Yesterday was Basrull's last class with us before he heads back to the UK to continue his studies. We wish him all the best and will miss his cheerful demeanor!

Last night we basically did tennis match and light sparring and continued to drill the CM1 phase. Everyone shows marked improvement and when sparring I notice it's a lot harder to break through their CM1.

On my own end, I am beginning to learn how to pace myself and move around efficiently. I no longer feel as if I have difficulties breathing when approaching the 2 minute mark and can still throw attacks.

Several points I noted last night:

  1. CM1 movement can be very light and still effective. I find that as long as I don't overtense my muscles but keep it firmly planted on my head, I need not expend that much energy when doing CM1 even when the force of the punches get heavier. Need to test this against stronger punches.
  2. When attacking heavily, sometimes it is possible to use that as a distraction to get off at an angle to attack the unprotected side.
  3. Varying the height of your stance (by going lower not higher) seems to give better angles and makes it harder for your opponent to punch you if your CM is tight
Albert while watching us spar, reminded us to keep our elbows close to each other and keep the forearms more or less vertical so that the space in between the arms are consistent and tight. The rationale is to ensure that punches cannot be jammed in and also makes CM1 more efficient by minimizing the distance that needs to be covered to close the centreline.

We also learned some basics of the uppercut which is a very close range upward punch that is aimed at the chin. The punch is kept close to the body to ensure that the power generated from the legs is passed fully into the uppercut. Albert demonstrated that with proper CM structure, even an uppercut can be blocked relatively easily.

Here is a video of last night's sparring with Riri and Basrull in front and me and Owen at the back (I'm the shorter one).

The past few lessons I have been focusing on my footwork, where I find that

  1. I bounce too much
  2. My legs often come to close together
After a lot of practice, managed to reduce my bouncing by following suggestions from the CMD Pro Forums and my trainer
  1. Imagine that you're a ninja walking
  2. Always keep at least one foot touching the ground when moving
  3. Practice, practice and practice!
This has improved my footwork a bit but I find that I still slip up when my legs get tired.

Last night I got in two sessions of light sparring with Albert along with the usual tennis match sparring and it felt a lot better.

Several key pointers that I noticed while sparring with Albert:
  1. I was aware of large movements trying to corner me in but when done inch by inch, I often didn't notice I was being cornered until it was too late.
  2. Because of the way Albert positioned his head and his shorter height, when I did manage to contact his head mostly by virtue of my longer reach, it felt difficult to get a solid punch in because of the angle of his head.
  3. I lowered my guard when trying to attack quick. I should not be sacrificing defence for attack at this stage. I got hit in the mouth once because of my carelessness
  4. I don't quite like the Runner style, extremely tiring and I don't like the idea of prancing around my opponent while he takes his time to move in towards me. It also feels less flexible in an environment where you don't always have a lot of room to move. However this may be just due to my lack of conditioning.
  5. MY CONDITIONING IS HORRIBLE. Need to do more running/skipping/cardio activities.
Here's a vid of me struggling in my last spar of the night (I was pretty exhausted already and after a while decided to just stick to defending as I had no energy to throw any meaningful punches so I focused on just keeping a good CM1). I panicked halfway through and got myself mown down as you can see me frantically shuffling my hands in almost pure desperation.

Basrull is showing great improvement and I notice his punches to be more probing and his defense a lot tougher to get into. I'll be so sad when he leaves back to the UK :(.

Our CMD class is growing to a nice number and I hope we can have a more regular set of people coming in!