Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Contender, and Returning To Kickboxing

I spent much of the day getting caught up on episodes of The Contender, season three.

Last year, I really got into the second season of The Contender. I was just starting to develop an interest in boxing, and it was fascinating to learn about the boxers on the show. I learned eventually that a lot of the TV tricks on the show are pretty standard for reality TV, which I hadn't really been interested in before. But I did enjoy that this show didn't have lame contests like building something out of coconuts or designing a dress out of dead chickens. Each contest boiled down to stepping in the ring and winning a boxing match. Underdog Grady Brewer (in the photo above) won the second season--and, according to, hasn't fought in a bout since then. I wonder why not.

As a bonus, the episodes were for sale on iTunes; instead of staying up late to watch, I could buy them, download them onto my iPod, and watch them on my horrific 90-minute commute home by train, which made the trip a bit less horrific.

Unfortunately, this year, following complaints by hard-core boxing fans, they've cut back on the fighters' stories; interesting that boxing writer William Detloff writes here about how, by caving to the demands of boxing fans, the producers made the show worse. I would agree (adding that I sure wish this season were on iTunes again).

Still, it's fun to watch; and by getting to see more boxing, I get to study a bit more. Since I don't want to stay up late (starts 10 PM, when I go to bed), I caught up today, Sunday, when there were several episodes on the air in the afternoon.

I did some knee exercises today--home physical therapy--and I'm using the deck of cards to do push-ups, though I'm spreading it out over time rather than doing it all at once, just to see how that works.

This week, I'm trying something new in my martial arts classes. At the suggestion of my sensei, I'm going to attend a kickboxing class, do drills, and then work out with the level one students, rather than getting into free sparring. My new sensei says he'll be very careful about my leg, and working with at level one--where each strike is predetermined and done carefully--I shouldn't get hurt. I'll be able to work on my footwork and defense, and I'll start getting my timing back.

This will be the first time for me to attend kickboxing class since before my ACL surgery. I don't want to get hurt, and I won't, but I'm eager to see how it will go.

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