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khunkao last won the day on June 18 2015

khunkao had the most liked content!

About khunkao

  • Birthday 11/24/1969

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  • Gender
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    Washington, DC
  • Interests
    Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Magic the Gathering, & long walks on the beach

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  1. Yes, there are definitely "switch" fighters.... I'm trying to think of any notable ones, but for some reason I'm drawing a blank right now. I'll poke around to see if I can find something....
  2. I used to be workout fiend when I was a fighter. I think that was one of the things Master K appreciated the most about me was the fact that he didn't need to stand over me or constantly check behind me to make sure I was doing what was expected. If anything, I was doing more than what was expected. Master K had instilled in me the belief that my opponent was always working harder than me, training when I wasn't training, etc, etc.... I dont' recall ever feeling as though I had "overtrained" or was in danger of "overtraining". I've experienced students/friends/training partners claim to have overtrained as an excuse for their laziness, yet I've experienced other students/friends/training partners who HAVE "overdone" it. I think that one of the biggest problems is actually the term: OVERTRAINING. It is used as a generic/catch-all term to describe so many specific hinderances to ones training, that its the inaccuracy of the term that leads to these sometimes heated debates. "Overtraining" is used to describe emotional, mental, and physical fatigue or injury when it would be better to actually get to the root of where the problem lies and specifically addressing it. Just using the blanket term "overtraining" can seem like a cop-out. I remember back in the 90's when I used to be an avid Mountain Biker. I forget the exact year, but Mountain Biking was actually included in the Olympic Games. There was an American woman who was favored to win the gold, but she wound up not even placing. The excuse was "overtraining". However, when I read about her training regimen, I realized it wasn't about "overtraining" at all. She wasn't mentally, emotionally, or physically fatigued... Her regimen simply wasn't adequate in preparing her for the race at hand. She had been training by biking long distances almost exclusively with hardly any time devoted to sprinting. Her body simply wasn't prepared for the need to pick up the pace. God, I hope all of that made sense!
  3. My differing perspectives: When I was an amateur fighter, I maintained a winning record and was a champion. I was once paired up with a fighter who had only about 1/2 the fights I had and a losing record. (My record is 6-2, his was 1-4). However, when you looked at the list of his opponents, you saw a list of the who's who of amateur champions. That fight wound up being the toughest fight of my career and a loss. While I was disappointed in losing that fight, I didn't feel that bad because my opponent and I had waged a literal war from the opening bell and I knew I had given my all in the ring. I lost a total of 4 times. I was only disappointed in the loss I just mentioned, I was FURIOUS at 1 other loss because it was as shitty decision, and I was really down on myself for the other 2 losses because I knew that I had allowed myself to become psyched out, which led to me seriously underperforming in the ring. As a promoter and matchmaker, the first thing I look at in regards to someone's record is the total number of fights they have... the overall experience. Then I look at the actual record and, when possible, try to consider who this fighter has faced in the ring. It's hard to properly assess at the amateur level here in the US, of course, but you start to pick out certain patterns.... So a losing fighter from one gym might still be a good match for a winning fighter from a different gym. Ultimately, it still boils down to the indivicual, but there are certain trends. As a coach, I personally don't care about a fighters amateur record. What's important is PERFORMANCE. Did my fighter do what we had trained to do? Did my fighter respond to commands I was giving? How did my fighter respond when they had the advantage? How did my fighter respond when they wer at a disadvantage? Remember, your goal as an amateur really should be to prepare yourself to fight professionally. Sure, there are many, many people whose goals do not extend beyond the amateur ranks, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't approach amateur fighting as a vehicle towards professional fighting. As a coach, there are certain benchmarks/goals you want your fighters to achieve before turning pro... development and demonstration of good training habits, minimum # of fights, does your fighter beat who they're supposed to beat, how does your fighter respond to adversity, etc, etc.... Anyway, my overall point is that there are many ways to view a fighters record, all depending on what angle you're viewing it from. Hope all of that makes sense!
