Building a Brawler EP6: Fighters Picked!

A 10-week series following John Vallis as he prepares to fight at the Brawl on the Bund boxing match.

And we’re in!


Tonight (Friday Oct 28th) was fight selection night. Myself and another one of the participants in my weight class (87kg) were the second group to spar. We did one round, both got some good shots in, and when we finished they told us on the spot that we were in!


Following that the other fighters were paired up and fought as the rest of the class looked on. At the end, the rest of the fights/fighters were announced, and we were separated into groups (Team Blue baby!) and given our coaches and training schedules.


Now the real training begins!

John Vallis fights in the 'Brawl on the Bund' on December 3rd in Shanghai!

John Vallis fights in the ‘Brawl on the Bund’ on December 3rd in Shanghai!


Outside of that, it was a good week all around. I had a few days off after a long stretch working, which was nice.


My shins are the main thing that continue to bother me. Running / skipping seems to aggravate shin splints that I’ve had for a long time. That said, they seem to be getting a bit better / adapting to the training lately, and i’ve been icing them post-training which helps.


Team Blue for Brawl on the Bund!


I also had a float session on Sunday night after another tough workout with the FitFam (Jiatong Uni Session). I had some soreness, but felt great afterwards, with lots of blood flowing, and even did some shadow boxing on my own afterwards, to try and continue building those ’neural networks’. A couple hours later I went for a float session at Floatasian, and it. was. awesome. I always try to get some form of exercise in before floating, but this was the most intense pre-float workout I had ever done.


One of the cool results of floating is that your body’s circulation is enhanced, as muscles relax and blood vessels all over your body dilate. Already having a solid ‘pump’ on, shortly after I got situated in the tank, I could feel my whole body pulsating, quite strongly. I could feel the tension going away and the blood (and seemingly ‘energy’) flowing unobstructed up and down the entire length of my body. The sensation felt incredibly rejuvenating, and was very meditative, I basically just ‘plugged in’ for an hour, with very few thoughts, and just hung out in the ‘energy’ of that state. Needless to say I loved it.

Getting a recovery Float in at Floatasian on Dagu Lu in Shanghai!

Getting a recovery Float in at Floatasian on Dagu Lu in Shanghai!

Anyways lots to work on before Dec 3rd, but I’m looking forward to it!


(Be sure to check out this weeks audio episode. I had my friend Matty, who is also doing the boxing training, join me to discuss his journey and how the experience has been for him so far.)



Sponsor in Focus:


Farmhouse Juice Sponsors John Vallis for the Brawl on the Bund!

I’m sure many of you have heard of Farmhouse Juice. It’s another well-known health and wellness brand in Shanghai and I’m super happy to be receiving their support during this training.


I’ve been drinking vegetable juice on and off for a number of years now, but it’s mostly been ‘off’. The reason is, to do it yourself, you need to buy the fresh vegetables (a lot!), clean and prep them, juice them (cold-press juicers are pricey), clean up the mess, clean the get the picture. So most of the time it’s more 麻烦 than I’m willing to bare.


That’s why it’s so awesome that people living in Shanghai have an option like Farmhouse, they do all those steps for you, and deliver it right to your door!

Drinking Farmhouse juice on the subway in Shanghai!

In my opinion, cold-press veggie juice isn’t just for the ‘health nuts’, in fact, I recommend it as a great way for someone who has a ‘less than ideal’ diet to make sure they are at least getting a concentrated daily does of important vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes and more, to make up for ‘shortfalls’ in other areas.


For less than the price of a beer at a bar, it seems like a no-brainer to get all that nutrient-dense awesomeness.


Anyways, if you’re interested in working some into your routine, I highly recommend Farmhouse. The product and service has been awesome, and the juices are delicious too!


Technique Talk:


After the intense sparring last week, I came away from it with a few tweaks I wanted to make to the studying/training I did outside of the gym.


For one, I’m now watching more amateur boxing fights, instead of the pro’s like Mayweather, Canelo, Tyson etc. It seems the added protection of the headgear changes the approach a little bit. Fighters seem a little more willing to take risks, and they are throwing shots in volume, instead of power, so as to accumulate points, rather than attempting to knock their opponent out with one punch.

The FitFam Crew!

The FitFam Crew!

As we will be wearing headgear in the fight, I thought watching those style of fights would be more helpful in ingraining the most beneficial movements, strikes, defenses etc. for the type of fight I’ll be fighting.


I’m also really enjoying shadow boxing a lot more lately. At the beginning it just felt like throwing out punches for no particular reason, with not much in mind but good form, and warming everything up. Now I see it much more as a chance to become more familiar with different combos and movement pathways, to help you remember to do or not do certain things, play with footwork, head movement, all of it. The sparring definitely helped me realize this.

Building a Brawler Quote of the week!

Follow the Building a Brawler Series on WeChat by scanning the below QR!


Wellness in China on WeChat!


Website / WeChat / saucepan / farmhousejuice (Everlast China Online Shop) / gogre3n / gutsxglory


Yummy Avocados WeChat: Y15618935663 / ImportedExerciseNutrition / piaofudao / HungryFoolish


Feel free to send feedback, suggestions or anything else to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.