I found this great video on a method of wrapping your hands for Muay Thai. This is a different method than I use, but still very effective. I tend to wrap a more Western Boxing method. If I find a video, I will post it online shortly.
The first pair of shin guards I ever owned were by Kwon, and they were pretty much like wearing a piece of paper on my shin. After plenty of sparring sessions resulting in pretty bruised and painful shins, I decided to buy a pair that was much thicker and had more padding. I ended up going with a pair of Combat Sports shin pads. They offered plenty of protection, but the down side was they were too bulky and heavy. This prompted me to continue my search for a quality pair of shin pads. I ended up settling on the Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards. This product gave me a nice combination of Protection and Flexibility. Let me tell you the highlights of this product, and also what I felt could be improved.
A major concern for my shin guards is having enough protection to protect my shins from extensive swelling or bruising. At this point, my shins are actually pretty well conditioned after plenty of sparring and bag work, but you can never be too safe when training. The Everlast Kickboxing Shin Guards have a dual layered foam padding on the shin area. What this means is that in addition to the initial layer of foam there is a raised second layer over the core of the shin. This provides additional protection and shock absorption. The shins also wrap around the entire shin to make sure the entire kicking area is protected from injury. Overall, I have been very happy with amount of protection that the shin guards provide.
The problem I have had with other shin guards is that once you have additional protection and padding, you tend to lose flexibility or the pads become too heavy. Having a lightweight shin guard gives you a lot of flexibility however you sacrifice protection. I was able to maintain flexibility without sacrificing protection with the Everlast Shin Guards. The shin guards come up to just under the knee, which do not prevent
me from utilizing my knees during sparring sessions. Also, instead of being one continuous piece of leather, the shin section and the instep guard are actually too different pieces, which are sewn together. This allows for a larger range of motion at the instep.
As with most of the new Everlast products, the Everlast Shin Guards are lined with the EverDri lining, which provides Anti-Microbial protection. This wicks away the sweat from the inside of the pad which provides odor control and aids in the prevention of skin infections. This is always a concern with me because of my previous bout with MRSA. I typically seek out products that offer this in some capacity, as you can never be too safe when it comes to skin infections.
Hook And Loop Straps
The Hook and Loop Straps are a new feature that I have not seen on any shin guards previously. Typically, most shin guards have velcro straps that attach in the back of the calf. Basically, you step into the elastic band at the instep, and then pull the strap through the hook on the other end, pull tight and fasten. The straps allow for quick adjustment and a secure and tight fit. Removing them is easy as well, simply release the velcro and pull the shin guards forward and they slip right off.
There were too concers I encoutered with the Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards. The first was regarding the Hook and Loop Straps. Although I like the conveinence of this feature, I had to pull them really tight to provide a secure, snug fit. What would happen is that the end of the strap hangs over beyond the shin guard. Depending on which way I wore the shin guards either the straps would rub the inside of my other leg, or they would protrude on the outside and be an annoyance when I was shin blocking or kicking. This could probably be solved by extending the soft side of the velcro further along the strap. I’d like to see Everlast make this adjustment on future models.
The second concern is a minor one. I mentioned above that the shin guard and instep guard are seperate pieces that are sewn together. I love this feature, but my concern is that there appears to only be one row of stitching holding the two together. A second row of stiching on the inside on the top of the instep guard would be ideal.
Although I have not tried every pair of shin guards on the market I would definitely recommend these shin guards for Muay Thai or Kickboxing. They are lightweight and flexible while also providing a lot of protection. The product also has some cool features such as the EverDri lining and the Hook and Loop straps. If you are seeking guards for a lot of Grappling this is not the best option as the guards will move around too much during the ground training, but that is what these guards are made for or marketed towards. Overall, I have been happy with my decision to go with these guards, although I did have a few concerns which I mentioned above. I would score this product at 7.5 out of 10.
