Fight Like a Girl Log

Hi All,

I felt compelled to join up after reading all the other great logs and journals, and the great posts people are writing-its very encouraging!

So, me… um

I train in TaekwonDo, a lot.

I am a 2nd Black belt in TaekwonDo, (ITF-traditional style, not the olympic style). I have been training for 5 years, and on and off in the gym for about the same time. But in the past few months, I have been getting more serious with my training. For two reasons;

  1. Last year, at the National Championships, another competitor asked me why I have never gone for the Australian Team. I had never considered it. But then I thought “Why not?” I had just sparred the current Australian representative, and I had beaten her pretty convincingly. I have an ok reputation as a good fighter (as far as I know), known to be fairly aggressive in the ring, can take a few hits and dish it out, that sort of thing.

I kind of feel like I am boasting, and it sounds a bit mean, but I am the only person in my club, and that I know of in general, that has knocked out 2 people in the same tournament. Also I have made a couple of girls that I have sparred cry. (Now I sound like a bully, oh dear) Well actually one started crying before the beginning of the match, so I don’t know if she was a sook, having a bad day, or just really didn’t want to fight me-it was a rather uncomfortable situation.

Though it didn’t stop me from punching her in the face when she dropped her hands. (In my defence, if she felt that bad, she could have pulled out, but she didn’t, so she must have wanted to compete, and it would have been disrespectful to her to go easy on her.)

2nd Reason; I am the first and only female instructor at my TKD club, and most of my students are teenage boys and young men. There are also a few girls, and for them in particular I want to be a good role model, and show them that being a woman isn’t about being fragile and weak (and needing a man to protect you!) I have had a few students, say very annoying things like; “Why does a girl want to TaekwonDo? Thats what your boyfriend is for!”

So, I started fitness training, and attempting to train properly. I realised that if I want to have a real chance at the Australian team, I am going to have to go down a weight catagory, and also though the attitude is almost there, my fitness was not.

I have been doing TaekwonDo, for over 5 years, and have been on and off at the gym, but for the first 4 years, I was one of the poor confused girls listening to the trainers and on the treadmill and then the little weights.

So far I have lost 5kgs, but ideally I would like to lose another 5-7kgs, and get a lot leaner. I was on 1300cal per day diet, but after about 6 weeks I was finding myself a bit lethargic and the eating plan harder and harder to stick to, which is partly why I sort out T-Nation.

So I guess my main goals are;

  1. Lose the rest of the fat.
  2. Increase explosive strength and speed.
  3. Increase stamina/work capacity.
  4. Be able to punch or kick through a wall. (Ok thats doesn’t really have anything to do with being in the Australian team, but it would be damn cool!)

I was so excited to see the Physique clinic, but then so disappointed that they can’t do it for those outside of the US.
So perhaps I shall put what I am doing here, and see if I can get some feedback, and gives me an opportunity to document what I am doing.

My Training Program.

I got this program off a rugby league trainer, and it seems to be working quite well, I just tweaked it a little to suit my TaekwonDo schedule. Its a two day split broken down further into push/pull exercises.
Though as always I worry that I have everything covered. I do enjoy it at the moment and it feels fairly challenging. But I like to change things up a bit too every now and then.

Day One
Squat 4x6
Bench Press 4x6
Single Leg squat
Shoulder Press 4x8
Dips 4x6

TaekwonDo training in the evening

Day Two

Plyometric Training ie clap pushups, jumping

Deadlift 4x 8rep
Wide Grip Chin Up 4x8
Upright row 4x6
Bent over row4x8
Sit ups with medicine ball,2x25
Roman Twist2x10

Day Three
TaekwonDo training

Day Four
Overhead Squat4x8
Incline Press4x6
Hanging knee raise 3x6

Spin Class if I can or some hill sprinting.

Day Five
TaekwonDo training, usually includes about an hour of sparring which is pretty strenuous!

Day Six

Patterns training

Turkish Get Ups 1x10
Pull Ups 4x6
Woodchops 4x8
Bicep curls 4x10

This is the only time I really get to do HIIT but generally a lot of what we do in TKD training could be classed as HIIT.

I will put up video of me fighting on youtube if anybody is interested, and when I get home I will post photos of my current physique. Also when I get home I will take some photos, so I have a “before” photo, and post them.

I am looking forward to charting my process for your reading pleasure!

If you’re looking to increase your endurance, make that the focus of your training. I would consider cutting the lifting down to 2x a week and bumping up your conditioning to 2-3 days a week. You should also be getting decent conditioning from your actual classes.

When you get a chance, check out the MMA Training Hub thread in the Strength Sports forum over on T-Nation.

