Martial Arts 10/29/2019: “Don’t focus on kicking hard, you will just waste your energy”

What a quote to start the week on. “Don’t focus on kicking hard, you will just waste your energy.” Tony… This is such a Muay Thai mentality. In Muay Thai you are told that power comes later. It comes when you are throwing your strikes correctly. It comes when you are moving correctly. It especially comes when you are tired. Why does this happen? Its because your body is tired, so when you throw your kicks for instance, you will throw it in such a way that you don’t have the power to put it in hard. Hrm… Here let me see if I can explain it better.

What does not focusing on kicking hard do? Why does this matter? This seems so counter intuitive. I want to kick hard, shouldn’t I just kick hard? The reason is, this form of martial art is all about the mechanics of the body and how it moves. Instead of just using the strength in your muscles you use physics, and body mechanics. Anyone can put power in to a kick by trying to kick hard with your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. But how much harder can you kick when you use your leg like a bat on the end of a chain? You whip the leg with your torso like you would whip a flail with your arm. This lets not only the momentum that you can create with your muscles, but the huge amounts of force created since a small acceleration that happens at the center helps create a large velocity at the end of your leg.

The more tired you get, the harder you kick. Why? Because you are not forcing the kick. Your body is moving like you taught it, and your leg is going along for the ride.

Tuesday 10/29/2019 – 2 hours… Muay Thai, and Kali

There are some days after class that I sit here in front of the computer and have a hard time of thinking of much to say. Most of the time it is cause I am so exhausted I just don’t have the faculties to put to words what I am feeling. Sometimes I am so tired, I just don’t have much to say other than I just want to shower, and sleep. Tonight is the latter kind of night. So here is an overview of what we did.

In Muay Thai we were working on isolating jabs and kicks. We worked on traveling, distance management, and Thank you Tony for a great class.

In Kali we worked on panastas (cut and cover), funnel tapping and sticky hands, and Paula soot. Then we did a circle drill. It is hard to fend off a gang of five people. Thank you Paul for a great class!

Thursday 10/31/2019 – 1 hour… Muay Thai – Halloween

Well I have been trying to listen to my body. I have been fighting congestion a small cold that my husband brought home so I stayed home last night and rested. Today I went in and only did Muay Thai for training. Returning home early so I can rest.

2 years ago I would never have thought to go and train, or work out at the gym on Halloween. I am so happy I did. I love Muay Thai. I love the people. I love my Thai family. I am so happy I went.

My husband and I went int costume and Khun Kru Krysta went in costume as well. I trained the entire time in costume and it was awesome. I should wear wings when training all the time. =)

Here are some pictures I was able to get. I was a Muay Thaicorn!

Enough of that frivolity. =) On to the training. Today we worked on the Inosanto 18 count.

Khun Kru Krysta broke it down into three digestible parts. Where we worked them working on our form.

  1. Striking drill part 1
  2. burn out, lead knee, lead kick done all the way down the mat and back as fast as you can.
  3. Drill part 2
  4. Burn out, rear knee, rear kick done all the way down the mat and back again as fast as you can.
  5. Drill part 3
  6. Burn out, jab, cross, lead elbow, rear elbow done all the way down to the end of the mat and back as fast as you can.
  7. Put part 1, part 2, and part 3 together and do the whole 18 count.

I don’t have permission to publish the entire 18 count here. I would never want to disrespect my teachers and the great Innosanto, whom I have had the pleasure to meet. So until I do. I will only mention part of one of the drills we did.

There was a small part where it seems my Khun Kru was watching and she said I had perfect form. She mentioned that it was really just great, and that it was not because of the wings. I was over the moon about it. The part I am talking about is a cross, a rear elbow, a knee, and a kick.

You know what was even better. I took the compliment as it was intended. I did not second guess her, or doubt my abilities. Yay… that is progress for me.

I had a great time today. I am glad we went home after though. I needed to just rest.

Friday 11/1/2019 – 1 hour… Muay Thai – Everyone starts out with the same tools

Today we worked on something called Hanuman climbing up the temple a.k.a. flying knees. We also worked on hop double kicks.

I have some… a form of a mental block. I often think I can’t jump or do some of these more acrobatic moves. I am working on it. I see it and think wow how in the heckity heck am I going to do that. Mental blocks are the worst some times. However, I still keep trying. Today was a day filled with those things that my brain says ohh heck no we are not able to do that. So it is a great learning time for me. Pushing me beyond what I think my limits are.

Tony mentioned that all people start with the same tools. What he meant by this is that, everyone has a teep, is taught kicks, knees, elbows, and punches. But not everyone processes it the same way. They may morph it to what works for them. The basic is still there, but they may get to it in a different way. He does not want me to get down on myself about not being able to do a move just yet. He says, “you will get there.”

