Sunday at Bungeling Bay is basically a day for fighters to come and train. There were four pro fighters in attendance, and the atmosphere was one of focused, but fun training. I had an appointment with the owner of the gym to show him some basics with kettlebells, which we did for an hour, much to his delight, then it was back in the ring for some sparring with Jan.
What makes a great coach/trainer? For me, its in the ability of a coach to personalise information and training techniques to a person, and adjust the regimen to bring out the best in the individual. More than that, the fundamental ingredient is one of trust between the trainer and the student, and without establishing that, neither will feel satisfaction in the relationship.
Jan has such a skill. As a fighter himself, his mind is open to new ideas, and as he would say himself, he learns something from each student. He is completely encouraging and always brings it back to the basics if I start getting lost.
Where last week I basically stood in the middle of my ring and acted like a large punching bag, I came out attacking from the get go, surprising both Jan and myself. In summary I can say that things still tend to break down into a passiveness on my part as I am still learning how to put all of this together, but I survived a couple punches to the head and body from Jan without dwelling on it at all and gave a few back.
I never thought I would actually ever say this, but..learning to box is fun.
Now I start to see boxing as the science that it really is, with layers upon layers of subtlety at every level; footwork, hand /eye coordination, space awareness, rhythm, balance, poise. I figure that if I put a good year of serious training and effort into this, I am going to get a lot of benefit from training with Jan.
Most importantly, its about settling my mind, and being willing to be with whatever comes up as soon as I step into that ring.