When is the last time you got to shoot practice shots with Michael Jordan?
Can you recall the last time you swapped opening move strategies with Bobby Fischer? Or played a friendly round of 18 holes with Tiger Woods?
Have you ever been granted the amazing opportunity to learn from and practice with a real, live legend of sports?
Well, recently, my friends, I got to do just that. Let me tell you all about my Muay Thai private with the one, the only, the king of the cartwheel kick...
This wasn't my first time meeting Saenchai, but it was the longest private I've ever had with the man. And let me tell you: he is EXACTLY what you think he's like.
"Playful" doesn't begin to describe him. Where do I even begin?? When we sparred, every time he landed clean, he started counting me out... LOL. He's so loose no matter what he's doing or showing you. The constant "oooweee!" coming out of his mouth had me grinning...
I enjoy multi-purposed tools, especially in fighting. These 'swiss army knife techniques' tend to find themselves fitting into cracks that are too tight for other tools.
It ought not come as a surprise then that I find enjoyment in developing core muscles. Developed proper, they look nice, aid in movement, act as a great natural body armor, and, thus, all our bases are covered. Actually...not quite.
Picking one trait to develop is easy, for instance: getting a 6-pack. Diet properly and the fat will melt like polar ice caps and the 6-packs will rise to sea level. But what good are looks if they do not function? We're going to try to piece this puzzle together and have you reap all the good fruits it has to bear.
A strong core isn't just about a strong core, it's about the entire body (we're talking stuff like harder shins, bigger forearms and...
Well, maybe not in the moment when you're slamming your shin into your opponent's thigh (or worse yet, something bonier than that). That's always gonna hurt.
But somewhere early on in the development of Muay Boran and eventually of Muay Thai, clever practitioners learned that by conditioning their shins, they could turn the crippling sharpness into more of a deadened, dull pain that one can endure throughout the fight without giving up.
They also learned that conditioned shins heal much more quickly post-fight than unconditioned ones. Think about it this way: if you walk a mile every day, you'll not run out of conditioning if, one day, you're forced to walk two miles - or even three. But ten miles? Twenty? Fifty?? You're just not ready for that. For that, you'd need to start conditioning your body to be functional for those huge, marathon walks.
The same goes for your shins - an integral part of your arsenal in the Muay...
Muay Thai does not typically emphasize head movement. It is not commonly drilled as it is in boxing. This is due to the diversification of attacks from punching. Defending the head becomes de-emphasized when your opponent mixes in kicks to the body and leg. However, when faced with a volume puncher, a fighter without head movement could be at a disadvantage.
What do you do when someone asks you to move your head? Moving the head involves flexion and contraction of the neck muscles. The resulting head positions are up and down (nodding), left and right (shaking the head), and tilted (ear to shoulder).
“Why Muay Thai?” is a question I get asked a lot, so I’m going to try answering it definitively – by telling you why it wasn’t any other martial art.
Like many kids, I tried my hand at martial arts. I grew up on Kung Fu flicks and fighting movies, and like their protagonists, I wanted to be a bad ass. At the tender age of six, I ventured into Judo – my first door into the world of martial arts.
I was living in Beirut, Lebanon at the time. My instructor taught at my elementary school. He was young, fit, and charismatic. An absolute giant in my eyes at the time. I couldn’t tell you what I learned but I remember feeling incomplete. I remember thinking, “when am I going to hit stuff?” – not realizing that Judo is mostly throws and doesn’t really practice any strikes.
The only distinct memory I have with my Judo instructor was when we were...
A world champion may have the experience but not necessarily the communication skills to pass on their knowledge clearly. Quite the opposite, a regular fighter who may never be a world champion yet has the talent to see gaps and convey them succinctly may be a great coach.
It all comes down to the fact that some people may have a natural affinity for the physical aspect of fighting while others may gravitate more towards plotting the chess moves necessary to slay opponents’ kings. The physical and the mental — you can’t fight without both, working in unison.
When it comes to head coaching, there can be several factors that determine success, but the criteria of being a world champion should not be a core pre-requisite. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the...
Even if you’re young and strong, you’re still at risk of getting injured. One injury could be minor, which will only take some rest to recover fully, while others can be serious and may require extreme measures to heal.
Before you undergo any possible surgeries, you might want to try getting physiotherapy first.
Physiotherapy is a method of treatment that helps people with injuries or those suffering from illnesses heal. Clinics like Bentall Physiotherapy assess the severity of your condition, give you a physical exam, and then create a treatment plan for you. The various treatments used in physiotherapy may include one or a combination of the following:
6 Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Your Body Perform At Peak Levels
It’s fight night. You feel more ready than ever to step into the ring and you feel confident about coming away with another hard-earned win. How could you not feel that way after all the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made, right?
You’ve put rigorous hours in the gym banging the heavy bag, hitting pads, and sparring tough, experienced guys.
You’ve obsessively watched your diet for weeks making sure you were simultaneously losing weight, eating healthy and getting enough nutrients into your body to train hard.
You’ve visualized the fight over and over and over and over again replaying what felt like every possible scenario that could happen in the context of a fight.
You just finished warmups. You take the walk down the hallway towards the ring. You start to feel the energy of the crowd and you hear the music blasting it’s bass...
One of the big notions of muay thai is that the training is verygrueling.
As a community, Nak Muay Nation has developed the reputation of hard training makes you a great fighter. And for the most part, that is 100% true.
Without a doubt, you have to put in the work to reach a level of skill worthy of fighting in the ring. But fitness and cardio will only take you so far. You will reach a point where your opponent is just as “diesel” as you are… or even more. It is at this apex that you will always lose to a more skilled opponent. It wasn’t because you weren’t in great shape, it was you not having the skills to keep up.
Take for example Saenchai. Why is it that he is able to easily defeat his falang opponents?...
By Sean Fagan
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“It’s not daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee
Making a mistake means you’ve wasted a portion of your time, or worse still, you’ve set yourself back so far that you must now spend even more time correcting and making up for your mistakes.
We want to minimize tail chasing during your heavy bag training sessions by developing a NOT to-do list, because what you don’t do determines what you can do. Time to save time. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Note: For each mistake listed, there will be a correction that comes with it. If you’re impatient simply read the corrections and the bold.
All the below...