not used to using my arms and legs to control someone when I am on my back or on top of someone and so I have no working knowledge of doing so. I know in my head what I should be doing but concentrate too hard on one aspect that I forget what I am doing with the rest of my body. Then becaise he is thinking three moves ahead and I am only thinking 1 second ahead if my move fails he can then implement his gameplan.

I have three goals for the next time I roll which should be either Thursday or Saturday:

  1. Whatever position I am in, I will try to use both my legs and arms to move to a better position, whether that position is mount to half guard or the end of a submission.
  2. Once in a dominant position, or even an advantageous neutral position I want to be able to control and maintain this position for at least fifteen seconds. Bonus points if I get this on the biggest and strongest of the guys!
  3. I want to tap out my partners with one of the submissions I know I can do easily: guillotine, neck crank, arm triangle, climbing arm bar, triangle. I addition, I should get used to firing off these submission attempts in rapid succession, most probably in this rough order.  This will increase my chances of either getting the tap or getting swept! I want to work them in this order because then if one fails I can go for the next one and I have a plan. I know the neck crack can be used as a transition and the arm triangle can be rolled into rear mount so I can use these as part of my game plan: if neck crank isn't toight enough but he is trapped I can sweep him using it because he has no arm to base out with on one side, for example.
 I will try to achieve these three aims and report back later on how I got on.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Last week Allan came to our muay thai class. He and Colin have known each other for a while so he decided to add in muay thai to his kickboxing and boxing experience.  As we got talking, it turns out that Allan has beebn grappling for years too and has competed across Europe in grappling tournaments.  He rolls with a few guys in the squash courts at the leisure centre, the same as Graham and I.

I joined them today for a 2 hour session and learned a lot.  There was only 4 of us but that meant we always had someone to partner up with. We are all different sizes and shapes which can only be a good thing.

I'm going to be training with them on Wednesday too hopefully.  If I can progress we enough then hopefully early next year I can have an ammy mma fight and take it from there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I will no longer be fighting in August as I was not matched by the promoter.  Rather, a seperate promotion is putting on a show on September 18th that I am putting my name forward for.  Hopefully I can be matched for this one.

Also, I have found someone in Arbroath who regularly gets together with others and does submission wrestling so I will be training with these guys too hopefully. I hope to have an MMA fight either at the end of the year or next year depending on how fast I can learn and progress with grappling and groundfighting.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So I have put my name forward for a fught on August 29. I was training last time to compete. Just to get in the ring was my goal. This time I want to win. More info to come.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

BJJ roadmap

I have been visualising and daydreaming about ground fighting for a while now and recently bought a notebook so I can write down technique, ideas and plans that I think of or come across on the internet or book. When I get some actual tutelage I'll keep instruction and notes in there too. One thing I though would be useful while I can't get any physical practice is to formulate a plan of sorts for when I get in certain positions. I bought "Mastering Juijitsu" by Renzo Gracie and Erich Krauss on the advice of Mr Slideyfoot, a poster on the Sherdog forums who also runs a superb blog on his BJJ training as well as including book and DVD reviews. This is a great book and discusses strategy at great length. One thing they stress is that BJJ players will always have a plan based on positional hierarchy. I've also been reading Stephan Kesting's newsletters and his free e-book. One of the big things that he points out is creating maps in order to progress and have a solid plan you can focus on. The ones that he gives as a demonstration seeed lacking to me and I've discovered why. They do not have specific detail of how to get to each position.

In order to learn better and to understand positions better I've created a roadmap for my beginning steps into BJJ. I have outlined three sweeps or transitions and three attacks from the guard that I would like to work on. Once I have these comfortably in my head I will move on to other disadvantageous position before moving onto advantageous positions. I'll try get three of each from each position before the end of the year. here is the first one I will be workin on. I've missed out some things because I've picked things that I like the sound of, or have worked on before and would like to continue drilling. Obviously the missing positions will be added to in time to create a whole "game".

If you have any tips on these techniques or can give me a better plan of attack then let me know!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A mile in someone elses shoes...

This old adage also holds true for yourself if you take your shoes off.

I've recently been walking barefoot in order to toughen my feet and train more naturally. I walked home from work tonight in my bare feet; around two miles. One thing I have noticed so far is that when I read about muscles being worked that hadn't been worked properly in years, it was all true. I thought I would be a bit better off since I walk about in barefoot in the house often and I have to go barefoot for Muay Thai. My Achilles has been supported well in shoes and is now aching from actually being used for a prolonged period of time. The blisters are unreal! I also burnt my foot walking on the tarmac earlier today when I went to college for some books... Another thing I have noticed is that most people don't actually comment on your bare feet.

Since it is a Friday night I thought I may get a lot of comments but I didn't. A car drove past really fast and the driver shouted out the window to put my shoes on (I was carrying them). Later on, woman asked what I was doing.

"Going home"

"But you have no shoes on!" as if I hadn't realised yet.
This continued for a minute or so until she warned me that I may step in dog poop, so I told her that I would be careful and we parted ways at that. Finally I had a discussion with a few older women coming home from a night out.

"Have you sore feet?" they asked me. I replied that I actually did, and showed them my swollen and bruised ankle and foot.

"I have sore feet too, but I am wearing heels" one informed me. They made sure I would be OK and that I didn't have far to go, which was nice of them.

It sounds like a really obvious thing to say but I really enjoy walking barefoot because I can feel with my feet! I forgot how it felt to feel different things with my feet and different surfaces give different sensations. I noticed a real difference in temperature between shade and light with my feet. Different types of pavement are making me walk differently; I will hop over parts so that I can walk on tarmac for example.

In addition to different types of pavement, kerbs are surprisingly varied with some feeling really gritty and other feeling really velvety. Walking on grass is obviously much nicer but unfortunately the threat of dog poop is all too real. A nice surprise was walking over rubber, where the pavement has been raised at a bus stop with a rubber ramp. I didn't have any type of memory of walking over this type of surface barefoot so it was nice to feel something I don't think I've felt before, which must be a rare experience for most adults in our "advanced" civilization.

