Muay Thai and Kali…Timing and distance management are the real skills, Trig 10, Palm Stick

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali training. Yesterday I worked on kicking through my opponent, and I was sore from that work out. But today after I practiced my Wai Krhu I loosened up.

Muay Thai – Timing and distance management are the real skills

Kru Kristen had us drilling more knee entries from catch jab and scoop of incoming cross. When you were able to push your training partner back we then worked into the Thai 4 counts. We also were working drills to feel when your opponent breaks the distance or enters your striking range with knees.

I find my knees are the worst skill in Muay Thai. I realized today that it was because when I had a herniated disk, they hurt so much to put knees in, that I have been babying my back since then. I was placing my knee but not pushing through. Kru Kristen told me again to give myself permission to hit and push through. So today I was working on pushing through my opponent to knee into and through them. Driving them back, so I could kick. I was putting the knees in and it was not hurting at all. This makes me so happy.

We also worked on full plumb to fence control of the opponents arm, and then to controlling the opponent with a choke or a putting the blade of your hand into the pocket of the arm and controlling your opponent by controlling their shoulder socket.

Toward the end, Kru Kristen wanted to emphasize that you may know the moves, but in a fight it is about knowing distance and timing management. If you cannot judge distance correctly then you will be hit, if you cannot get the timing down right, and avoid their hits you will get hit. In a fight you want to get hit less and hit more. Its the energy your opponent gives you, that you need to harness and return to them. If they commit to a shot then do a destruction, step off the line and return shots at them.

Kali/Silat – Panantukan Palm Stick and Trigg Ten

In Kali we worked on Silat again, Panantukan, and we practiced the Trigg Ten. Kru Kristen wanted us to do the Trigg Ten to focus on committing to the shots. Because with panantukan tonight we worked with palm stick. Where we could use the inside gunting and outside gunting to mouse the funny bone nerve cluster. This is were we find the entry for the gunting and use the palm stick, we can really hurt our opponent, or attacker.

A palm stick is any implement, usually a short stick, but can be a flash light, or a sharpie that you can use to do destructions (a destruction is a move where you damage the attackers hand with your elbow, knees, or a weapon in hopes to deter your attacker) on your opponent with.

Here are some examples of palm sticks:

So when your attacker throws a punch instead of parrying, or blocking you can hit your opponents hand with a palm stick, sharpie, flashlight, or the punyo/butt of a bladed weapon. Most people will stop trying to punch you if you hit them with this. Also it has a good chance of breaking their hand.

The Trigg Ten is a punching/boxing drill, I filmed me drilling below. Here are the punch combinations.

Trigg Ten:

  1. 1 jab
  2. 2 jabs
  3. 3 jabs
  4. 1 cross
  5. 2 crosses
  6. 3 crosses
  7. jab then cross
  8. cross then jab
  9. jab, jab then cross
  10. cross, cross, then jab

It is really late and I need to go to bed. I hope you all had a great day. Thank you for reading.

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Thursday Muay Thai and Kali… Level 1 test, Pummeling 4 ways

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali. Today was an exciting day. Every last Thursday of the month we have a testing day. Those that are testing, or have had enough training to be told they are testing. I just tested last month so this was not a testing month for me. However, we did have a teammate who wanted to be tested, and he was ready for his level 1 test.

Muay Thai – Level 1 test


For reference I have tested and been awarded a green armband so far. Level 1 test produces a the red armband. We all started with line up and showing different Thai moves. For instance all the Elbows, 1-8, then all the kicks, then all the knees.

Then we worked on some drills, and after that it was time for D’s Thai test. Where we were supposed to cheer him on. I am losing my voice so I was assigned counting of all knees that were put in silently. =)

Level 1 test round 1
Level 1 test round 2

Kali/Silat – pummeling 4 ways

On Tuesday we worked on a Silat Puta Kapala from pommel entry. This time we were working on the same thing, but we got to work on 4 ways to pummel.

Pummeling:

  1. Traditional pummeling where you swim between each others arms. Often used in Jui Jistsu.
  2. Bicep pummeling, where you are controlling one bicep, and your training partner is controlling the other side. Where you make a c with your hand to control their bicep and slide your other hand under to get out of their c clamp.
  3. Neck pummeling, where you control the neck, you pawk or hit the arm to make space, mouse their arm right above the elbow, and then you shoot your arm in behind their head. This is great when some one has a weapon and you are controlling that hand so that they can’t hurt you. You could side elbow their hand away or or downward elbow their hand out of your neck as well then grab their head/neck.
  4. Then we did the wrist pommeling. First single hand wrist pommeling, where you grab their wrist and then they twist that same wrist and grab your wrist. Or you hit down on their hand to remove their hand and you grab their wrist and upper arm to keep control. You could hit up on the wrist from below and then control the arm by holding the wrist and right above the elbow as well.

