Recently, kickboxer “Bazooka” Joe Valtellini and former boxer Paulie Malignaggi got into a spat on Twitter over whether hard or light sparring is the way to go. Joe’s argument was that hard sparring leads to unnecessary brain trauma going into a fight and it’s part of the reason why he had to retire quite young.
Paulie’s counter argument basically amounted to: “Don’t be a pussy.”
It’s a debate that will never really have a clear concrete answer, largely in part because we simply don’t have enough research into brain trauma, especially in regards to Muay Thai fighters, and partly because there are inherent benefits to both.
Sparring The Thai Way
The common argument in favor of sparring light, in the same way that professional fighters in Thailand do, is that less brain trauma sparring means more potential...
Here are a collection of tips demonstrating how to properly fuel and keep running your Muay Thai machine on a steady diet of clean, productive nutrition. . .
Practicing your Muay Thai technique is only half the job done. If you really want to optimize your strength, you need the right diet. Mind you, “diet” here does not mean going on some sort of temporary health regimen to lose weight. Here, it means bringing about solid lifestyle changes that you can stick with for the rest of your life.
Training and practicing Muay Thai demands a lifelong dedication, which means what you eat is directly correlated with how your skills develop. Read on to know all about what sort of nutrition you should be following for effective training:
The most important thing to remember is that if you want to really dedicate yourself to Muay Thai, you need to treat it as an...
Body weight training is the best measure of your pound-for-pound strength.
Georges St. Pierre, one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, uses Olympic weightlifting, track and field, and gymnastics to prepare for his fights.
St. Pierre and his legendary coach Firas Zihabi both believe that gymnasts are the strongest and best athletes in the world. And what weights do gymnasts use? Their bodies.
Today, Sean Fagan will show you a body weight workout designed to build full-body strength, just like a gymnast. And because you are only using your body weight, the difficulty of the exercises determines your pound-for-pound strength. The easier the exercise, the stronger you are, pound for pound. Now, let’s build that strength.
There may be some of you who are living your dream of training and fighting Muay Thai full-time but for most nak muay, the journey in the art of eight limbs has to contend with another pressing, everyday struggle: the day job.
Some of us have engaging careers that we’re very passionate about and want to continue alongside our training. Others have dreams of fighting and coaching full-time but still need the day job to pay the bills until that dream can become a reality.
Either way, juggling a full-time job and the stressors of rigorous training can take their toll on the body and mind.
While it’s no small feat, managing both a vocational career and a fight career can be done.
Just ask Ognjen Topic: in the earlier days of his fight career (circa 2013), Topic was not only competing professionally at a very high level, but also maintaining his nine-to-five graphic design job....
Footwork is a skill, and like all skills needs to be drilled into you.
Your ability to move your feet becomes your ability to fight. However, it’s not just about bouncing around like Ali. It’s about being able to pivot out of a dangerous position in an instant as someone like Giorgio Petrosyan or Jose Aldo does so often.
These drills aren’t inspired by the workouts of great fighters, they’re straight up taught by great fighters like Tiffany van Soest.
The agility ladder trains both your balance, endurance, and explosiveness. Your ability to step into angles with strong posture will be developed, your ability to fight while moving backward will be strengthened, and your bursts of explosion that help you close the distance instantly and get KOs will be boosted.
Having poor footwork is like having a car without wheels, so try out these drills and get lightning legs.
Although you’ll be in the ring by yourself when you fight, training Muay Thai is anything but a solo sport. This is why we have teams of fighters training together at top-tier Muay Thai gyms, whether it be Diamond Muay Thai on Koh Phangan, Thailand, or King Tiger Muay Thai in San Diego, or a room with some beat-up mats in the middle of nowhere. In this solo sport, co-operative training matters.
As crucial as it is to train with others and a quality instructor, there are many benefits to training solo – and everyone should every now and then. It allows you to focus on yourself, rather than a partner or instructor. In these quiet, retrospective sessions, you can fine-tune the techniques you’ve learned from class and sparring to be better prepared for the real thing.
Here are a slew of tips on how to squeeze the most out of your solo Muay Thai sessions.
WHEN TRAINING SOLO… Slow...
Lumps and bumps are part of the deal when you sign up for Muay Thai, whether you want them or not. Soreness and pain in the shin area is experienced by nak muay of all levels. In terms of the pain itself, not too much can be done, but there is good news: it gets better with time.
When starting out, it’s completely normal to get bruising on all points of contact, shin area included. The shin may even be the area that delivers the most surprise to you. Knees and elbows are used to taking the brunt of it when you fall or have other misfortunes due to clumsiness, but shins comprise a big area that generally go unscathed (at least, not in the same way as your knee and elbow joints). Therefore, arguably, the shins are the least prepared part of the body for the newcomer.
Kicking the heavy bag for the first time feels extremely painful to many, and everyone gets bruising. With time, the nerves get...
There are few times in your life when opportunity knocks on your door. A Muay Thai retreat just might be that knocking. . .
That best describes a Nak Muay Nation Muay Thai retreat, especially the kind of retreats we’ve been holding lately at a brand new location: Greece! We’ve been set up on the gorgeous seaside paradise of Kefalonia, Greece. And I think it’s time you ought to join us!
What can I say about Kefalonia that hasn’t already been written? With a human history on its shores since at least late pre-historic times, Kefalonia is a place with a reputation and a story. Dotted with stunning ruins and draped in wild jungle throughout, Kefalonia is where vacationers and nak muay alike come to enjoy the peace and tranquility that this magical island is known for. When we found the opportunity to host...
High kicks. The golden technique of martial arts and, in many ways, the mark of a good martial artist.
No one just throws a high kick; only people who dedicate their life to martial arts or ballet are able to get their leg that high that easily. Be it Jean Claude Van Damme or Saenchai, everyone who throws a high kick has spent years mastering it. You need great static and dynamic flexibility, great technique and, most important of all, the ability to set up your opponent for that highlight reel KO.
So if you want to be a part of the high kick club, there are a few things that you’ll need to know.
It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that high kicks require a little bit of flexibility.
After all, if your leg can’t stretch up there comfortably, then there’s not much use kicking here. Lacking flexibility while aiming for a high kick will almost feel like you’re hefting a big...
We’ve all got blades on our arms, some are sharper than others, but they slice and dice all the same. These blades I’m referring to are elbows.
Elbows, like knees, are made to be utilized within close range. Though you may be within the range they’re designed for, that does not always mean you’ll be able to use them properly. Positioning is key.
What type of position will we be looking at today?
We’ll look, as one always should, at the position of maximal leverage; in this particular instance, the clinch. This is an important point to consider if you’re facing an opponent more physically able than you are.
It would be silly to fight on an equal playing field, therefore you must be able to maneuver to positions advantageous to you and disadvantageous to him.
The clinch will be such a position for you. Here are the tricks: