The real instruction doesn’t come until minute 1:40 but the thought to record Bai jumping in to practice knees with the boys was simply because it was pretty cute. Then her dad came over to correct her form (she was imitating the boys, mostly one who is a few down in the row). Bai is 9 years old and has a few fights; this drill is something all the kids do at the start of training as a warmup and conditioning drill. I’m pretty sure they do a thousand repetitions. As Bai first starts out, her father Goh (who is one of the ad hoc trainers at Petchrungruang) comes over to correct her form, changing her flexed feet, the angle of her knees, the length of her arms, the width of her grip, and ultimately where her feet are landing. He’s telling her “side to side” and to go “just enough,” although when he finally just goes over and shows her the form by doing it himself you can see it all come together. It’s actually quite beautiful when he does it, the angle of his body and the height and control of his knees.
I’ve seen trainers here in Thailand put kids in the corner of the ring to do these knees against the padding that caps of each corner. In the US I visited North Jersey Muay Thai and Ray and Joe (the trainers/owners there) had their students do this against the wall as part of the circuit warmup that they do at the start of class. It’s a good way to get the form of knees down and at high repetitions it’s a good conditioning exercise.
This is part of the series Sylvie’s Tips where I try to share tips and techniques that I’ve run across in Thailand. You can read more about Sylvie’s Tips here:
And you can see the entire Sylvie’s Tips playlist here