As I am preparing for the COC and learning how to spar and free grapple the biggest obstacle I am facing is constantly feeling like the underdog. All of my partners are far more experienced, higher ranking, and many bigger than me as well.
While my main reason for competing is to grow myself both mentally and physically, I am still a competitive individual so always losing becomes stressful. I know training with more advanced and experienced students is to my advantage because they are making me tougher and are going to prepare me better than training with somebody newer like myself. They are all extremely supportive and work to teach me new things to make me better, but they also do not take it easy on me.
Grappling is where there is more of a losing scenario, which I am becoming more and more comfortable every time I train and feel positive about getting more comfortable. However with sparring I feel like I am spinning my wheels and just feel the ticking time bomb of June 4th fast approaching. I keep asking myself what I was thinking committing to kickboxing before I even tried sparring.
A fellow TSMMA friend of mine reminded me yesterday the reason why I feel at a disadvantage and how it truly is my advantage. Two childhood friends, that have known me as long as I can remember, this week commented how they just can’t picture me fighting. These things serve as my reminders of the importance of me staying mentally strong because this is new and so far out of my comfort zone that it is going to be challenging. Win or lose I am going to come out of this a stronger person, and will teach me many lessons making me better in other aspects of my life as well.