The awkward and slow transition to MMA

I am a Muay Thai girl.  It will always be my first love and something I will always have a passion for.  What most people don’t know about me is that I have had a keen interest in MMA for years.  Long before I moved to Thailand, at the time where men like Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin were breaking bones and spraying blood across the canvas.  I hail from an MMA gym in Melbourne so I always enjoying watching the MMA sparring sessions and the grappling classes.

When I first went to Absolute MMA, I tried my hand at about 6 weeks of BJJ resulting in me entering a No-Gi grappling round robin tournament.  I thought it was ridiculous, I was grossly under prepared, but the women’s side of the tournament needed numbers so I reluctantly agreed.

In this tournament I lost 2 (out of 5) rolls and won 3 by submission (2 Rear Naked Chokes and 1 Triangle) despite being the least experienced of the group.  Needless to say I was pretty stoked with the results for the day, but unfortunately my Jiu Jitsu journey ended there.

I was desperately trying to get into Muay Thai, and I appeared to be insanely accident prone, so I took myself off the mats for a while to give my striking dreams a fighting (pardon the pun) chance.

So for the people that have known me from the start of my fighting journey, the transition to MMA has come as no surprise.  For those who have met me during my Muay Thai career, everyone seems shocked!

My time at UTFF was spent partially preparing for MMA, however the absence of a Jiu Jitsu program meant by grappling was limited and my coach was insistent on further developing my striking skills.

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Part of my negotiated return to AKA was that I was interested in making the transition to MMA while fighting Muay Thai on the side. It was a welcomed caveat.  So for the past 2 months, this is what I have been doing!  Unfortunately the grueling schedule to keep up with both teams requirements, however, has forced me to make a choice between the two.  So while Muay Thai will always be the love of my life, it’s time to focus and get my MMA up to speed.

I’ve been surprised at my progress on the MMA front and that has been a very exciting venture for me.  I’ve always been someone who loves learning new things so this really appeals to that side of me.

My first few MMA sparring sessions were ROUGH.  I felt so out of place and got served each and every time.  It was almost a nice little stall when I got offered another Muay Thai fight because I really questioned if I had begun this transition too late.  It was the moment when you are a complete beginner again, and everything feels awkward, as though you’ll never get it.  That was me.  I was a beginner again.

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After taking a little time off to focus on my Muay Thai fight, I was summons back to the MMA sessions.  I went reluctantly, dreading what my fate would be every time I walked into that room.  What I did not expect, was to turn a corner so quickly.  It was as though my body had finally caught up to my brain.  The hours logged watching MMA fights, watching grappling classes, and attempting to put some of these things into play.  All of a sudden, some things just seemed to make sense.  I was submitting people that were submitting me 2 weeks earlier.  I was understanding the movement required for certain grappling techniques, and my striking was somehow adapting to a faster style.  Things have started to click!

While I am a long way off from being where I want to be, I am certainly hoping that my next fight will be MMA.  My ground game is developing quicker than I had expected and my striking is also on the up.

I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by great crew recently.  People who have helped me struggle along and encouraged me to keep pushing.  It’s an exciting time for female MMA so hopefully when I jump in there, I can make some waves!  Stay tuned!

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