Grit and Determination…. What Do You Mean “They Don’t Come For Free?!”


I’ve been training at my MMA gym for about 5 months now. If truth be told, at the beginning of December, I was looking to throw it off as I just couldn’t get my head around the grappling aspect of the game. Unlike my coach, I struggle immensely with personal drive and determination.

I’m going to start with my coach. He is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever had the pleasure to have met. Many times in life, you meet someone and say: “What a nice guy” but they’re just a regular person who isn’t horrid. Then you meet someone who goes the extra mile, who genuinely cares about people and isn’t out for number 1. This is my coach. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him be negative about anything, even after one of our fighters was cheated out of victory in his first fight and the rules changed on the day of the event. Every time I speak to him or read his Facebook, I hear/see nothing but positive vibes oozing from him. Not to mention determined. He’s done things this year most people talk about but never bother. Setting up seminars with internationally renowned fighter and  without the backing of big named gyms/promotions to swing the deal.

So my point of this blog is not to say what an amazing guy he is. The point of this blog is to try and take from him that determination. I’m probably the opposite from him. The most committed thing I’ve done is get married and have a baby. Every day, I get into work thinking “I’ve got this to do/that to do and I will do it by the end of the day”…… Then I sit there and write a blog. At the end of the week, when my boss is screaming at me for late submission of accounts or something else, I get upset and wonder why!!

My problem is I have:

  1. A short attention span
  2. No self drive

Number 1 is difficult to deal with, or at least I think it is WITHOUT number 2. I deal with number 2, that will smash number 1 out of the park. But how do you go about motivating yourself? How can you change your perspective to gain a drive in your life? The perfect example is this: I sign up for a gym, do the induction, go a few times but never really break a sweat. Then I leave it and watch the money drain from my bank every month. However, I go to rugby or mma training, I bust a gut with someone yelling at me and I get so much more from it. Is it boredom? Could be partially it. Is it laziness in that I need someone to stand over me while I do things?

Not sure either way, but I have to change it soon. I’ve so many options available to me to make a better life but without this drive, I’ll let everyone single one of them slip me by. Guess I should stop blogging and get on with my mountain of work now

What Have I Let Myself In For?!


I’ve been training mma for about 2 months now. Nothing serious, just 1 or 2 sessions a week. Before this, as my regulars will know, I trained san shou. So my background is mainly stand-up fighting. However I felt I needed to broaden my view on fighting and competing, so mma was the next logical step.

I’ve just agreed to take part in an interclub fight in December. Now, interclub fights are NOT big news. Shouldn’t be anything major, but I’m having serious doubts about my abilities. Am I really THAT good to step into the ring? I know I can handle a stand up fight, even if I lose, I’ll be able to walk out without too bad a beating. But my ground work is atrocious and I’m very worried about being on the bad end of the dreaded “ground and pound“.

I’m sure the organisers of this event will match each person with an opponent of similar weight and (more importantly I think) similar experience, so I shouldn’t be facing anyone who has 25 fights under their belt. But then there is no guarantee of that. It’s all too easy to say “this is my first fight” while trying to hide your UFC championship belt.

I’m sure some people will say not to fight if I have any doubts, and they’d probably be right. But I also REALLY REALLY REALLY want to compete. I’m not in it for the fighting or beating down on someone. I’m in it for the competition, to see if I’m good enough. And the only way I can do that, is to fight.

So I’m in a quandary. I guess I have 8-9 weeks in which to make my mind up (to give time to cancel I mean) and in the mean time, I guess I train as much as I can, cover the bare basics, get my cardio up and not let my doubts control me.

Wish me luck!

A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?

My First Tournament: SUCCESS!!


I had my first san da tournament yesterday. I’ve been building up to it for a while now, as you may have seen from my previous post and I think it went quite well. I got a silver medal, which for my first outing, wasn’t too bad going.