I think I will give barefoot a rest for a few days to let my blisters calm down. I have noticed however, my swollen ankle hurts less when I can use the natural motion of my foot rather than the motion my shoes think I should make. I will wait a few weeks before I try any parkour in my bare feet so that my body can become fully accustomed to walking naturally again!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

With the release of UFC Undisputed, weekly Bellator events and relentless promotion by the UFC, I can get my MMA fix pretty much anywhere and at any time. My bathroom floor always has at least one copy of Fighters Only ready for me to pick up at any point and there are another two or three magazines I could buy from the shop if I wanted. This MMA saturation has only made my desire to fight so much more, and I am now setting my sights on competing in MMA as well as Muay Thai.

I would like to try a few amateur rules MMA fights. These forbid all strikes to the head, both standing and grounded. They also do not allow heel hooks and knee bars. The rules system in Scotland (not sure if this is the same in England or America) is set up so that one can progress through the amateur, semi pro then onto pro fights in a gradual manner which provides a good learning environment, something I feel Scottish Muay Thai could benefit from tremendously actually.

I would obviously need to work on my grappling and ground game a lot, but I was planning on making weekly trips to Aberdeen in order to train with my buddy David Banks at his gym - Team Jigoku. I will have to check with my coach to see if he is ok with me training stand up with him and ground with someone else and representing both camps when it comes to fight time: "representing Phraya Pichai Muay Thai Camp and Team Jigoku", that kinda thing. If Colin OK's this than I'll need to check with Team Jigoku's coach to see if he is OK with me coming along to their training sessions too!

If I had a few amateur fights and won some of them I would then be looking to fight in at least one semi-pro fight so that I can punch to the head mostly, but also just for the experience. I'm still wary of elbows so Pro MMA is out as well as 'A' class Muay Thai.

Graham has said he is happy to help with both aspects and David is more than willing to travel to Arbroath to help with my ground game. On top of that Mike and Dale in Dundee are there too, and I've yet to grapple with them so that would be fun.

I have a few more things to do before I'm finished college and can't do any of the above without finishing college work so I can definitely get into Uni next year! This year I would like to have one Muay Thai fight and one or possibly two MMA fights if time allows for it. That would make me a happy bunny. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm getting over my anti-capitalist rage but only the venomous ranting part.

I'm going to start training barefoot so that it work my legs more when I'm running and conditioning. I can see hill sprints being really hard in barefoot but that has to mean they are working muscles which haven't been engaged before because of shoes.

I am starting off small outside and done 200 meters last night and I'm going to try 400 today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Since I started working as well as studying, I constantly feel tired, unmotivated and completely non-plussed about studying. This is at the same time as I have to hand in five essays in four weeks.

What a ridiculous system we live in. In order to submit quality work as well as give time for students to actually understand and absorb what they are learning, the student must live with as much spare money as your average Chinese citizen, and that is given in the form of a loan. I've been given a loan of just over £4,000 for this academic year. My rent alone is £2,300 a year. At the end of every month I am left with about £70, that's before I buy food by the way - which Lynn pays for about 90% of the time. In order to have any money to help pay for food and other household stuff, as well as *god forbid* spare money I have to work.

I am not against working at all. I get bored and lethargic if I am not doing some sort of work but working while studying leaves me with no energy to do either properly. How can we expect any respectable advance of knowledge when students are treated with as much respect as the supposed "underclass".

This is all rhetorical of course, masses of students are terrible for the economy so the government and other for-profit organisations are gonna be looking down upon funding colleges and universities so that people have to go into employment rather than further education.

It just really makes me angry when people like me who really are in search of knowledge in order to improve their own lives and the lives of others are disregarded for the sake of money and greed and gross selfishness. I'm finding it realy hard to enjoy life at the moment. I wish I could just read, write, exercise and enjoy time off with friends and family without having all the extra pressure and exhaustion that being a student now demands. Frank Furedi needs to be read and agreed with by everyone in government. Honestly, what a shit life this is. It makes me want to just give it all up, really. I'm sure that people reading this are going to think I'm a child with no concept of "the real world" but it is the opposite. I have seen this "real world" and I wish I hadn't as it is miserable.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That's my exam out of the way and in another four weeks I should have finished all my coursework and be free for the summer!

That probably means more work but it also means I'm free to do more things I can't do without money! Travel to Aberdeen to train with David, travel to Glasgow to see all the GPK folk, travel to Dundee numerous times to see Dale and Mike for some grappling, practice with Vulsellum, Duncan Idaho and Welcome Home, Explorer... The list goes on.

Even my holidays are jam-packed!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Who would have thought that standing for a long time would be so tiring?

Working at McDonalds isn't as bad as people like to make out. Customers are generally understanding if something is taking a while to cook, as they then know that they are getting fresh food. The staff are all pretty helpful and all good fun. The kitchen isn't that greasy really, and it gets deep cleaned every night anyway - I know because I was washing all the detachable parts of everything until about half one this morning!

The hardest part is standing at a till really, the limited movement really kills my legs. That's part of the McDonald way if it busy, people are put to one or two specific tasks in a Taylorist wet dream. We have one guy serving fried, the till people collect drinks and food from the stations, we will have three people serving drive-thru in the order of - take order, pay, get food whereas usually the first two would be combined.

I've only been able to do minimal studying for my final exam on Wednesday but I have a very good idea of what to do for all of them and I'm certain I will pass with at least the B that I need to get into Uni.

A subject I rarely talk about in his blog is reading, of which I do a lot. I'm usually reading one or two fiction and one or two non fiction books at any given time. The different books are for different situation - on the bus, lunch breaks, bored pick-me-ups etc. Just now I am reading 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' by Susanna Clarke, about t start 'Chindi' by Jack McDevitt as my fiction books. I'm also reading 'Liquid Fears' by Zygmunt Bauman, 'The McDonaldization of Society' by Gorge Ritzer (started before I worked there!), 'Where Have All The Intillectuals Gone?' by Frank Furedi and also 'Popular Culture' edited by Guins & Cruz, being a collection of essays on different aspects of popular culture. This book is great - I might have to buy it. It has essays (or pats of other works) by Marx, Adorno, Hebdige, Lipsitz, McRobbie, Benjamin, Debord, Hall and loads other. It's bloody good!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

I wish Bellator wasn't broadcast on a Wednesday. I have to avoid most of the sites I visit to miss the results. Then I come on blogger and MMA by Numbers have the result "Reyes stunning KO over Payan" - even though no-one outside America (and even then, those who actually have ESPN Deportes!) can see it until Wednesday!

