One of my
favorite perks of being a writer has always been visiting other trainers and
martial arts schools all over the world. For over 10 years, I wrote for print,
which is much harder than writing for the online audience. There is so much
planning that goes into a print story. Covering an event like the UFC for magazines
like Ultimate Grappling was quite
challenging. My editor Doug Jeffreys did such a great job of writing 3 months ahead. I was always competing with the online writers who published news
immediately; whereas we were still writing 4-6 page stories on fighters and
events 3 – 4 months in advance.
With all that
being said, print offered a beautiful platform to feature training related stories.
Beautiful spreads of pics with insert shots and sidebars on relevant
footnotes that offered its subjects fabulous wall pieces, made Grandmothers
proud and truly validated the subject’s once hobby turned profession.
The transition from Ultimate
Grappling Magazine a year ago to Chicagonow.com has been more enjoyable
than I expected. The audience has
been a rewarding group to write for and I am addicted to seeing my ideas immediately go to “print so to speak.” Online
writing becomes particularly gratifying when I visit other trainers and facilities, like I did this past week, and the
experience is so fresh in my mind. I do not need ot wait to share it with readers.
Xtreme Couture Training Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, Coach Lane
So, Greetings from Las Vegas – not an exotic destination
for the average Chicagoan. We
travel there often. My Greetings comes from Xtreme Couture, Randy Couture’s MMA
training center at 4055 West Sunset, Las Vegas, Nevada (http://www.xtremecouture.tv).
I actually was not interested in training there into order
to see Couture himself or even train alongside him. I have actually been fortunate to cover him for Grap Mag
many times, but I wanted to encounter a new trainer and be a pupil. Despite being a teacher, I take on the
pupil role as much as I can. My
trainer was Tim Lane, one of their resident Muay Thai/Kickboxing
Tim Lane is a World Kickboxing Champion who has competed in boxing, judo and even the Chuck Norris
World Combat League. His role with
Team Couture is to fine tune boxing skills and technique and assist with all
the pad work required for the fighters. Currently,
he is helping to prepare Tyson Griffin (14-2-0) for his fight this weekend on
UFC 115. Training with Coach Lane was enjoyable on every
level. He was attentive when
instructing. He blended the perfect
mix of friendly banter with training directives. His class was well run. It offered traditional mitt and thai drills. He spent time with all of us on the
mitts, giving us pointers that catered to our individual skill level. When we were not on the pads with Coach
Lane he assigned us a circuit of combat drills. He was able to quickly highlight the purpose of the drill
and how to get the most out of it.
My favorite was his hook training drill.
Coach Lane’s Hook Punch Drill
Xtreme Couture is a facility that is not short on any
piece of MMA training equipment. However,
Coach Lane stuck to basics and a one-on-one approach to training. My favorite drill used the padded
walls. We did not use them for
clinch work, but rather training the hook punch and how it should properly
connect. He set me up throwing the hook while retreating and then
advancing. I particularly loved
doing it while retreating because so many fighters lack skills when they are
backing up. Each hook was thrown at the exact moment the rear foot connected
on the retreat. It was to be
thrown explosively and without transferring your weight onto your front leg. However, do not mistake this tip as a
hook thrown while leaning back.
Coach Lane wanted it to be thrown with the fighting stance still more
forward, than bladed and with the weight about 60/40 (rear/front leg).
Coach Lane helped to fine tune my hook punch with his
padded-wall drill. The hook is the prettiest punch out there. Any drill that makes it look more
dynamic I will use when teaching and practicing now that I am making my way back
into training after my maternity.
Thank you Coach Lane for a great class.