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.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Thai 15 Count, Sparring, Brain Bending 4 to 5 to 6 to 8 to 7 count Kali drills

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali Training. Today was a fun fun day. Killed my brain in Kali and we got to work on 15 count and sparring in Thai. It was challenging and fun. Not every day is like that, but when it is fun it is fantastic.

I am also excited to almost bursting. I am going to get to go to a special training seminar with Arjan Chai this weekend. Two days 8 hours a day of basically a Thai camp. But I digress. On to the actual training today.

Muay Thai – Thai 15 count, Sparring

In Muay Thai today we worked on 4 counts with elbows and knees. This training teaches us distance management. Because our furthest attack will be our kicks. Then we have punching range, which is mid range. Lastly we have close range attacks with all elbows. Then we can use the knee to eject our opponent and then get ourselves back into kicking range.

This is exactly what the Thai 15 count drill does as well. As you will see in the video below, we have to address the incoming strikes to our head, slide in return elbows, knee them and create distance, then kick them. The whole drill is a study in distance management.

Kru Krysta started us off with some 4 count Thai drills after which we have to do the 5-10-5 for an active rest. What is that you ask. Well its a training mechanism to wear us out, and have us practice our kicks and clenches/knees.

5-10-5:

5 rapid/ballistic right kicks, Clench up then do 10 #2 knees, 5 rapid/ballistic left kicks

This wear you out. I love them and can’t wait to do more.

The Thai 15 count is as follows:

  1. Parry the cross
  2. High cover the hook
  3. Left #1 elbow/horizontal elbow
  4. Right #3 downward diagonal elbow
  5. Right long leaning knee
  6. Left kick
  7. Right cross, then Left hook
  8. Right knee
  9. Right kick
  10. Teep when a cross is thrown at you
  11. Bob the second cross thrown at you
  12. Throw Hook
  13. Throw Cross
  14. Right kick

Sparring:

After the Thai 15 count, she had the orange arm bands/ more advanced students split off and go spar J. He is prepping for a fight and he needs practice. So I got to spar again today. I got some good kicks in, but he is a foot taller than me, so I have a hard time getting. I spoke with Kru Krysta afterward on how to get in, and I have to really get off the line. Or just take a hit to cover the distance. Because he can keep me at distance with his kicks and punches. He has a longer reach.

I am no longer afraid of sparring… I noticed this today. When we first started it was daunting and I was afraid. Of getting hit, of making a mistake, of just looking stupid. I am sure I still look stupid. But now I am more focused on trying to work on the things we have been taught using them in a practical way. When you get into the ring, or you start sparring, its really hard to remember everything you were taught. This is one of the reasons they drill it into us. Because, as Kru Kristen says, you don’t rise to the occasion when the adrenaline hits. You worst habit you will fall back on. Like if you drop your hands when you kick. (I will give you one guess on who does that. If you guessed me… Yup! I am working on it.) But if you do that you will do that when you are scared, or have an adrenaline dump. So when we are exhausted that is when we need to focus on our form and doing the drills right. So hopefully we rep in the good habits and forget the bad.

Kali – Brain Bending 4 to 5 to 6 to 8 to 7 count Kali drills

In Kali I worked with a student that has only been to 4 classes. He is a nice guy and really was starting to get some of the drills. However, it is amazing to work with people who are… less skilled. That sounds weird to say and to even type out. However, I have been doing Kali for 1.5 years, and while that is not a long time it is longer than 4 days. So what I found amazing was I could see in him what I felt and did when I first started. Getting my sticks tangled, getting confused, being surprised that you had both a left and right side that we do the drills on. (note: this is like asking some one to learn to use chop sticks with the right hand, then as they are just getting it saying, ok lets use the left hand right now. ) Yes Kali is like that. It forces you to use both sides of your brain, and bends that brain of yours.

Slowing down the drills is harder than it looks. To teach a person, you have to slow down the drills and when you do the rhythm changes or at least slows. Throw in foot work, and then just when you are getting that particular drill, Kru Krysta will throw in a few more strikes. I realized I know a little more than I thought I did. Cause I was able to help another person work on their form. =)

We worked on the following drills. (I have written them down as I remember them. If I am wrong let me know. =) I will fix them.)

Heaven 6:

  • starts in a chambered position
  • Forehand strike to head
  • Backhand strike to same side of the head
  • Backhand strike to other side of head
  • ends in chambered position

Umbrella 6: Striking 3 times on one side of the head, and 3 times on the other side of the head.

  • Starts in chambered position
  • Forehand strike to head
  • Backhand strike to same side of head, while you are swinging that forehand strike you just did around your head
  • Forehand strike to same side of head
  • chamber sticks

Lather rinse and repeat the above

Umbrella 8: Striking 4 times on one side of head, and 4 times on the other side of head.

  • Starts in chambered position
  • Forehand strike to head
  • Backhand strike to same side of head, while you are swinging that forehand strike you just did around your head
  • Forehand strike to same side of head out of the redondo
  • Redondo the backhand you struck with and hit back hand
  • Witik forehand
  • Backhand
  • To redondo around head and hit with forehand again.

