First time ever doing a fighting sport

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by badkneeMT, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. badkneeMT

    badkneeMT Guest

    Today I did my first ever class of Muay Thai it was fun but no one wanted to spar with me because I'm a newbie and they all need someone who actually proves to be difficult to help them improve their game. So for the last 20 minutes of class instead of sparring I just used the punching bag and practiced a left jab and right jab. I'm still trying to get the technique down because I've never been in a fight or thrown a punch at someone else but I just had a few questions

    Questions:

    I was told to shadow box when I get home because it will help me flow better and have more smooth movements. How long should I shadow box for

    What do I do with my feet? I know I'm supposed to keep my hands up but how should my feet be moving if I'm throwing a punch or what should they be doing when I'm up against an opponent?

    Why do my wrists hurt when throwing punches am I doing something wrong?

    How long before my motions become more fluid and I can throw kicks at head level and hooks and uppercuts and all those without lookin like a complete amateur


    thanks sorry if stupid questions but I forgot to ask my teacher all these questions
     
  2. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    Good job getting started. Your body is going to hurt for a few weeks, you're going to struggle with technique for several months (no offense meant; everyone does), and you will still find room for improvement after many years. Just keep walking through the doors and improving every day while staying healthy. Find a good pad holder, form a partnership, and latch on. Hitting pads largely replaces sparring in Muay Thai (other than clinch wrestling, which is necessary). Westerners and MMA enthusiasts spar a lot in Muay Thai because they haven't experienced real Muay Thai training and because sparring is indispensable to western boxing, so there's an assumption/stigma about its usefulness to Muay Thai. Try different gyms in your area and ask Muay Thai veterans about the legitimacy of your gym/Kru. You want to train at a gym that practices Thai precepts and, ideally, has an experienced staff/senior student body who all function as trainers. Muay Thai cannot be learned in the 1:30 Karate instructor:student body dynamic.

    Don't worry about things like footwork, shadowboxing, etc., for now, because you will learn them hands-on every day. Worry about the atmosphere of the gym, and whether it's a place that can take you to your long-term goals, whatever those might be.
     
  3. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    Also, after over a decade of Muay Thai, as far as throwing kicks at head level goes, it's not my thing. I don't do it. Probably never will. It's risky, requires flexibility that I'm not dedicated to acquiring, etc. I'm a southpaw and spent a LOT of time and energy developing powerful left kicks to the body because it's a difficult gameplan to counter even if the kicks are blocked on the arms (look at videos of Yodsaenklai, Saiyok, or my old Kru, Samkor Kietmontep--all archetypes of this style of attack).
     
  4. Tang Hermit

    Tang Hermit Blue Belt

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    Great job getting started in Muay Thai! As far your questions go just keep training don`t give up, put in time, work hard but smart & the rest will come with time.
     
  5. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    Some things to watch out for:

    1. Gyms with inexperienced pad holders calling the shots. If you're paired with someone round after round who doesn't know how to hold, you'll develop unrealistic offensive tendencies and unrealistic defensive expectations. Also, you'll get no meaningful feedback on whether you're doing things right.

    2. Too much sparring. Like I said, this isn't how Thais train so you can infer that it's not the best way to go. Full Muay Thai is super violent and damaging. If you do it to real people (even if you're wearing pads), (A) you'll get banged up and (B) you'll develop unrealistic offensive instincts, like "go easy on knees" and "don't throw elbows at all." Pads are king because a good pad holder can simulate a variety of dangerous opponents (southpaws, orthodox, boxing-centric, clinch-centric, kick-centric, well-rounded, defensive-oriented, aggressive, etc.) without any real danger of injuring you, and you can blast the "opponent" 100% in return.

    3. Hokey practices like group meditation, military-formation-style group warmups, belt systems, etc. These are all horseshit and should be avoided. Each wastes your time and money and gives you at best a minimal return on your investment.

    4. Gyms that focus on lectures, endless drills, etc. A typical training day in Thailand (and how I structured my classes in the States, as a result) looked like this: meet at the gym, go run 3-5K, jump rope for 8-15 minutes, shadowbox a few rounds, then EITHER get with your pad holder to hit pads for 3-5 rounds OR kill time on the heavy bag for a few rounds until your pad holder is available, then clinch wrestle for 3-5 rounds, then do a conditioning circuit and maybe some impact-oriented conditioning aimed at desensitizing yourself to leg kicks/body kicks/kicks caught on the arms. American-style group teaching should be at a minimum. An experienced pad holder should help with technique while you hit pads, or, afterward, should put you on a heavy bag to drill deficient techniques. This probably seems like asking a lot out of an American gym, but you're likely paying good money to train and should get at least a few rounds of attention from a legit practitioner every night. Otherwise, what's the point?