The tournament was tagged as being “A Novice San Shou Fight Day”, basically meaning that only people with 3 fights or less could enter. The problem with this was that the organisers left a loophole: Sure, you couldn’t compete with more than 3 fights, but you could have been training for years and still compete!! This little detail became apparent in a few bouts, most notably one of my team mates gold medal fight. He has been training for around 3 months, his opponent………….. about 3 years! My friend put on a great show, really fought his hardest and never backed down, but the other guys skill level was too great and he forced a ref stoppage. Really soured the whole deal for me.

As for me, I had to compete against one club’s instructor (he hadn’t fought before, so qualified!!) for my first round fight. He was a big guy and I’ve never sparred with anyone my own weight before. I wasn’t used to throwing people my own size and it really showed during the fight:

I got the victory here. Gassed in the second round, but pulled it back in the third.

I then had about 30 minutes rest before my final fight. This was against a guy from the same club as my previous fight. He was a bit different a fighter, much more lithe and looking to kick, which is how I like it! I thought the first round was his, then the second round was mine. The judges disagreed and awarded the lot to him. I was FUMING!! I felt totally cheated. I’ve since looked back at the video and I think both rounds were much closer than I originally thought.

I still stand by my call that it should have gone to a third round and I was cheated from the gold, but I’m so very proud of my performance and my whole club’s performance! 2 silvers and 2 bronze medals out of a potential 6, remembering none of us had ever fought before and we all but 2 had less than 7 months training (I’m on 7 months myself). Well done team Wutan!

Usurper To The Crown


I have a problem. There is treason afoot within the court.

They say a man’s home is his castle. This is true, but my kingdom has always been the rugby field. Here, I have felt safe and secure, knowing that my skills and abilities will protect me. They are my moat and my fortifications, my shirt is my crown and my team mates are my army. Now, it seems, one of the foot soldiers dares to offer up a potential new king who wishes to claim my crown for himself.

During the off-season, some of the foot soldiers converted to the new religion of “rugby league“. This is not a treacherous act as the union was not being played and so was allowed by royal decree. However, whilst at this new church, another was discovered. A strong being with physical powers comparable to myself.

This has caused me considerable concern. Although my royal power has strengthened of late thanks in part to losing weight and getting fitter, this upstart is still a threat. A battle was had yesterday in which he was given a frontline position. His strength is undeniable. The remaining skills necessary to wear the crown were not on show. After seeing what he had in the heat of battle, I’m not excessively concerned now. True, I’m going to have to work harder to keep the crown, but with solid training I believe my natural god given talent will shine through. DEUS VULT!!

Failing that, there’s always bribery.

Broken Neck (Nearly….)


Weekends go by so quickly. I remember as a kid, I’d go off on my bike for hours with my friends and it would seem like eternity!!

Anyway, enough of the nostalgia (for this post anyways).

Saturday morning, I roused myself for the first rugby game of this year. It had been about 4 weeks or more since I last played and I was dreading it. Felt all fat and slobby from Christmas still. Still, didn’t take me long to get into the swing of things. About ten minutes in, we have a scrum on the opposition 22 and a scissors move was called between myself and the fly-half. Ball came out nice and quick (for once) I ran a beautiful line and cut through the defence for our first score.

The game continued in this vein, with Isle of Wight never really testing our resolve. It was all going so well until about th 20th minute of the second half. I side stepped my inside centre and pushed off the fly-half, when all of a sudden I see a big fat forward come bounding towards me. I get myself low to try and duck under him, but unfortunately, I positioned myself a bit wrong. My head went straight into his gut. All I heard was this God-awful crack and the base of my head went numb.

I have to admit, I was terrified. I’ve been playing rugby for nearly 18 years now and know full well the dangers it poses, but I’ve never been that close.

I hit the deck and screamed “my neck”. The game was stopped and, luckily for me, our two new physio’s came bounding over. In the mean time, I wiggled my fingers and toes and relieved myself with the knowledge I wasn’t paralysed. A minute or two of massage on my neck and a hand from a couple of the boys, I was on the touchline. Stiff, but none the worse for wear.

I feel a bit of a pussy looking back on how I screamed, but then again, I had thought for an instance I had broke my neck. No one took the piss in the bar, so I couldn’t have been that bad.

Still stiff today, but it’s loosening. Sure a good run out Saturday will loosen it some more!! (c: