Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Boogie Out, Rubbing is to Racing as Bumping is to Boxing

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali training. It has been a busy day, but had a fantastic time at training. We worked on boxing and head movement in Muay Thai, and redondos again in Kali.

I had so many things pulling at me for my time. I had my usual teaching my kids, and regular household things (cleaning, feeding people). I also had to work on fondant flowers due for a cake I have to make later on this week. So super super busy today. I made these flowers for the cake all by hand.

Enough jabbering, here is what we did no class today.

Muay Thai – Boogie Out, Rubbing is to Racing as Bumping is to Boxing

In Muay Thai we were working on boxing again. Mainly Kru Kristen wanted us to work on our head movement. I can tell you mine is not great. If we can move our head and keep it moving, we can possibly avoid getting hit in the head. That is at least the theory.

We started with slips. We did a slip drill. Your partner throws a jab and you slip to the right, on the cross you slip to the left. We had to do 50 of them. Then we switched up and fed for our partners.

Then we did a bob and weave drill. We would start on one side and our partners would throw a cross and touch the opposite shoulder making sure we squat, turned correctly and then stood up, only to do it again by bobbing and weaving to the other side. We had to do 50 of those as well, then we switched up and we fed for our partners.

Next Kru Kristen taught us a really cool move called the Boogie Out. What it is, is after you have bobbed and weaved out of a hook that was thrown at you, you do a shuffle turn so that you can cut the corner, or get around your opponent. Because if you can get behind or to the side of your opponent, and all of their weapons are pointed away from you, that is great for you. Then you can hit them when they are not able to block, from behind or the side. I have taken video of me doing this below. What you will notice when I focus on a new skill I am working, my strikes often times suffer. In this video I see my strikes sucking. My hooks look like caca, and I am not bringing my hands back fast enough. However, I am getting that Boogie Out move. However, if I practice enough I think I will be able to include this in my repertoire.

  1. Jab, cross, body hook, head hook, cross, bob and weave, boogie out, then strike the head.

After that we worked on shoulder bump cut corner/step out to take the back of your opponent. Here Kru Krsiten said rubbing is to racing as bumping is to boxing. In boxing bumping your opponent as you step out/cut corner, is a way to off balance your opponent. You bump them not only once but then you do it again from behind. This gets your opponent off balance, messes up their stance, and then you can hit them from behind or the side. I filmed this as well. Kru Kristen says that this is great for a short fighter like me. I can cut out/step out and still stay in the pocket. However, all the while getting out of range and away from my opponents weapons. I can then hit them after stepping out and around.

  1. Jab, cross, upper cut, cross, bob and weave, shoulder check through, then shoulder check behind, and hit again.

After this we did survivor drills. This is where we get put up against the wall and we are not allowed to do anything but avoid getting punched with our head movements. We can block or catch hits with our gloves, but Kru Kristen just wanted us to avoid the hits. She had the other half of us punching our team mates, trying to hit them not hard but trying to think around their defenses.

Kali – Redondos

Today in Kali we worked on redondos again. Kru Krysta is a great teacher. It felt good, and I felt like I knew these moves pretty well. We worked on high redondo, low redondo, low back hand, high back hand. We also worked on the figure 8, with low back hand, high back hand. I filmed us doing this as well. My knees are hurting a bit today, probably because I did to much yesterday, then we did a lot of bob and weaves today. =) Generally they don’t hurt, but once in a while they will hurt. When that happens I just baby the hurt area, and then train around it.

After that we we did the Running Saint Rafael. I was able to do it no problem when I was the aggressor, however, when I was feeding, I would keep messing up the last heaven six. If you block with the wrong stick you will be out of alignment and have to quickly reset for the last heaven six.

Anyway thanks for reading. I hope you all have a great week. I must get to bed.

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Thursday Muay Thai and Kali… Boxing/Feeding, Double Ordabis, Finding my niche?

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali training. In Muay Thai this month we are working on our boxing. In kali we were doing double stick , ordabis, and Saint Rafael.