    5. Gyms that focus on learning a million techniques, the technique the coach saw on UFC, etc. This is more Americanized horseshit. You can be an effective journeyman Thai boxer by learning how to throw a 1-2, a hard rear-leg kick, clinch a little, and defend against incoming strikes. You don't need wheel kicks, jumping kicks, crane kicks, superman punches, spinning back-elbows, crazy/frenetic footwork, etc. At least not early on (if ever). Learn the fundamentals and be suspicious of gyms that teach hyper-stylized moves that probably won't work at a local smoker and will likely get your carried off on a stretcher at Lumpini or Ratchadamnoen.

    Just my $0.02. Looking forward to hearing how your training progresses.
     
  6. Aerosol

    Aerosol Green Belt

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    your wrists hurting is completely normal and it will go away fast I mean a couple of weeks given you dont twist them hard and hurt them on impact

    how old are you ts? important question...

    Head kicks are more a matter of technique than flexibility or strength trust me those two are secondary in this case to the first and if youre persistent in trainig them you will get them head-high pretty fast too about a month
     
  7. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    Head kicks require far more flexibility than leg kicks or body kicks. That's just anatomical physics. Naturally everything requires proper technique to be effective and safe.
     
  8. Malik111

    Malik111 Blue Belt

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    Good points, I was training for some time in my home town Berlin in Germany under the only Thai trainer in the city. His training was really simple but hard. And even though it seemed like you progress really slow, the fighters from out gym were always feared from the other gyms. I remember one time one of my training partners ( trained a total of 6 months in MT ) had a fight coming up and the trainer of the other guy came to out trainer and asked to tell his student not to fight hard. So what Im trying to say is, the real traditional MT coaches make their students real effective killers.
    Then in 2009 I went to the USA, Virginia Richmond to be specific. So I thought about training there because I was about to spend several months there. I went online and then I saw this gym 10 mins away from my home, looked good, had a few students there and they were also teaching BJJ. So I signed up for 2 training sessions. The trainer was american, but he trained many years in Thailand ( at least thats what he said )
    we were like 10 people and started with warming up drills which actually werent really drills, it was more like a funny warm up. took 15 mins, then it was some 1-2 combo with partners another 15 mins, then the trainer showed us some awesome spinning defense/offense elbow technique. Looked impressive but I was thinking, man his students barely can throw a punch, what are they gonna do with this supreme technique ? But the students seemed to like it, cause it was some jackie chan stuff. Then at the end 15 mins of playing arround, trying the stuff we learned today.. I also did some techniques with the trainer, after that I never showed up again and I was thinking - poor kids, they think he is some kind of super fighter and they doing something good. Im sure they even proudly telling friends and family Im doing muay thai, the most brutal stand up martial art in the world. But seriously that was complete bullshit, I just remember part of the training were push ups 10x, that was it ! You would need to train 3 years there to gain the same you would in 3 months from a real MT gym. So be careful ! My trainer NEVER showed me anything extraordinary he was already 56 and he weighted like 135 pounds BUT he beat me up everytime we sparred ( which we didnt do often it was more like every 2 weeks, he wanted to see for 1-2 rounds how I progressed ) I believe that just shows how confident he was in his training, he didnt need to show anything to impress the students.
     
  9. Tayski

    Tayski Stand-up Fighting

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    That's normal, you need to develop your wrist and as you've just started it's starting to work around that area. My personal recommendation to harden and develop your wrist which will help you in delivering more power in your punches without hurting yourself: push-ups on the knuckles, and a bit of free weight work (not too heavy). I originally had quite small wrists when I started training full contact martial arts, and those 2 exercises helped me develop my wrists a lot.

    you might never be able to. not everybody can do it, it depends on your body. But to work towards that goal you have to do a lot of stretching to gain flexibility. for example trying to go into a split as low as you can and staying there a few seconds, then onto another kind of stretch for example sat down with both legs straight in front of you and joined together and bending towards those as low as you can.
    I'm sure they'll show you those types of exercises at your gym.
    You have to be consistent doing it, and eventually you should be able to high kick, or at least getting close to it.

