Sunday, April 29, 2007

Samkor in Spades

Today was a somewhat normal saturday. I went to the gym for two hours. An hour of class then an hour of extracurricular activity. I sparred with a new rather large guy and Nelson. Unlike yesterday, today Nelson didn't beat the shit out of me, instead I was able to hold me own. Nelson has better technique than me but doesn't always have power in his hands. In fact his punches are like gnats, its like being swatted. However, his kicks are very hard. He's a very good partner as he's looking to make not only himself better but his partner. We've been working together for a while whenever he's in the gym. Today we worked on his punching some and did the combo Mike had us do. One of his problems is that he doesn't sink into his punches and he doesn't pivot on the ball of his foot when he punches. He rolls up onto his toes and doesn't use the lower half of his body to put power into his punch.

When it was my half I worked on power. My forte is stamina, and heart. I'll fight until the bell rings, but that doesn't mean that I always have power... or speed. Today I was kicking pretty hard. I think one of my problems is that I don't use the top part of my body enough... I don't throw myself into the kick enough. I'm also not particularly speedy.

The sparring was alright. The guy had about 30 pounds on me and several inches. He was extremely tense and would often over muscle his punches which Nelson avoided and I just blocked. When he left kicked I would left kick back immediately but wouldn't reach him as I didn't step forward into him enough.

The other excitement of my day involved playing cards again at the Oaks club . Today I doubled up. I bought in for $110 and walked out with $206 after about two hours of play. I initially started my bank roll at $160 and so that's a profit of $46 after about 5 hours of play or so. Which isn't too bad, but its a start. I think I can probably make $12 an hour playing 3-6. The players tonight initially seemed tougher but ended up being easy. Lots of multi-way pots and shitty calls. I backed into a flush with a jack ten suited that I limped in with in late position. I took a big pot from a short armed man (every time I've played at the Oaks there's always been a table with a man with a fucked up arm, weird) with pocket aces. I hit a full house on the flop and slow played him for money. The pots are pretty big when you win, over $30 usually which is nice. I played well although I still have some trouble hands and should probably refresh myself on some of my poker knowledge.

After poker I went and wrote down some notes in my notebook. During this I was seated at the bar. I ordered a beer and sat next to a plan who just had gotten up off my table. I'd take a big pot from him with some hand that I couldn't remember. Well maybe it was a couple pots. We casually chatted and I bought him a beer. I'm trying to more seriously rethink my relationship to alcohol and moments like tonight, talking to some random guy for a while, they make me want to drink. Not that the conversation was that great, mainly the guy had a slightly skewed horatio alger view of things ("some regular guys if they gut lucky with the cards, they can make it big"), but rather meeting an d being able to talk to people from completely different worlds. To me that's important. Sure this guy's life wasn't that exciting, he worked as a electrician, he fucked some girl who lost her virginity to him, he played poker very occassionally and was a japanese, german mix. I guess I just like being around everyday people sometime, no matter how mediocre they are. Drinking beer facilitates these meetings, these chance encounters and creates a bonding during the drinking. Would this guy have talked as freely to me if I hadn't bought him a beer? Would we have talked at all if we were just drinking water? Would we have even sat at a watering hole? I can't fully answer those sorts of questions.

Alcohol is losing some of its appeal to me. While I still like the feeling of drunkeness I don't particularly like the effects that are associated with it anymore. Hang overs being one of them. Another being the ambiguous relationships you end up having with people. Nothing has happened recently but I can remember being drunk hitting on people or being inappriopriate. Afterwards, in the morning I would feel embarassed, other times I wouldn't care. Now I guess I don't want to lose that control over my life. Its not that I care anymore what people think of me, its just that I wouldn't want to have to do any extra damage control.

Not drinking at all seems like it would have some pretty serious health benefits, and certainly I'd get a lot of support from the current social circle that I run in, minus one or two others, but I just don't know if I could make a real commitment to not drinking. I may try to do a month without drinking, but we'll see. Let's just hope the girl doesn't break my heart in that month or its back to the bottle.

Added is a youtube showing of samkor. Samkor is a famous muay thai fighter. He is particuarly famous for his left kick (he's south paw). He may come over to America soon and Mike Regnier might get him to train at our gym although who really knows with these things.

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