Thursday Muay Thai and Kali…A Little Uncomfortable, Time to Play

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali. I woke up had a lot on my plate, went into work early to get a cake done that my boss needed me to do. Her boss asked for me personally to do the cake. =)

Everything on this cake is made by me, and is edible.

I don’t usually show my work here. But this is just an example of what I have/had to work on today.

I digress though… back to the martial arts. =)

Muay Thai – A Little Uncomfortable

There are days we cover so much, and then there are days were we need to just drill out what we have been working on. Lately we have been working on the T.B.A. (Thai Boxing Association) Thai 17 count. But today Kru Kristen broke down some of the combinations.

The first combo we worked on left knee, left kick, cross, hook, right kick. With this combo we were working on knee to left kick, we needed to load the kick and not just land heavy on the left foot. We needed to set it back almost parallel with our back foot so that we could take the quick step and land the kick. With this combo we were working on flow, and transition, trying to make them smooth, and in my case kicking harder.

The second combo we worked on is right knee, right kick, hook, cross, left kick. Again we were working on the knee to right kick, with a quick step to load and step out. Producing power, and a better striking kick when you do. Flow and transition are again things we needed to strive to attain.

Its important to learn new skills but it is also important to take apart the new skills, drills, moves, and work the parts through. I feel that doing this, gives me time to develop the skills I need so that next time we go through the entire Thai 17 count I will be just a tiny bit improved. Its all about them baby steps.

We worked on clench work after that. We worked with the less experienced students, and were helping them learn half clench, to off balances.

Kru Kristen said an interesting thing. Training is important, and taking people to a high fear level, like throwing them into sparring to soon, is a detriment. The high fear just hinders their learning, however, on the other hand letting them stay in this cushy close, comfortable area does them no good. You can have a great technician, that does not know how to practically use the skills they have. You have some one that is good at fighting but does not have the technical skills. Its taking a student out of their comfort zone, and making them a little uncomfortable is where the real learning comes from. So practicing the skill in a safe environment is important, but then letting the student play around with it is also important. I personally have noticed this is true. You can see how a skill can get used, then strung together with another move, and you can begin to see the openings. When I first started learning Muay Thai, and Kali, the instructors would talk about seeing openings in a persons attack. This was daunting for me then. How was I supposed to remember the attack or move and see an opening at the same time? I can tell you it gets better with experience. You will see the openings when you know what they look like, and you will see what they look like when you learn the moves and how to make your body do the strike.

Kali – Time to Play

In Kali we worked on playing with each other. Kru Kristen says that playful drills where we are able do some flow drills, while then being able to find an opening and using a previously learned move is the beginnings of sparring. Now I have been sparring for a while now, and she has mentioned this before. I agree with her. Being able to take the fear out of it, but making it it fun, and just a partner and yourself just trying to find an in/entry. Or you and a partner trying to find a way to alternate drills that you are doing forces your brain to look for those openings.

We worked on hubud drills again, body pummeling, wrist pummeling, and Thai Boxing pummeling. She encouraged us to talk while doing it. She did not want us to focus on our hands but what our partners energy was doing. Where were they moving their body to, and could you counter without looking directly at their hands.

So to bring the same theme into the Kali class, she wanted us to have time to play. Because if we can play and flow through the hubud, flow drills, then into the body grappling, and then out again into striking, you can see where you would have a opening. Again play is the precursor to sparring, and allows us to be in a safe environment but again, makes you slightly uncomfortable.

This has become a long blog, and if you read this far, wow and thank you. I need to wrap this up and head to bed.

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