Today was a mixed bag for me. I felt good boxing, and am working on my cross still. I got a compliment on my bob and weave. Conversely for Kali, I was frustrated… I kept making mistakes.

Muay Thai – Boxing/Feeding

In Muay Thai we are starting on focusing our boxing. We started with the Trigg 10.

Trigg 10: (this is a boxing drill that the feeder counts out the number and you execute the corresponding strike. Example: Feeder says 3 and you perform Jab Jab Jab.)

  1. Jab
  2. Jab Jab
  3. Jab Jab Jab
  4. Cross
  5. Cross Cross
  6. Cross Cross Cross
  7. Jab Cross
  8. Cross Jab
  9. Jab Jab Cross
  10. Cross Cross Jab

Now feeding is just as much a skill as knowing and executing the strikes. When you have a good feeder you look like a million bucks. They make you look good and can prevent injury. When a feeder is new and does not know how to provide the correct resistance with the pads you can hurt yourself. For instance when punching at a focus mitt. If the feeder does not respond with the correct force, you can hyper extend your elbow. I have had feeders that are new and go home with sore elbows. I have since learned that if a feeder is new and does not know how to feed. Even with coaching them on how, I will save myself and just not throw the punches in there with a lot of force. Better to work on form and not on speed and strength in those instances.

We worked on combination of throwing a double jab, responding to a strike with a backward u slip, then returning a cross, and then bobbing and weaving a cross. I got a good compliment on my bob and weave. Yay!

After that the more experienced students worked on a wall drill where we took turns punching at our fellow class mates while their back was to the wall and they had to move their heads to avoid the punches. Then we switched places. We had to move our heads and avoid the blows while our class mates punched at us. This is good for head movement and understanding how to avoid incoming strikes. This is all relatively light and we are not trying to take each others heads off with a punch.

Kali – Double Ordabis, Heaven Drill, and Saint Rafael

We worked on double stick today in Kali. There is a strike called the redondo. That is a strike that goes around the head. If it is a forehand strike then it is an Umbrella strike. If it is a back hand strike then it is a Ordabis.

Kali was a bit of a brain melt-er today. I have done these flow drills before, however, it was 4 or 5 months ago so I had to pull back in my memory banks and try to remember. However, towards the end I started to pick it up again. I took video of me doing the double ordabis with sticks pointed to heaven. Then the double ordabis flow drill with some standard strikes, and a heave 6 flow drill.

This was the Saint Rafael. I took video of it. I have not done this saint drill for months. I was pretty happy at how fast I picked it back up again. However, as you can see I am very rusty still.






Finding my niche?

So officially I have been studying and practicing Muay Thai and Kali for a year now. It seems that some people have their thing. That one thing that they are known for in the class to the team mates and to the instructors. One person say is fast, another is very agile, still the next has great kicks. I don’t feel I have a niche yet. It is kind of disappointing. I get compliments on my form, and on certain things. I have plenty to practice and fix. I have a long way to go before I am proficient in any one of these arts. However, I don’t have a niche yet. Nothing I stand out in.

I love kicks, I love teeps, I love take downs, and I love off balances. Kru Kristen says find something you love and work those all the time. I do and still have so far to go. I guess I am just feeling down about myself. I want to be good at something. Maybe one thing… right now I don’t feel like I have that niche. Will it come? Who knows? I will keep practicing and trying till I do get it, or find it.

That is all for tonight. I need to sleep. Have a good night. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Same side flow like water, Thai shirts, 7 count knife drill

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali training. Today was so much fun. I was excited to unveil the shirts I had made. Also thought today was going to be a test day. But alas it was not. Kru Kristen had to do some book keeping and see where everyone is first. And then we worked on espada y daga or sword and knife drills. Kru Krysta took over an taught both classes.

