Ognjen Topic is one of the best farang Muay Thai fighters today - handsomeness aside (I'm not jealous). So what happens when two super talented, super handsome (not jealous) farang nak muay like Ognjen and Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan" clash in the gym?
There's a high potential for HANDSOMENESS-- I mean... EPIC SPARRING!
(Still not jealous.)
There is no better way to test your skills than facing the best fighters in the game. Couple of pointers, though: if you find yourself getting the better of your much more experienced opponent, understand that they may be purposefully handicapping themselves so they can focus on working a specific aspect of their skill set. And if you do happen to find yourself sparring a known fighter, let them set the pace and, most importantly, don’t be a dick.
Now that I got that PSA out of the way, let me talk about an important point there. When a fight is being hyped up, it’s not...
It’s a fairly common thing for Muay Thai practitioners to have a sense of superiority when it comes to other martial arts. There's a fair amount of reasoning behind this, due to Muay Thai’s practicality in the real world and how, nowadays, Muay Thai fighters usually beat other styles.
The downside to this mentality (aside from just being pretty lame and annoying) is that it makes a lot of people think that other martial arts, like Taekwondo, have nothing to offer.
This is nowhere near the case. Even if Taekwondo is not all well rounded and all-encompassing as Muay Thai, there are still a lot of things to learn from it, especially in its kicks.
(Side note: Why is Taekwondo considered a "traditional martial art" but Muay Thai isn’t? Muay Thai is older than Taekwondo and most Karate styles by literally every measurement! Rant over.)
We all know that the roundhouse kicks in Muay Thai...
Getting the chance to watch a legend do what they do best is really quite something.
Now imagine getting to spar with such a legend.
Then imagine getting kicked in the face with that man’s signature techniques.
Embarrassed by a smaller man! Humiliated with technique and tactics Sean's seen a million times before!
But you know what the best part is? I think Sean absolutely fucking loved it.
THE BRILLIANT 'SAMENESS' OF SAENCHAI
Saenchai is one of the greatest Muay Thai fighters of all time, and he is widely considered to be the greatest Muay Thai fighter of today. And it’s easy to see why.
If you’ve seen highlights of the man, you’ll notice that he’s an extremely defensively sound fighter. He is, after all, undefeated since 2014, riding a 53-fight winning streak, and has not been knocked out or even seriously hurt since he was 15 and fighting against Thongchai, who is...
We’re living in some crazy times right now. What sucks the most in my opinion is having your passions stolen from you. There are so many things that you can't do right now, particularly if you're an athlete.
Fortunately for us nak muays, this does not have to be the case. Training right now is a very difficult thing to do. However, you can still improve your skills and be an even better nak muay than ever!
I'm not being delusional either. Think about it. Doing things like padwork and sparring are all very important, but they're not the only ways to improve your Muay Thai skills.
One of the best ways to get better at Muay Thai, and one of the things that I’ve really enjoyed doing is breaking down fights. Everyone knows that “knowledge is power,” right? We have to live those words now!
We are living in unprecedented times but remember that we’re also living in a time where...
Most of the people in the world are right-handed. If you're a southpaw Muay Thai fighter, things can get kind of lonely.
Most people you fight will be fighting out of the orthodox stance. Same goes for your sparring partners. Odds are, too, that your coaches are orthodox fighters, as well as the most popular fighters at any given time.
So what’s a southpaw to do when there are so few teachers out there from which to learn?
Fighting southpaws and specifically fighting in the open stance (orthodox vs southpaw) is significantly different to fighting in the closed stance (orthodox vs orthodox or southpaw vs southpaw). The openings that are available are completely different, so you need the proper techniques, tactics, and strategies to cope with that difference.
Here are 3 southpaw KO combos to aid you in the gym and in a fight:
BECOMING A 'DOUBLE THREAT' IN...
Dutch Kickboxing is a martial art with a complicated history. It’s an approach to kickboxing firmly rooted in stereotyping the style of an entire nation of kickboxers, and as a result, we have access to a lot of misinformation on the fighting style.
Today, we will be looking into the history and formation of the Dutch style of kickboxing, and examining kickboxing's relationship with not only Muay Thai but also Japanese kickboxing and the style of karate which influenced it.
1 THE 1960s: STYLE VS. STYLE FIGHTING
To start this journey of re-education, we actually have to look to Japan and the horrifically misrepresentative cross-style competitions held in 1964 between Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin karatekas and three Muay Thai fighters, under a modified rule set that permitted karate throws that were otherwise banned in Muay Thai competition. The bout was encouraged by Osamu Noguchi, a former boxer and now...
Fresh from the end of round 3, our biggest take away from this fight so far is… leg kicks.
One leg kick is rarely ever going to be enough to end a fight. However, leg kicks do pay great dividends as the fight goes on! And if enough leg kicks are banked, your opponent is going down.
But let’s say you’re somehow still not a believer in the leg kick. Well, if you kick your opponent hard enough, they’ll believe in them enough for the two of you! That is what matters.
Today we’re talking about how leg kicks and punches work together. But before that, here’s the rest of the fight:
LEG KICKS WIN FIGHTS
In the opening combination, Sean immediately starts blasting his opponent (whom we’ll call “Bob” for the sake of brevity). In the previous three rounds, Sean had tremendous success with the low kicks and...
Injuries are common in most contact sports, and even more so in combat sports.
So you can just imagine how it is in Muay Thai. It's as common as being on the receiving end of an elbow or roundhouse strike. Virtually any strike or sequence can do it, too, serving up the terror of earning a random injury to the menu.
Are you thinking about taking up Muay Thai? Have you been to an open session at your local Muay Thai gym? Have you watched a lot of Muay Thai fights?
Are you truly mentally (not to mention physically) prepared for this?
Today, we're talking the ugly side of Muay Thai: injuries - black, blue and otherwise.
TWO SIDES TO THE 'ART OF 8 LIMBS'
Muay Thai is a beautiful martial art which many even recognize as an art form. When its combatants or even sparring partners are in sync, the exchanges are spectacles to behold.
Practicing Muay Thai can mesmerize and inspire. There is a rush of adrenaline that...
If you've ever watched Muay Thai fights, you’ll notice that the first round or two often starts rather slow, with neither fighter committing to that many attacks. Usually the action gets picked up in the 3rd round, and that is exactly what happens here in round 3 of Sean's short-notice fight in Thailand.
In most fights, from boxing to MMA, and wrestling to Muay Thai, the opening rounds or minutes of the bout are spent trying to get a read on what your opponent is trying to do or how they react. However, if you have a two-month training camp to get ready for a single opponent, you can already know a lot about them and not even have to spent that opening round or few minutes feeling them out.
In the world of Muay Thai, and specifically Thailand, where the nak muays are fighting almost weekly, there is not enough time to prepare for your opponent. There may not even be footage of them fighting. There are even times...
There’s been a fairly long-running debate between marital artists on whether lifting weights is a good or bad thing for us to do. Many nak muays wonder whether weightlifting is beneficial to their Muay Thai at all.
Well, the sports science is in, and lifting weights (in the right way) is definitely going to benefit your performance in Muay Thai.
When I say "the right way," I mean not lifting like a bodybuilder, which is what most people think of when they think of weightlifting. So, we aren’t going to be talking about bicep curls or tricep pushdowns, as those exercises aren’t the best for increasing overall sports performance.
This means that you are going to need to:
For this list, we are going to focus on...