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  1. I think it's David Goggins who says that quitting becomes a habit. You're experiencing that, you've made pulling out or not following through "habitual," which is the same as practicing it. So it gets stronger, easier, the pathways are grooved and the more you do it the deeper the grooves get. So, you know how to train, you know how to practice, you have to PRACTICE not quitting and following through. Start with small things, like getting to training or sparring more rounds than you want to. Wear new grooves, make following through a habit.
    2 points
  2. This is something I reflected on a lot the past two years when I moved to Myanmar. I'm left-handed but orthodox. In lethwei the fight style is different, you don't strike and move back to original position, rather you move forward and strike and strike again whike going from southpawto orthodoxand to southpaw again. For example you do a jab cross left knee/kick (as orthodox) while doing your cross punch you move forward end up in southpaw position and knee/kick from southpaw stance (rather than do a switch knee or switch kick). And in lethwei you often practise both stances while doing pads. It doesnt look very elegant. But. The benefit for me has been injury control. I have one bad knee and being able to switch stance better has easened the pressure on my bad knee, I use both sides of my body in a more balanced manner. However it messes up balance and you need to learn how to place your feet correctly. But as injury prevention it's gold when I feel my bad knee and want to protect it from knee teeps, I switch stance. Maybe from a muay thai scoring point of view it doesn't make sense but for me to manage injuries and keep both sides of my body strong it's been great. Also good for confidence to learn Im strong in both stances.
    2 points
  3. This reminds me - sometimes my instructor would have the class play shoulder tag. Stand in your fighting stance and try to tap each other's shoulders. The hand should come out the same way a jab or cross would. Eventually, the game would progress to tags to body and legs (using hands only). It gives us a chance to figure out how close we have to be to touch our partner's shoulder, and practice deflecting the other person reaching for your shoulder. And it takes "getting hit" of the table (though, you could get slapped on the shoulder pretty hard, but students don't seem worried). You'd also have to remind ppl to not to poke each other in the eye.
    2 points
  4. If you hold the pads away from your body and elbows close together, you will naturally extend your neck (with your head looking slightly up) which is a weak position to stabilize your brain for impact. Here's something for reference - tip #4 in this video: https://youtu.be/0500ZQltjck I'm small statured and have been able hold for much bigger partners. It's tiring because of their power but no headaches or any injuries. I stand firm, tense up my body to brace for impacts for kicks. If the impact is to much even with bracing and it ends up throwing me back, I simply go with it by walking backwards a few steps. I turn my shoulder in towards the punches to meet the impact instead of meeting the punch with my arm, which can hurt my shoulder. Also breathing out on impact can help also. I totally get your concern with headaches and head injuries. It might be worthwhile to ask your instructor to watch you hold pads and give you advice on holding pads safely.
    2 points
  5. Not an expert, no experience at all but I think helmets protect against cuts and bruises but do nothing to protect the the brain. In my opinion the larger target and increased mass may even make things worse.
    2 points
  6. I'm a stroke survivor that's always been into fitness. I've also had the unfortunate luck of being in a physical altercation while in my current condition. At the the time, i was able to perform optimally. Thankfully he was drunk and we weren't alone but i still had to defend myself initially. Every since then, I've been researching the most effective combination of martial arts to end fights and improve my balance. The main 2 styles i found were Muay Thai and Yiquan. I feel Muay Thai is excellent in the sense of a comprehensive striking system and Yiquan requires you to slow your movements down to fine tune the little balance issues i have. I just found Sylvie's YouTube channel and i wanna express my appreciation and genuine interest in the project she is pursuing. I hope to continue to learn and if there's anything from anyone that's helpful for a new fish, I'd very much appreciate guidance
    1 point
  7. You may find that if you look into the traditional side of Thailand's Muay Thai (how it is scored, and also in many ways fought), there will be some correspondence to the "inner" or "internal" forms of slower martial arts like Yiquan. We've discussed in the Muay Thai Bones podcast where Buddhistic principles such a "Ning" or "Samadi" are drawn on for Thailand's Muay Thai. Here's a link to the whole playlist. Sorry I don't recall which ones, unfortunately they are very long podcasts.
    1 point
  8. First focus on mental Drill. Mental practice is the mental stimulation of a movement without the occurrence of the physical ability. To put it another way, it's the mental rehearsal of a skill or a group of techniques. Most BJJers have had BJJ daydreams or may even conduct mental drilling while sleeping. "According to neuromuscular theory, visualization activates the same motor pathways as if the skill were physically done, albeit at a lower level." Use the best gi's like venum, Fuji, Elite for your inner satisfaction. This activation, which is equivalent to actual movement but at a lesser level, has been demonstrated in studies utilizing EMG equipment." Mental drilling has one advantage that I like: it can be done almost anywhere and at any time. You are not bound by space or geographical place. You also don't have to worry about injuries or weariness with mental drills. This is especially useful if you're recovering from an injury and can't physically train. It's just you and your thoughts with mental drilling!
    1 point
  9. In all the gyms I've tried (three so far in Sydney, Australia) partner pad-holding has always had a prominent place in Muay Thai classes. Unfortunately I've found that holding pads for roundhouse kicks is my least favourite part of training. I'm a smaller man (162cm, 53-54kg) so there's a significant size disparity with most partners. Even with smaller ones I think that because of the pads the hits aren't localised to, say, the legs, arms, or body. Instead what I think happens is that the impact is spread across the whole body and is transmitted to the head and neck. Sometimes I'll get slight headaches. It's got me a bit worried about brain injuries. I do see some benefits to it: it helps my fight vision and understanding of how techniques work but I feel like if I'm going to take light hits I'd rather do it in sparring or if I'm going to take hard hits then I'd rather do it in a fight. Is partners holding pads a thing in Thailand as well? If not, what do they have instead and can I do that? Is this just a "learn to hold pads correctly and strengthen your neck" issue? There's not been a lot of instruction on that and there are conflicting opinions on the Internet on whether to meet the kick with the pads or resist it. I'm a bit of a hypochondriac as well so it's hard to gauge if I'm overreacting. I don't think it's a "toughen up" issue. Arm, body, shin pain, whatever is fine. But the head stuff is scary.