These shin guards are priced at $69.99. To purchase a pair of these shin guards for yourself, click the image
I found this guy on YouTube. He basically teaches legit techniques, in a funny manner to make you laugh. He is the Jack Black of How To Martial Arts Videos. I might post up some more soon.
My apologies for not posting a Camp Spotlight in a while. Since about Mid July I have been pretty wrapped up in my personal training as well as several private students I have started teaching. In addition to that I have been setting up my home gym and doing a bunch of product reviews. As a result, I haven’t had a chance to update this section as much as I would have liked, but I should have at least 2 updates this month. The first one will be on Scorpion Muay Thai gym.
This weeks Camp Spotlight is on Scorpion Muay Thai. Scorpion Muay Thai is located in the “party city” of Pattaya in Thailand. The gym has been in business since 2003 and went through a big expansion in 2007. Here is everything you would want to know about Scorpion Muay Thai.
Here are the categories I will be providing information on:
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Scorpion Muay Thai is located in Pattaya, Thailand which is about two hours south of Bangkok. It ends up being about 150 km from the Bangkok Airport. Pattaya has many bars, reastaurant and disco’s. However the gym is located a little bit outside Pattaya so you won’t have to worry about the busy Pattay nightlife disturbing your training. If you want to get in to the city it cost you only 10 bath by Bath bus and it is about a 5 min to downtown Pattaya. The actual address of the camp is:
Thappraya road Soi 15, 308/45 Moo 10 Nongprue, Banglamung
Nongprue Banglamung (Pattaya)
The camp does not have a map on it’s website to show you where exactly the camp is located in Pattaya. A map like that is usually helpful to allow your taxi drive to know exactly where to take you. I have placed a map of Thailand in this article
Best Travel Route
In order to get to Scorpion Muay Thai Gym you first have to fly into Bangkok. From Bangkok, you basically have two options. You can either take a taxi or a bus into Pattaya. A taxi ride from Bangkok to Pattaya should cost you around 1200 baht (about $40 USD). Make sure you negotiate this price before you leave for your journey. The benefit about this option is they will take you right to the camp. Your second option is to take a bus to North Pattaya. From there you will have to take a taxi to the gym. The bus ride should cost you about 130 baht or about $5 USD. From the bus station you can take a taxi to the gym, and negotiate a good price for that, probably about 100 baht give or take. This option is much cheaper, but it is also less private and may take more time. You just want to make sure you don’t fall asleep on the bus during your trip.
Scorpion Muay Thai has many options as far as training prices goes. I always use the monthly rate as the determining factor as to how fair a gyms prices are. The standard seems to be between 8000 – 9000 baht per month. If you find a gym that is prices higher, they are probably charging too much, and if you find one prices lower, you are getting a sweet deal. Scorpion has prices plans for daily, weekly, monthly, 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. They also have options for 1 or 2 training sessions per day. The prices for 1 training session per day are as follows: Daily = 250 baht, Weekly = 1250 baht, Montly = 3950 baht, 3 Months = 9500 baht, 6 Months = 18,000 baht, 1 Year = 33,500 baht. Their prices for 2 sessions per day training is as follows: Daily = 450 baht, Weekly = 2100 baht, Montly = 7500 baht, 3 Months = 17,000 baht, 6 Months = 31,000 baht, and 1 Year = 50,000 baht. As you can see, even if you training twice a day, at 7500 baht for 1 month, the price for training at Scorpion Muay Thai is extremely reasonable.
If you are planning on training at Scorpion Muay Thai, the camp can arrange accomodations for you. The accomondations includes Air Conditioning, FREE WIFI/Internet, Cable TV, Refrigerator, hot water, lots of parking, food and drinks service, daily maid service, 24 hour security. The rooms come in a private bungalow style, and an apartment building style and range between 13,000 – 15,000 baht per month. The daily price is between 600 – 800 baht. The gym has 20 building style rooms and 5 bungalow style rooms available.
