By Angela Chang
Take a trip down memory lane with me… You’ve just arrived at the gym for your first ever Muay Thai class. You walk in not knowing what to expect, but feeling excited at the same time.
You wait for class to start. The trainer tells you what to do as you warm up. You learn some basics for the foundation of your journey. You walk up to one of the heavy bags and, using what you saw on YouTube and what you just learned, you throw a kick at the bag. Suddenly, your shin and foot are burning with pain. The bag is soft to the touch, but it feels like you’ve just slammed your leg into a metal pole. Class wraps up and you head home, sore as hell. You might have even woken up the next day with some bruises. You go back to the gym next time for more.
Days, weeks, months pass by. Now you’re kicking the bag as hard as you can and you don’t even flinch. What happened? Why doesn’t your leg...
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...
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...
Movement is balance.
The body is balance. If your chest is overdeveloped, your shoulders will round forward. This is both ugly and…not so pretty on your body. If your right is dominant, you’ll forget to use your left. This can quickly spell disaster when a certain action from your opponent requires a reaction from a certain side of you.
Balance of the body and equilibrium are both necessary in fighting. A strong foundation is balance, a strong foundation is power, and power…equals knockouts. Train your balance with this Muay Thai heavy bag drill and you’ll be like a cat, always landing on your feet and always being in a good position.
Flowing between soft and hard is an excellent way to train your body. Now here’s an entire workout you can shape around your training.
Drills make skills, and the more you train on this wonderful tool...
If you’re anything like me, you’ll wander over to the heavy bag at the gym, hit it for a period of about 30 seconds, throw a couple kicks and knees… then wander for a bit more, talk to some people, and then go back to it.
If you’ve done that exact thing, then your problem is clear: you haven’t got a clear structure in mind for the heavy bag. That’s why today I’ve got a brilliant routine that’ll sharpen up all of your skills.
This routine is great for beginners and experienced fighters as it’s longer than typical Muay Thai bag workouts. Rather than hitting the bag for three rounds of three minutes, we’ll be doing six rounds of three minutes. The longest Muay Thai fights are five rounds, and this workout will give you that little push to go even further than that.
(Scroll to the bottom for follow along heavy bag workouts for Muay Thai)