We then did the Puta Kapala throws, and we drilled all of these pummels. Switching through all 4, and having fun. Almost like sparring with just pummels. It was fun to see who could get the upper hand, and win control over the other person.

So that is all for me today. Its always exciting to see a Level 1 test. This is the 3rd Level 1 I have seen. Class was great again. I love Muay Thai, and Kali, and can’t wait till next class. I need to shower, and go to bed.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Distance Management, Flow, and Axe Kick Puta

Today was a great day in class again. We did 2 hours of martial arts, Muay Thai and Kali/Silat. I had a great time working with my class mates. I came into the class very annoyed with how the children were acting and treating me today. (They are getting older and talking back, and I am the enemy today.) I know I am not special. Every parent deals with this at some time or another. I was really at my wits end, and while I am not feeling 100% about today. I only mention it to maybe help other parents know this is normal and for me, exercise is sometimes the ticket to re-centering myself. It really is cathartic to just hit and kick things, focus on my form, and trying to get better.

Muay Thai – Distance Management, and Flow

So today in Muay Thai we worked on distance management and flow. Really we strive to making our strikes flow from one to another. Not just staccato da…. da…. da… but flowing da da, da, or da,da,da. If you have played music you will know what I am talking about. However, in the real world, or even in a professional fight. Your opponent is not going to stand there and let you hit them. You have to hit them multiple times, and the theory is you will get one hit in. You may not get all hits in. You most likely will not get all hits in. They will block some of your hits if they are smart, but one or two will land and then you switch it up.

When we work on distance for instance, we work on entries from far away to up close or in the “box”. Meaning the opponents box around them, or personal space. For this drill we were working on starting in the box, or in elbowing range. The theory is that when you elbow some one, they will naturally move away from the damaging elbows, to now knee range, where you can knee them further away from you and then you can land a kick further damaging them.

As you can see… I have a lot to work on with my knees. I baby my back a little bit due to the previous injury, but every day it gets better. However, I need to eject more, and as you can see when I do eject the person more with my knee, I have to make up the distance. Which means I should do a hop kick or some other way to get in. I can see where I need to improve. This is the top reason I take these videos. They help me see where I am failing and what I should work on.

Kali/Silat – Puta Kapala with an Axe kick

Today in Silat, we worked on Puta Kapala from the grappling entry. Where we are “swimming” in each others arms, trying to get the the upper hand. Or in this instance the over hook. I get the over hook, lock out opponents elbow, step out, knee his head, then lift my inner leg up in an axe kick, then push him over and around with my leg.

Kru Kristen did a great job with class today, and I am so grateful for such talented instructors that take their job seriously.

I had a great time in class. I worked up a fantastic sweat. I got some great compliments about my elbow, to knee, to kick combinations. I take it as I am doing something right. Maybe not perfectly but I am doing it right or improving. Kru Kristen is not the kind to give hollow compliments. So she means it when she does.

Thank you all for reading my blog. I am always amazed that you are, and that there are so many of you from all over the world. I never thought I would have 52 people following me. Comment if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Thursday Muay Thai and Kali…Punctuate the sentence, Sparring, Silat kicks from the ground, Langkah

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali and I had an amazing class. I was asked to spar in Muay Thai and while I was totally nervous I did it. Yay!

I am a little exhausted at the moment. I have had on top of my normal routine, two extra cake orders. You see if you did not know I am a Pastry Chef and I have people ask me to do birthday cakes, pastries, wedding cakes, etc.

I am not complaining by any means, but I am just tired. I have been trying to get more sleep in. My average sleep last month was 4.5 to 5 hours of sleep a night. Lately I have been averating 5.5 to 6. So that is an upward trend. I know it takes about 2 weeks for my habbit to stick that I go to bed earlier. That is good. Enough rambling back to my workout stuff.

Muay Thai – Punctuating the sentence, Sparring

Kru Kristen had us all warming up. Then we were working on elbows. Feeling the resistance from our training partners then doing a forward elbow thrust then a side in elbow, to tie up in a full plumb, and get knees strikes in.

Then I was asked to spar. I kinda made a meep sound and said yes… sure. Sparing is both hard and scary for me. I fear I will forget all the things I have been taught. I know that forgetting is normal, and I know we all forget some of what we have learned in the moment when the adrenaline drops. However, I want so much to do well, oh and also not get hit a lot. I have gotten better about being scared of being hit. I have been hit a number of times in the head, I have been kicked in the side, and kneed in the leg and kicked in the leg. However, the fear is still there. One day it won’t be so scary but it still is. I don’t plan on being a fighter professionally, however, part of me is excited about the next time I get to spar.