    1 point
  10. (Im new to this so I dont know if my formatting is correct or if Im posting in the right place, sorry) I am heavily interested in the Muay Khao style of fighting, I noticed that Sylvie noted that she switched to southpaw after years of being orthodox in her Muay Thai Library on Patreon. Are there reasons that anyone or Sylvie herself changed to southpaw? Since most of her opponents seem to be orthodox, is it because her left knee to the orthodoxes open side is more available instead of having to switch stance? Thank you for everyones responses in advance! also as an introduction since this is my first post. Hi! Im Carter, im 17 and I started Muay Thai in August.
    1 point
  11. One of the semi-principles of traditional Muay Khao style is a tendency to square up, I believe, because clinch is a squared-up technique set (mostly). To me this involves principles like keeping your opponent in front of you (not overturning on strike follow throughs), and advancing on the end of strikes (like stepping down after a knee in space, etc). This means often sacrificing power of any single strike, because strikes lead to other strikes, within a kind of squaring tendency. You can see this in Yodkhupon's footwork and pressure attacks, for instance. The Muay Khao fighter is "persistence hunting", setting up for a kill later in the fight. This means that even non-switching Muay Khao fighters of the past were adept at striking fairly square, and sometimes in the opposite stance by situation, and provides a natural connection point to close pressed western boxing. In the Library an interesting footwork centered recent session is this one on Boran balance, working towards a sense of flow. #117 Kru Kin Por Promin - Muay Boran Precision, Balance & Flow (93 min) watch it here A beautiful session under the instruction of Kru Kin teaching the foundations of Muay Boran, revealing the underlying basics of Thailand's ring Muay Thai. Balance, precision and flow. These are the principles that are the bones of Muay Thai, keys to footwork and transition and effective fighting.
    1 point
  12. Thanks for studying the Library and supporting it! That's a good question. There are general reasons why southpaws have advantages over orthodox fighters, and this reasons are even bigger in Thailand because Thailand scores openside strikes higher than closed side strikes. The southpaw fighter has an open power alley to that open side, with the rear kick, a spearing knee and the left straight all "open". Of course the orthodox fighter in mixed stances ALSO has his/her power weapons "open" to attack the open side, but the supposed advantage is that there are many more orthodox fighters than southpaw fighters so southpaw are more comfortable in this faceoff of power side weapons, have spent much more time evolving their game to take advantage of it. For instance a lot of Thai southpaws traditionally developed very big left kicks (Yodsanklai is a perfect example, but there are many). In Sylvie's case though, it was for a different reason. As a caveat, lots of traditional Muay Thai training and older forms of Muay Thai were taught ambidextrously. There was much less of a single stance emphasis. This has really changed in contemporary Muay Thai. In the Samart Payakaroon session you can see this, Samart tells us he doesn't even know which stance he is, southpaw or orthodox. There are several sessions in the Library which show this ambidextrous quality from the older school. So switching is part of the heritage of Muay Thai. In Sylvie's case the move to Southpaw was recommended by the legend Karuhat who had cornered for her quite a bit, and trained her many times, as a solution to a problem she was having in orthodox. Sylvie is a Muay Khao fighter with lots of emphasis on clinch. From orthodox she had a problem with her primary grab with her lead arm. She would overturn. Which is to say the arm would wrap around too deeply, with the elbow behind the neck, and she would find herself somewhat bladed, with her lead foot between her opponent's feet. This is a very disadvantageous opening position for clinch. She would work her way back to positive positions most of the time, but against a few adept clinch fighters it would result in bad rounds or losses, because she started with a disadvantage. Karuhat moved her to southpaw to basically short circuit this clinch grab and overturn, and make her more squared up in initial clinch positions. Also, he reasoned, putting her power side up front (her right handed power) would give her more confidence in space, make her more offensively potent. Karuhat himself was a beautiful switching fighter, so in a way it wasn't really to become southpaw, more so as to build it that side of the attack and defense, so that one could switch. But first Sylvie had to commit to just Southpaw. I think she did so for two years. If you don't commit to it you just back out of it once you get stressed or uncomfortable. You have to learn how to solve problems from the left side. It takes time. A few things were pretty apparent. The first is that it did seem to correct the clinch overturn grab, and make her more square. Also, offensively she was more willing to fight in the pocket, and her left kick seemed to come out more easily, without some of the bad habits her right kick had developed. She beat several world champion level fighters as a southpaw. One of the challenges of moving to southpaw though, was that while offense seemed to get an automatic boost, defensively instincts suffered. This pretty common. You just are not used to seeing strikes from that orientation, you are through The Looking Glass. In Thailand this can be an issue because your openside will be exposed to big scores. As a Southpaw you have to be able to close your openside. Karuhat helped solve this to some degree with the Forward Check, as a kind of defensive cheat, which squares you up some, and also threatens attack (or switching), but mostly this defensive weakness of a new stance was lessened by simply being a pressure fighter. If you are newly as a southpaw and laying back in space, you can be picked off quite easily, but as a pressure fighter the time you spend at risk is decreased. This is the session in the Library where Sylvie actually makes the switch, you can watch it in real time over a few days, and she talks about the reasons for it: #20 Karuhat Sor Supawan 3 - Switching To Southpaw (144 min) watch it here 2x Lumpinee Champion Karuhat Sor. Supawan in this epic video posts installs a limited Southpaw core which leads to developing high level ideas found in his switching style: tracking and attacking the open side, watching for and dictating weight transfer. This is the blueprint of a legend's acclaimed fighting style. After about 2 years of really devoting herself to southpaw, I believe, Sylvie went back to orthodox, because at that point in her development she felt that the most important next step was learning how to bring more relaxation into her muay, and southpaw still had elements of stress and discomfort in it. What two years did though was to open up the possibility of switching as the occasion called for, more like how Karuhat fought. It built out an alternate side grammar. I hope that helps!