I'm sick of getting the big fights spoiled for me. Sherdog and MMA by Numbers are the worst. Surely it can't be that hard to just say "Bellator VI results" and leave it at that unless you click on 'read more' or something.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Instead of 200 words, I wrote 445 last night so I've only to write a minimum of 155 words to hit my target today, but I'm in the middle of a scene so I think that will be pretty easy. I'm on chapter 4 of an anticipated 10.

Bought Men's Health yesterday, it is pretty rubbish. There are a few helpful articles and some good reading but maybe not £3.75 worth. Saying that, £3.75 isn't a lot of money really.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Novel word count

I'm aiming for 20,000 words by the end of the summer. I've written today and currently have 5513 words or:


I've just finished the third of ten chapters and extended the plans for the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th chapters with a rouch outline written for the 9th and 10th chapters.

I'm going to try write at least 200 words every day now that I know that I have a solid plan for nearly every chapter. That is a whole 1% of my target of 20,000 so it sounds achievable and also all those 1's add up. If I stick to at least 200 words every day then I will reach my target by Friday 17 July. So there's a speculative target for ya!
There are so many things I want to do in such a short space of time it is unreal. Of course, I want to fight again. I've stated that many times in my blog and also to people in real life, especially Lynn and Graham, who hear it every other day. Like

I have also recently said, I have fallen back in love with parkour and I have specific goals to reach in relation to parkour before the summer is over which will require training and dedication. Add to this that I want to travel to Glasgow and Dundee a few times to do parkour with those guys. I also want to start studying for university next year so that I'm not coming into a new learning environment totally rusty from a summer of no psychology!

Finally, I want to continue writing both my novel and my short story. Both of these feature parkour in one way or another. My novel is based on a concept album worth of lyrics I wrote a few years ago which have come to nothing music wise. It is a sci-fi novel set on Mars around 10,000 years ago where an imaginary race of pre-humans are in the process of their industrial revolution and also the beginnings of a planet wide civil war. I'm about 10% through the first draft of this. The short story is a bit more down to Earth (lol) and is the story of a guy who has just split from his first serious girlfriend after they moved from school to university and how he deals with it.

I know exactly what is to happeen in both of these and i really enjoy getting stuck in and writing (both fiction and non-fiction). The problem is really just making time. For my novel I have character notes, location maps, plot twists etc all ready. For my short story I have written both the start and the end, but not the middle, where the meat of the story is...

I'm not great at sticking to timetables unless I rely on someone else for plans, like in my fight training but to get any of this stuff done I'll need to stick strictly to some sort of plan. I'm such a procrastinator too. I've got my final exam at college in eight days and I need to study for it (three questions, three different subjects, unseen question, three hours) today since I'm not working and I'm too tired to concentrate on it! Stupid McDonalds.

Oh well, best be getting onwards with studying research methods in the social sciences, the work of Piaget, Bruner and Vygotsky in cognitive development for psychology and also the impact of poverty upon culture for sociology. Fun day today...


Friday, May 01, 2009

parkour video uploaded

I've made a wee video of my training from the other day and put it on youtube.

I called it "repeat until failure" because that's what I was doing. I was sneaky in the editing so what is last actually came first and the rest is me trying different approaches, movements and things like that. It was quite fun overall. I only made the video to try my hand at video editing but the quality of the footage is a major hindrance. If you view it on a mobile phone screen it looks fine though! I'm going to train more and make a video at the end of summer displaying my progress and also the parkour spots in Arbroath.

Repeat Until Failure @ Youtube

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My friend and training partner Graham is figthing again on the 6th June so he is training 5 times a week now. The regular place we use for fight training is shut for a few weeks so Graham and Colin are training at the same place where the regular classes are. Colin put the heavy bags up last night and has said that since I am taking classes along with Denise I can use the heavy bag when they are there so that at least I get some practice.

I decided to work a lot on kicks and knees since my kicks are looking rubbish just now and my knees are my strongest weapons and I have been neglecting them recently.

I completed five two minute rounds using all techniques and at full power then I had a ten minute break for some water. Following this I had two rounds of shadowboxing then three rounds testing some coombinations of kicks and knees on the bag at maybe 30% power so that i could work on my movement and foot placement as well as technique of the attacks themselves. Finally I completed a round of the combo's I had just been trying but at full power.

With sweat pouring from me and my hands buzzing with adrenaline I left feeling tired but happy. After a full day of parkour, an hour on the bag is not to be sniffed at! bring on the sore shoulders tomorrow...


New-found confidence and new training

The first aspect I'd like to blog about today is helping someone learn parkour which is something I've never really done before. Earlier I decided to train some more parkour and called up Conner to come out and train with me. He is having some confidence issues with his parkour so I tried to help with his training. I showed him some things I done when I started, as he is coming back from a long break off parkour and feels like he is starting again. I told him that for vaults and things he should just forget about what 'type' of vault he was doing and just concentrate on passing the obstacle. Once he could pass it five times safely I explained that then he could focus on how he was approaching his vault and how he was landing, where his hands were going etc. This way he doesn't think "I'll lazy vault this" or "I'll speed vault that" but thinks "I have to pass this obstacle in this manner with this hand, moving from this side and land like this so that i can pass the next obstacle" etc.

While he was working on various things like that I was working on basic things but from my non-dominant side so that I was at a disadvantage. I was trying to do two vaults in close proximity so that I was passing one wall at a disadvantage and examining where I was landing so that I could pass the next wall in the most efficient manner. This was very useful and something I plan to do more often. Especially since you can't always choose where you approach things from and if you need to move fast, you also need to be able to take off from and land on both feet, same with your hands and arms.

Secondly, I've been very surprised to find out that I have much more confidence than I did when I was training parkour more often a few years ago. When I started training again a few weeks ago my confidence was shot and I had to start very small and work my way up but this didn't last long and now I have more confidence in what I can do. I also had more ideas on how to improve myself in areas in which I am not as good and feel better trying things I previously wouldn't have. As an example of this, I filmed a few bits of footage for myself to examine where I was going right and wrong. I'll stick them up below. These are both things I have never done before and I've tried different ways of approaching and departing from each.

This first one is a decent first attempt:

and this is me trying different things, different landings and movements, ending in a bail. :(

I've never done this particular obstacle before, as I explain in my video I was playing a game where the pavement was water or something like that and I had to take off from the kerb and land on the wall:

This is the final video and I was doing the same thing as before but also trying to clear the imaginary water hazard both ways - from and to the kerb.