Anyway I got into the ring and did it. I sparred again. I think this is my third time. I stepped up and did it. I did get punched in the face twice and I ate some leg kicks and a torso kick. But I got in a few face punches, some torso hooks, and I got a 5 or 6 good kicks in. I felt accomplished. We were sparring to help one of our team that is going to go fight in a professional fight. He is training and those of us who were asked to spar all helped him do conditioning. We were coached by Kru Kristen that when throwing we want to throw a cross in afterward. “It is like punctuating your sentence” as Kru Kristen says.

Kali – Silat from the ground, Langkah

We had a guest instructor named In Chun Kim. He was amazing. He brought us back to basics of Silat. He had us learning the kicks from the ground.

This video is similar to what we did. It is not me or my video.

Then we worked on foot work or Langkah and learning where our opponents balance breaks, so that we can better get our opponent off balance and it helps with our Basset Dal, and Basset Luar, Sapu Dal, and Sapu Luar. Or our foot sweeps inside and out, or our trips inside and out.

Langkah: Stepping and footwork
1) Langkah Lurus: Linear stepping
6) Langkah Persegitiga: Triangle stepping
4) Langkah Sigsag: Zig zag stepping

For this we did the above, 1, 4, and 6. All great practice, and really gave me insight to why and how we to do the moves better. If you understand the basics better you can understand the moves better. Sometimes I try to muscle the persons foot off the mat, but all you have to do is off balance them correctly and it becomes so much simpler.

Today was a great day and a lot of great information. I had a great amount of a-hah moments. Punctuating the sentence with a cross, and the langkah or footwork and how to do our Silat moves better. Where some of the things just clicked. I also had a good time trying something I did not know if I could do those cool Ground kicks.

Thank you for reading… if you have any questions let me know. Have a great night. I need to get to sleep. =)

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Cross, elbow, Sapu Luar, Sapu Dalam

Two hours of Muay Thai and Kali. It was a blast. This day was not a huge cardio day for our class. Meaning we did not do a lot of conditioning today. However it was still a lot of fun.

Muay Thai – Cross

In Muay Thai we worked on the cross, elbows, and clench work. While not the exciting dynamic kicking, boxing 20, or Thai 15 routine. I believe there is value in taking a step back and working on the basics. For instance my cross. While I can hit a cross just fine, there are a lot of fine tuning things I need to work on so that I get full extension.

At 5 foot I am short and so I often short change my punches. Because I feel like I don’t or cant get the distance in. However, today I was working on just that. As an orthodox fighter, I have to step out to the left and pivot on the back foot, throw the punch where I turn my hand at the end and point my first two knuckles at the opponent. What this does is extend my body and covers my right hands side of my face with my shoulder.

Sometimes it is good to just focus on one thing and try to make it the best you can. Then trying to do all the things the best. Kru Kristen, says she would rather us be great at a few things than mediocre to horrible at all the things.

Here is a video of me practicing just that. Again not the cool flashy, fast drills that we do some days, but a necessary step back to get these strikes closer to perfection.

Kali – Silat Sapu Dal, and Sapu Luar

In Kali we were working on Silat again, and while we did Basset Dal/Basset Luar before, where our back is toward our opponent. Sapu is where we are facing our opponent. Luar is outside leg sweep, and Dal is inside leg sweep.

We worked on off balancing our opponent only to sweep the leg out from under them just at the right time. This is very fun to do, and gets simpler once you understand the physics behind body movement.

We worked on a take down where you weave your arm between the legs lock out our elbow grab their hand. Pull their hand to the 3 point in the triangle and nudge them with your shoulder. This is a move you can do from the ground if they have hit you and you fell.

We also worked on if we are prone, just fallen, coming back up into combat ready stance, and then grabbing the persons arm and behind the knee to pull them down. Place knee on belly and then punch them.

Today was fun. We got to do sticky legs and work on some strikes where we take steps back and just work on our form and techniques.

Have a great day and thank you for reading. I am so amazed. I now have 51 international subscribers reading my blog. Who would have thought.

Thursday Muay Thai and Kali… Encouraging the body, Puta/Basset from Pummel

It has been an interesting week to say the least. Sick kid, turned to emergency allergic reaction to meds kid, all while I am trying to keep the household in order, and work life going. I had my own yearly check up. Which I am happy to say I am healthy, but had some miscommunication so I was a little concerned.

Muay Thai- Encouraging the body

In Muay Thai today, we had a blast. I was sweating up a storm. I don’t know if you can see how soaked I am in this picture. Anyway, we worked on the 8 version of 4 count today again. Video of the full 8 are on this weeks previous Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali post. We then worked on clench work with a take down, where you off balance a person so they fall down. This is where our Kru Kristen, also shows us how to “Encourage the body”, where if they are not going down you kick the knee. sweep the leg, kick the ankle. In training we do not do that, but we place our foot in the correct position. If we did it in training, we would be hurting our partners and that would be bad.