  4. Further, I've also been a promoter since 2006. When I promoted my own event series, I did my best to provide the opportunity for fighters to compete in a traditional Thai format. We encouraged the performance of the Ram Muay, we played the traditional Thai music, we offered Full Rules fights for amateurs.... Now that I work with other promoters, we only kept the "full rules" choice. Our event, like others mentioned above, frequently features 15-25 matches. We only allow title fights to opportunity to perform the Ram Muay and have traditional music. When I first started working with these other promoters, we originally tried to do things traditionally, but we received COMPLAINTS not only from the audience, but from many of the PARTICIPANTS! Granted, the complaining participants weren't from gyms with truly traditional Muay Thai programs, but those gyms make up the bulk of our participants. We'd never fill a fight card if we only stuck with the traditional teams. Funny enough, even when given the option to perform the Wai Kru/Ram Muay and have the traditional music played, the gyms with traditional Muay Thai programs choose to forego the opportunity.
  5. I first learned the Wai Kru/Ram Muay from Master K because I specifically asked (begged) him to teach me. At the time, he wasn't teaching it to anyone, but I saw him practicing it on his own and started trying to mimic what he was doing. I asked him to show me the whole thing, and he was hesitant at first, but I persisted and it became a regular part of everyone's training. Since Master K taught me his version of the Wai Kru/Ram Muay, I've actually learned 4 additional ones, including the fully traditional version of the Wai Kru/Ram Muay that Master K's was based upon. At the time, I didn't understand why he was hesitant to teach it, but now I think I do. While the Wai Kru/Ram Muay can be "adapted" to suit anyones beliefs, lets not fool ourselves. This is totally a cultural/religious ritual. It goes beyond the Western mindset of simply paying homage... there's a real "magic" to it. I wanted to learn the Wai Kru/Ram Muay because my love of Muay Thai and the love I developed for Thai culture through Muay Thai. I wanted to pay proper honor and respect. Even so, not being Thai and not being immersed in Thai culture where I live, my performance of the Wai Kru/Ram Muay is really just a superficial thing... I don't teach the Wai Kru/Ram Muay to my students normally. In the past, I've tried. What I've found is that when I try to teach these things, my students really take no real interest in them. I see the glassy-eyed, far-off stare... they're simply going through the motions because I'm telling them to do these things, but they don't FEEL it. There's no PASSION there. Hell, 2 of my private students are Thais who were actually raised in Thailand! I thought that if any of my students would want to learn the Wai Kru/Ram Muay, they would! Nope. Not even remotely interested..... It was hard to accept that my students weren't as passionate about the traditions as I was/am, but I've come to realize and accept the fact that *most* of my students aren't actually Thai or of a Southeast Asian culture. They're not Buddhist. We're not IN Thailand either where these rituals are expected. We're Americans. We're in the U.S. Even if I were to teach them what I know, my understanding of these things only goes so far anyway.... So I've stopped teaching these things until the day a student approaches me as I approached Master K with a genuine desire to learn. Otherwise I realize I'm just wasting my breath and their time.
  6. Again, you and I seem to share brain cells sometimes! LOL! While my preferred method to break the Wall of China is using my knees to push it down and "walk over", I'm TOTALLY with you on keeping things simple and choosing 1 method that works for me (or teaching my students to choose 1 method that really works for THEM!). I do this throughout training.... teach a variety of methods to achieve the same goal, then let my students practice to discover the 1 that suits them best. It's like that clinch knee combo that Kaensak taught you. 2 quick knees, step with the opposite foot and pivot in place, then slam a knee into their exposed ribs while they're off balance.... (one of your many video blogs, not sure if you remember the specific one). Or the escape/counter to the body clinch that Kaensak taught me.... These are great techniques to know and I teach them to my students. However, when it comes time to begin fight training, many techniques such as those mentioned get dropped from the aresenal in favor of simpler, more direct techniques that are easier to execute in a high-stress situation such as an actual fight. ...which goes back to what you've mentioned about the importance of "play" in Muay Thai. Those more intricate moves not only work but are effective, but only after lots of practice. "Play" in Muay Thai is absolutely essential for these techniques to be mastered, but its a concept that the American mindset/style of training still greatly struggles with.
  7. OMG! This is why I miss Master K so much! He had the most hilarious (but effective!) analogies for EVERYTHING! I still train with a number of his former students, and we have tried to compile a list of "K-isms" for posterity. We all crack up when we review the list we've compiled....