    I think people have different opinions on the amount of sparring. As you pointed out, Thai gyms and those who follow the Thai type of training usually don't sparr too much as they're trying to preserve their fighters for the coming fights and an injured fighter = no fight = no money.
    But there are some gyms who do a lot of sparring in Europe, and even though this increases the chances of injuries a lot, I do believe it makes tough fighters with lots of sparring experience, and who are usually conditioned and solid to take hits.
    I guess there are different views on this.


    neither can real karate :wink:
    my kyokushin karate dojo has usually about 5 or 6 students, for 2 main instructors

    definitely agree on this. better master only a handful of techniques that you can do really well rather than learn 50 techniques and not be able to do any of them with real effectiveness. Also sometimes the more techniques you know, the more confused you can get as to what technique from your large arsenal to use in the situation you're in.
    This is not only true to Muay Thai but generally to full contact stand-up arts.

    I disagree. no matter how technical you are, if your flexibility isn't there you won't be kicking any heads.
     
  10. badkneeMT

    badkneeMT Guest

    Thanks for all the help, The class started out with 2 rounds of warm up's then everybody paired up and started practicing different combinations and counters but very lightly...There was zero pad work at all, you just partnered up with somebody and went at about 10% I wasn't really tired by the end of it either but that's probably because I didn't spar. Judging by what you guys are saying and comparing it to this gym it doesn't sound like the best gym I just assumed it was good because Rory Macdonald trains their under David Lea. Oh and I'm 17


    P.S.

    I broke my toe because the instructor was giving me a rundown on how to do one of the combinations and he leg sweeped me and I landed weird on my toe
     
  11. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    Sorry to hear about your broken toe. No way around it--that sucks. Go easy and let it heal. Work your punching fluidity and footwork if you're up and about, but don't kick until it's a bit better.

    Rory MacDonald is a freak athlete but not a Muay Thai boxer. Also, he's likely a cash cow for the gym, so he's going to get attention that other students won't. With Rory, the gym is vested in him winning impressively and showcasing the tools he's learned there; with new students and those looking for general fitness, etc., the gym is vested in them showing up and paying dues. I'm not saying there's a malicious conspiracy to not teach some students as well as others; it's just human nature to put your resources where your investment has the highest potential for a return. Also, Rory stands a good chance of getting seriously hurt in a fight if he's not prepared to the fullest, so the attention he'll get at any gym is justified in a few different ways.
     
  12. badkneeMT

    badkneeMT Guest

    So if all the resources are being used on him should I switch gyms? plus the muay thai class is about 30 people and the instructor only talks to me like once the entire session so I don't think that's to good either I'd prefer a smaller class
     
  13. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    Your call, of course. Maybe demand is so high that that's the universal Muay Thai landscape in your area. I would shop around.
     
  14. Dan155

    Dan155 Green Belt

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    But it's likely that most gyms will have a fighter who's the "name guy" and gets more attention from the coaching staff. I can't go to Jackson's MMA and have a Jon Jones-like experience, I'm sure. My point was more that you shouldn't think, "Guy A trains here and is a successful fighter, so this is where I should train." Not necessarily the case.
     
  15. Kickboxer0204

    Kickboxer0204 Yellow Belt

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    I don't agree, in my gym there are two different classes, one for beginners and one for professionals. The first focus' on the basics of striking along with proper body movement like legs and head and a lot on cardio. And the secondary classes focus' more on technique and sparring. But what these two have in common is that what the head coach teaches to his professionals, is what he teaches to his guys in the beginners. And he has stressed this point a lot. Hell, we had Duke Roufus and Anthony Pettis at our gym last saturday and they taught the same things to both classes. Pretty cool experience, if I must say.

    But I guess it depends on every gym and their individual habits. Just thought I'd add my experience :)

    P.S You can take both the beginners and professionals classes in the same day as they are both in order (Beginners starts at 5:30 to 6:30 and the professionals from 6:30 to 7:30).
     
  16. Zuni

    Zuni Purple Belt

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    When you're first starting out, focus purely on technique. Don't worry about how hard you are throwing your techniques. If you're throwing hard on a bag with poor technique, you will develop bad habits that will be harder to correct later.
     
  17. Kickboxer0204

    Kickboxer0204 Yellow Belt

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    This, and focus more on speed then power. Speed = Power.
     

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