Enough burlesque and pleasant countryside. Time for some big boy shit. This week, it was back to the London Fight Factory for a spot of cage fighting.
OK so it was just training and you don’t train in an actual cage. Mixed martial arts, as cage fighting is otherwise known, is basically fighting where anything goes. You can strike, you can grapple, you can fight standing up or on the mat. That means it combines all sorts of martial arts, and it also means it’s arguably the most effective for self defense, readying you for any situation.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It was me in a class with 20 men. Quite big ones for the most part. Looking around there were only one or two I thought I might be able to take down.
We started with warm up drills based on some key moves in the sport – the break fall, the double leg take-down, the hip escape. The idea is that you do all of these as warm ups so you get really good at them, then one day they become second nature and you can use them in combat. Bit like Mr Miyagi and his wax on wax off drill.
After that we moved on to grappling techniques. Most notably the ‘guillotine’. Yes, that’s right, I can now pop your head clean off if you kneel down helpfully at my feet and let me do it.
The session finished with proper sparring. I didn’t take part in that bit. I decided it wasn’t fair on the big boys to make them fight a girl, and I knew there was a chance I’d panic and knee someone in a place that’s probably forbidden in the rules.
I love the LFF. I love the spirit of friendly rivalry, the good natured piss-taking, the sweat dripping off the ceiling, the general gritty manliness of it all. Grrr. Every time I leave there I am extremely excitable and lairy for a good couple of hours after. Lucky for any potential assailants that they didn’t go for me on the way home. I’d have ripped their arms off.