  8. Your old post about finding your style is still one of my favorite blog posts. I have found myself telling my students to find their own style of Muay Thai. It also helps remind me that my job as their coach is to help them find their own style, not necessarily to mold them into MY style. Sure, I teach my style of Muay Thai, but with my eyes towards helping them find their own way to express themselves. I find myself nodding along wholeheartedly with your comments regarding scoring faster in the clinch. One of the things that I try very hard to impress upon my students/fighters is that you don't use the clinch to setup your strikes (knees, then elbows)... rather, you use your knees (and elbows) to setup your clinch. I want my students to immediately begin attacking with knees the moment they reach forward and touch their opponent. Basically, we focus on reaching to control your opponents arms (biceps), attack with knees, transition to clinching with more knees and/or elbows. In regards to the hook while rotating your core first, then punching.... that is ONE way of doing it. I favor the practice of everything moving together as one solid unit. That's not to say that is the only method I employ or teach, but its the method I focus on. It's my "core" method, so to speak... I use the method of moving my core first, then punching when I throw the hook that some people refer to as the "Russian Hook" or "Casting Punch". (same same) Wall of China? LOL! You and I have discussed this before. The 2nd method you mention of pushing the leg down is my preferred counter... but are you pushing down with your hand or using your own knee to push your opponent's down? Your blog post is unclear on that point... I feel you on "snapping the jab"... I've recently begun helping a fighter learn to snap his jab. It's something that I've learned to do on my own, and finding a way to describe to him what I want has been a challenge in that I'm sure what I'm telling him and showing him makes sense, but its just not "clicked" with him yet. But reading your post reminds me of an analogy one of my boxing coaches used to explain it.... snapping a towel at someone! (I'm going to use that analogy with him the next time we train and see if it helps!) I love the term "scratch" to describe the scenario, especially late in a fight. It's an attitude, really, and I feel that it leads directly into your comments on persuasion & authority.... It's like there's a level of scrappiness/aggressiveness you must demonstrate & maintain throughout an entire fight, but you must do so intelligently. You can't just charge in, it's not the same thing! But then, I'm preaching to the choir on that subject! ;)
  9. This Saturday past, I helped promote "Thai Championship Boxing 10" (TCBX) in Ashburn, VA. (I'm the matchmaker for this event series) We had 14 amateur fights, including Full Rules Muay Thai, Modified Rules Muay Thai, & Glory Rules Kickboxing. I had 3 fighters on the card, each having a completely different result. (technically, I only had 2 fighters on the card, but the one kid USED to train with me so I still feel he's "mine", LOL). My first fighter fought in a 5-round full rules non-title match. This fighter actively trains with me privately AND at the gym where I coach. It was, by most people's comments, the fight of the night. It was 2 fighters who are both 6'3" tall and weigh 155 lbs. These guys blasted each other for all 5 rounds. All I can say is that if you're going to lose a fight, THAT'S the way to lose a fight!!!! The arena went NUTS for this match! My fighter wound up losing via Majority Decision (2 judges chose his opponent, the 3rd judge deemed the match a draw). George Jefferis from Team Forged in Raleigh, NC vs. Matt Kovacic from Pentagon MMA (my gym) in Arlington, VA on the right. My 2nd fighter fought in a 5-round full rules title match at 175 lbs. This fighter has his own team, but he is managed by me and comes to train privately. He and his opponent both had a bit of a layoff since their last fight, so this fight was fought in an overly cautious manner the whole 5 rounds with my fighters opponent taking it on points. It was a good match, technically speaking, but it was boring to watch because there simply wasn't a lot of action. My fighter didn't even need me to criticize, he was able to tell me himself what he did wrong before I said it... "Man, I just couldn't pull the trigger!" My 3rd fighter no longer trains with me, but he had started training under Master K when he was 6 years old (he's 22 years old now). Shortly afterwards Master K relocated to New Jersey permanently and I took over the Muay Thai program and his training. He trained under me for the next 5-6 years before I switched gyms. He chose to stay at the gym I left due to travel distance, but I've remained close with him and his family. He fought a 5 round full rules title fight at 140 lbs and won via KO in either the 3rd or 4th round.... Me on the left posing with Jonathan George from Seapeanong Muay Thai in Lorton, VA on the right. There were a number of other great fights that evening, especially our "Main Event" which featured two young ladies (14 & 15 years old) battling for the 105 lbs Junior Muay Thai title. The match was called a draw (I completely disagree with that decision), but it was a REALLY good fight. One girl was more of a boxer/brawler, and the other girl was more of a Muay Thai technician, though she wasn't afraid of mixing it up! So while I totally disagree with the decision, both girls fought their hearts out and should be proud of their performance! TCB11 is scheduled for Aug. 22nd!
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