The Facilities at Scorpion Muay Thai are very nice. They have 2 Rings, 6 Heavy Bags, along with matted floors and a mirrored wall, which is great for shadow boxing. The gym has nice high ceiling roof which provides plenty of shelter from the sun and rain, while also allowing a nice breeze to vent through the large openings on the sides. The gym does have small partioning walls that keep the gym semi private from the outside traffic and community. Here is a nice photo of the gym at Scorpion.
The head trainer at Scorpion Muay Thai is Somphot Thotla, which is an international fighter and was formerly ranked #2 of Lumpini Stadium in Bangkok. Somphot and his wife Rosalie own the gym and both of them fight out of Scorpion Muay Thai as well. Somphot has over 300 fights, with over 240 wins, 160 which came by way of knock out. Rosalie also has 23 fights in her career, and has won 18 of them. The gym lists 2 other trainers on their website, but they employ more than that. One of the unique features of the camp is that there is no group training. All the training is 1 on 1. As a result, the camp keeps a fair amount of trainers on hand.
Since all of the training at Scorpion Muay Thai is 1 on 1 there is not an exact “routine” of how your training session will go, however the Owner was nice enough to outline a typical training routine for someone who is training at Scorpion. Here is an example Training Routine:
Skipping (3-5 rounds)
Shadow Boxing (2-3 rounds)
Bag Word (3-5 rounds)
Pad Work With Trainer (5 rounds)
Sparring (2-3 rounds)
Here is also a video of the gym during some training.
If you are seeking to fight while you are in Thailand Scorpion Muay Thai can arrange a fight for you. There are currently fights in Pattaya 3 times a week and the gym often arrnages out of town fights as well. Scorpion Muay Thai has to the potential fighters first in the gym to determine if they are ready to fight or not and to arrange a fight with someone of the same level. The gym will not arrange fights for people they have never seen before and people who are not ready yet. The good thing is that there is not a pre-determined amount of time that you must spend training at the gym before you can fight, however it seems like the gym will air on the side of caution in arranging fights to protect the fighters. As a result you may end up training there a bit longer before you feel you are ready, but it is probably safer for you in the long run.
Rosalie is the Office Manager/Part Owner of the gym and handles all the correspondence. She is originally from Amsterdam and speaks good English, which is always a plus. In fact the trainers at Scorpion Muay Thai Gym all speak and understand the English language and the management at the gym are speaking English, Dutch, French, German,and Thai language so communication is never an issue at Scorpion Muay Thai Gym. If you contact the gym via email Rosalie will be the one that responds back to you and arranges everything for your trip. The first time I contacted the gym they got back to me in about 24 hours, which is a great sign that they are on top of things.
The website for Scorpion Muay Thai is http://scorpion.atk-web.net/. Their website is mostly flashed based, which I am never a big fan of for several reasons. Sometimes Flash sites can take longer to load and navigate, the upside is they usually look cool. Aside from the appearance the site has all the necessary information that you need about the camp, including the prices, some photos and a FAQ page. I would have prefered some photos of the Bungalows and maybe a message board or testimonals page. Also I believe I mentioned above that unlike many other Muay Thai Camp sites, they don’t have a map showing exactly where the camp is. That could always be useful, especially if your taxi driver doesn’t know exactly where the camp is.
Pattaya has a lot of bars, reastaurant and discos to keep you entertained while you are there. Nightclubs in Pattaya are the pivot of attraction in Pattaya Thailand. In fact the nightlife of Pattaya which has received international acclaim because of the extravagant nightlife of Pattaya. Some of the leading nightclubs in Pattaya Thailand are Tiffany Nightclub ,Tony’s Entertainment Complex and Club Electric Blue Disco.
There are a bunch of other popular things to do while in Pattaya that are not too expensive such as Bowling, Go-karts, Water-skis, Elephant ride, Trail rides, pony treks, Paintball, Horse riding, theme parks and shows. The beaches are always very popular to spend time at while in Pattaya as well.
