Footwork

Footwork

Once upon a time, about a month ago (I forget which post) there was a discussion re: footwork in Muay Thai. It was actually a tangent thread in another post, I forget the details.

Anyway, my point is that we were discussing the fact that Thai boxers often dont employ a whole heck of a lot of footwork. I explained why, but also pointed out that I teach my students to use footwork. I actually drill them on footwork/circling their opponent on a regular basis.

For those of you who are not aware, I teach Muay Thai at Lloyd Irvins Martial Arts Academy in Camp Springs, MD. The school teaches BJJ/Sambo/Judo, as well as Aerobics, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. Many of my students cross train in the other classes.

In tonites class, Bret, one of my regular students (though a beginner) related his experience in one of our Vale Tudo classes.

Though he is neither an experienced Thai boxer nor an experienced grappler (well, hes a more experienced grappler than I am), he was really taking advantage of his fellow grapplers during Vale Tudo training due to the footwork drills that I teach in class.

He was able to continually circle his opponent, taking advantage of the openings being given to him. EXAMPLE: He would circle, occassionally switching direction. When his opponent would adjust his stance, he was able to step in with a punching combo while their feet were together. The Vale Tudo guys were apparantly not switching their stances smoothly, and I pound into my students heads the correct way to switch directions without leaving yourself vunerable by having your feet planted or too close together. Bret would just watch for their footwork mistakes and capitalize on them.

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Mud Bog Races

Mud Bog Races

How long has he been involved in this sport? Since I was five, Saxon said. I started competing in USA boxing when I was eight, but didn’t start too long ago in Muay Thai. Saxons twin brother, Talon, who was wearing a large belt explains, This is my IKF Muay Thai belt. I won this in Sacramento last year in November. It was a three-round fight, and it was a good fight, and really fun, he said with a grin. And I won this belt.

He’s hoping to attend another fight in Florida, where he’ll aim to earn yet another belt. They fight each other in practice, but not in competitions, since Talon weighs about 20 lbs more. Who wins? Its back and forth, Saxon says.

This weekend Talon will be boxing at 135 lbs, Saxon at 115. And, of course, theres a World Title match. Talon Vaughan wearing the belt he won in Sacramento last fall.

But wait! Theres more. Before the excitement of the Muay Thai fights, theres Mud Bog races with monster trucks. Im helping to organize the Mud Bog, said Don Bailey.And get that event off the ground. I have a partner, Jeff Donaldson, he couldnt be here today, but I want to give him some of the credit. Im just looking for a place to get the trucks going. Theres no place over here that we can run the trucks since they closed the fairgrounds down in Prescott Valley. Hopefully we can get this going, people like it, we put on a pretty good show with a lot of horsepower and vehicles and everything. We hope to get a lot of attendance.

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Hard time with Brazilian Jiujitsu

Hard time with Brazilian Jiujitsu

I’ve been training Wrestling, Brazilian JiuJitsu, and MMA under great coaches for a few years now while I was still fighting Thai knowing that MMA was going to be a natural transition for me eventually. I received my blue belt in BJJ from Ricardo Dela Riva Black Belt Doug McMaster over a year ago and I’ve been very active and successful in submission grappling competitions across the UK which has giving me confidence in my grappling abilities. I’m looking to take my reverse triangle worldwide

My team at the Dinky Ninjas wouldn’t let me compete if I wasn’t well rounded so I’m happy and capable of fighting on the feet or on the ground.

Your debut MMA fight caused a lot of controversy in Scotland with one of the members of parliament making some ill-informed comments about women’s MMA, do you think that publicity has helped you in the long term?

The media attention definitely raised my profile in UKMMA, you know what they say about there being no such thing as bad press and all that.

I believe the MSP in question, Sandra White, actually visited the Griphouse gym where you train, how did that go?

The day Mrs. White came to our gym I was busy training but she sat down with some of my coaches and definitely left with a better idea of what MMA is about and the type of people involved in it. I think her twitter account has been a lot quieter since then, it will be interesting to see if she voices an opinion when I fight again in Glasgow in June, hopefully, she might even support the sport.

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Eight Limb Arts

Eight Limb Arts

Known as the art of the eight limbs, for its incorporation of many parts of the body, including the elbows and knees, muay Thai has the reputation of being more brutal and less restricted than many of its rival martial arts.

My interest is in testing my limits, Mr Connell says. It’s tough physically and mentally – you have to wear some pain. But thats part of the mental conditioning.

Whats really driving him since coming to Thailand, however, is a perception that the pastime is an in to Thai culture. From his Thai-language education days at Chiang Mai University, required as orientation for his role at the embassy, he has found a connection with Buddhist principles. Mr Connell stops short of saying hes a fully fledged Buddhist using muay Thai as a form of expression, but he admits the religious and spiritual nature of the sport, through its various rites and rituals, instils a deep admiration.

The intermeshing makes it interesting, he said.

He smiles when asked about his own version of the wai khru, the pre-fight dance, performed as a symbolic homage to a fighters ancestors and mentor. Given that he doesnt engage in professional bouts, he doesnt have one. I still pay respects to Stephen, he points out.

For Mr Connell, work and muay Thai mutually coexist. Its an activity that continues to help him relate more closely with his colleagues and immerse himself in his surroundings.

I love my job, its interesting work and great people to work with it [muay Thai] gives a very good understanding of the underpinnings of Thai culture, he explains.

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