Overall, I had a lot of fun both playing about with inaginary hazards and also trying new things, as well as experimenting with new training methods. Conner has a little bit less hestiation and now has new methods for training too which helped both of us alot.

I apologise for the poor video quality but it is raw footage from my phone. I'm going to make a 2 min video of things I'm training so that I can make another one in a few months to check on my progress.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Parkour jam in Dundee

Today I have aching shoulders and legs, I had a bath last night but to no avail. I also feel quite tired. No, it isn't swine flu but the after effects of training in Dundee on Sunday!

Sunday was the first jam organised in Dundee by the Dundee University Parkour Club (DUPK) and brought together traceurs, free runners and trickers from Dundee, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Coatbridge to enjoy some of the architectural delights in Dundee which unravel before the eye of a traceur. Dundee University and the associated grounds were put to good use by over twenty people, as was the Caird Hall.

While I knew a few people who attended from the Glasgow parkour forums, most people were strangers. I am not usually put off by training on my own or with people I do not know so I branched off on my own while a large group were getting into trouble by an Overgate (shopping mall) security guard for flipping and tricking inside.  Outside is a church which offered a number of variations for precision jumps and after dipping my foot in a number of these I decided I'd best not lose the group as I have never been to Dundee University before and feared missing out on any of the spots which Chris and BJ from Glasgow had told me about.

I did not see anyone come out of the rear entrance after me so I assumed everyone had kept moving and come out of a side door through H&M.  I have no idea where they actually did go as I didn't find them all for about half an hour. I decided to just head up the Perth Road and have a nosey outside the Union.  En route, I met Calum who is a part of the DUPK, who had also lost everyone at some point.  I discovered a nice little spot previous to meeting Calum behind the Dundee Rep theatre but we decided to keep moving to find the group rather than track back and re-visit the Rep.  After moving through the University grounds without any luck we happened across Mikey, from St. Andrews but Edinburgh originally, who had just parked his car.  Shortly afterwards we met up with the group who had taken the (very) long way round which is why we couldn't find them.

From here, a number of different opportunities were opened up to me, similar to a child realising that the 20p ride outside the fun-fair wasn't the only fun to be had. The University grounds offered a very long multiple rail structure as well as a number of disabled access ramps with all associated railings and obstacles, plus a number of walls which all differed in structure, materials, texture, height and obstacles surrounding them, such as lack of ground space, overhangs, and small walls surrounding the bigger walls. Needless to say I worked mostly on balance and climb-ups.  It was while exploring these opportunities I met David and Ewan from Edinburgh, who knew Mikey and also Andy from Glasgow.  The five of us set out on a different path from the rest of the group, initially to hang about on a thick tree branch which David decided was ripe for a 'table bouldering' challenge and then towards a nice set of low walls that were just outside of my comfortable precision range.  We worked on standing and running precisions here over the 5 gaps (only about a few inches up to half a meter above the ground), exploring foot placement and various advantages and detriments to the space.

We moved on and discovered a very nice spot only five minutes away, but outside of the university grounds which I will go back and take a picture of shortly. David and Ewan helped me with a number of issues here, but especially departing on my non-dominant side. David set more challenges at various locations and fun was had by all. We found our way back to the church outside the Overgate centre and spend a while there drilling the various precisions and challenging ourselves to complete certain tasks i.e. landing softer, more precise, using less of a run etc.

I left David, Ewan and Andy at my bus stop feeling tired but still wanting to keep moving. It is days like this in which you fall in love with things all over again and I emphatically fell for Parkour again on Sunday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Went out and challenged my nemesis today. I'm not timing it and doing everything by feeling but I can tell that I'm getting faster at climb ups which can only be a good thing. The thing is, I can see what I'm doing with my hands and arms fine but my legs are a mystery! I know I'm trying to kick off and up the wall but I have no idea what it looks like. I took a small video to see what it was like and I was surprised by the speed I scaled the wall but also quite surprised at the dominance of my left side in the "pushing" section of the climb up. I had never noticed that before so I'm glad I filmed it.

I'm not gonna put the video up simply because it is a crappy quality video at a strange angle that looks even worse on the computer screen. I'll wait until I feel I've got it spot on and film it properly with some of the other stuff I've been training.

Here is me standing next to the wall for comparison. Looking at this photo I'd say the wall is about 11ft. I'm 6 foot 1.


*edit* Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this wall is called my nemesis because I wanted to get stronger to do this before I progressed any further in parkour. My strength was so lacking that I usually had to use my elbows and knees to get up. The fact I can do reps of this climb up and climp up properly shows the leaps I have made in strength while I've been away from parkour. This wall is what put me off parkour a few years ago so I'm extremely happy that I can easily scale it and it gives me confidence back about other aspects of parkour.

Going to a parkour jam in Dundee instead of inter club in Glasgow.

Bunch of Glasgow traceurs coming through for the jam in Dundee, I'll be able to see guys I've not seen in a while. Also, see Dundee spots I've not seen before. Griphouse hold inter clubs every month but there's not a Dundee parkour jam every month!

Gonne be good :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

So today I decided to go out and do some parkour training. I've previously tried a few things to get back into the swing of it but noticed I was really lacking in confidence.

I was out for two hours today and visited two locations. beside the college is a park called McDonald park. Most of this is just grass, where I do sprint training but local amateur football team Arbroath Harp play here and have a clubhouse. The outside of the clubhouse offers a small set of obstacles which I use. I mostly practiced foot placement and motion here. Single standing jumps where I pay attention to where and how heavy I land, trying to land as quietly as possible on the tips of my toes and also recovering my balance quickly.

I then moved across the path after about an hour to try a kong to cat over the metal barriers that are put in place to slow down cyclists. I have never tried this before but I believed I could do it so decided to film my first couple of attempts.

After this video I noticed I was getting frustrated so decided to stop before I got annoyed with myself and ended up getting hurt. In case you cannot see it in the video, I kept missing it with my right foot, a if I was mentally holding it back for some reason. I know I can do this so before the week is out I'll practice it more and film myself getting it right.

The second spot I went to is the car park for local council building Bruce House. They have recently repainted and renovated this car park due to Tesco opening and more people seeing it so I now have some more obstacles, which were fun.