Training:

  1. Warm up
    • Skip knees on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Jab, cross on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Skip knees on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Jab, cross on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Skip knees on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Jab, cross on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Skip knees on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Jab, cross on bag 30 seconds as fast as you can
    • Jump rope for what felt like 10 minutes but was probably more like 5 minutes.
  1. Rear knee, to lead teep, to walking lead knee
  2. 10 kicks right side burn out
  3. Parry the cross, to jumping knee
  4. 10 kicks left side burn out
  5. Lead teep, to rear flying knee (Hanuman climbing the temple), to hop double kick
  6. 10 kicks left side, 10 kicks right side.
  7. sparring

In training when he demonstrated the hop kick he said something that just clicked for me. Now this is not the first time we have been taught the hop kick, however, this is the first time that a light bulb went off and I understood the mechanics of it. He mention that at the beginning of the hop kick, to just pull the leg up like you are shielding, then put it down, and do the kicks. This may seem silly, like well of course… but for some reason my brain and my body did not understand each other. Today when he explained it like that, it felt like a puzzle piece just slipping into place.

At the end of the class not only was I doing the hop kicks, but I was also doing the Hanuman climbing the temple. I was doing it! Yay!

In sparring I had one of my class mates compliment me on my kicks. I am placing them well, and I am actually getting them in. We talked afterward and he mentioned that he did not know if I was just more relaxed in sparring or what but it was showing.

So yay today was a good day. I seem to have something to say today. One more day of training tomorrow and then I get a much needed. break.

Saturday 11/2/2019 – 2.5 hours… Muay Thai, Kali, and Silat -Asymmetrical Sparring, and Lead With the Heel

Woot today was a great day to train. H and I started on working the flying knees I am trying to get down. So we did that, and moved on to parry the cross to a jumping knee. We did this so I could get the leaping, pushing, movement down. Similar to the flying knee. The pictures above are of that training. I wanted to take pictures to see if my feet were leaving the ground and how far.

We worked on Kali, and Silat the rest of the time. Its getting cold upper 30 F, or lower 40 F. So we worked on Kali inside instead of staff class.

Kali –

Today we in Kali we work an asymmetrical heaven and full box with sword and shield. That was awesome. The main thing we had to work on was figuring out how to hold the shield to keep from getting hit. You might think ah whats the difference. However, there is a big difference in the way you angle your shield so that you can stop the incoming blow.

Today that is what we were working on and puzzling out.

Here is a video of us puzzling it out. We are not good at it yet, but we will keep working on it. It was fun trying to puzzle out the correct angles so that we don’t get hurt or hit.

Silat – Lead with your heels

We focused on the Puta Kepala, Biset Dolem, Sieko Kinjet (elbow compress), and then we learned a new very vicious or brutal way to end a fight. Put your heel on their chin, and walk through to break their arm.

Puta Kepala – you are redirecting your opponents head, you are facing them and using their moment put them on the ground.

Biset Dolem – you are facing away from your opponent, you control the body of your opponent taking moving their balance, weight and structure out from under them to put them on the ground.

Sieko Kinjet (elbow compress) – you are facing away from your opponent, and connecting hip to hip, you off balance them, and drive/compress your elbow in to their hip. This pushes them down onto the ground.

Once they are on the ground there are many things you can do to a person. You can knee on belly and arm bar them, or knee on belly and punch them. You can knee on belly and then drop knees into belly or face. When you drop the knee on belly, we started calling it knee on soul. You can return their knife to them or in them if they are attacking you with a knife. But the last one most vicious move we did was a… walk through to break the arm. You have their attacking hand or hand with weapon, you stomp their chin with your heel, keeping their shoulder up, then you hook your rear foot on their arm and walk through. This is not a compliance this is a break. This is a person is attacking you, and does not stop, you successfully got them on the ground and you still fear for your life, so you break their arm in hopes that they will stop trying to stab you. Here is a picture of me learning to do this in a very slow careful way.

It was a great day of training. I learned a lot. I worked on things I know. I was able to puzzle out things. Some days it is great to do that. Some days it is great to just move through the motions/strikes you know, and change it up. See how it feels to do it a different way.


Thank you for reading my blog. I am so amazed that you all read it. I started this blog to catalog my thoughts, and things I learned. This is a place I can look back and see how far I have come. I can see how much I have to work on still. I hope you all have a great weekend, and had a great week. I know I did. My respects to you and your family.

Saturday Bo Staff, and Striking/JKD… Redondo Like a Helicopter, ABD/Atacking By Defense

2.5 hours of training Bo Staff, and Striking/JKD. Brace yourselves this ended up being long. =) Maybe grab a tea, or coffee, what ever libation you prefer, and hunker down for a read. I even drew pictures of where I was striking on a stick figure.