I asked Rosalie what makes Scorpion Muay Thai unique, and this is what she replied:
“I think (we are unique) because our trainers speak good English and really want to learn you something. In many gyms they are only concerned with money. With us its different, our trainers are giving the best training and put their heart in it and really want you get better. Also my husband is owner and trainer so its important for him that people get good training and not just kick 200x on the pads till they get tired.
Foreigners come to Thailand to learn techniques and tricks not only for power.”
Rosalie makes a really good point with the last part. Although cardio and conditioning is a major part of training in Thailand, it’s not the reason that many people travel their to train. Most people that are seeking to fight are not looking to hit a bag all day. They are seeking the fighting tricks, tips and strategies. That is exactly why I took a lot of private lessons while I was out there. Well, at Scorpion, all they have is private lessons. In my mind, that adds a lot of value to training at this camp.
If you are interested in training at Scorpion Muay Thai, and hopefully you will after this article, here is how you can contact them.
Address: Thappraya road Soi 15, 308/45 Moo 10 Nongprue, Banglamung
Nongprue Banglamung (Pattaya)
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One of the things I love most about training Mixed Martial Arts is that I get to meet a bunch of really cool people, who share similar interests and philosophies. That was definitely the case when I first crossed paths with Brian Yamasaki from Mushin Self Defense Academy in Utah. Both Brandon and Brian from Mushin took the time to answers some questions about themselves and their school in Utah. It is a school I am definitely looking to train at someday. You can visit them on the web at www.mushinselfdefense.com Here is the interview with Brandon and Brian.
1. How did the owners of Mushin Self Defense, (Brian and Brandon) meet?
Brandon Kiser: One day I walked into my Thai Boxing Class with Kru Bernales and there was this 140′ pound Japanese guy shadow boxing in the mirror. Kru Bernales (My Instructor) pulled me aside and said “Hey Kiser, this guy wants to fight, I am going to have you spar him, he seems pretty cool but I want you to put it on him and then we’ll see if he really wants to fight”. We paired up and threw down numerous times. I did everything I could to crush this guy’s dream of fighting but he kept coming back day after day. His name was Brian Yamasaki and he quickly became my new favorite training partner.
Brian Yamasaki: One day as I arrived to take a private lesson from my instructor Khuen Khru Bernales, I saw a guy shadowboxing in the class just before mine. It was strange because it was almost like I could see Ajarn Chai’s spirit inside him as he moved. You know how it is, when you go to a concert or something and you hear a musician play a single note and you know right there that, that guy has talent. That’s how it was for me when I saw Kiser for the first time. But instead of a note, it was a knee. I saw him throw one and I knew that he had talent. He was something altogether different than what I saw in all the other students. I did everything I could to convince him to help me prepare for some fights I was getting ready for. And we’ve been best friends and business partners ever since.
2. What arts are you certified in?
Brandon Kiser: MMA (Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling State Representative)
Brian Yamasaki: I am an Associate Instructor in Muay Thai Thai Boxing under Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, and a Coach Level 3 in Combat Submission Wrestling under Sensei Erik Paulson
3. How long has your school been established?
Brian Yamasaki: I’ve been running my school since 2000 and I believe Kiser joined me in 2001.
4. What is your current student population? Does that consist of fighters, men, women, children, etc?
Brian Yamasaki: It consists of Men, Children, Women and Fighters. We focused on our fight team for the first 5 years or so but now we are primarily interested in catering to Martial Artists and helping to spread the arts of Muay Thai and Combat Submission Wrestling.
5. Your school is set up mostly as a Muay Thai/MMA school. Which art would you say you gravitate more towards?
Brandon Kiser: I am 100% most inspired by MMA.
Brian Yamasaki: I have a love for both Muay Thai and MMA. They’re like wine and cheese for me. One only serves to contrast and bring out the beauties and uniqueness of the other.