I firstly played with balance and tried to walk the full length of one of the handrails on all fours, managing to get most of the way before I slipped. Next I moved to small yellow rails which have recently been erected and then grinded by skaters! They are quite thin and curved which made it a good challenge. Excuse my wild flailing arms in this clip!

Next I decided to play around with various vaults, trying to figure out which one was most efficient from different approach angles and basically just playing with my movement, trying out various things. This was the most fun part of the session. On more than on occasion I laughed out loud at myself for trying things which blatantly weren't going to work.

Finally, I went round the corner to practice climb ups on a wall which I've decided to call my nemesis. I can beat it but it is challenging and always makes me happy when I get to the top. I'm not sure how high it is but it is maybe just bigger than double my size which would make it just over 12ft. I have to kick off and up in order to even reach the top. I can make this almost every time I try so I can practice getting faster, better technique etc. No pics or vids but will be soon.

All in all, a good day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I have been watching the Base Muay Thai show from 05 April on today. I really want to fight again. I will see if there are interclubs (smokers for you yanks) at any point soon so I can get some more competitive sparring against different folk. I know that Glasgow Caledonian hold interclubs once amonth and their April one is on the 26th but I'm not sure if I can afford to get to Glasgow and back! On top of that you have the issue of going on your own, Graham has offered to drive or come with me as he thinks that he is off work that Sunday so we will see what happens. I've only been to one interclub before but I've also had a fight so I know how things operate and conduct etc. I have the knowledge but I really need ring time and experience so hopefully I can make it to this interclub. If anything it will be fun!
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

So my upper body 5x5 workout is now a 5x6 workout as I try to make it  5x10 workout eventually.

The pull ups were much tougher with 6 instead of 5, even without the added weight. The dips were easier than expected but still pretty tough. Gonna have sore moobs tomorrow!

I finished it off with 30 seconds of jabs while holding 6kg handweights then after 30 seconds rest I done 30 seconds of crosses. I didn't count the jabs but in the 30 seconds I managed to do 27 crosses. I'll work up to 30 - one a second, then see if I can burst through that.
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

So far today I have done three things I am happy with:

I've made a list of stuff to do and completed it.


Tabata core exercises.

Ok, so the last two were part of the first one but I've decided to set myself a list of things to do every morning for that day and today was the only day I've completed everything. I had sprints, tabata core exercises and studying for college. I've  yet to do the studying but I'm copying out an essay so it is in my mind and I'm going to time myself and do it in the library at college once I've finished my noodles and written this so it is almost as good as done - so I'm counting it. I have to go return some books to the library too.

The sprints I done were not timed as such. I was going to do them following tabata protocol but I don't think I can. I don't handle heat well and it is pretty warm outside so I knew I was in for a tough time anyway. I decided to do sprints using a football (soccer) pitch as a guideline. starting at the halfway line, I jogged to the corner and sprinted across the goal line from corner to corner, jogging back up the touchline to the halfway line again and sprinting the width of the pitch on the halfway line. I managed one test to see how long the whole thing took (around 45/50 seconds) and then completed two with one minute rest between them. After two I couldn't carry on any longer, standing seemed to be a daunting task to I lay on the grass for a minute. I'm not happy with my performance but I am happy that I have started this and now have a routine and suitable location for this workout. Also, I know what level I am at and now have a target: three. Once I can do three complete circuits, I'll do four, then five. When I can do five complete circuits I will be happy. Then I can work on not being so tired after five! That will be just shy of five full rounds for "C" class Muay Thai rules.

Before I went out to sprint however, I got down and tabata'd the hell out of my core! With twenty seconds work and ten seconds rest all the way through, even between exercises I completed sit ups, crunches, toe touches (lie on back, legs straight up, touch toes) and cross over situps. I completed twenty seconds full work with ten seconds between for a total of four times with each exercise which comes to a total of eight minutes. I will work up to doing this twice, back to back so I am completing a total of sixteen minutes. I'll try and make this a standard thing for Wednesdays.

Right, I'm off to the college which is ten minutes walk along the road so that I can get some History books out and then copy out my research issues essay to try and imprint it into my mind! UFC FN18 tonight, followed by premiere of The Ultimate Fighter Season 9: USA v UK! Really excited about this season. Just about finished watching Season 8. Got four more episodes to go, then the finale of course.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What a difference a day (or week) makes!

After a week of not following my schedule due to a number of confounding factors such as research work for college and both arms aching from either giving blood or the shoulder which is still aching, I have noticed a few things.

Boxing with Graham on Thursday for fifteen minutes left me completely knackered. I think this is actually from doing too much that evening as I ran 3 miles, completed a magic 50 and then went and did that sparring. Nonetheless, I wouldn't normally be as tired as I was but having taken that week off, I really noticed it. I actually felt sick and that's not happened since I was training for my fight!

I'm back into it now and I've just completed my 5x5 upper body workout of dips and pull ups which I am pleased to say is becoming much easier. I'm going to have to start adding more weight soon but for the moment I'm gonna just add one rep so it is 6x5 instead to see if that  makes it harder. I didn't do this yesterday because my shoulder is still giving me aching pain.

I have a child protection course tonight so will probably go for a run after that. I'll have to remain disciplined and start doing my sprint interval training tomorrow. No excuses now as I have time and it is not icy cold outside anymore either.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm a bit disappointed in my self that I haven't completed my sprints but I did do everything else and I do have a reason (NOT an excuse) for not doing sprints on Wednesday.

ON Friday I completed my 5x5 upper body workout and it isn't getting easier yet so I'm happy to stay with the 6kg just now. I can increase the weight with graham's dumbell weights whenever I need to, so that is handy. Instead of 10 seconds rest I gave myself 30 seconds again which made it slightly easier. I've now established that I can do it with minimal rest (10/15 seconds) so I will now be using this minimal rest period to make the exercise tougher for myself.

Graham and Steve from my Muay Thai club are fighting on 6 June and I'll hopefully be cornering them and wrapping their hands which will give me more experience. I like cornering fights, I get more nervous cornering than I did fighting because it is completely out of my hands, but it is a good, albeit different buzz.

Finally, playing a gig tonight! Vulsellum are playing with Vulturyon from Sweden, Bloodshot Dawn from England, Cryptic Hate, Nerrus Kor and Threshold Sicks at Hustlers with doors opening at 5pm. It is £5 on the door. Really looking forward to playing this as we have 2 new songs to play and this will be the first time anyone has heard them!

