Conditioning Day 1…Opportunity of a Lifetime

2.5 hours of Conditioning, Muay Thai Training, and Kali. We are going to be changing the format of my workouts for the next 20 days.

I have been given an opportunity of a lifetime. If you have been reading I have had the awesome chance to go to a 2 day Muay Thai seminar with the father of Muay Thai in America. He brought it over in 1968. Ajarn Chai was the man that has allowed me to find and fall in love with this martial art.

Well at this seminar I was personally asked if I was going to attend the Muay Thai Camp set up and run by the WTBA (World Thai Boxing Association). The thing to remember about this is that this camp is meant for instructors. You have to be invited to the camp, and as a student you have to be advanced to be invited, and you have to be invited by an instructor and or Ajarn Chai himself. I was invited and we have moved mine and my families schedule around for me to be able to go to this event.

I have purchased my plane tickets and my entrance fee for the camp. They will be providing food for us. Kru Krysta maybe testing this camp so I get the honor to see her test for it her next level.

What this means is I have to start conditioning training. Muay Thai camp is not some leisurely camp where we get massages and sip champagne. They expect us to work and work hard.

It is my understanding that the days will go something like this:

  1. Wake up and run 2 miles
  2. Train Muay Thai
  3. Eat breakfast, break
  4. Run 1 mile
  5. Train Muay Thai
  6. Eat lunch, break
  7. Train Muay Thai
  8. Eat Dinner
  9. Sleep

So I must now condition. We leave July 23, 2019. I have about 20 days to get my conditioning up. I have some concern I won’t be ready, but I am going. If I have to struggle my way through I will.

So my training schedule is changing. Instead of running and then weight lifting on Monday, Wed, and Fri. Muay Thai training on Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat. I will be doing the following:

  1. Running Monday and Friday 3 miles
  2. Running 2 miles, Training Muay Thai, and Kali Tues, Thurs, and Sat.
  3. Running 2 miles, Training conditioning rounds Wed, Sat
  4. Rest day on Sunday

We will see if I need to shove in a rest day on Mon too. But for now that is the schedule. Anyone else scared that I won’t be ready? I am. But I have decided I will do what I can on such short notice and then just go and get the most out of this opportunity.

I saw some pictures from the seminar, and I just don’t under… my brain keeps saying, “look at you. What do these crazy people see. Don’t they see what I see. Basically a joke. Some one who does not belong.”

I am going to try to ignore those doubts and worries. This part of my journey is the bad part or the upside down part. The self doubt and worry are the bad parts. I am going to do what all well adjusted adults do and ignore it. =) I am going to let my brain say/think those things, then ignore it, and keep training. That is all I can do.

Enough of my thoughts out on paper, lets get to the training that happened today.

My Training:

1.5 mile run in 20 minutes.

1 hour of Muay Thai training. We worked on clenches. We worked with the less advanced students, and helped them work on some simple clenchs and ways to get out of the clench. Like the collapse of their elbow into their chest, and face push to get out of their full plumb.

The advanced students went off then and sparred with J. To get his training in before his upcoming fight. I was told that my round in the ring, was much better than any others I have had. I was more relaxed. I got a chance to use my footwork to cut the corner and get on J’s left side and land a kick. I landed many kicks, and punches. I felt great during the sparring, and compared to the 12 minutes of clench sparring we did, 3 minutes seemed like nothing now. I was tired a little but I did not feel dead.

My scale of what my body can and cannot do has been moved much further along the number line. Instead of 3 minutes feeling like I am going to die. I have felt what it feels like when I am about to lose the lunch I just ate.

Kali

In Kali we worked on Kawain, Ki Lap, Full T, and Half T. We had a number of new students and a special seminar from Dan Inosanto himself coming to this area. I need to sleep so I am going to leave it there.

So I am going to write about every day that I conditioning training up till Thai Camp. Then I will of course write about that. That is 4 days of savage and grueling Thai training.

I hope you are all having a great day. Tomorrow I am shooting for 2 miles. Stay safe, and be the best you, that you can be.

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Muay Thai Seminar with Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute Day 2

Photo credit to MD Thai Boxing who took the group photo and said we could have it. This is the Day 2 of the seminar group photo.

