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...
Nutrition is one of the most overlooked aspects of being a fighter, yet it's also something every serious hobbyist or competitor needs to be serious about - not only for performance in the ring but to keep healthy in general.
Unfortunately, the world of nutrition is the "Wild West," and much of what you will read is misinformation, or something positioned as "science" but with little substantive research.
Today, we will be talking about common fad diets, bad eating habits and, most importantly, having a healthy relationship with food, in order to be the best fighters we can.
1 SMOOTHIES & PROTEIN SHAKES
I have seen, more and more often, potential athletes turning their attention away from proper eating and on to vegetable/fruit smoothies and protein shakes.
The idea behind these fruity fads is that you are "detoxing" your body and getting your nutrition in an easy way, as eating can be...
In recent years, kettlebells have come into style, and it’s easy to see why. They are a pretty solid alternative to traditional dumbbells and barbells. Plus, if you are on the whole "functional fitness" train, they are a great tool.
Many people in combat sports (most notably, Joe Rogan) have been promoting the benefits of kettlebells for fighters for years at this point and it isn’t without merit.
Kettlebells provide the user with tons of options for different workouts and a unique challenge that you can’t get from other weights. The extra nice thing about them is that if you are in the market for getting your own weights, you only need one, maybe two kettlebells. Fifteen to thirty-five pounds is usually enough for anyone depending on your weight.
While one or two kettlebells probably isn’t going to replace an entire weight set like some people would claim, there are some exercises that you...
The leg kick, at first glance, does not appear to be a particularly devastating strike.
After all, what damage could the largest and most powerful limbs in the human body possibly do? Turns out... it's a lot.
Our legs are strong because they are the tools on which we rely to keep our body up. However, someone else can use their legs to hurt our legs, which disrupts our rhythm and ability to fight.
Today, we will be talking all about the leg kick, and by the end of this, you should have quite a few tips that will allow you to slice 'n dice your opponent’s legs.
First, we must understand how to throw the low kick. Before we get into that, understand this: as Sean shows in this video, there are many different types of low kicks. Understand that there are many ways to throw all kinds of techniques, be they kicks, punches, knees, or elbows.
The type of technique you throw will depend on the given...
In most combat sports, fighters have time to prepare for their opponents. They can watch videos of their opponents' past fights or maybe even train with their former partners.
In Thailand, nak muays don't often have that luxury. Short-notice fights are real and very commonplace.
We've been breaking down Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan's short-notice fight round-by round.
In round one, Sean landed a beautiful sweep off a caught kick.
However, rather than making his opponent thing twice about kicking, he actually adapted and used that weakness as an opening.
Let's see how it goes for our man, the Muay Thai Guy in ROUND 2:
FINDING 'GREAT OPENINGS' THROUGH FEINTING
Sean’s opponent throws another kick to the body, and Sean once again catches it. This time, the Thai has figured out how to counter Sean’s catch and sweep. He immediately squares up his hips...
Thailand -- the birthplace of Muay Thai, and as such, there are many wild things that can happen in Thailand that would rarely if ever happen in any other place.
"Such as, Evan???"
Whoa, whoa! Hold your horses! I was just about to tell you!
Wild and crazy things SUCH AS... taking a fight on 10-hours notice.
That is precisely what our boy Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan did (the wild and crazy man that he is!)
How did it play out? See for yourself.
STANCE-SWITCHING & SWITCH-HITTING
As Sean stated in the beginning of the video, he is a big fan of switching from stance to stance to throw off his opponent. Muay Thai stance-switching and switch-hitting can be incredibly effective ways to confuse your opponent and will allow you to find a hole even in the best defenses in the world.
Let’s look at Andy Ristie vs. Giorgio Petrosyan, for...
One of the most difficult things any fighter will have to deal with in their career is facing defeat. It’s a scenario no one wants to be in, but it’s something that seems almost inevitable.
Even the greatest Muay Thai fighters of all time like Samart Payakaroon, Saenchai, Dieselnoi, and countless others all have defeats on their record. Sometimes they even have brutal defeats.
That's why today’s topic is all about overcoming defeat.
The last fight I had sucked and I ended up losing by head kick KO. Not a good way to go out. But, hey, as Rocky said:
“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Overcoming defeat is how you ultimately find success. If you can’t handle defeats, then you’re going to have a very tough time in this sport where even the best fighters...
< Note: We have previously discussed heavy bag drills that will build up your balance. This is an expansion of what we talked about last time, so I strongly recommend you read it here before going forward. >
Today we’re going to be looking at heavy bag drills for techniques that will not only improve your balance but also improve your co-ordination on unorthodox combinations.
We’re going to be specifically looking at building punches off of kicks. Conventional wisdom is to lead with a punch (the easier technique to see coming) in order to set up a kick. This is a completely valid way to fight, and it’s not wrong at all to emphasize this in your training. What is often overlooked, however, is doing the inverse.
Throwing a kick, at half power, to follow through with a powerful punch is an underutilized and formidable approach to fighting that has given some of the best kickboxers in history knockout...