And if you are good enough you can keep going around and around and around

She had us doing the Heaven 6 to Standard 6 to Earth 6. Then she had us doing the Umbrella 6 to Umbrella 8 to Umbrella 7.

Umbrella 7:

  • Starts in chambered position
  • Forehand strike to head
  • Backhand strike to same side of head, while you are swinging that forehand strike you just did around your head
  • Forehand strike to same side of head out of the redondo
  • Redondo the backhand you struck with and hit back hand
  • Witik forehand
  • Backhand to one side of head
  • Backhand to other side of head

Below in the following video I am doing the Umbrella 8, and the Umbrella 7 counts respectively.

I am exhausted, my brain is not braining any more. I am going to start typing gibberish if I keep going so I am going to end it here. I had a great time. I am excited about the upcoming training. I am also nervous about it.

I hope you liked the blog, thank you for reading, and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them. Keep being your awesome self, and keep trying to make the best you that you can be.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Always Enter On Pain, If You Look at the Stick You Get Hit By The Stick, The Fang

This is me putting the Fang choke on my partner, also known as Churing the Butter.

2 hours of Muay Thai and Kali. Whew it is always great when you have a breakthrough in your martial arts training. On average, every day is repetition and drilling. The goal is to try to keep doing drills to better your skills and flow. So I don’t always feel like I am making great strides. The point is to keep going and keep training.

Muay Thai – Always Enter on Pain

Today was the day though. I made a breakthrough in Muay Thai. We were working on Thai 4 counts today, and response to punches with kicks. I am a short person, and being so I have to figure out ways to close the distance. Especially with taller people. So today we were catching the jab and returning a leg kick getting off the line so we did not get hit in the face/head. Because you see you want to avoid getting hit. You want to avoid it, but when you are learning it is inevitable. You always want to enter on the pain you have given to your opponent. For instance they go to jab at you, you catch the jab, kick them in the leg, then complete the Thai 4 count.

So the flow and sound should be dat dat, one catch one kick right after another. I was working with a girl that is a little taller than I am but so much more skilled than I am. I was getting the flow down great. As I was she mentioned she hops to one side and gets off the line to land the kick while the punch is coming in. I start to mimic her to the best of my abilities. Guess what I did it. I was able to hop to the side, get off the line, catch the jab, and land the leg kick. All with the same flow dat dat beat. I did it. I figured it out. I have seen her do it before, she has mentioned it before. But something in my brain clicked and allowed my brain and body to work together to do what I wanted. Woot Woot!

Thai 4 counts: for Orthodox stance

  1. Left leg kick, cross, hook/uppercut, right leg kick
  2. Left leg kick, cross, hook/uppercut, left leg kick
  3. Right leg kick, hook/upper cut, cross, left leg kick
  4. Right leg kick, hook/upper cut, cross, right leg kick

I got a compliment form Kru Kristen. She said I was moving great, and getting off the line. I was so proud. Its these times when things clicks that make all those other hours of repetition and drilling worth it. I wish they were more prevalent.

Kali – Always Enter On Pain, If You Look at the Stick You Get Hit By The Stick, The Fang

Today in Kali, we had a guest instructor named Guru Mark Cukro. This is one of Kru Krysta’s mentors, and he was visiting. He came in and graced us with his time and teaching. You could tell how much this man has learned and the speed and grace with which he moved. We learned some new witik drills, and drills to keep your arm framed with your body and meeting force with force when a stick is coming at you.

From there we learned how to enter, say from a Kumbiata Switch, push down on the shoulder and get the Fang choke in. This choke/submission is also called Churning the Butter. =) Because once you have the stick along the carotid and you are tightening the choke with your arm and the stick you can churn the stick and cause more pain.

The carotid artery is the a major artery in the neck and cutting off circulation is not only painful, but can make a person pass out. My picture above is me working on this very choke.

I got this picture from this wiki page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_carotid_artery

Getting to learn from these Gurus, leaves you with some great gems. One for tonight was this quote. “If you look at the stick you will get hit with a stick.” What is meant by that is you should be looking at the movement of the body. In Muay Thai you don’t look at the punch coming at you. You look at the persons chest. This is cause you are supposed to be watching their body movements, not what their hands are doing.

We also worked on getting the Puta Kapala in, from the clench. This was fun, because we learned how to control the persons spine from the base of their head. I love the Puta Kapala.

This was a fantastic class. I had a blast, and it was great learning from a teacher that my teacher/instructor loves and respects. He was a fantastic teacher and so open to questions.

Thank you for reading. I have some new followers, so welcome, and please let me know if you have any questions. I have a glossary page that has definitions for terms. ah Have a great day/night/week, get out there, do what you love, and love each other.

P.S. If you are curious about where I train. It is the Pedro Sauer academy One Spirit Martial Arts. http://virginiabjj.com/ I love the feel and spirit of this gym.