So, busy weekend again!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Open letter to BJ Penn

Dude, you are a great fighter... in your own weight class. Georges beat you like a naughty child, No amount of BJJ wiles could have stopped that beating. You were soundly beaten by a bigger, stronger, faster fighter who many think is one of the best pound for pound fighters that the mixed matrial arts world has ever seen. And nobody is sure if this is his prime or whether the best is yet to come. So go back to lighweight and maintain your dominance there. People wanna see you fight Kenny Florian, not Georges St Pierre in a court room, through lawyers and paper. It just smacks of denial. Again, you are a great fighter in your own weight class so get back there and dominate like you can. Are we going to see you try to take on Anderson Silva next? Please stop this because it is getting embarrasing.

Lots of love

Kieran McNairn

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today I bought Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai from a charity shop for 50p. I'm about halkway throygh and surprised to find that I agree with a lot of the stuff in there. Not the bits about dying instead of living and living in reverence to your master but some of the things it says really rings true with a modern interpretation of a warrior, especially in the ring (or cage if you are that way inclined):

"There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to exerything."

I think if this book is read in the right way it can be adapted easily to the modern warrior and I look forward to finishing it so I can freely dip in and out of its wisdom over the coming years.

I did not run today or train Thai boxing because I slept funny and now have a creak in my neck although I did complete my magic 50 routine yesterday without much problem. It sounds silly but I can't throw a punch and sitting hurts, never mind running. It is just too painful to do anything physical so I have spend the day reading my history class notes and a few other books, Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival" and a funny one called "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man" which is a blow by blow account of how full of shit the man is. I agree with Moore's overall points in a number of his works but the methods he uses to portray them and the downright lies he tells astound me and quite frankly piss me off. It is funny to read an expose of his work but I have tired of reading rebuttals from an American right wing perspective to be honest.

To finish, here are some pics of my home-made weight belt, using a canvas belt and two hand weights.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Well, I haven't really done any exercise this weekend but it has still been productive.

Firstly, Graham and I have moved garages. His dad wasn't using his when we moved in a laid the mats and underlay but now he needs the space for spare carpets as he runs a carpet shop. I only just remembered that my dad also has a garage that he doesn't use so with his approval, we have moved in there instead. The underlay and jigsaw mats have now been laid and our tyre, heater and shelfs with various stuff (buddha, skipping ropes, weights, med ball etc) will be going in tomorrow morning before we both hit the magic 50 as I've decided to switch the 5x5 and the magic 50 round just now.

I've started running everywhere instead of cycling. I want to cycle to Dundee at some point when I have spare time but the bike needs some good maintenance so I'll have to stop using it just now. This weekend I've ran around 5km in total going up to my parents and back, coming back from various places etc. As I've been running shorter distances I've been practicing my breathing - in deeply through the nose and out through the mouth and it feels a bit more comfortable now.

I'm pretty disappointed that Kieran Keddle didn't make weight for his title fight last night. I mean come on, if you have a world title fight you can't come in overweight and try to run it off on the day then call it off because you are dehydrated and still over weight! That's pretty lame. The event as a whole was actually pretty good but it was weird seeing the clinch being continually broken up and the fighters attempting it time after time through instinct but aside from that it was entertaining and certainly a change from having to choose between boxing and MMA. I might start looking out for more K-1/K-1 rule shows.

Well, that's about it for now. Tomorrow I start my new schedule which I hope to stick to, the main motivation behind starting this blog was so that I would be shamed into doing things I say I'm gonna do instead of just saying I'll do things and not doing it! Heavy period coming up with college just now, I have psychology research project (2500 word report), criminology report (4,000 words), sociology assessment, history assessment plus Thatcherism essay (2,000 words), graded research project (2,500 words) as well as my final exam. All that in the next few months! And people don't believe me when I say I am a very busy chap... Add in training, muay thai, parkour and gigging.... But hey, this is the life I chose.


Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm posting this to encourage everyone reading this watch this:

Too many "this" in that sentence eh... Seriously, gonna be a good event, worth watching!

I tweeted earlier that I ran my 5k in 23 mins, last night the same route took me 20 mins! It works out at 5k or 3.09 miles. I'm gonna try to keep on improving this time until it is at around 15 mins then I'll increase the distance.

I completed my 5x5 workout yesterdy as well and tried to give myself minim rest time between sets and I really noticed the difference. I took 10 seconds this time whereas last time it was 30 seconds.

Finally, done some boxing last night, still working on counter punching. I have really long arms so I should be using my jab much more effectively than I do now. I did see that moving in angles around Graham made me much harder to hit. I lso got in some good body shots. Bas Rutten would be proud.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've written out a list of things I want to do every week:

Monday - 5x5

Tuesday - 5k run

Wednesday - sprints

Thursday - 5k run

Friday - lower body - magic 50 circuit

The 5x5 is both pullups and dips - five with only bodyweight, five with 3kg added, five with 6kg added, five with 3kg added and finish with five with only bodyweight.

Magic 50 is something Ross Enamit came up with. It is snatches, swings and burpees. Five snatches with one dumbell on left hand followed by five on right hand, straight onto the same thing with swings and finish with ten burpees. Do that five times with minimal rest bewteen sets (I used ten seconds). It is pretty intense actually. I've been using my hand weights instead of dumbells but I might get some instead because 6kg will be pretty easy aafter a while.

Tuesdsay and Thursday is Thai class and I'm not scheduling grappling and parkour because college work and other time constraints will make sure I have to jam that stuff in when I can! Similarly, the circuits Graham and I have been playing with outside - med ball and tyre training - will take place of either my Monday or Friday depending on when Graham can come out and train. We still need to relay the mats in his garage and tidy it up so we can use that for grappling so that needs to be done too.

Class last night was pretty good, had a really good workout to start up with after warming up and the padwork was really good. Basic but really got your sweat on! The only combo we worked in the hour was: jab - cross, left hook - right hook - left uppercut - right uppercut - left knee - right knee - right kick. It flows pretty well but you need to have good technique to get the kick right at the end and keep going with the punches at the start. Following this we were shown a new technique by Colin. It was actually a new technique, I've never seen or heard of it but it was bloody great! I'm not sharing until I can get pictures :p We finished with sparring and Graham and I done 10 mins of hard sparring. I was trying to work lateral movement and counter attacking, but apparently so was Graham so it was interesting!