5 hours of Muay Thai training. This was Day 2, and the final day. I cannot put into words, in a way that would do justice to how the seminar with with Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute was.

I am sore everywhere. I worked so hard and we drilled so hard, that I damn near vomited. It was fantastic. It was the hardest I have worked since I had that herniated disk in my back that was pressing on my sciatica nerve. I have been holding back just that last 10%…just cause I was/am scared of hurting myself again. However, it felt good to get in there and do it.

I am so proud of myself and my fellow student. I got a compliment from Kru Karo. I heard it by way of my Kru Krysta, that Kru Karo said, “she has great form.” Kru Krysta told me about it at lunch today. Then Kru Jason said I executed a set of knees and a drill fantastically.

As always I will try to put down what I remember, but I am pretty tired and wrecked right now. However, wrecked in a good way. =)

Kick Stance and Footwork

We started off with kick stance and of course footwork today. Because in Thai Boxing or Muay Thai, the footwork and kick stance are everything. If you are not in the right stance, it makes everything you do be it striking, or countering, or shielding that much harder.

Drill with elbow and knee

  1. Left hand reaches
  2. Right hand pushes opponents arm at elbow away from you
  3. Left hand Tachmalach #8 elbow
  4. Left hand head control
  5. Right hand bicep control
  6. Right curved knee

Clench Work

We worked on entries and how to get into a full plumb clench and how to remove a person when they have a full plumb clench on you.

Clench Counters and Entries

This is a drill we did today.

  1. Your opponent reaches out and tries to grab you in a clench with their left arm
  2. You pinch their arm with your shoulder and head
  3. Slap their arm down and out of the way
  4. You grab their neck in full clench
  5. Duck Stance
  6. Stand Tall
  7. Bracing your elbows on their collar bones

Counters:

#1 Cross Face

  1. If you arms are outside their clench
  2. Push their face away with palm of your hand
  3. Swim in your arms to clench
  4. Duck stance

#2 Wedge Over and Under Prayer Hands

  1. Opponent has full plumb on you
  2. Control elbow on one side
  3. Opposite elbow you wedge over arm you don’t control, and under the arm you do control
  4. Make prayer hands under your opponents arm
  5. Drop your elbow to your hip
  6. This will get them to release their hand

#3 Spike Elbow to the Bicep

  1. Opponent has full plumb on you
  2. Control elbow on one side
  3. Opposite elbow you bring your arm over, and grab elbow you control
  4. Drop your weight and elbow to your hip
  5. This will cause the opponents arm to release from your neck
  6. Elbow your opponent and swim in for full plumb
  7. Duck Stance

#4 Pull down and Push Up

  1. Opponent has full plumb on you
  2. Control their elbows
  3. Hip in
  4. Pull down on one elbow while pushing up on the other elbow
  5. knee the thigh
  6. curve knee to body
  7. Swim in and get plumb
  8. Duck stance

I know there were two more but I can’t remember them right now.

Skip Knee #2

We worked on these and I got complimented on my form and flexibility. I am a short person and I can knee another person as high as my shoulders. It is tiring but I can do it. I have some things to work on because I am far from perfect.

To practice getting over shin blocks Ajarn Chai recommends that we curve them over a chair. This will help with our form and make us stronger.

For a burn out after drills he had us doing the following:

  1. Clench
  2. #6 elbow
  3. Off balance opponent
  4. 6 rapid skip knee #2
  5. Spin opponent out
  6. Double Kick
  7. Teep

Third Man Out

We did a really cool drill called Third Man Out. This was a 4 minute round. Where we are clenching with our partner and we have a third person with their glove on the man in the middles shoulder. We then clench and try to get the upper hand. Whistle blows and the one holding onto the back of the other takes their place, and clench spars with the third person. One person is clenching and sparing for 4 minutes total, while your opponent changes.

This may not be a great description but its the best I can do. My body is tired and ready to sleep. =)

Thai Boxing Association 4 count Left Kick to Right

We worked on a 4 count L to R. Where you either cut step to left kick, then over hand punch, body shot hook, and then right kick.

The other version was doing the same but instead of cut stepping, you take a step forward with the right leg. This is done to close the distance.