    1 point
  13. Thanks everyone for all the replies! Lots to take in: pad distance from body pad angle from body angle with partner forming a sort of triangle with the top of the pads and my elbows how to meet the kicks We didn't hold pads today but I'll try your tips next time we do. I've got a private tomorrow so I'll ask the instructor to spend a few minutes on that. They have some Fairtex and SKS ones. Not sure of the models but to my untrained eye similar to these: https://www.fairtexaustralia.com.au/~4953465 https://sksboxing.com/shop/coaching-training-equipment/kick-pads/sks-sakyant-kickpad-black/
    1 point
  14. Right now I have the opportunity to work clinch everyday albeit with somebody considerably bigger. I have some experience doing standup grappling but always in the context of takedowns for submission grappling. Does anyone have any advice or insight regarding the difference in these two paradigms? I want to improve my ability to clinch and strike while maintaining a safe and beautiful ruup
    1 point
  15. I don't think it's a tough dude issue or whatever like this, it's a technique issue. To answer about thailand, no, there is no padholding from fighters or students only pad holders and pad hitters, but you don't exchange role cause you pay more to get "personalized" training. In the "west" or anywhere else, if you're a member of a gym, you'll hit pads and hold pads alternatively. I am 6'4" and 230 lbs, so I kick pretty hard. I had big guys struggling holding pads for me and I had tiny girls holding pads just fine. As a kicker, you can see when the pad holder would pay to be somewhere else and when they is some sort of wiplast effect in the movement of the pad holder. Like other said, pad holding is an art and good pad holding is quite rare, even in Thailand where in my opinon, lots of pad holder, to protect themself, are holding the pad way to hard. My guess is you do not "come to meet" enough, you're a bit to loose, so the power transfer from the kick to your arms and then your neck. I would ask a more advance big dude at your gym to help with that. Try to find the sweet spot between been to loose and leaning to hard and preventing the kicker to kick properly. You want to meet the kick with force but without going through if you see what I mean. Like a short, brief, intense shove, leaning a bit, keeping your elbows tucked and absorbing the blow with your core more than with your arms. Good luck and hope you'll be fine and don't hate on us big guys, we were born this way. Not our fault.
    1 point
  16. Pad holding is a skill in itself and it takes time to become comfortable with it. To add to the good points people have made above, what make of pads do they use at your gym? A good set of pads makes a huge difference. The pads at my old gym were awful and didn't provide much protection. I had sore fore arms for 2 weeks after one session. I bought a nice set of Twins pads after that, one of the best investments I ever made. Maybe consider buying your own set? As a Westerner training in Thailand you're paying a premium (in Thai Baht terms) to train there. Say 500 baht a session, 500 baht would be a trainer's daily wage. So they can afford to have more trainers at the gym. In the West, it just wouldn't be economically viable. Only way to avoid holding pads would be to pay for private lessons (or go train in Thailand). Watch videos on youtube of Thai trainers holding pads. They tend to have their elbows by their waist, form a triangle with the tip of the pads, then push down with the pads just before the kick lands.
    1 point
  17. I'm a bit shorter and weight a bit less and I often hold pads for people who are 70 to 75kg, sometimes more. I don't find it affects my head in anyway, so there could be something going on. I lean in to every kick, so give the fighter resistance. But what I think could be going wrong for you is the fighter isn't hitting the pads correctly. You see that with newbies a lot. The try go high to slap the pads. Make sure to remind them that the pads isn't their target. Your waist is their target. They should never be hitting the top part of the pads. Also don't take the pads away from your body to meet their kick. Obviously I have no idea what's actually happening. But I would imagine they're not hitting correctly from what you described.
    1 point
  18. Hey, I'm familiar with the struggles with partnering with beginners. Once is a while is fine, but you don't get as much out of the class as you would with someone at your level. Here are things I've done in the past: 1) ask the advanced women to come help me train (either in class of outside of class) 2) invite the women that are less advanced, but seem keen on learning, to train with me outside of class, say casually for just techniques (I specified no sparring). Also give them opportunity to suggest what to work on during those times you train together. The 2nd one was very hard initially for me, as it involved setting up this new group training. Our gym had ladies' sparring before that ended in disasters, so I tried to steer us away from that. Also talking to be ppl I don't know and managing multiple new relationships makes me very anxious and mentally exhausted. But that investment of energy pays dividends - I started this a few years ago and I have a few women from there that developed a lot since and partners when me in class consistently. We train together outside of class also. We even met up in parks to train when the gym got shutdown during covid (but small groups outdoor gatherings were allowed).
    1 point
  19. I've read a similar post on how to improve conditions for women at the gym but I haven't quite found what I was looking for. A few years ago, I started to train Muay Thai. At first, I didn't feel the gender inequity because I was just working out. But now that I want to get ready for my first fight, I've hit a wall. There are not many women in Muay Thai, much less in advanced categories. I usually train with the same 2-3 women that are somewhat advanced and that I feel we can make each other better. However, I train 6 times/week. They train much more sporadically. So I'm often left to find other partners that are usually beginners which is fine once in a while but when it's 75% of my training, I quickly feel like my progress is stalling. Sometimes, I train with my boyfriend who is certainly up to par to help me progress. However, I'm 5'2 120 lbs and he's 6'1 180lbs. When I hold the pads for him, with 180lbs of muscle, his blows are too powerful. I always end up with a massive headache (from the vibrations on the pads) and pain in my forearms (from his kicks), even when he doesn't go full force. I'm afraid that it will either cause micro concussions or a stress fracture. And even if it doesn't, it's more than an inconvenience. The reason I mention women and not just general people in my weight category is because I feel that the bigger issue is the gap in women's progress (also, not many people in my weight category in general). So recently, I asked the head coach for a solution, explaining the situation (which of course he already knew because I've mentionned it before). His only solution was for me to go to beginners' class, where most of the women are. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body but he doesn't always understand the struggles. I was very displeased, especially that we were planning my first fight before the last shut-down we had in December because of COVID. I must say, my gym is very inclusive and I feel safe. I'm just frustrated I can't progress as much as I want. The thing with most women at my gym is that they do it to get in better shape but not many actually want to get better in their technique. Because they've never been told they could? Because they think getting better necessarily means they need to fight? Maybe, I don't know. I'll for sure talk to them about it. I've been offered the opportunity to coach at that gym. I think that is one way to change women's mentality and help them progress and at least make them feel they can progress if they choose to. I want to bring forward a class or program that would make women more comfortable in progressing (many have told me that titles like 'advanced' lessons intimidate them , especially with the majority of really tall men that attend). I feel like my post is a little scattered but I wanted to explain where the problem stems from. So, my aim is to help women exploit their potential and make the male coaches more proactive when it comes to gender problems. I was thinking of doing a women-only class tailored to the needs of those who attend, but that's as far as my idea goes. I would really like having a great plan to present to the owners and other coaches. I'm hoping you can share your tips and tricks. I look forward to reading your feedback, solutions you've witnessed, whatever you think might help.