Finally here is my arms - 

Watchmen tonight :D

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I posted this the other day over at the Glasgow Parkour forums and decided this would be a good blog and educational for those people who don't have too much parkour experience. I'll post my weekly training at the end of the week as I now have an idea about what I want to do in terms of conditioning.

I've been thing recently about what I am doing with my various training activities such as fighting, parkour, self improvement in general. I've often explained this to people as an extension of the parkour philosophy, applying it to my whole life but I've realised this is wrong and I have been thinking wrong for ages. The reason I chose to do all this stuff was to give my life purpose which I lacked at the time and I was primarily inspired by parkour, hence the confusion. In reality though, it was Erwan's posts on the forum and my research into what he preached: Méthode Naturelle. It is this which influenced my decision to train in various manners.

Méthode Naturelle focuses on ten fundamental utilities; walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, balancing, throwing, lifting, self-defense and swimming. This was influenced by Hébert's experiences in the army. I have adapted his méthode naturelle philosophy to suit my own lifestyle and the current society. For example, throwing or quadrupedal movement aren't imperative utilities in my life so I am not particularly interested in specifically focusing my attention on those. I feel that méthode naturelle would be better if it was more flexible to suit the individual rather than being general. I understand why these particular utilities were chosen by Hébert but I cannot justify training quadrupedal movement for example, in this day and age and in my life because it is not particularly useful and thus not a fundamental utility for me, despite my body being able to do it.

Of course, I'm only focusing on the physical and ignoring the virile and moral utilities in my previous paragraph but my training does not ignore these aspects. I am constantly trying to do things which will scare me so that I am more courageous, trying to act in a way which I feel to be morally correct. I meditate and do breathing exercises and plan on researching more into this. I have been studying altruism and try to live my life in an altruistic manner. I try to control my emotions and thoughts and have discipline.

Because of this, the reason I do parkour is different to the next traceur. The preference I give to movements and techniques and the way I perform them will generally be the same as most traceurs and there are a finite number of movements you can perform in many situations. When traceurs talk about their own parkour, half of them don't really understand what they are saying and the other half are grossly mistaken by everyone. Of course, individual creativity will give traceurs their individual style and this is what a lot of people think is meant by "your own parkour". I feel this view is borne from a misunderstanding of Foucan's statement regarding "your own way" and "following your own path".

Sure, the way you move is part of your own parkour path and your own way but your parkour journey is mostly a mental one, coloured by your life choices and decisions - why you do parkour, what you do when you "do parkour", what you get out of parkour etc. My parkour is flavoured by Méthode Naturelle moreso than many other traceurs but I feel it is important that you recognise the path you are on and the purpose for walking it.

In conclusion I would like to explain that the point in this post is to hopefully inform people of what I feel is meant by the phrase "your parkour", to inform people of my own parkour as an example but most importantly, to gain feedback and input from other traceurs on this topic, that's an important aspect of parkour too! If you agree or disagree then please share these thoughts. Share - learn - live better.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Just a quick post to say that I've added a Twitter widget to my page on the right hand site. Sometimes I tweet rubbish and sometimes it is, well I actually just post loads of crap! However, if you want to read my crap with a character limit then I'm over at

Also, a quick shout out to Mike, BJ and Aberdeen David who all share similar goals to me. We will get to fighting and rolling soon! Mike - I'll start reading up on the kimura for sure, I am also now somewhat familiar with the americana arm lock and the peruvian necktie. Obviously I'm still a total n00b but I'm increasing my BJJ "vocabulary, so to speak. I think next time me and Graham get to grappling I want to drill positioning and using my hips properly. Will also need to work on sweeps because I have next to no experience and have only read a little about sweeps. Got my hands on the very old "Gracie Jui Jitsu Basics" 3 part video so I'll see what Rorion has to say about sweeping!

Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll have some videos up in the next month or so encompassing all the training I do in the parkour spirit.

"Etre fort pour être utile"
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Friday, March 06, 2009

Today I fashioned a weight belt by hanging hand weights from a canvas belt. I wanted to start doing pull ups and dips but also wanted to add weight so this worked pretty well.  I started with pull ups and decided to do 5x5 of both exercises. The first 5 was just bodyweight, 2nd 5 was with 3kg handweight, 3rd was with both my handweights (6kg), 4th with a single handweight and the last 5 was just bodyweight again. I tried to make sure I was performing each rep consistently and without rushing them or trying to do them too fast. Between each set I rested 30 seconds, partially to get the weights on/off the belt but also to shake off my stiff shoulders. My shoulders are way too weak...

I done the same weight rotation with dips and the final five were easily the hardest, despite coming down from 6kg extra to only bodyweight. To finish this session I threw 25 left punches and 25 right punches with one 3kg handweight, focusing on proper technique and making sure my shoulder didn't get ripped out or whatever. This was harder for me than it sounds since my triceps and shoulders are quite under-developed. I'll post a pic soon of my arms/shoulders so you can see what I mean.

I'm gonna start doing this with my runs as well as Ross Enamit's "magic 50" circuit.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Trining last night was tough simply because my stomach was really painful. I think it was simply something like wind but I also has diarrhea so maybe it was just an upset stomach. Anyway, I completed most of the class but stopped on the last combo Colin shouted out because I felt sick moreso than at any point during my fight training.

After 10 mins of sitting out I joined in with the technique sparring that everyone was doing. It was basically a loose drill where one opponent kicks and you have to block it in some way then counter with a kick. We counter with a kick rather than a punch because of the heirarchy of scoring in matches which dictates that a counter must be an attack which is of equal or greater power than the original attack. It goes like this - punch - knee - kick - elbow (roughly), obviously depending on your distance etc.

Dean and Chris play rugby and are as a result both strong guys. Dean has a twinge from rugby training that was playing up during this technique sparring so Chris asked me to fill in for him. It was great fun because we were both cautious of the other guy but were also keen to attack and counter. Both our legs got battered from round kicks and peck kicks and we both landed one or two body kicks too. My main problem was that some of my kicks were telegraphed or too slow and were caught with me ending up on my arse! After Chris had enough I started the same type of sparring with Graham. We both know each other's game inside out by now but that makes it even more fun! I know how he blocks and moves away and he knew he had to change it up to be able to catch me and the same goes for me. I really like this type of sparring as isolating your kicks gives you the opportunity to increase your speed and accuracy in a real setting but you don't have to worry about having to get punched in the face!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Graham and I decided to hire out a hall in the local sports centre so that we could try out some grappling basics such as takedowns, bridging, sprawling and some basic submissions as well as controlling your opponent.

