Ask my husband. I’m disgustingly shy and nervous when meeting new people. My first night of training, I was nearly sick because I was so nervous.
Everyone has their own reasons for starting training. And I had mine.
It wasn’t until about 8 months in, that I decided I wanted to fight, and there was no pressure by anyone to start fighting either. Training under Steve Cockell is really about what you want, what do you want to get out of it?
Because the second you let him know, you’ll be heading towards your goal 100 miles an hour until you’ve reached it, hold on because you will get crushed if you let go.
He will push you to your limits, he will really test how much it is that you really want that goal.
That’s why you need to make sure your fighting for you, not for anyone else, but for yourself. And once you’ve decided, then he will get behind you with the whole dojo/family and make sure that you don’t stop until you get to your goal.
When you walk into Steve’s small dojo at his place your introduction is “put your gear there, water there, and spew out that broken window when you need to” – the broken window that one of the students head had gone through at some point!
I was preparing for a fight, we’d sat down and had a planning session where we analysed my partners strengths and weaknesses – and devised what we were going to do to expose her weaknesses, and capitalise on my strengths.
One morning, he’d put me through a gauntlet of tabata, training drills, sparring with the guys, free fighting, wrestling, pad work, conditioning - blood and sweat had been shed that Sunday morning – and 2 hours later he gets me on the ground and tells me I need to finish off with more tabata – I’m at the point now where I’m eyeing up that ‘spew window’.
I get down and start doing my press ups, shaking. And all the guy’s around me that had been helping me train all morning, my brothers, one by one, got down and did the fitness with me. They didn’t have too, they trained just as hard as I had all morning, but Steve wanted to push me that bit extra, he knew this girl I was fighting was fit, and I would need to pull something extra out of the tank when the going got tough.
One by one they got down, and went through the tabata with me, press ups, sit ups, squats, sprawls, knees and so on.
Steve finished training by saying “One fights, we all fight” – and that resounded for me. That I chose to fight for myself, and as a result, the team had chosen to fight with me.
That’s what a family does.
I am an absolute amateur at MMA, I’m not a natural at BJJ, I’m not a natural at stand-up, I’ve had to train twice as hard to even try and get on an even par on those out there in my division.
I don’t have necessarily good co-ordination, rhythm and I’m not an aggressive person.
I’m not talking about how good I am, because quite frankly I think I’m pretty average – what I’m talking about is what you need to bring to training in order to be good.
You need motivation, guts and a shit load of determination. And women – have got it!
If I was to offer any word of advice to any woman reading this that wanted to get into training hard, and fighting, it’s once you’ve committed – don’t let anything waiver you in your training.
Don’t complain at training, be the first there, and the last one to leave, pair up with whoever will pair up with you, no matter how big or how small. If your injured, get it sorted straight away. And if your good enough to walk, then your good enough to train. Adapt your training so that you can handle whatever injury, if you’ve broken your wrist, punch with the other hand.
At the same time – know when you need to go to the doctor (I need to work on that!).
I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a best friend, a daughter, a granddaughter, a training partner and I work full time. You have to realise that once you commit to fighting, none of that can come in the way.
I trained until the day before my wedding, I’ve been a head bridesmaid and trained on 3 hours sleep, I’ve sacrificed time with my daughter, husband, family and friends to step into the ring – and I don’t regret it.
Leave a legacy – so your children, grandchildren will look back and say ‘wow – look at what mum did’. Ask your loved ones and friends to stand by you while you make this commitment, and they will know, when they need you, you will do the same thing.
Don’t let anything stop you from training, and training hard. Stick to the game plan. Listen to your coach, because he is there for you, and above all else will always look out for what’s best for you. Use him as your inspiration.
Fighting will give you guts and determination that you never knew you had, and it will re-shape the person that you are.
When you finally step up into the cage know that you’ve sacrificed everything to get there, and that you’re going to make whoever you face, pay for it.