I didn’t get to be a kung-fu champion by punching bricks all day. That helped to strengthen my fists, of course…and then it gave me a bit of flexibility in the wrists. That wrist flexibility really is an underrated part of the fight.

Still, to be a martial arts champion you have to be focused in mind as well as body. I used to spend six hours meditating before a tournament, except on days when my alarm clock didn’t go off or I wanted a snooze. Relax the mind, relax the body, and victory shall be yours. Or you can just get acupuncture or dry needling or whatever; it’s basically a shortcut to inner peace, and it doesn’t take six hours. I made my personal trainer take a dry needling course in Melbourne, after which tournament prep has been pretty easy. Also helps for AFTER the matches as well. Ever wondered why people who do martial arts always have so many injuries? Okay, maybe you haven’t…that sounds pretty obvious. But I’m a world champion, and I still often feel like I’ve been beaten up when I really haven’t. That’s just what happens when you make a living out of using part of your body to hit parts of other people’s bodies. Humans have skeletons, you know, and bone is a surprisingly hard substance. You can’t just use the bones in your hand to punch the bones in someone’s jaw and expect all the damage to be focused on them.

Sometimes I wake up and just feel like I’ve been run over by a steamroller. No good. But now I have dry needling, you see. Like acupuncture, but the sporty version. Nothing quite like a needling session to leave you feeling a bit less sore, despite how that sounds. And my PT was complaining that he had to go all the way to Melbourne. If there was a dry needling course in Australia ANYWHERE, that’s where he’d be. I’m not really a fan of pain, you see. So anything that gets rid of some of it is totally necessary.