    1 point
  20. I'm sitting here crying as I watch this clip of Petchtong exiting the ring after losing by KO to Gongchai (a champion of the late Sangtiennoi). You can see Petchtong isn't all there, he's very raw and can't hold things in his gloves; he just wants to bury his face in the shoulder of his dad or trainer, the guy in the red shirt. For context, the gamblers cheering the fight offered a 53,000 Baht "injection" - an incentive offered during a fight to encourage a fighter to come from behind - and even though he lost by KO, the gamblers - who lost money - were so happy with his performance they still gave him 12,000 Baht in tips. I find this so beautiful. People complain about gambling and I understand the broad brush of how it has too much influence on outcome and matchmaking; but this is also absolutely a part of gambling and Muay Thai's relationship and I'd hate to see this go. https://www.facebook.com/reel/361832535882976?fs=e&s=cl And here's the fight: https://youtu.be/axug1xHs3xc
    1 point
  21. Talk about foooood. Food and family. Haha easiest way to get some convo going, Keep it simple. Thai language is actually much simpler in context than English (imo anyway). Google translate is pretty good with English to Thai, but it's not great going Thai to English just fyi. We have more words (especially descriptive words) so the apps have to try and extrapolate.
    1 point
  22. If you look up "Learn Thai With Mod" on Facebook you can get free, short lessons that teach simple greetings, questions, activities, etc. She and Kru Pear are wonderful at annunciating for correct pronunciation and tone.
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  23. There is a topic that I’ve been hoping to discuss recently regarding my own personal experiences and those that I’ve heard about from other women. My experience at multiple gyms as well as the one where I currently train, is there is a “boys club” that exists and creates a certain barrier for women who train. I’ve only trained in the US, so that is my frame of reference for gym culture. A (male) business partner and I are hoping to open a gym in the near future. I’m hoping that this discussion will help inform the culture we create as well as improve the approach of current gyms. I’ve noticed more than one coach almost entirely ignore women who train either as beginners or experienced fighters. Men are given more attention in terms of coaching, encouragement, and feedback. I’ve also observed that women, myself included, seem to get excluded from conversations, condescended to, have borderline or blatant sexist comments directed toward them, and assumptions being make about fighting knowledge as well no matter the level of experience. Other than power level, there have only been a handful of times where experienced being treated differently in sparring. I’m not sure if that’s a common experience for other women or not. This question is addressed to other women who train. What is your experience in this regard? Have you felt that this was common in gyms where you have trained? Do you feel like it slowed down your progress with learning? How do you think the gym culture can be improved so women become more skilled? I’m asking men, respectfully, to refrain from saying things along the lines of “That doesn’t happen” or “women are being too sensitive”. You are welcome to constructively participate in the conversation and ask questions but please do not deny that other people experience things. Men, please be respectful and measured in your responses. I'm placing this here instead of in the women’s only forum because I feel it’s important for all people to read and consider these observations. It’s important for the growth of the sport and for women to have better experiences in the gym.
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  24. I look at this photo and I cannot help but feel that I'm looking at Sylvie's origin story. This exact moment, this Joker's bathroom scene. In truth there is no origin moment, and in reality this was just a moment in the flow of things, but seeing it frozen here, photographically, it bends back through time and founds itself. It's that she is looking at herself, and taking herself in, as a whole, wearing the Frankenstein scars of her recreation, made by Muay Thai, and she does not shrink back. She is incorporated anew, almost literally. The backstory to this moment is that she was booked on a Yokkao fight. What a huge promotional name at the time for a 100 lb fighter who had been mixing it up in the North, fighting at documented rates no fighter ever had before, just pounding the local, very active Thai circuit for 2 years in the country. You can see her record here. She was making history already then, but she was nobody. She had a few passionate supporters, those that had followed her journey from Master K's New Jersey basement on YouTube, but on the face of Muay Thai itself, she was just another female fighter somewhere in Thailand. We were exploring moving down to Pattaya to get more serious training from Sakmongkol, and maybe better clinch training from a little gym filled with Thai boys, but had not made the move yet. Sylvie was a "clinch fighter" at the time, but honestly didn't really know how to clinch yet, and wasn't getting much clinch training back in the North. She was fighting, she was winning, but it was largely just will-power and determination, not really knowing. Suddenly she got an offer through an Italian connection in Pattaya to fight on Yokkao. Wow, okay. The fight was at 46 kg, but then suddenly it was at 48 kg. We didn't care. Sylvie just fought everyone. Giving up weight to someone we didn't know, not arguing for - or having someone leverage for us - small advantages wasn't and isn't our thing. "They change the name, they change the shorts" in the Wanderlei Silva way, something she really embraces. Turns out, she's fighting one of the best female fighters in Thailand over the past 5 years, Lommanee. We had no idea. Giving a few more pounds, huh. Sylvie was diced by Lommanee's infamous lead elbow, and experienced a transformation. This happened on several levels. One, its very difficult to give up significant weight vs elite fighters. Sylvie just wasn't there yet. There heart was there, but she wasn't formed. Secondly, her bloody face zoomed and bounced off satellites and ran through the Muay Thai world. As the Yokkao commentators made protective sexist comments about this worrisomely happening to "a girl", her asking the doctor to let the fight go on with blood streaming down her face became, right then, a kind of superpower of dignity. Sylvie writes about this experience of suddenly being seen here: Can Bleed Like a Man – Lumpinee, Muay Thai, Culture, Sexism and Meme A fighter has to be seen in order to exist, because fighting is a display, a performance before the public eye. It is an art that involves peak human states taken on so as to pull the public in. A fighter who is not seen is not a fighter, in a certain way. This is the first time that Sylvie was actually seen. To this day people tell her they know her from this fight, sometimes even thinking that it happened recently. But she is being bathed in the blood of public vision. She is being born into existence, as a fighter, in an origin sort of way. With 269 fights, the cusp of 200 fights beyond this her 70th, and 218 stitches taken to the face, this was her origin, when she stepped into blood. It's not the first time she's bled, but it's the first time the blood covered her, and she was seen. It's honestly a horrible moment on the face of it. It's embarrassing to be cut in any fight. It's embarrassing to just be out mastered in the ring. There is a well one can fall in with a loss like this, a dark, colluding well. But Sylvie has just incredible resilience, a kind of Phoenix power. Like complex comic book heroes (or villains) she walks with her extreme discomfort and shame like one walks with a shadow. She was seen. She walked with blood. I've known and loved her for a long time now, and I don't fully understand the powers of her endurance and transformation, I wrote a little about in 2016 here, but somehow this fight and that she