6. Is there an art that is not on your schedule that you enjoy practicing?
Brandon Kiser: Power Lifting
Brian Yamasaki: Kali, Silat, JKD, Judo, Catch As Catch Can, Freestyle, Folk style and Greco Roman Wrestling, and Survivorman Techniques
7. Do you feel it is necessary to have fight experience in order to be a good coach? If so, what is your experience as fighters?
Brandon Kiser: Fighting has definitely helped me to be a better coach. I am a junior olympic gold medalist, competitive grappler and Utah State MMA Champion.
Brian Yamasaki: Yes, I think it helps if you want to train other fighters. You have an inside perspective into what your fighters will go through mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Other than that, it’s not the most important aspect of being a good coach IMHO.
I am 1-1 in Muay Thai, 1-1 in MMA, and 2-0 in submission grappling.
8. What fighters have you trained or worked with?
Brandon Kiser: I have cornered or trained the following UFC Fighters: Josh Burkman, Melvin Guillard and Brandon Melendez. Sportfight Champion Dennis Davis. Bodog Fighter Kyacey Uscola. Gladiator Champion Jake Paul. The Bernales Fight Team: Johnny Miller, Paul Roberts, John Mckean and Aaron Okura. Mushin Fighter Corps Team: Brian Yamasaki, Dustin Gapusan, Trevor Osborn, Kensei Sato, Konrad Jones and more.
Brian Yamasaki: I have trained and worked with Brandon Melendez, Gladiator Challenge Champion Jake Paul, Mushin Fighter Corps Team: Dustin Gapusan, Brandon Kiser, M’lisa Kiser, Trevor Osborn, Mika Kofe, Sterling Okura, Mark Brinkerhoff, Kensei Sato and Konrad Jones. I have consulted and been a contributing trainer for the Bernales Fight Team: Johnny Miller, Paul Roberts, John Mckean, and Aaron Okura.
9. You guys do a lot of unique Internet promotion such as your You Tube Channel and the Damage Control MMA Blog. Tell us a bit about how both of them got started.
Brian Yamasaki: Taking It To The MMAT (our Youtube Channel) started off as a t.v. show on our local Comcast Cable Network. Kiser and I had seen a lot of the MMA programming available (which wasn’t that much) and most of it had a tough guy, thug, fighter feel to it. We wanted to show a different side of MMA and Martial Arts in general.
Later when I received my Associate Instructorship from Ajarn Chai, I asked him what I could do since I didn’t feel that I had done as much to earn that ranking as my fellow Associates. He said “Help me to spread the art of Muay Thai sir. I want to see this (he pointed to the Thai Boxing Association Logo on my shirt) everywhere. I want to see Discipline and Respect in MMA one day.”
I decided that the best way to do that was to expose as many people as I could to the wonderful mentors, instructors, influences and friends that I had met through the Thai Boxing Association of the USA, Combat Submission Wrestling, Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Guro Dan Inosanto’s lines of Martial Arts, and the Arts in general. I felt that these people, more than anything else would be able to show what the arts are really about. So Kiser and I set out to publish as many videos as possible of our favorite instructors and friends.
Damage Control grew out of some research we did that showed us that just as many people were watching our out takes and non-martial arts related footage as were watching our instructional. So we put together a format that could include more of that material.
10. Anything else we missed that makes you guys unique?
Brian Yamasaki: No not much. I guess if there’s anything that makes us unique its that we aren’t and that we don’t try to be. I think a lot of people relate to us because we’re not UFC fighters or superhumans. We’re just regular guys, Seekers, explorers on the path of Martial and self discovery. We feel the same pains and elations of every other guy and gal out there on this path.
Our mission has been to generate positive energy and to relate with others on our adventures through the Martial Arts while exposing people to the hearts and souls of those who have helped mold and create us as Martial Artitsts.
I would like to thank Brandon and Brian for taking the time to do the interview with me for all of my readers. You can check out the guys on the web at www.DamageControlMMA.com or www.mushinselfdefense.com or also on Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/TakingItToTheMMAT If you live in Utah of the surrounding area, make sure you stop by their school for some training or a seminar.