With only three sessions to go, its easy to think the end is near. But when those sessions are filled with hard bumps and hideous conditioning, you cannot afford to look too far ahead. Two sessions and then assessment week. This is it. The final leg of the course.
After starting with some more grueling conditioning (15 squats; 10 push ups & 5 burpees across 5 sets of these, plus 50 squats to start off), we did the ever useful rope running. At about a minute each of running, we were easily burnt out after sinking into & springing off the ropes, which also easily cut into your skin if run into sideways. We were then introduced to what I think was called “crab walk” (can’t remember exactly), which involved four people in the ring in a quarter squat position, head below the top rope. Each person crab walks around the ring following their partner opposite them. When the trainer shouts GO, you turn to your nearest corner and jog on the spot with high knees. When you are in a default quarter squat and then having to do high knees, be sure that you will feel the burn and have to force yourself to keep going towards the end.
After this, we moved into the International Chain Drill, which we started on about two weeks ago and then added the hip toss last week. I did the drill twice, once taking the hip toss & shoulder break & once giving both. When it was my turn to take the shoulder tackle, I went to stand up after being released form a headlock and my opponent shouldered me right in the jaw and my tooth, which stunned me a little. I heard the others outside the ring gasp a little, but we just carried on like nothing happened. We finished the drill fine, but damn did my jaw hurt for a while afterwards!
The finish of the session involved the bump I dread the most on the ring mat: The Flip Bump. I can sum this part up with the injuries I got from this one part: Three mat burns; injured lower back and spiking myself (landing on my head) THREE times! It isn’t so much that I cannot do the bump, its the psychological barrier stopping me from doing it properly. I just could not trust myself to get the height needed to bring my head and legs over to land properly on my upper back. Eventually, after many practice attempts, I got to the point where I need to keep my arms out sideways, palms down after getting the height I need.
So, with one week of practice left and then assessment to end this course, this is my main question: Do I feel ready to pass this course? Personally, I won’t know until after next week’s session, but it is getting closer for all of us now. Its clear to see we have all improved and gained strengths in different areas of wrestling since we started, but we also have work to do on certain areas each. Oh and for the five of us who did the flip bumps at the end of the session, the rest of the group did strikes and reversals, giving them an advantage over us for the final week. So now we only have a week to learn the striking technique, just to give us that much more of an extra challenge I guess. #ThisIsProgress.