Evey week, I try to get together with someone at work to spar. I’ve taken Muay Thai and Kali/self defense classes, but I had to stop when my schedule got too busy. In an effort to keep some of my skills, and to practice self defense situations, I spar whenever I get the chance. It helps expose weak spots and train in a semi-realistic (but still friendly) environment. One of my weak spots is my defense. I tend to “turtle shell”, where I bring my arms to protect my face from straight punches and hooks, but leave it open to uppercuts. My sparring partner knows this, and “helps” me remember. He landed an especially solid uppercut on my nose and tweaked it real good.
After that, we took a break on sparring and worked on grappling. It was really good to see things that I’ve practiced in the past come instinctively under pressure. For example, when he rushed me for a tackle, I caught his face and was able to perform a belly choke. That evening I found some new bruises and they made me smile. I use my mind all day at work, it’s great to exercise and toughen up my body.