We did ladders as well, where you start at one kick on each side, up to 5 kicks on each side. Those are brutal and fun at the same time. I will add these to our Wednesday training sessions.

Kali – Puta Kapala and Basset Dal from Pummel

So today in Kali, we worked more on Silat and take downs from the Pummel entry. We worked on “swimming” with our partner where we move back and forth trying to get underhooks in. We are working on feeling our partners energy. By energy I mean, when we can feel where our partner is going to based on the movement of center of gravity. When I can feel it change, I can get a better handle on when it will be advantageous for me to move them and get them off balance. Then I can put their bodies where I want them to, and can do the most damage.

This was fun, because we have now done Puta Kapala, and Basset Dal, from the shield block entry, from the striking entry, and now from pummel entry. I am starting to see where all of this connects and it is awesome. When I make that mental connection it clicks more for me.

Anyway thank you all for reading. I am amazed I have readers from all over the world, and I want to say hallo/hello to you all. Have a great night, I need to be better about getting to bed on time.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali… 4 more Thai 4 counts, and Silat Basset Dal

forgive me I have wild hair

Getting to kick and hit things in Muay Thai was very cathartic. I have been carrying around some anxiety about a lot of things including my son being sick, and having a horrible allergic reaction. Having to watch him like a hawk to make sure that he is still breathing.

We found out that my son is allergic to the quinolone antibiotic. That is what was causing his reaction. So he is off of those antibiotics, we are hoping his infection is cleared up, and now we have to dose him with Benadryl.

Muay Thai, 4 more Thai 4 counts

On to more fun things. Today was Muay Thai and Kali. It was 2 hours of hitting and kicking, and it was great! I love learning, and trying to get tweak my movements to make them better, faster, more powerful.

So today Kru Kristen was back. She went to the Inosanto instructor camp. They did some Thai 4 counts that she wanted us to do today. So we added them to our normal 4.

Normal 4 counts include:

  1. Left kick (torso or leg), cross, hook, right torso roundhouse kick
  2. Right kick (torso or leg), hook, cross, left torso roundhouse kick
  3. Left kick (torso or leg), cross, hook, left torso roundhouse kick
  4. Right kick (torso or leg), hook, cross, right torso roundhouse kick

We added these four for a total of 8:

  1. Jab, cross, left kick (torso or leg), right torso kick
  2. Jab, cross, right kick (torso or leg), left torso kick
  3. Jab, cross, left kick (torso or leg), left torso kick
  4. Jab, cross, right kick (torso or leg), right torso kick.

These are not any new moves for us, but it is a new way of drilling and getting repetitions in. Because, we all know one of the key ways you improve is to get repetitions in.


Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Pablo Picasso

The key is to over train your body, and mind. You do this so that your muscle memory and your actions become automatic. At first your learning is forced. You are so focused on the how, and mimicking others, that it is hart and you have to slog through it. Think back to learning how to read, and how it felt like work. Well eventually it is a automatic thing. You can read things fast, and glean the knowledge you need from just a glance. Eventually we hope to have our bodies move in Thai as if we are just walking, or running. It is automatic, rote, or something you do without thinking. When my brain see’s something coming at my head, my brain will eventually send signals for my body to react and cover to protect the head.

Here is a video of all 8 Thai 4 counts

Kali – Basset Dal vs Sapu Dal

In Kali we worked on Silat again. We learned that Basset means facing away, and Dal means in between the legs. Where Sapu means facing the opponent, and Dal means between the legs. So today we focused on Basset Dal, where we entered from the similar Thai 4 count. Left kick, Cross, Hook, Right kick.We answer the left kick with a destruction, then we slip the cross, then we had to high cover the hook and perform a posting choke, where the thumb is right under the adams apple, then we block the right kick while pushing the opponent away. After that we move to control the arm by rolling the bicep and forcing them down, off balancing them and then dumping them.

This was fun, and we are getting to a point where we know some of the basic moves, such as basset dal, and puta kapala, that we are now just fine tuning it, trying to make them more smooth, more flowing, and more finding the entries.

I got dumped multiple times and better yet I got to dump a lot of people. It is fun to feel where body mechanics takes over and your actions cause peoples bodies to just move to your whim. Because I guarantee you if you push on a persons knee they will move it back. Their body is smarter than you think and will want to preserve functionality, by avoiding being hurt.

We got to do a sticky legs drill, where we got to feel just that. Where your partner/opponent can feel when your body is about to move, and you have to re-position, and get them in a hold again.

Thank you all for reading my blog. I started this and continue to do this to log/write down my training, and my journey. So I am surprised that any of you read it. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Pablo Picasso had it right… I am going to keep learning Muay Thai, and Kali like a professional fighter would, and then I can perform it with my flare like any great martial artist.