Every single shot is countered with feedback – that’s a training session with John Tandy. There’s a real buzz at the prospect of being coached by him and so I thought I would turn up to see the man in action – not quite brave enough to book a 1-2-1, I just sat on the edge of the ring with the rest of the hopefuls to watch the magic happen.
I arrived, as Charlie was 6 rounds into his session with Tandy. The first thing I heard Tandy say was. “Look at you – you’re not even out of breath”. Charlie’s reply was emphatic, “I’m fucked!” He then said to Charlie, “You can stop when you throw up!” Personally, I would have headed straight for the bucket. It’s hard to believe that anyone can push Charlie about – but Tandy can. His style of training is the sort even the most committed might want to avoid.
Charlie’s session was boxing for MMA. The first part was perfecting shots but while under the pressure of hard cardio – the second part was less training more punishment…or at least that’s what it looked like to me. There were 4-5 rounds of Charlie starting on his back…on his front, jumping up, driving Tandy to the corner of the r
ing and then punching as you would for the last 20-30 seconds of a round – all out going for the win. No rest just back to the centre of the ring down, up, shoulder to Tandy and Tandy to the corner of the ring – all out for 30 seconds. Back to the centre, down, up…you get my drift. As I said this was more like
punishment and there were 4-5 rounds of this with only a 30 second break in between. Looking on the bright side – I wonder
if any fight could ever be this demanding.
Once the lie down, stand up is over it’s time for abs – even the abs are executed using power and resistance. Charlie stays focused while Tandy whispers little words of encouragement. Session over, job done – Tandy sends him on his way with few words….”God job Charlie”.
It’s now big Adam’s turn. He’s our most passionate boxer and probably our most experienced, and his classesalways reflect this. This is their first session together and the crowd at the ring is starting to swell now. Tandy’s attention to detail is immense. He offers advice on economies of movement, head movement and power. Adam is the model student – he listens intently, clearly keen to learn. The clock is not on and 20 minutes in, Adam has not stopped. He hasn’t looked for the clock; his eyes are firmly fixed on Tandy oblivious to crowd at the ring.
As I take it all in, Rich Mitchell pops his head over my shoulder to take a peek at what I’m writing. I’m keen to keep it under wraps but I do comment to him that it’s cool the way the likes of our coaches, Charlie and Adam, take to being students so respectfully. They listen, adapt and work hard…no backchat – heads down and get on with it. Rich just looked at me with his big puppy dog eyes and wonky mouth and said, “Sue…. every day’s a school day”!
With those words of wisdom I looked at my own clock and realised it was time to get back to my real job.
By Sue Finnegan