was seen, bloodied, constituted her as a fighter, assembled her. The epic journalistic Muay Thai Library documentary project was but a flicker of a thought in the future, her years of struggling in the clinch in the training ring were before her, her friendship with legends of the sport, fights upon fights taking on massive weight disadvantages, beating World Champions out of her weight class, all before here...but here she had kind of Madame Bathory'd herself, and embraced herself as a new, imperfect, constructed, hardened, dreaming new thing. A force of fighting. It did not happen at the exact moment when the photo was taken before the mirror, above. But it was happening then. You can see it in her eyes. She is taking all of herself in. There is no shrinking back, no concerned examination. She sees the whole thing of herself. The Yokkao broadcast and all the subsequent images that flowed from it was when she was seen, but that was not the origin. It was when in the aftermath of that blood, those stitches, she saw herself. The path she walks to this day is extremely dangerous. That moment in the mirror was the consummate, retroactively imbued moment of origin...perhaps, but from that origin, from who she began in her embrace became a very difficult climb. It's a quite vertical climb up a rockface where honestly no one has taken hand holds or foot holds before. It began then, but it was only the first day. Since then being seen, and seeing yourself has become the weaving on a loom, back and forth, getting into the ring and bathing oneself in violence hundreds of times. I recall one of the variations of the origin story of Achilles, the near invulnerable epitome warrior of Homeric Greece. The goddess Thetis is said to have thrown her off-spring into the fire upon birth, each time, until she found one that was impervious from her divinity. In some sense, this is what fighting is. The exposure of the flesh to the fire that burns it until you find some composition of the self which remains unburned, unconsumed. I look at that photo at the top of this article and I see that composition. I see that body of herself that takes all of herself in, the stitches of her transformation. Origin Story.
    1 point
  25. Golden Rule: When in doubt outside of Thailand go for the KO. hahaha.
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  26. I’m not sure there is anything I can add here because this spelling out exactly what I feel like I’m responding to both personally and as a potential gym owner. Very insightful and I’ll have see if I can find some what Sylvie has written about how this happens. That scarcity is a very real thing and quite frequently does not filter down to women regardless of skill level, even if she is a fighter. As a woman in my mid 40s, I’m *never* going to a high priority for 99% of coaches. I’m a woman, I’m older, I’m past the prime age where sexual interest is a major driving factor, there is no potential there for being a legit fighter, professional or amateur, etc. But I see even the younger women that have far more potential than I do and pro female fighters having the same issue. And it keeps the ball rolling because the scarcity breeds lack of trust between the women at the gym. So not only are you not getting in optimal training with men, you also aren’t getting it with women either because there isn’t enough trust built to push each other to be better. I like my female training partners but sometimes it feels like that isn’t necessarily reciprocated. It doesn’t have to be like that.
    1 point
  27. I think I’m envisioning a place where everyone is on equal footing no matter gender, sexual orientation, fitness level, etc. Where we create a culture of equity and that people will know to leave the ego at the door. It will be a fighters gym but it will also be clear that no one is better than anyone else. This especially applies to the gym social hierarchy. I’m having trouble defining exactly how that would be encouraged and enforced. As a woman with some level of life experience, I want to make it clear that woman won’t just be accepted or tolerated but that they are a mainstay of our gym. What I mean by not using the wording of “accepted” is that that term implies women are being accepted into a space that doesn’t already belong to them. I.e. you wouldn’t use that phrasing when you are walking into your own home. Not sure if I’m saying this in a way that’s easy to decipher. I’m envisioning a place where there is a very clear set of boundaries in regards to respecting training partners and equal treatment amongst all students. Again, it’s difficult to define and even harder to figure out how to create this type of environment.
    1 point
  28. Last week (or so) a video went "viral" on Thai social media. It was a scrappy street fight between a young kathoey (generally used for male to female Trans, but less frequently used also for female to male) protecting herself from a local, cis male bully. Nong Ping is the young Trans woman and in the video, shot by a bystander on their phone, and she absolutely goes to town on this bully. In the end the bully is standing, panting, tired, and nose dripping from his nose. After this video got so widely shared, Nong Toom - "The Beautiful Boxer," and the most famous kathoey celebrity and former Muay Thai fighter - took Nong Ping in under her wing. Nong Toom has had the young woman staying with her and has begun training her in Muay Thai, saying she already has heart and now just has to learn the skill. Nong Toom even accompanied Nong Ping on a TV show that is more or less a platform for guests to air out their grievances and settle disputes (Sia Boat and his fighter who has been charged with throwing a fight for money appeared on the show a month or so back). Nong Ping and her bully appeared on the show with the host, and Nong Toom at the table as well to educate this bully and the public. Here are some photos of Nong Ping. The first is a screenshot from the street fight, the remainder are those posted by Nong Toom as Nong Ping is a guest in her house. Nong Toom says she believes Nong Ping will have the opportunity to have a professional fight after she's been training for a bit. (As per Thailand's laws, Nong Ping will face either a cis male or another kathoey.) For the latest Thailand Muay Thai News Updates check out our Muay Thai Bones Newsletter
    1 point
  29. This article by Sylvie might really help: Muay Thai Vocabulary | Understanding Your Thai Trainer
    1 point
  30. What would be good etiquette if, as a man, the reason for this attitude during sparring (or any other sort of intense pair training) is mental discomfort with the idea of throwing even mid-level strikes with women? I've found myself paired with girls and it is quite uncomfortable to try and disregard this cultural norm. I did that exact thing described of just using defence and letting the girls work their offence during these routine 'colosseum' exercises (I forget the English term for it) at a gym I trained at, where the instructor would make one of us (sometimes a woman) do rounds with almost everyone at a time. It wasn't supposed to be sparring, but eventually the one doing the rounds would get tired and more desperate, so they'd put more behind their strikes and, between men at least, you'd end up reciprocating with similar intensity. I use this example because, even if you oppose to being a sparring partner for a female (if your instructor lets you, that is), you might find yourself in a situation where you'll basically be doing light sparring with them, and might adjust your power a bit too low for those that want to be treated equally. Sorry if this is a bit of a convoluted question, but basically I wanted to take the chance (and please do excuse me if I'm unknowingly derailing the topic of conversation) to ask what you think would be the right procedure for males that just feel uncomfortable hitting females but nonetheless get thrown in situations where you have to be available for them and actually want to help them improve their skills in any other way you can (as you would with any other training partner, since that's obviously the idea- to get better together). Thanks!