Definitely post some videos of your competitions. I haven’t seen a TKD competition in a while (I practice BJJ).

Thank you for the suggestion, I was considering doing that in a few weeks, once I move into my ‘competition phase’ of training, just doing enough weights to maintain, and then focusing on TKD.

I have read a few of the articles on the MMA hub, it was good to be reassured that I was on the right track with a lot of things.

This was a video I made of my friends in my club sparring. But rather than put their showing off moments, I thought it would be more entertaining to make a video of the moments that we don’t like in sparring; ie when we are not looking so good! I hope you enjoy it.

Some of it is brutal and funny,I liked it when the judges and refs get it, too
I feel bad for laughing so hard!

Way to rock, cfw!

Hahaha thanks, my favourite moment is probably 1:19, where the ref decides to get involved and knees one of the competitors out of the ring!

And I feel like I should admit, that I have done some of those things too, but not all of them were on camera; like the time I did a nice big jumping back kick into the bag, turned to my friend and said “Did you see that, it was” Bang! The bag swung back and knocked me over!

Ok so this is the first photo,
This is from July last year, I am probably about 71kgs there, have lost a bit since then, but its a good start.
Training killed me last night so I just went home and to bed, I forgot to take some current photos. Hopefully I will have time tonight.

Nice to see you :slight_smile:

I thought the kid just fell over him - that’s even funnier!

I would’ve died laughing if I was there with you that day!

Training this morning.
At 5:30am, so I am not as hardcore as those getting up at 4, thats impressive!

Split Squats 20kgs 4x6 These are fun!
Incline Press 8kgs 4x8
Delt fly 4kgs 4x6
Dips 3x10 50% bodyweight.

In the past I have had a huge disparity between my upper and lower body strength, but I think my upper body is finally catching up.

Planks including side planks. I think I need to make these more difficult, because now I get bored before I get tired.
My right quad is sore, but I think its from training last night.

I teach on Wednesday nights, so I don’t train as much because I need to keep an eye on my students. I have been focusing a lot more on their strength and overall conditioning as well, lately, and its good to see an improvement there too.

I am particularly please with one girl. She is a white belt, and has only been training since the beginning of the year.
Her first class she only managed to make it through the warm up, before she was too tired and had to sit down.

She has to do this at some stage in every class, I think she is an asthmatic, and generally very unfit.

But last night she did the whole class! And it was quite a physically demanding class as well, because I had them doing some HIIT and a lot of patterns and technique, which is quite tiring. I told her how impressed I was with how well she was doing, and she turned even redder, with pride rather than exhertion! These are the things I love about teaching; seeing people reach little milestones.

What an article in a womens health magazine that doesn’t have a picture of pink dumbells??

Then I saw the name of one of the authors…

Going on a training camp this weekend, so going to be up early training, hail or shine. Out in the sticks!
Its a place called Strathbogie (yeah I know, Australians have the funniest place names) if you don’t believe me, check is out!

Ok so the training routine this week has been;

Shiver in bed with fever,

crawl to toilet and vomit a couple of times.

Sneeze and cough until failure,

crawl back to bed and sleep for 4 hours, then repeat.

I think I picked a bug from the camp!

Where abouts in aus are you from?

My cuz just had a few fights to make the Australian team she is only 16 im pretty sure she lost.
We are from the western suburbs of melbounre

I am based at RMIT University in the city

oh nice looks like we study at the same place :slight_smile: small world

Ok Back,

Had a competition the other weekend, the Tasmanian Champs, I was invited to attend.

I think the training has been going really well, I felt faster and stronger than ever.
And unexpectedly, I found I was able to focus a lot better.
I don’t know if its because my fitness has improved to the point where it is unconscious, and I didn’t really need to think about whether or not I was getting tired, or if I would be able to do a certain technique. The sort of things that were going through my head were things like “Ok set her up how you want, feint, watch her hand, and go!”

I ended up getting 2nd place. I lost the final to a friend of mine, she is very good, having already been on the australian team, a lot more experienced than me. Last time we sparred, 3 out of the 4 judges gave the fight to her, but this time 2 gave it to her, and the other 2 had it as a draw, so it was pretty close… I will catch her…!

I don’t have another competition, so my main goal for the next couple of months is going to be fat loss! Only a couple of kilos to go…

second place is no slouch!! WTG, cfw :slight_smile:

Yeah, she has 3 months to enjoy being number 1, cause I plan on beating her next time!