Muay Thai – Same side flow like water, Thai Shirts

So today was a great day for training. We worked on same side flow from, teeps, to kicks, to knees and back again. But all on the same side. So this make it difficult cause if your balance is not correct you will fall. You will not have power if you balance is off, and if you do not step out. If you do not teep your partner hard enough they may not step back far enough for you to get your kick in, so then you have to step off the line.

So I took video of me doing some of the drills. Meh…

  1. Lead round house kick to lead tee
  2. Rear round house kick to rear teep
  3. Lead round house kick, to lead shield of kick, to lead round house kick to lead teep.
  4. Rear round house kick, to rear shield of kick, to rear round house kick to rear teep.
  5. Lead round house kick, to rear teep, rear feint, to lead knee.

Ok let me pick this crap apart. For some reason today I was dropping my hands, all the time. That is going to get me punched in the face. I was a bit off balance today that is not great for teeps, or kicks. My shields of kicks were down right sad. I need to remember to keep my foot flexed tight to shield, but I kept failing at that. My timing was not great and I felt slow, sometimes waiting for a few seconds to long to move to the next move. The strikes should be smooth and flow like water. So many things wrong with my drilling today… my body was just not doing what I wanted it to today. I know what I need to do, but just not executing it today.

And don’t get me started on how I looked. A hot mess is what comes to mind. But I digress, I know focusing on that does not help me flow like water.


I made Thai shirts for my team. I made the design, and had them printed up. I was able to hand them out today. I was so excited to do this. But the back of my head that little mean part of my brain was saying what if they hate it, what if they don’t like it? Trying to make me doubt myself.

So I ignored that mean chatter, and took them in anyway. My team loved it. They thought it was so cool and thanked me for it. I was very happy to do it and relieved that it was received well. It was a surprise and they did not know it was coming.

It says:

Crew AmpliThai

Nak Muay (means Thai Fighter) 
Respect
Hard Work
Perseverance
Dedication

Then Kru Kristen’s quote:
“Less Talking, More Hitting”

I like the way the shirts came out. =)

Kali – 7 count Knife Drill, T drill, all with Espada y Daga

Today in Kali we worked on the 7 count knife and stick drill or espada y daga (sword and dagger). We worked on the T drill separately, then hubud drill, then the 7 count separately. Finally we worked on the T drill and 7 count together in one full flow drill.

I filmed the T and 7 count full flow drill. Here is the video in all its um… glory? Well its something.

It is 12 pm here, and I must go to bed. I have a 5 am wake up. Weeee! Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali… Ring My Bell, Hubud

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali, practice. Today I was feeling much better energy wise. I was feeling some D.O.M.S from yesterdays workout in my triceps, but over all feeling great. Today was another one of those satisfying you know you worked hard workouts.

Muay Thai – Ring My Bell

Today we worked more on the T.B.A.’s Thai 17 count. I was able to go through all of it no problem. Woot! However, today it was over 84 degrees F or 29 degrees C for you across the pond. So hot when you are in a gym with 30 other adults and they don’t have the air conditioning on. The heat saps your energy, but you keep going cause you don’t want to quit. However, there were a few people who had to bow out for a few minutes due to heat, exhaustion or other problems. Not I though. I toughed it out and you can see how sweaty we all got just from my picture.

When I say Ring My Bell…No I did not mean this song:

What I mean is getting one’s bell rung inside the ring. That is what happened to me. During our sparring section of the class, I am working on being more aggressive, but in smart way that does not telegraph what I am doing. Notice the operative phrase “working on”. I am not there yet have a lot of practice sparring to do to get there. Getting ones bell rung in the ring is when a hard blow lands. Now for me everything got a little fuzzy. I had to stop for a second shake it off, and crack my neck right after. Kru Kristen was concerned for me and kept checking up on me. What happened was a hook landed on my cheek and part of my temple. Luckily we were just sparring so my opponent was not going as hard as he could have. But he did land a harder hit than he meant to. So that meant my head snapped around to the side, causing a few seconds of disorientation, and an internal monologue, “are we alright, all systems functioning, are we good to go?” This internal monologue happened within 30 seconds to a minute.