Lean Back to Avoid High Kick

We worked on a lean where if you see a head kick coming you step back with your back foot, and lean back dropping your opposite hand. The key was to make your shoulder level with the other. If you leave it out you can have your shoulder dislocated.

Drill with Lean Back

  1. Opponent throws high kick
  2. you lean back avoid kick
  3. come back with a over hand jab (like you have a jug of water and you turn your hand to empty it out)
  4. upper cut
  5. Left kick

Bleed Power off Rear kick to Your left with Counters

One of the last things we did was a drill where you bleed off the power of an incoming kick. Instead of catching it though you step off the line, then hit them with an overhand jab, and follow it with more strikes. Here is the drill.

Drill with Bleed Power of Rear Kick to Your left

  1. Opponents round house kick is coming to your left hand side
  2. You step out 45 degrees with your right foot this bleeds off the power
  3. As you step off at 45 degrees you throw an over hand jab that comes down on their face from top
  4. Upper cut
  5. Double rapid torso kick
  6. Teep opponent away

We did this drill for 3 minutes to get the technique down. Each partner got a chance to work on this drill once. Then the next one, we were supposed to go as hard as we could for 3 minutes. Put the power into it. After that was a 30 second burn out drill with mackatune, Skip knees #2 for duration of time, and then double kicks right at the end.

This dam near killed me. It was great and so very hard. I did not stop I did not take a breather. I did keep going. Even though I was going a little slower than I started. We did this after nearly 5 hours of training. My muscles were screaming at me, and I was hitting a wall where I did not think I could physically pull more out of them. But I did and I did it.

I know this post was more of a list, but at this point that is all I have the juice for.

I got the best compliment from the man, the legend himself. Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute himself. He said, “You have great discipline!” Our school, really emphasizes the respect and honor you have to have for the art and the people. So we always wai when we should. He really wants to make sure that we keep the honor and the discipline in our martial arts. Throughout his seminar, he would stop other people who did not salute/bow/wai to their opponent. Ask them who their teachers were, and they and their teachers have to do 100 push ups. Because he said, “its your teachers fault to.” You wai ( means to salute, bow, with hands clasped together) before every drill with your partners, and you wai to your instructors. This shows your respect for your partner, your respect for the art of Muay Thai, and for your Kru and Ajarn (teachers, instructors).

The other honor he gave me, was he personally invited me and my fellow teammate to the Muay Thai Camp that is put on by the TBA (Thai Boxing Association). This is a 4 day camp. Where you live, think, and breath Mauy Thai. If I did this I would have to start training hard to get the endurance up. This is such an honor, because, this is normally only for instructors and students are allowed only if the instructor okay’s it and recommends it. I am not an instructor nor nowhere near one.

I have to think about this. I really want to, but I have to think about logistics and economics of it. I will have to make my decision soon, as it is in July.

Kru Krysta, one of my instructors really wants me to go too. So I have that vote already. =)

What this seminar did for me, was it made me realize how much I have learned, and do honestly know. Hearing other Kru from other schools say I have great form and execute the move properly was amazing. Such a huge boost for my feelings about adequacy in my martial arts. I let myself work at 100% which I have been afraid to do. Having Ajarn Chai compliment my work the first day and then invite us to camp was amazing.

This seminar was amazing and I really believe a pivotal point in my training so far. That is all my brain can dump out right now. I met some amazing people and I hope to see them again.

Thank you for reading. I see I have a new reader that is following this blog so welcome to you. I am still amazed that you all are reading it. Keep being awesome, and keep working on being the best you that you can be.

Muay Thai and Kali training…Clench Sparring, Running Saints

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali training. I am pooped. It was a great set of classes. We worked on Clenches, Dumps, and Clench Sparring in Muay Thai. In Kali we worked on the running Saints. I recorded us doing the three that we were taught. Kru Krysta informed me that some of these Kali Saints are passed from teacher to student/teacher. It is proper etiquette to get permission first before revealing all the secrets. I want to respect my teachers and their teachers and keep their confidentiality until they give me the ok. I can video myself working on the saints but don’t want to give the names and exact combos.

Alright on with the training.