Tuesday Muay Thai and Kali…Free Feeding, and Knife/Stick/Knife and Stick High Box

Do you ever have those days that you really just don’t want to do the workout? Not just a meh day. I have had just a meh day too. But a day where you are so tired you don’t want to go do your workout. You want to lay under covers and not come out. You are tired and don’t want to do anything, except maybe breathing. Yeah… I had one of those days today. I took my pre-workout, I stretched, and I made myself go to the gym and while I was waiting for my training/class to begin I felt this intense desire not to do anything. I almost gave into it. When I am meh feeling I don’t give into those feelings and force myself to do the thing. Today though I almost bowed out of training. I however, did not and I am so glad I did not.

My back and hips have been complaining at me, and my hip has been feeling like that burning sensation I get when the nerve is compromised. I have to get into the chiropractor tomorrow. This may have been a leading contributor to my feeling the way I did.

Muay Thai started and we were warming up. I still had that feeling of not wanting to do anything. However, as Kru Kristen started talking about what we were going to do I focused on that, and now 2 hours later I am feeling much better. My hip is feeling better and I am happy I pushed through.

In Muay Thai we worked on kicks. Right side only, or for those of you left handers/south paws, rear kicks. We worked on teeps, leg kicks, and rear round house kicks. I was happy when we had to do pyramid kicks, where you kick 1 round house kick, then two consecutively, then three kicks up to five kicks and back down again. I was not gassed and I felt like I could do another set right there. Yay!

This is a video of me practicing my right side, or rear kicks. These are teeps, leg kicks, and round houses. I am laying in the leg kick so as not to hurt my feeder. I don’t know why I spread my fingers on my left hand when perform a kick. But watching me in the video I can see the things I need to work on.

In Kali we worked on the high box. We used first the double stick, then the stick and knife, double knives, then stick and shield. Changing the length of weapon changes ranges you need to hold to just attack and defend in the drill. I noticed when my Kru Krysta asks if we know what the high box is at the time my brain goes no. But apparently at this time my body knows what to do. I have muscle memory of the high box and can do it, but if you were to ask me out of the blue I would stumble to tell you the terms and moves. I was told from a student who has been doing this for 5 years that this is normal, and he has the same problem. Today was a great day for Kali, I have a lot to fix but I felt good doing it.

In Kali we worked on the high box. In this video I am practicing here the high box with double stick.

This is the same high box drill with us using knives that I was practicing.

I need to go to sleep because I have a 5 am wake up, and it is 11:47 pm here. I am amazed you have read this far and thank you. These are my thoughts for the day. Talk to me if you have any questions or want to see something in my blog.

Thursday Night – Muay Thai, and then Kali Running Saint Gabriel



We just got home from Muay Thai practice and Kali, and I can tell you no other sport, or physical activity can melt my brain faster than Kali.

I sit here after class trying to type up what I wanted to, and I have a combination of tired body, and exhausted mind.

So, we worked on sparing in Muay Thai, where we were learning some of the entries that we could use to get into the “box” and be able to get our hits in on our opponents. You will get hit in the face and other parts of the body. This is not negotiable. It happens, and it teaches you to get your hands up and block, parry, or move (slip/bob and weave). I got hit twice in the face today. It was not hard, and I am totally ok. But that makes your body and head tired.

Now after Muay Thai we did Kali. Kali ask you to use both your right and left brain at the same time. It asks you to use your right and left hands at the same time. It is both an art and a… I was going to say science, and while there is science, to it… it’s more of an art and a deadly dance. A DANGER DANCE!

Anyway, I am rambling on. For today I did a 30-minute warmup/workout before Muay Thai.

  • 1 minute stretching
  • 200 kicks over a foam roller
  • 100 # 3 knees, which are the side in knees
  • Then 10 minutes of ladder work to work on foot work and getting faster in my transitions.

One hour of Muay Thai:

  • We shadowboxed/jumped rope to warm up
  • We worked on parry jab, while coming in with a jab entry, then getting out of the box.
  • We worked on outside parry where I slip under the jab and hit a jab into the midsection of my opponent.
  • We worked on the boxing 20.
  • We worked on using the entries to get into the box, then a upper cut, hook, and cross, bob and weave to get out
  • We then worked on sparing and using what we know and have learned to avoid getting hit.

I can tell you I got hit a couple of times, but I am getting more used to it.

1 hour of Kali:

  • We started with heaven figure 8s then earth figure 8s
  • We then worked on Running Saint Gabriel, the right side first
  • We worked on the Running Saint Gabriel right then left
  • Finally we worked on the heaven box.

I am tired and should go to bed. Its 11:39 pm right and I have to be up at 5:30am tomorrow. This is a bit of a rambling post, but this is what I do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. =) If you like hearing about what I am for my workouts let me know. I am still figuring out how often to put out content to my blog.

Also see below, me practicing the Running Saint Gabriel. This is about the 30th time worked through it. I did it about 30 more times till the end of class after this.

Running Saint Gabriel