    1 point
  31. Angles and leverage definitely favor the tall in clinch. That said, as a shorter fighter if you can get a taller fighter down to your angles and height - breaking theor posture and destroying their leverage - the advantage is huge. Tall fighters are also more susceptible to trips, as the center of gravity is higher. The lower base of short fighters makes us harder to off-balance.
    1 point
  32. I'm finally going to start playing in clinch with one person at my gym (limiting it due to covid), but he is quite a bit bigger than me (and it seems like 70% of the fighters here are heavyweight). I've had every coach at my previous gym, and the coach here tell me that taller fighters are favored in clinch. I think of Sylvie's success in knee fighting and my experience in clinch with taller people before covid, and wonder if this sentiment is true. Being tall in muay thai definitely seems like an advantage, but I'm not sure if it's exaggerated during clinch. What are your thoughts on this? What advantages do taller fighters have in clinch? Are there advantages to being smaller in clinch? Do you have any advice for being the shorter/smaller partner in clinch? I understand the only way to improve is to just get hours in, so I'm very excited to finally have a partner I can responsibly train with. Thank you for your time.
    1 point
  33. For me it was when someone told me the best advice he ever got was to simply stay on your feet when your partner tries to trip or sweep you in the clinch. I realized there's this moment of giving up like "damn he got me" before tripping/falling and you can actually choose not to give up and stay upright. It was a complete game-changer for me. Suddenly the boys had to work hard when trying to sweep me because I wasn't "helping" them.
    1 point
  34. Does anyone have anyone quick healing tips for treating blisters? I had some 1on1s about 10 days ago on a very rough turf floor, and both big toes and balls of the feet blood blistered extensively They've been healing but keep retearing each day, I figure in a month they'll fully callous over, but if theres any way to speed up the process, Im all ears
    1 point
  35. I just wanted to relate to everyone part of a conversation we were having with Sifu McInnes in Pattaya when filming with him for the Library. I think the conversation will make the session cut, but I'm not sure. We were talking about the loss of the Golden Age techniques, something Sylvie and I talk about frequently. The part that she and I emphasize is that the great fighters of the Golden Age are no longer in the fight game. They find themselves outside of gyms, many of them no longer involved in Muay Thai at all. Not only are the techniques being lost, but the men of that age, their personalities, their knowledge depth, also are being lost. Sifu though had a different point. He has the perspective of someone who was super active in Lumpinee fighting in the Golden Age. He was close to Arjan Yodthong of Sityodtong, in fact Sifu says that he built his house next to the gym at the time, so close was their working relationship. He said for a decade he traveled the road to Lumpinee with Arjan Yodthong, week after week. His point though was not that the great fighters are no longer in Muay Thai, but that its the great coaches who made those fighters are no longer in Muay Thai. Of course Arjan Yodthong who made an incredible number of champions sadly passed away, but Sifu said that many others have died as well. In fact he challenged us to name a single legendary Muay Thai teacher who is still strongly connected to producing stadium fighters. We thought for a minute and could only come up with Arjan Surat of Dejrat Gym. But Sifu objected. Arjan Surat was a young man then, when the Golden Age was happening. That is not the generation he was referring to. It's the generation that was before. That was the generation which actually produced the legends of the Golden Age. And, as we both agreed, it is irrevocably lost because the entire system that made those great instructors, the Yodthongs of Thailand, is gone, the entire feeding system to Bangkok is heavily altered, radically changed. The quality of instruction, even at top Thai gyms, is no longer what it was in those days, Sifu claimed. He said that he would sit in Lumpinee with legendary coaches and they would just make money hand over fist following their bets. They could see which fighter was going, and in what round. He said that kind of knowledge, all the infinite perceptions are gone. It's a great session, so much in it technically, but that conversation will stay with me. With the Library we are trying to save the techniques, the Muay, and something of the men who fought so brilliantly in those decades, but Sifu reminded me that the ecological loss is even more than that. It's of the generation before them, the men of Muay Thai who were shapers of that greatness we all look back on. Some stills from the session (you can follow my photography on Instagram)
    1 point
  36. This is something that keeps popping up for me. Why do you do muay thai? Whether you are just training for fun or fitness or if you are career fighter, i wanna understand why muay thai? I find myself asking if its "right" or of "net benefit" training and fighting, I'm coaching and i see loads of positives. Fitness, friendships, motivation to eat well and take care of your body. Challenging mental and physical to another level. I also see negatives from severe weight cutting, to deaths in the sport, head trauma, long term injuries. I wonder if influencing kids in the west to train or compete in muay thai is a net benefit, as well as adults. Hearing your experiences is what I'm hoping for. Good or bad. This is what i do for a living, and Ive been doing some soul searching lately.