Muay Thai – Clench Sparring

We worked on clenching and dumps. Kru Kristen was talking about the clench in Muay Thai, and this is a major piece of the Muay Thai fighting style. This is a major difference between KB (kick boxing) and Muay Thai. The art of the 8 limbs requires you to use all of your limbs, and the knees and elbows part of the the limbs. So Clenching up is a great way to deliver those devastating knees to some ones ribs, mid section, and or quads. When we clench up we have the opportunity to off balance our opponent, then dump them on the ground, giving us points. Or we have the option of off balancing our opponent and then delivering knees to their body. This gives us point as well in the ring.

However it is not just about the clenching, and dumping and knees. You can muscle your way through it but you are going to wear yourself out not your opponent. The finesse comes when you learn/feel the opportunity. For instance when your opponent shifts their weight and goes to knee you, and you in that instance jerk their elbow down to make them base and take a step. You interrupt that knee that was coming for you and now you have a person that just had to base, and you can dump them on their rear ends.

Kru Kristen says, you cannot see it to learn it. You have to feel it. You have to feel the shift, to get the dump in. I learned also that if you bump your opponents hip out, and the push back into you, that is your opportunity to step your leg in and off balance them. Getting a knee in, or just putting them on the floor. I really have to practice this more so I can get a better feel for how to do it. I am able to do it, sometimes I feel like I try to force it. When I do the moves right it feels effortless. Like a lot of things in Martial Arts. If you truly do the move right, it works with your body, using physics and gravity to move maybe immobile object.

Needless to say. It was fun. I got a chance to work with everyone. For some of my team mates, it is effortless, they can do it with no problems. For me I still have to work on it. I can feel when I do the move right. So that is a good starting point. I need to make it feel like that every time.

Kali – Running Saints

As I mentioned above Kru Krysta is kind enough to write everything down for me. However, there are some things that are passed down from Guru to Student who will be a Guru. But I can record, and talk about pieces of the Running Saints we did.

So first of all, I am better at attacking. I seem to get the drills down fine when I am on the attack. However, when I am defending, that is when I mess up. I wonder what that says about me. =)

But all the smaller drills we were working on in double stick, like abecedario, umbrella heaven, cobb cobb, and more are in these Running Saints. As I was taught, in the Philippians they are a very Catholic oriented country because they were occupied by the Spanish, and they named these drills Running Saints, because they are meant for the attacker to run down your opponent. You are meant to cover distance and keep attacking.

For me as long as I keep attacking I am all good. If I have to defend myself… well there is my weakness. But it is something for me to work on. Perhaps it is the running/walking backwards as I try to meet the sticks coming at my head, and have them set up on the correct side so that I can keep the drill going.

Try patting your head while rubbing your tummy clockwise… You got that? Now try doing it backward. Pat your had and rub your tummy counter clockwise… Not as easy to switch right? Now try to do that was you defend yourself from an incoming attack. That is Kali… at least that is how Kali is for me. I love it. If you are interested, there is a Ted Talk about Cognitive Kali.

Take a look at this Ted Talk if you have the time:

As you have found out if you have been reading my blog. Kali is not for the unthinking person. It helps to be a perspicacious person, and if you are not, it certainly will try to make you one. Ohh I got to use the word perspicacious… my AP English teacher would have been so proud.

In the following video, you will see one of the Running Saints, and me celebrating a little when I get the Saint somewhat down.

Anyway thanks for reading. I hope you are all having a great week so far. Please comment if you have an questions. Keep being the awesome you are, and always try to be the best you, that you can be.

Saturday Striking class… tiny tweaks, clench work, lots of kicks, and cake

Drenched in Sweat

2 hours of Muay Thai practice, and I am pooped. We ended with clench work, and we were all working so hard we were all drenched in sweat. But lets start at the beginning first.

Today we made it to striking class. We focused on Muay Thai today, and had a great teacher named Dom. Both Kru Kristen, and Kru Krysta are still out at the instructor camp for Inosanto.

Kicks

We started out with stations, jump rope, heavy bag teep and kick, and then shadow boxing to warm up. We then went right into Thai 4 counts. We practiced leg kicks. It has been a long time since we have worked on leg kicks and I can say I am not as good at them as I am at round house kicks. I need to work more on them. You are supposed to turn your kick so much that your knee is almost pointing at the floor, and you are supposed to sink your weight into the kick.