Today we worked on Bo Staff, and I was finally able to try out my new polypropylene bo. That sucker is heavy but great for an arm workout, and are almost indestructible.

This is the polypropylene staff that I have and use now as a training staff. Picture credit (Cold Steel)

You can get this staff at this website. https://www.coldsteel.com/training-staff.html I bought this with my own money. I was not paid to review this, and as far as I know they don’t know I am even talking about their products.

I also bought the Baliki Sticks for my Kali stick training. These are also made of the polypropylene. Again they are indestructible, and some what heavy, but great for training.

I mention indestructible because, my rattan sticks I had for one year, had started to shred and fall apart. The only thing that was keeping it together was the duct tape. So yeah having tools/weapons that will not get destroyed for a billion years is so awesome.

This is the Balicki Stick. Picture credit to Cold Steel.

Ok so again I am not being paid for this review. As far as I know they don’t even know who I am, except that I have thrown money their way for their products. So I paid for this with my own money and I am happy with them. They are very sturdy and they are heavy. You can buy them here. https://www.coldsteel.com/balicki-stick.html

Over all I love them. The only thing that is a little weird is they sell them in singles instead of in pairs. So if you do double stick in Kali/Escrima you will have to buy two like I did. They only alteration I did was add some bat tape to end of the stick, where I hold it. Because when I use them bare handed I find that the tape helps me hold onto the stick when my hand gets sweaty.

I have been using these for two weeks. They had been in my living room waiting for me to use them and stop being sick. =) I borrowed my husbands before and found I liked them so I ordered them.

My criteria for equipment, is:

  1. Good quality for the cost. I don’t mind paying more for something that will last.
  2. If functions as intended.
  3. It is not stupid expensive.
  4. Durability ( I don’t want to have to buy it over and over again just cause it breaks/wears out quickly)

Anyway enough gabbing about the equipment I use. If it is helpful to you, and you are looking for training equipment please take a look at these things. =)

Bo Staff Training – Redondo like a helicopter

Today was a fun clear beautiful day. It was not to hot, and we got to work outside with our Bo Staves. We worked on 4 drills that worked the figure 8 with a low strike and high strike at the end. Then we did a redondo that looks like a helicopter.

Training:

  1. Warm up using single stick, heaven figure 8 with low strike and high strike.
  2. Upward figure 8, with low back hand strike and high back hand strike.
  3. Downward figure 8, with low back hand strike and high back hand strike.
  4. Lop sided figure 8 with low back hand strike and high back hand strike.
  5. Redondo high, low, high, with a low back hand strike and high back hand strike.

I tried to scribble out what the figure 8 strikes looked like. Its okay to laugh at my drawings. I do.

In these two figures, you can see the upward figure 8 and the downward figure 8. Husband asked why they were smiling, I said cause they were happy to help me practice. Anyway, on the upward figure 8, you aiming for the knees or inner thighs. So you are targeting 12 strike point, and a 11 strike point in an upward swing. For the downward figure 8 you are targeting a 1 strike point, and a 2 strike point in an downward. See dummy below for strikes points.

In this last figure you see the lop sided figure 8. You are targeting the 1 strike point, and the 4 strike point. These figure 8 were fun, and hard at the same time. Hefting the staff and trying to follow through in the strike is hard, when it meets a resistance and wants to just bounce back.

This is the upward figure 8, with low back hand and high back hand
This is the lop sided figure 8, with low back hand and high back hand
Redondo high, low, high, with a low back hand and high back hand

This last video is the redondo/helicopter looking swing. Swing where we go around our head hit a high point/head, then hit a low point torso, then high again head area, then low back hand and high back hand.

That is what we did in Kali, and that was just Kali. Now to the Striking class.

Striking class – ABD – Attacking by Defense

So today we worked on how to defend and react to a Jab, Cross combination. We worked on JKD or Jeet Kun Do, the martial arts created by Bruce Lee. Kru Krysta said if you get into a fight or fight in the ring, that Jab, Cross combo is going to come up, so knowing how address it, parry, block, catch and return an attack is very important. She told us her instructor called it ABD – or Attacking By Defense.

For instance if a person throws a jab at you, you can catch the punch or you can destroy their jab/hand by directing it into your elbow.

We worked on how to address, respond, and return attack when you are fighting a person who knows how to box/punch. For instance when they throw a tight Cross.

Then we worked on how to address, respond, and return an attack when you are fighting a person who is a little less knowledgeable in boxing. When they end up doing a wide cross, think John Wayne type cross you can see coming from a mile away.