I do Muay Thai.

i’m glad you girls are putting so much effort into martial arts. i’ve had female friends tell me thay wanted to try out a martial art then decide not to go to classes because there aren’t any girls.

but what i usually do if i have to make weight is switch to mostly cardio before a competition and if i’m still 5 pounds over, i just layer up my clothes and sweat it out in the sauna.


As a former international competitor I’m going to drop some knowledge on ya. A lot of it you’re not going to like, but it would be disrespectful for me to go easy…

  1. If you don’t get a black belt in at least one “soft” style martial art, you are going to be hospitalized by a competitor in any full contact international competition. TKD is a great art, don’t get me wrong, but like any art it has holes, TKD especially has a LOT. I was intentionally paired up against TKD specialists by my coaches when I competed. Broken limbs in my opponents were not an uncommon result.

Before you reject that, know that one of my black belts is in ATKD.

  1. Bring a COMPLETE END to the practice of leaning kicks, kicks above the ribcage, jumping kicks or any other kick that puts you in a physical pose where you would not land on both feet if knocked off balance. My most common method for destroying a TKD opponent was to wait for one of those ridiculously high spinning or jumping kicks. I would then crab-rush them and more often than not send them crashing to the floor with only a slight push in the right place. Most international competitors know how to do this now. Hitting the ground in an awkward position hurts a hell of a lot more than getting hit.

  2. Divorce yourself from traditional footing. Start watching old footage of Muhammed Ali (back when he was still Cassius Clay). Learn his footwork, learn it again, learn it until you find yourself doing it in your sleep. Anyone who puts a heel down in an international competition will quickly find themselves rushed and overwhelmed by a more experienced fighter.

  3. Learn to put your head down. The top of your head is really really hard, learn to use it.

  4. Learn to take a punch in the face - HARD. you may already be able to do this, but you should still work on it. A young lady competitor from Brazil once punched me in the chest so hard I came off my feet and felt all the joints in my arms, legs and back pop like I was at the chiropractor.

  5. Learn to control your aggression. Notice I didn’t use the word “anger”. Angry fighters are stupid fighters. Smart fighters know how to manufacture aggression and yet remain outside it in their heads so they can think clearly. It’s a delicate balance and requires years of practice.

  6. Extend your fighting endurance as far as you can, then extend it twice that. Learn to fight for 20 minutes straight without breaks. Then push it to 40, then 60. If you can’t do this you’re going to fail. Some competitions last days and require fighting 8 or 9 times in a day. I sometimes had to run between rings to make it to all my fights without being penalized for being late.

  7. Start studying strategy. Not just for hand to hand combat, but ALL combat strategy. Study the battle at Waterloo, General Robert E. Lee, The Battle of the bulge, Iwa Jima, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. You can learn from them ALL and the more you know the better you will become.

IE: I once faced a competitor who was like iron. He was slightly shorter than me and outweighed me by 30lbs - all muscle. Fighting him was like fighting an iron post. No matter how hard I hit him it had almost no effect. Studying the Korean war taught me that a firmly entrenched and hardened opponent can be broken loose by overwhelming air power.

So I began using a jumping punch to come down on his arms/neck/shoulders. Adding my body weight and jump power to my punches wore him down and he fell.

  1. Train your core. It’s going to take a beating.

  2. Train your neck. A powerful neck will keep your head in place when your being pummeled. I learned to train my neck when a guy punched me low and hit me under the ear, dislocating my atlas cervical bone. believe me when I say the experience rocked my world.

  3. Get fast. I’ve seen great fighters knocked on their ass by an inferior fighter who was faster.

  4. Transcend. Fight until it becomes so routine you move without thought or concentration. Doing this frees your mind to focus on aggression and strategy.

  5. Sleep. I slept every spare second I had to recuperate faster. I slept in the locker room until minutes before a fight.

  6. Breath. Most trained fighters will attack your breathing and some are so good they will time punches to land at the start of your inhale - which will disrupt your biorhythms. Learn to maintain ribcage tension at all points in the breathing cycle. Never exhale completely and be prepared to exhale a a sharp, short breath to diffuse the kinetic energy of a ribcage punch.

  7. Chi. Master focusing your Chi into a punch or kick. Not the way your instructors taught you either. Get spiritual, dig deep and find it. The lightest tap can break bones if proper Chi is focused through it. I received 3 broken ribs from a 76 yr old Aikido instructor before I figured out I needed to learn that.

  8. If you have what it takes, go to Thailand and spend a year training Muay Thai (if you can find and instructor who will teach a woman). If your suicidal, go to the village of Bak Mu in the mountains 160 miles north of Kunming China and learn Bak Pha for at least 5 years - it’s the only art I fear. I was there 6 years learning and left an amateur.

Good Luck!