We then worked on sparing where we tried to get any variation of left to right kicks in. My favorite things to do is to feint a left kick then teep the person, and follow with hook and cross. Or I like to throw a cross, and leave my hand there in their face, while I get a right round house kick in. It often tricks people and they don’t see it coming, so I get a hit in. =)

Tiny Tweaks

I had the pleasure of working with Dom personally, he helped me make tiny tweaks to my cross. I need to remember to fully extend my arm, and rotate my pointer finger and middle finger knuckles down when I punch to get the full extension and straight line. I have had Kru tell me the same thing but having a person take off my glove and actually have me punch while they turn my hand was so super helpful. I am so excited to keep practicing this and hopefully make my punch much better.

Clench Work

After all this we ended with clench work, and we were all working so hard we were all drenched in sweat. We got to play around. Trying our different things with our partners, to see if we could get in, make a frame and get the upper hand. Hah! It was so much fun. One girl and I were just giggling as we grunted and tried to get into full plumb

I had a blast today at class. I finally got a tripod to put my phone in to video some of my kicks. Here is a video of me doing right round house kicks to, right hop kicks. We were working on the right hop kicks last Thursday and I still need to work on them. I need to get my knee up higher to create more momentum.

After our class I had a date with a friend that I was so looking forward to. We went to a bougie coffee shop where I got a chance to have a coffee, a piece of cake and great conversation. The cake won! I was not able to eat even half of that cake it was so big. But it was nice to have a treat after a great workout.

If you have gotten this far. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your weekend. Keep being awesome and I think its ok to have a treat once in a while.

Saturday Krav and Striking…Leg sweep, POP the Leather

So today I woke up not sore, but body was just tired. =) That is good. I put it through the paces last night. Two 5 minute conditioning rounds back to back is hard. 2.5 hours of Krav and Striking class training today.

Krav

Krav was fun, bright and early we got in. While working on some foot work we got to do a fun dump I had never done before. I actually took a video of this dump. We called it a sweep dump. Just by off balancing your opponent and then rotating along a fulcrum you can dump them pretty easy using very little force.

In this video you see a sweeping dump. First one is slower to get the steps/moves in. Second dump is more quick and more true to real life situation. I wonder what an assailant would think if they attacked a person and one second they are standing and the next they are on the ground wind knocked out of them.

This is called a 50/50 clench. Where I am controlling his left bicep, and he is controlling my left bicep. We each are controlling the neck head area. Then I step out, with my left foot, and with my right foot sweep his leg out from under him. I rotate him around the fulcrum created from my hip, and he is dumped on his back or side.

 I have to mention I that this was filmed after I threw my partner about 30 times. It takes a toll on them and this is not comfortable for him. So all the love to my partner for being a good sport, and letting me throw him a few more times.

Striking

In Striking we worked on dealing with hooks, either high cover, bob and weave, and returning punches. If the hook is coming in at you from the left side, we do an uppercut, hook, then cross. If the hook is coming in from the right hand side we do a uppercut, cross. We could high cover, or we could bob and weave. If we bobbed and weaved, we would get a gut shot into our opponent and then we would continue with the counter punches as above.

We then worked on Pop the Leather, or basically pre-sparing. We do this with both the advanced and junior students. Where we do controlled sparing type training. We are told one person can only do throw the hooks, and the other person has to counter them by, high cover block, bob and weaving. We then return or counter attack with a hook, cross, uppercut, gut punch. The original person hooking has to parry our counter attacks and not get hit. We suit up in our shin guards, gloves, and mouth guards and train. This is different than our usual sparring, where everything goes except elbows. Those are so devastating and if we land them we can do a lot of damage to our sparring partners. So we take elbows out of sparing, and a lot of times knees as well, unless we have belly pads on. By everything goes I mean we get to do what ever combination we want to. Our object is to get past our opponents defenses. Not to kill them or hurt them, but controlled hitting. =)

I am wiped out. I am tired and want to take nap now. But I have some chores to do. I may do some laundry and just vegetate now. Thanks for reading this far. Hope you are having a wonderful week.