We worked on single and double leg takedowns and then picked a few submissions we would like to try from Ken Shamrock's "Beyong the Lion's Den" book. Think what you will about Ken but his tutorials are amazing.

We we at it for an hour and managed to practice takedowns, sprawling, kneebar and triangle. It was outstanding fun and hopefully we'll be doing it again soon. We've set each other the homework of trying to theoretically know another hold that we can try out next time. I really want to guillotine him so that might be mine! He totally by accident caught me in an armbar too! Well, he only half knew what he was doing so it was half by accident that I was in the right place etc.

Only downside is that he poked me in the eye with his thumb and I have a wee tear beside my tear duct. Have to make sure that doesn't get worse according to Lynn. If you have any ideas about fairly easy holds or something let me know.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

wow, being  ill totally floored me. My stomach muscles and diaphram were killing me for two days and I was getting pounding headaches too.

Graham and I went out last night to see what type of exercise circuit we could come up with considering the lack of equipment we had. We have:

  • a football
  • a 4k medicine ball
  • a truck tyre (not sure of weight but its a big 'un)
  • two 3kg hand weights
  • a space where there is a hill which gradually gets higher and steeper with a flat piece of land beside it.

We managed to come up with a few different exercises.

We bench pressed the tyre, which is bloody tough and possibly stupid.

Sprints along the park were good as it is grass rather than concrete.

Sprinting up the hill with the medicine ball or hand weights is also good and tough. We done these alternating between ourselves which worked out at around 30 seconds each so we done 3 each - 3 mins.

Tyre flipping is always good. Also tried flipping it up the hill which is twice as hard as just flipping it on flat land.

We threw the medicine ball at each other as hard as we could in a few different ways to see which muscles each throw worked. Over head and the shot putt type throw seemed to be the best for shoulder and triceps.

Finally, we also done medicine ball slams which are a really tough way to end any session. We plan on teaming up medicine ball slams with hill sprints - sprint up the hill with the ball and do a minute of slams then run back down the path.

We only used the football for a fun warm up, running the length of the park chasing passes that we made for each other.

Needless to say, my stomach muscles didn't thank me for this afterwards!

Plan on doing a circuit once a week with Graham and running my regular twice weekly.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gig went well I think and I'm pretty sure the sociology assessment was fine too. Unfortunately I seem to have a bug and I've been up since half 4 this morning being sick :(

I plan on cycling to Dundee soon. Just to see how hard/easy it is and how long it takes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

no sprints this week

I'm not going to do sprints this week as I'm playing in Perth with Vulsellum tomorrow night and should also be studying for a sociology exam on Friday.  The drumming workout is a beast as I play Death Metal of the fast and thrashy variety so I'm using all 4 limbs in quick succession for most/all of a song!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Ran 4.2km today in 20 mins and 26.67 seconds. My average speed was 7.7 which is fine. I need to keep a eye on my speed because I'm using this as an indicator of my aerobic/anaerobic limit. I'm only aerobic at below 8.0 mph while running this distance so I'll be looking to keep it below 8 really when I'm jogging and above 8/8.5 when I'm doing my sprints.

The running  today was really nice because the tide was out so I took a slightly different route to run beside the sea. I forgot however, that the beach at Arbroath stinks like shit when the tide is out! I was attacked by loads of flies too.

Thai training tonight so hopefully I can get some sparring in.  Been watching  DREAM 5 & 6 over the last two days so I'm bursting to spar. Since I can't batter a heavy bag every day just now I'm gonna start conditioning my shins again with a long pad. Need to go to the doctor to see why my toe is still painful. I'm certain I broke it before my fight and it is still giving me bother. I can move, run, dodge, jump etc fine but it won't bend.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Interval training showed me how unfit I am

I couldn't do what I had planned so I had to cut it down so I could finish.  I wanted to run hard for 1 min and 30 secs and jogged slower for 1 min and do this 5 times.  This was in order to simulate the anaerobic conditions of a fight.  After the first minute of the first "round" I realised that I was not going to be able to do another 30 seconds or do 4 more 1 min 30 seconds so decided to just start at 1 min anaerobic and 1 min aerobic.  I completed 5x1min rounds but it was harder than I anticipated, despite expecting a tough session!  I will be gradually increasing the speed as well, but I'll stick to a speed of about 70% of my top speed at the moment until I can complete a full round of hard running.

I have decided that on Wednesdays I will be doing this training and on Mondays and Fridays I will do my normal 4k run, gradually increasing this again in a cyclical manner.  For the next three Wednesdays I will increase my round by ten seconds so that by March 4th I will be doing the full round of 1 minute and 30 seconds.  My contingency plan, should I fail to be able to do this is that I will simply increase by five seconds instead of ten.  It may take longer to reach my goal but at least I know I will get there.

By the way, to explain what I've been doing with all this running -  I don't have the time nor money to train properly so I'm just doing what I can at the moment with what I have.  I'm starting with running for two reasons. Firstly I need to have better stamina, as this is one of the reasons I had to retire in my fight. Secondly, I want to get into the habit of running every morning and going on previous attempts, starting is half the battle. If I can keep it up for a few months I will most probably keep it up and be able to gradually increase it to running every day rather than every other day.  Anaerobic stamina is the thing I hate training the most and as a result, I've got really shit anaerobic stamina.  Once I have an established routine where I am running at least 4k twice a week and doing interval training which is representative of fight conditioning I will be moving onto increasing my all over power/strength. I know the two works have different meanings in terms of what reps/weights you do but I'll be researching that in the coming weeks so that I'm not wasting my time and potentially doing damage to my body.

Finally - If anyone is actually reading this and knows anything about breathing when running then comment or get in touch.  I don't know if I should be trying to regulate my breathing or breathing faster as I run faster.  If you have any advice then let me know.  Neither seems to feel any different as I've tried both while running but I'm certain I should really be doing one, the problem is I can't remember which one!

Cheers. x
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