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CSIBMOD last won the day on May 23 2022

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  1. Hi all! I’m planning a 6 week trip to Thailand this summer and want to split my time between 4 different places. The whole purpose of the trip is to learn as much as I can about training in Muay Thai, watching Muay Thai fights, and Thai culture in general. I’m opening a MT gym in the states and I want to have experienced at least some degree of Thai culture before doing that. What are the best cities for training and watching fights? Bangkok is top on the list obviously but what are the other top cities to visit? I’m not sure if the time of the year should factor into decision making but the only months I can go are June and July when my kids are out of school. I will have my spouse and 4 children with me as well in case that should factor into where we decide to go. I’m not sure if safety is a concern or not but don’t want to make assumptions in either direction.
  2. Where are you located in Atlanta? Because the metro area is so big and traffic a mess, it would help narrow things down to make suggestions.
  3. Thank you everyone for all the feedback. I’m in the process of obtaining a building to house out new gym and have a great business partner that does respect female fighters. We have some things to work on with incorporating our values into the culture of the gym and I intend to lead by example. While I’ve been training for 3+ years, I’m still very much a newbie. My business partner is a pro fighter that has been in the game for a bit so to a large degree, he will be setting the tone. But our mission statement will include welcoming ALL student whether they be LGBTQ, female, mature students, kids, beginners, advanced, amateur fighters, or pro fighters. It will be emphasized that hard work is the great equalizer but also recognizing that there will people that are there just for fun and fitness. That’s cool too. It’s going to be tough to foster this environment because of the traditionally male dominated history of the sport but in order the create a strong business in the city where we are located, we have to expand beyond the “traditional” student and target market. I want to grow the sport in our city beyond the usual niche. I think to do that I need to understand the dynamics at play in order to counter them the pitfalls of your average gym. Fostering that type of environment, combined with quality, rigorous training is our goal. It’s all getting real as we get closer to securing a location. It’s exciting!
  4. 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.
  5. I think you hit the nail on the head in so many ways here. These are most of the top issues that I see. They are challenging both from a personal perspective and the perspective of figuring out how yo prevent them before they happen as a business owner. My goal is to be very proactive in creating a healthy environment for all members, focusing on preventing sexual harassment, creating a respectful culture, and prevent problems before they happen. I have a rough rule set built in the back of my brain and this is a good reminder to be specific about what those rules mean. I’m a “grown” woman in my 40s and have no issue calling people on the carpet about unacceptable
  6. I’m looking forward to reading your blog post. I think you make a good point about not just hearing peoples feedback but also reacting appropriately and thoughtfully. I am going into business with another person and I’ve made it clear that poor behavior will get someone shown the door. I also want to be proactive instead of reactive to all types of problems within gyms. I mentioned to Sylvie above but in regards to sparring, I think I would like to have a regular class that teaches people how to spar safely and respectfully that covers all the common problems, including the ones that are specific to men and women sparring with one another. Communication, safety, controlling power, keeping ego in check, making sure to let them know that speaking to the coach about an issue is always an option, how to be a good training partner with other genders, etc. Doing an on boarding seems like it might be a proactive step to prevent problems.
  7. Thank you for this feedback. I think the communication aspect of creating a respectful training environment is very often overlooked. Encouraging people, especially people new to the sport and to the gym, to express their level of comfort with their training, sparring, etc. I specifically want create an environment that is encouraging and firm when new people are brought in. “Firm” meaning even if you are experienced in the sport doesn’t mean an automatic green light for being set loose. And also for people new to the sport to know that it’s okay to be nervous. And also to be aware that nervousness can lead to some poor choices when new to sparring and create problems unnecessarily. And as you said, this needs to happen across all genders. I was even thinking about having a required session *just* to coach people on how to spar safely, address safety issues for injuries, adjust power levels, communicate respectfully with training partners, etc before new people are permitted to participate. I think this will help all members but especially women who may feel uncomfortable without these guidelines specifically spelled out. Women being able to come to trainers, coaches, and me as the owner and know that they will be heard if something doesn’t feel quite right or if something happened that makes them feel unsafe is huge. That’s a great part to focus on so thank you for that!
  8. 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.
  9. Wow! You guys have given so much thoughtful and in depth feedback. I have 4 kids and things are a little nuts as it’s dinner, homework, bedtime. I’ll come back and respond and ask more questions this evening. I appreciate the answers both on the personal level as well as from a gym business perspective. Thank you so much!
  10. 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.
  11. I currently live in the American south, Georgia to be specific, and our Covid situation is a cluster fuck. Going to my indoor, not very well ventilated gym where no one is wearing a mask is not an option for safety reasons. I have put together a small group of people who are interested in training in my well ventilated garage wearing masks. So yay, I don’t have to train by myself all the time. But also, we need some guidance or some sort of structure for drills, conditioning, skill coaching, and whatnot. Are there any online programs that give guidance on curriculum for partner drills instead of only solo workouts? Ones that are more traditional style Muay Thai? Ideas? Suggestions? Most of us have been training in the 2-3 year range so not complete noobs but not super advanced either. I’m also hoping to be able to pay a coach for guidance and hopefully come in to coach in person once a week. That’s proving to be a challenge though despite offering a fair rate so not sure if that will work out. Thank you for any sort of guidance. ** I’m aware of Sean Fagan’s YouTube stuff but I don’t have an interest in following him for reasons unrelated to training.
  12. There are sticky mesh thingies that can go under rugs to keep them from slipping. I’m thinking those might work. Out of the things I’ve tried for my at home space, I like the puzzle mats the best. I tried yoga mats but there really wasn’t enough cushion for my (admitted “mature”) joints. I have two pieces of “gym mat” flooring that is easier to fold up and put away but the pieces come apart because they don’t puzzle. The non slip thing I’m talking about is something like this: Veken Non-Slip Rug Pad Gripper 8 x 10 Ft Extra Thick Pad for Any Hard Surface Floors, Keep Your Rugs Safe and in Place https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GV9XW42/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_et0eFb02S4SHW
  13. Thank you! This is quite helpful for finding a place to start. Tattoos are permanent and I’m old enough to know that you do NOT want something permanently on your body if you aren’t 100% sure about it and of course I don’t want to be a disrespectful appropriating asshole. I appreciate you spending the time to clarify these things and providing some great insight.
  14. Thank you! More good info. I thought about the word in Thai thing but soooo much could go wrong there. Kinda like the Chinese symbols that people got in the 90s and 2000s that are supposed to say freedom but actually translate to chicken diarrhea or some such ridiculousness. I sure don’t want to be that asshole.
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