Striking/JKD training we worked on Jab, Cross Defense

  1. Feeder throws a Jab
  2. You parry
  3. Feeder throws a tight cross
  4. You lean back make your shoulder tight to your face for protection and then Nao Tek their inner thigh with your lead foot, then return an cross, hook, cross, Nao Tek.
  5. Alternately you could Inside Parry, with a punch to the face, or bare handed a eye gauge, then return cross, hook, cross, Nao Tek
  6. The other alternate reaction you could is split the jab, hit simultaneously, then return a hook, cross, Nao Tek
  1. Feeder throws a Jab
  2. You parry
  3. Feeder throws a wide cross
  4. You inside wedge/post on their shoulder, return a knee to quad, step in and you are in south paw stance. Finish with an upper cut, cross, hook, and cross.

Striking was fun today. We worked on JKD, instead of Muay Thai. However, it is good to cross train. Things that are done in JKD translate to Muay Thai and vice versa.

I am not certain how much help this is to any of you, however, having this written down helps me to remember what we did, and I have a reference for the future if when I am struggling, and or when I want to remember something.

As always thank you for reading. I hope you have a great day, and hope your weekend is fantastic.

Tuesday Muay Thai, and Kali…1 hit landed in every 4 count is good, JKD Flow

2.5 hours of Muay Thai and Kali. I am bushed, but so very pleased. We got to learn new things, and you will get to see me mess up the new drills. Woot! But my hope is to get better over time. Also D.O.M.S. (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) set in early today. At about 11 am I noticed my hamstrings and glutes hurt when I tried to squat down onto the floor. Woo Hoo Ouch!… that is how you know you did a good workout yesterday.

Muay Thai – 1 hit in every 4 count landed is good

In Muay Thai, we were working on a new drill combo. We were learning the Muay Thai 17 count. Squee! A new count to learn. What that means is I am shit at it, till I learn it all the way, and have done it at least 1000 times. But it is a new drill yay!

Muay Thai 17 – the 10 we did so far:

  1. Lead Teep
  2. Lead Torso Kick, for me Left Roundhouse Kick
  3. Cross
  4. Hook
  5. Upward Rear Knee, or Right Upward knee for me
  6. Lead Horizontal Elbow or Left Horizontal Elbow
  7. Downward Diagonal Rear Elbow or Right Downward Diagonal Elbow
  8. Parry Cross
  9. Upward Rear Knee or Upward Right Knee for me
  10. Rear kick or Right Roundhouse Kick

Here is a video of me practicing. I am exhausted at this point, and have been through 2 hours of class today right before it. I am sapped.

After this drill, we broke off the people with yellow armbands and above, and we got to spar each other. I am loving sparring more. I just feel ignorant when doing it. Like I should block everything, and I should hit everything but that is not realistic. Kru Kristen says, “if you get 1 hit to land in for every 4 count you throw at your opponent, then you are doing well.” You are not going to get every hit in. That is the way of things. She also said there is a difference in hitting your opponent in sparring with intent verses with power. You don’t have to hit hard, and you should not. You are not trying to destroy your training partners. However, you should bring intent to the ring. You should honestly try to hit your partners. It does not do you or them any good if you are afraid to hit them, or don’t want to hit them. You can’t train well if you do that.

So I am excited to keep sparring and to keep learning new things. I have a bruise on my left shin from shielding/blocking a kick. We were using shin guards. I can imagine how much damage my shin would have taken if I had not had the shin guards on.

Kali – JKD Flow Drills

We got to work on some really fun flow drills. When I started doing it well, and stop thinking about it, the drill did flow well. I got a great compliment from Kru Krysta about the fact that I was doing it well. =) However, if you stop to think about what you are doing, it will mess you up. It messes me up all the time. I have to trust my body and let it do what it needs to do.

I have them written down in Chinese and in English. I will link the Chinese words to my glossary I have started. Trying to keep this straight without that reference page was getting harder, and harder. I also filmed my doing them… I can’t wait till I flow better with these.

First drill:

Feint high punch, Ping choy, gua choy, lop sao, gua choy, cross, hook, cross, nao tek

Feint high punch, horizontal fist body shot, back Fist, grabbing hand and strike, back fist, cross, hook, cross, pendulum kick

Second Drill:

Feint high punch, Ping choy, gua choy, pak sao, da, lop sao, gua choi, cross, hook, nao tek

Feint high punch, horizontal fist body shot, back fist, slapping hand, strike, grabbing hand, back fist, cross, hook, pendulum kick

These drills are a lot of fun. We were both pretty tired from sparring and Muay Thai class. But I love these drills and plan on shadow boxing them, and trying to make my flow much more flowing.

That is all for me tonight. It is late and I have a 5 am wake up tomorrow. Thanks for reading. I hope you have a fantastic week.