    1 point
  37. because I have to - to live. it’s the only thing that works to keep my brain happy. I’ll be a 90 year old lady and I’ll still be kicking things
    1 point
  38. Hello all, I did my second fight last night and now have soooo many questions. Would be grateful for any insight from you (and hopefully Sylvie will be able to respond too!) The fight didn’t go quite well in that for whatever reasons I couldn’t translate what I’ve been working on into the fight. I know I’ve physically and mentally grown since my last fight, but that didn’t seem to be manifested in the ring. I think I was taken aback by how different her style was than my first opponent. In my first fight there were a lot of clinching and knees, but in the second one my opponent was very evasive and I was left puzzled the whole time on how to get into the pocket. I couldn’t adapt to my opponent’s style quickly. Does this something that just come with experience? Does this have something to do with fight IQ? If so, any advice on how to improve my fight IQ? Another question: why is it when I’m in the ring I don’t hit as hard as when I train in the bag, pads, or sparring? I have strong crosses, hooks, and over hands, but these didn’t make any appearance during the fights!!! When this happened in the first fight I thought it was because the opponent was taller and I couldn’t reach her. But the opponent in the second fight was also tall but I realized even when I was in the pocket I didn’t hit hard. I didn’t feel like I gassed out in both fights. So what is it? Was I nervous? I don't think I was. Was it a mental block? I’m still trying to understand myself when I’m in the ring and I would be grateful if anyone can share their thoughts!!! Thanks so much in advance!!
    1 point
  39. Really well said. This was really even much more the case in the Golden Age because fighters could do everything. There were very few successful one-dimensional fighters. These days you get much more singular fighting dimensions, it seems. Back in the day all the top fighters had all the skills. You couldn't just take their weapon away and win. I can never get out of my head the fight between Boonlai (a kicker) and Somrak (a few years before he won Gold as an Olympic boxer). Somrak wins without throwing a single meaningful punch (maybe not even a single punch, I can't recall). It's pretty amazing: But so many of the top fighters had just capacities across styles. Chamuekphet was a relentless knee fighter, but could kick with anyone. Weeapol had very heavy hands, but could kick with everyone.
    1 point
  40. You kind of tend to have two kinds of kickers, if you want to be really generalized. You have southpaw kickers who tend to have big, thunderous kicks (because their kick goes right into the power side of the orthodox fighter), like Yodsanklai and Samkor that you mention, and then you have orthodox fighters who are really more Muay Femeu, artful in scoring points and taking angles. Silapathai was unearthly in this. Check out his fight versus Karuhat were Karuhat, one of the most Muay Femeu fighters ever elected to kick with him: Very few fighters ever could out kick Karuhat. It's best to keep in mind that these "styles" are all just descriptors. If you said someone was Muay Tae, it isn't some kind of club he belongs to, you're mostly just saying "that guy kicks a lot". It's not purely that, but we tend to make a bigger deal of these style types than Thais do. Most kickers of the Golden Age though would consider themselves Muay Femeu. Femeu fighting just means "skilled" and "artful", something pretty much any fighter wouldn't mind being said about themselves. The torso kick was the most dependable highest scoring strike in Muay Thai, so the "art" of the kick was using it repeatedly to just rack up the points and demonstrate your control over the space.
    1 point
  41. Everyone in my life always viewed me as a very peaceful person, until I went through some very trying times in my early teen years followed by a couple more in my early twenties. They revealed a rage inside me I didn't remember since I was an angry little kid. I guess I rediscovered an organic nature in me that I constantly hold back. I still struggle with being too "nice" during my fights. I don't even really care if I win, I just want to find that organic emotion and let it out freely in an accepted way.
    1 point
  42. For that question, I love to use some adapted quote from an english author: “I fell in love with Muay Thai as I was later to fall in love with people: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.” Meanwhile I'm training or furthermore studying it for some 1,5 years. Only! But it feels like ages! Honestly I don't see that violence point but what I see is pure art and beauty in the movements. When I talk about Muay Thai people tell me my eyes are shining! I'm fascinated and attracted by its precision, the necessity to stay concentrated in every single moment, the complexity of each move. I love getting deep and deeper into it, analyzing techniques, trying this and that, soaking up everything like a sponge. Regarding the fitness aspects I can say I started at >85kg and meanwhile (after 18 months) reached some 63-64kg, I enjoy to watch my body develop, to experience getting stronger, see muscles becoming apparent. Sure that might happen as well with other sports but I was always an active person before but nothing attracted me like Muay Thai did meanwhile. I'm just happy I "met" Muay Thai and enjoy every single training session!
    1 point
  43. Because Muay Thai is breathing to me. Everything else is just drowning. There's a quote from Rosa Luxemburg that goes: "Those who do not move, do not notice their chains". In a similar fashion I wasn't aware I wasn't breathing before starting Muay Thai. The oxygen it gave me is my life-changing discovery - that and kitties.
    1 point
  44. hmmm, why do I do it.... First off: I'm a beginner, started at 35 (36 now) and right now I don't plan to actually fight. There is this fantasy about fighting in the back of my head though so well, we'll see if it ever gets to that point. I have been fascinated by martial arts since I was a kid really. Wanted to start Karate which was pretty much the only martial art I knew back in the day haha but there was a minimum age for Karate so my parent's put me into Judo. Did that for a year or so but it wasn't for me so... Took me some more years until in my twenties I finally started practicing an art seriously which was Pekiti Tirsia Kali after looking around what was available in my area and finding it interesting. My reasoning for starting was that I absolutely needed more exercise and taking up a martial art seemed to be a good way to connect that with a childhood love. Later I noticed that training and sparring also helped my psychologically as well as physically. I felt better, was more confident, felt more confident to deal with opposition or obstacles. I guess this is when I realized that a big point of training was for me to fight myself more than others, to get out of my comfort zone and prove to myself what I can do. Work interfered a few years later and I stopped doing Kali altogether a while later. another few years went by until I decided I wanted to get back into this kind of thing. I had gotten interested in stuff like MMA a bit and kind of felt I wanted to try a different art that was more in the sports-realm though I still love Kali. Muay Thai had seemed interesting for a long time and still had this traditional element interwoven with the sport-aspect. So I tried it out at 2 different gyms and started. I would like to get back to a level where I can do meaningful sparring again as one of my main points still is to work on myself and dealing with psychological problems I see in myself, learning to deal with direct opposition and difficult obstacles better and be more aware of my strengths as well as bring my body into better shape again. Also it is a great way of "getting out of my head" as LengLeng put it. When dealing with heavy everyday problems it was just super-relaxing to go to training in the evening where our coach had us smashing pads or whatever and I had a totally different set of things to think (or NOT think) about. I am much more of a beginner though as the time since I started in Muay Thai may suggest as I have hardly trained the last few months. Lots of important "real live" stuff getting in the way. I keep talking about wanting to get into it and at least I still get at least some training in but I know I will get back into being more serious with it when I have a few things off my back finally. Also have to say that I have quite a few other passions, too and their relative importance to me slowly fluctuates over the time of months or years. So far at least I haven't found just one thing that I can throw myself fully into without missing something else some day.