Is this the first time it has happened? Nope, I can count on my hand how many times it has happened. Maybe 3 times at most in my full year of training with Muay Thai.

Will it happen again? Is the Pope Catholic? Yes to both questions. I imagine it will happen again. This is a striking martial art and as such you will get hit. I cannot block every sing incoming strike. I would love to be that good, but no one really is. There are variations of that good, and I hope to learn enough to get better at blocking, but some hits will land no matter what you do.

Kali – Hubud

In Kali we worked on the hubud. This is the flow drill where we practice trapping and feeling the energy or flow of our partner. What we mean by energy is the feeling when a person is changing their stance, or when they lean in, or when the release pressure. We are using these drills to get the feel for when a person is changing something in their body stance, aggression, etc. When we learn what it feels like when a person say changes from defensive to aggressive moves, we can change out hand work, and trap their hands, or arms, or protect ourselves from the weapons that they are using.

Here is a video of people working on the Hubud. With the hubud, we meet the force of the attack, redirect, pak the arm, and trap the arm.

We also worked on, grappling flow drills.

1) Bicep control
2) Single arm clench
3) Wrist control

Kru Kristen says all martial arts have some sort of grappling and if we can learn how to grapple even just a little bit we will have more tools to deal with an opponent.

That is all for today. It is late and I must go to sleep. Have a great night all.

Thursday Muay Thai, and Kali…Thai 17 count/Clench Sparring, Figure 8 family, Kilap Lightening

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali. We worked on new things and I got a great day of training in. Clench work will tire you out faster than anything. I am bushed.

Muay Thai – Thai 17 count/Clench Sparring

In Muay Thai today we worked more on the 17 count drill, we added hook, cross, right cross, right leaning knee, to right kick again. I believe I got that right. If I have to fix it I will. =)

Muay Thai 17 – the 15 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
  11. Hook
  12. Cross
  13. Rear torso kick, or right round house kick for me
  14. Rear knee
  15. Rear torso kick, or right round house kick for me

In Muay Thai we continued with clench sparring. Kru Kristen said students of all levels can work on that together today. The thing with clench sparring, or grappling, is it will sap your energy. You are trying to fight another persons grappling to keep them from off balancing you, and kneeing you, and getting a better clench on you.

I got to work with very tall people, and I worked on underhook clench, controlling the elbows above my head clench, and also bicep control clench. I need to remember to relax and just let my body framing do the work. When you fight it and try to muscle it you gass yourself faster. My instinct is to muscle it cause I am so much shorter than everyone else. After clench sparring, where everyone is drenched in sweat and dying of exhaustion we stayed for an awesome Kali class.

Kali – Figure 8 Family Flow Drill, Kilap Lightening (I might have kilap mispelled, but can’t find a comparable work on the internet so it will stay this way till I can ask Kru Krysta)

We worked on the figure 8 family flow drills. Where we started up high to hit the head then come back up to hit the ribs in a figure 8. We then followed up with an abecedario where we hit the knee then the head again with a #14 strike. We moved to mid area, or standard doing the same thing, aiming for the ribs and then, then knee strike, and head strike, then we worked on the lower range, aiming for the knees. All figure 8’s, and flowing so we get motion of how you want to move through the person.

Kilap Lightening was the next. It is also called tres personas ( father, son, and holy ghost), this is where you witik your opponents head, then come back with a forehand strike to 14, then you do a power shot down to crack open the head.

I made a video of us doing these things.

The next skill we learned was the half T and full T flow drills. This drill is called this cause you are attacking the head of your opponent, then leaning down to attack their feet, pulling up to hit what you can on the up and then attacking the head again.

I recorded a video of us practicing this drill as well.

And last, I was going through and trying to remember where the shots in the figure 8 flow drill were supposed to land. Because understanding where on the body the blows were supposed to hit, is a crucial part of Kali. This informs your swings and lets you see where you need to hit, how to twist your body, hand and feet placement.

