First Sparring Event + First Tattoos

Yesterday was the most fun I’ve had so far this year, hands down.

About every six months (though they’re talking about doing it more frequently), my gym has sparring events.  Basically, like a dress rehearsal for an amateur fight.  It’s one match at a time in the cage (MMA) or the ring (Muay Thai).  For Muay Thai, we had to wear shin guards, 16 oz gloves, head gear, and a chest protector.  It’s main goal is to give you a taste of getting in the ring/cage for the first time with everyone staring at you, and what it’s like to go 100% (minus the intent to finish/seriously injure your opponent, since we’re all on the same team!).

I knew it would be fun, but damn my expectations were blown out of the water!  I performed alright – there are a lot of things I could have done better but didn’t because of nerves (I felt out of breath before we really got started), not feeling 100%, and little funny things.  Like I didn’t know the coach who was cornering me, so it was hard to listen for his voice and I felt pretty alone, if that makes sense.  For some reason I thought all the matches would be in the cage; I had zero experience working in the ring, and the floor of the ring is completely different – it’s not springy at all!  So, my footwork felt completely off.  Only three girls showed up for the event and we were all different weights – my opponent (middle in weight, highest in experience) went against the third girl in MMA in an early round, then she went with me in a later round in Muay Thai.  She was about 17 lbs heavier (not fat!), slightly taller/better reach.  Each match was three rounds; each round was two minutes.

What I’m proud of: I didn’t freeze up, I kept my guard up, my head movement was pretty decent, I was able to get a few good shots in, I heard my corner and complied a few times, I blocked most blows (I only felt 3 punches).

What I didn’t do well:  I’m typically pretty aggressive in sparring, and I wasn’t yesterday; my footwork wasn’t strong; I didn’t throw “punches in bunches”; I didn’t do a very good job of setting up my punches with my kicks and vice versa; I could have done a better job with countering.

I really only felt three punches – and they were just startling, more than anything.  My upper lip split on the inside and my nose bled a bit, but nothing major.

It was a long day by then – I woke up at 7, arrived at 10:30 for weigh-ins, first match was at 1, mine was at about 3.  We stayed for a little longer, then hustled home, I power-showered, and walked over to get my tattoos.

I’m very lucky in that a buddy from my gym is a professional tattoo artist, so kept a lot of the nerves away.  It took about 4 hours, and I was barely even uncomfortable most of the time!  I didn’t squirm or have to ask for a break at all; the only part that was tough was towards the end- some of the colors on the dragon.

I’m very happy with how they turned out – this picture doesn’t do them justice!


Today will be another long day – I’m driving 3.5 hours to see my family and pick up my little brother, than 3.5 hours home.  Not sure how much I’ll be able to post this week with my little brother visiting, but I’ll do my best.

I’m clearly blowing this week out of the water with meaningful activity and challenges for myself, so I don’t think I’m going to put any extra requirement on myself.

Calorie-wise I’ve broken even for the last two days.

6 responses to “First Sparring Event + First Tattoos

  1. Great post! Tattoos and fighting are two things that scare me, but reading about them is a nice non-threatening way to broaden my horizons! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks! The older I get the more I’m finding that it’s the scariest things that create the best memories… within reason – I’m not about to eat a scorpion pepper! 🙂

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