    1 point
  45. I discovered Muay Thai about 4 years ago (I'm 29 now) but only really put myself into it 2 months ago, because I was scared of the risks, of the "Why da hell should I suffer so much if I can be in my sofa?". But now I am addicted to it. For me, every 2 hour Muay Thai training session is a way to rediscover my body, my sensations, feel pain so I can feel good afterwards. It might sound very "spiritual" and bullshitty, but that's what it is. When I practice Muay thai, do Sparring, I feel like I'm ressucitating. I've always been looking for my "passion", after reading "The Monk who sold his Ferrari", and Muay Thai just might be it.
    1 point
  46. Hmmmm....... I love it because of the freedom it allows. You don't get that freedom from Karate, etc. That's my opinion. The freedom one gets from expressing their muay. It becomes integral to your state of being, of who you are. Once someone discovers the difference of feeling of training, teaching muay thai as opposed to kickboxing, I believe their lives change. I might be rambling, as this is just coming straight from the heart. I enjoyed my Karate, Kickboxing etc, but I love muay thai. At least as I understand muay thai. My understanding is my own, and will be totally different to anyone else's. They say this feeling can be achieved in other martial arts, but I never experienced that feeling. That's why I gave away karate. When I go to sleep I dream muay thai, I think continually about muay thai and how it can benefit everyone. If I was the all,powerful emperor Ming, I would decree that it should be in every school's phys. ed. programme.
    1 point
  47. Jaroentong is also a switching fighter. I'm not sure what you mean by drills for practicing the switch, as it seems you're trying to learn how to switch in the moment, rather than fighting out of both stances. I haven't been taught "how to switch," but rather Karuhat literally reversed my stance and I had to learn how to fight in Southpaw. When literally going from right handed to left handed or vice versa, in general it's just like walking into the opposite stance. Namsaknoi has a really nice galloping switch on a punch, but he doesn't stay in the opposite stance. He just switches on that punch. But I reckon you could use it as your switch and just stay in that other stance. Karuhat does the same thing, but from the opposite stance, which is meaningful because he's going from his "unnatural" stance into his natural stance for a power cross, whereas Namsaknoi's is the inverse of that, so you're landing into the non-dominant position. Sifu's "when to switch" drills and philosophies are the only time switching is talked about conceptually by a teacher in the Library. Otherwise it's my own take on what the switches feel like or mean. The dangers of switching are being off-guard for a moment as you're switching and landing into a position where your "open side" is vulnerable. But you just have to be aware of that and guard or set up the switch by off-balancing your opponent first. In general, don't switch stance in kicking range. Either closer or farther out. I'd choose closer. Karuhat often uses a simple step back (again, same as walking) when reversing his stance and then his attack just flows directly out of that. Almost nobody switches and does nothing. They switch on an attack or on a defensive step that becomes an attack.
    1 point
  48. When the trainer says, OK sparring, find a partner. You pick the biggest, scariest looking meathead in the room, like 30kg heavier than you. 8/10 times he will be the most controlled, nicest and friendliest person there and you won't get injured. It's the little guy with a ying yang tattoo who has problems with over-aggression in sparring.
    1 point
  49. Footwork is a very good place to start, as it's what allows literally everything else to function. For me, being able to "see" is the main difference between being overwhelmed and being able to wait out an combination and fire back. Everyone has patterns - ever single person - so generally you can start to read or see where those are and know when to counter in the middle of or after a flurry. There are different ways of being able to "see," but 100% it requires you to be calmer, which means focusing on your breathing and knowing literally what you're looking at (where are you looking when you spar? The face, the chest, the hips, the legs?). Trying different areas of focus is a place to start. Focusing on your breathing is a great start. Working on only one thing, like a hook or a kick and seeing when it lands and when it doesn't. All of this depends on you not being overwhelmed though, so step one is just focusing on how to bring your heart rate and stress down. I decide on some days that I'm just going to let myself get hit in the guard, so that I can find the holes in it, feel secure in it, learn to see out of it, etc. There's this guy I spar who hits too hard, so I practice this with him because I don't want to get clipped with his power if I'm open. And there's a guy I spar who is too fast for me, so I also use this approach with him, to find momentary openings.
    1 point
  50. Very good catch! He, amazingly, also was Pi Nu's trainer (Sylvie's Kru in Pattaya). He used to travel in a circuit back in the day and would come and train the Petchrungruang boys regularly when he would be in Pattaya. Sounds as if he was a kind of traveling Arjan. He was training one of the greatest fighters of the generation (Kaensak in Bangkok), and also some boys in a small, family gym in Pattya? And how many others? As a side note, so out of sheer coincidence Sylvie's ended up training under two of his students, both Kaesak who was her trainer in NJ before she moved to Thailand, and Kru Nu now, which is such an unexpected, accidental lineage. What is interesting, if I have the story right, when Kru Nu's son Bank was starting to make waves last year at Lumpinee Kru Kimyu offered to come and help train him for an upcoming fight, if he could make it, but it never came to fruition because of his health/age. So we are really on the cusp of Kru Kimyu ending his influence on fighters. Sylvie says though that he's come over to Bank's corner in two recent important Lumpinee fights, so he's hanging out at Lumpinee. (Edit to add: It's also kind of beautiful and amazing to see this subterrainian connection between two gyms, Dejrat Gym and Petchrungruang Gym, two gyms you would never from the outside connect. There is a thin teaching line in Kru Kimyu, and also now in Sylvie there is a student line as well, as Arjan Surat has been a heavy influence on her. It's in the fabric of relationships.)
    1 point
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