It is really late here, and I have a early morning wake up. So I am going to end it here. Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your week.

Saturday Bo Staff, and Muay Thai…Swing from the hip, Speed vs Power

2.5 hours of Bo Staff Training and Muay Thai. I had a late night at work last night, so lets see if I can remember everything we did today. I made a diagram today! I write my blogs up after my training, sometimes right away and some times hours after. The time I write it up depends on what my schedule looks like. So inevitably I forget parts of training, but here is what I remember. The highlights if you will.

Bo Staff Class – Swing from the hip

(note: The numbering system for these strikes sometimes differ depending on your Goru. Each gym may follow a different Goru, but the targets are the same regardless of the numbers. )

For this class we worked on 17 count again. With staves we have to slide our hands along the staff when we change which side we are holding from. But we do not have to change all the time. Just when we are swinging from the hip. When we are striking with a 1 or 2 blow, we just keep our hands where we had them. When we work on 3 or 4 strike you have to slide your hand down the staff and use your hip and foot work to push through your opponent. So I have a lot to work on. I made a diagram of the 17 count strikes, because its helpful to me, and easier to explain with a picture I think.

We worked on controlling the center line with staves. Where we meet the force of a #6 thrusting strike, and move it off center line. Then follow the staff up with ours to complete thrusting strike ourselves, either to abdomen or face. Our instructor wanted us to work on controlling the center line because a person may swing wildly but if you can get in close and control the center line. It is hard to deflect. So learning how to deflect thrusting blows, and also how to give them is a huge tool in our tool box.

Muay Thai striking class – Speed vs Power

So lately I have been working on power in my kicks and knees. But there are different reasons to work on speed. We are told often that when we relax and let the kick happen instead of forcing it. We will kick far harder.

It is hard and counter intuitive to think this way. If you are asked to hit harder, or kick harder, you instinctively try to muscle your way through it. However, in Muay Thai that is just what you have to do. Kicking is not about muscling your way through its about doing the form as perfectly as you can, using physics and momentum with the torque of your full body to lay the kick in.

Today we worked on same side teeps, kicks, punch/elbows, to knees. If you have read some of my other blog posts. I mention the 4 counts. Where you go left to right. Left kick, cross, hook, right kick is just one example. Today we were teeping with right leg, to right kick, to right punch or elbow, to clenching up, then getting the knees in.

We also worked on knees to push the opponent away, to kicks, to punches.

Our object is to get speed and timing in. Less worry about the power, but get the feel and timing in.

It is my understanding and hope, that sometime in the future the speed and power will meet and I will have both. But for now I have to just work on both and hope to keep improving.

Food -choices/lifestyle

We went to late lunch, early dinner after, and I wanted to share something with you that I do often. I know a lot of my friends and family say they cannot eat out, or eat anything fun while dieting. I say dieting is not the way to go. Changing your lifestyle is the way to go. You can eat out if you choose healthy options. Making small good for your health decisions is easier than, saying, I can’t go out and enjoy food and company of friends and family. Soon you will resent your “diet” and may even fall off the wagon.

This picture is the food I ordered at The Cheesecake Factory. This is the dish I got.

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAP TACOS

Butter Lettuce Leaves Filled with Grilled Chicken and your Choice of:

ASIAN
Carrots, Bean Sprouts, Cucumber, Cilantro and Rice Noodles with Spicy Cashew Sauce

450 calories, 140 fat cals, 15 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 1040 mg sodium, 49 g fiber, 3 g total carbs, 32 g sugar,
29 g proteins

This was from the appetizer part of their Skinnylicous menu. This is huge for an appetizer, and perfect for a meal. Most of their regular menu items are 1500 to 2000 calories, and loads of fat and cholesterol. If you are in the U.S.A. just keep an eye out for healthy options, and you will be successful with your goals.

Well that is all, this blog post is long enough. Thank you for reading. Have a great rest of your day.