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Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu

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Everything posted by Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu

  1. For me the trickiest part of shadow kicks is that a target actually interrupts the overall trajectory, so not hitting anything kind of makes the balance difficult. If your kicks on pads and the bag are fine, I recommend kicking a few times, then just back up so you "miss" the target and try to throw your kick exactly the same as when you hit the target and see what that looks/feels like. Then you can recreate it and do it a gazillian times.
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  3. I love that you're learning so much from the Library. That's awesome and exactly what we hope for out of the project, in addition to Preserving the Legacy. Exposure to different ideas and methods is food for growth for sure. But you also aren't going to meet many coaches who want their methods questioned or argued against, INCLUDING the men in the Library, Some are more open to ideas than others, but everyone corrects toward their own experience. Your post is posing a question - "should I move to another gym?" - but it's also expressing frustration. I see why you're frustrated, but I have to be blunt here: you might be bringing all these frustrations with you to another gym. Arguing with your trainer over "his way" and what you are learning in the Library will probably be true in 90% of the gyms you go to, unless your coach happens to be a patron or something. There are gym politics that are incredibly consistent. And the issue with no advanced only classes is likely a commercial or practical change, one that your gym is unlikely to abandon unless there are commercial and practical reasons to have the higher level classes. If you feel like you aren't getting what you need out of your gym, that's as good a reason to move as any you'll come across, other than a falling out or something, which is a much harder condition to leave under. But I do warn you that much of what you're finding dissatisfying will be true across many other gyms you might be able to move to. If you see a gym that has more heavyweights, that's beneficial. If you find a gym where it's easier to smile and nod to a correction from your coach and then wait for him to walk away before commencing your own experiments, that's helpful; but arguing with your coaches over technique will never be a welcome approach in any gym. I face this myself; I am more restrained during padwork and have to make an adjustment toward what a coach is saying whenever they say it, but I don't argue. I smile, nod, give it a try while they're watching and then be more experimental during my own shadow, bagwork, or sparring/clinching time.
  4. I reckon this is a two part issue, the first being timing (if you're a bit slow on the teep you end up "fluffing," as I call it, kind of dragging your toe down the crotch area. So, work timing on a swinging bag and put a piece of tape or something to keep hitting the same target. The second part is your standing leg. If you're too far inside the opponent's stance when you throw a leg kick or a teep, you can't control your accuracy and it's just a Hail Mary guess where it will land. For a an inside leg kick, you need to have your standing leg outside the opponent's stance. For a teep, if you're too flat-footed OR too much on your toe you can't control your hip for the height of the target.
  5. You look good, the flat-footed critique is true but it's on a spectrum, you come up on your toes on strikes which is already good, it's just the in-between that needs a bit more flexibility, but that will come in time. Your punches are mostly coming from your arms rather than twisting from hips/torso, but the flexibility in your feet will help with that over time automatically. Your pace is nice. Powerful, relaxed, but not slow.
  6. I think Kevin is thinking of Dengue Fever. There may be Malaria in Thailand, but not in many places where you'd find yourself. Dengue is a serious concern, seasonally at least.
  7. It's difficult because your coach, it appears, is the gatekeeper on whether or not you get to fight the fight that's offered. Having an honest conversation with him about your motives and goals, that you're willing to take losses and disadvantages in order to have the long-term benefits of experience is a good place to stand. From his perspective, he's trying to protect you, not put you in unfair situations, and also surely protect his own reputation. It's all in how you sell it, honestly. I lost a good amount when I first came to Thailand and was fighting far more experienced opponents with weight advantages, but I was known as the little farang who would fight everyone and fight often. That glow isn't universal, the praise isn't unanimous, and the better I got and the more my name became recognizable, the more complicated the "face" of my gym and those who were supposed to be "in charge of me" became. So, it's complicated. But if you feel like you can talk to your coach, there's nothing lost by an honest conversation about wanting to fight a lot at this point in your development.
  8. There's a fighter out here in Pattaya named "Big Mike," occasionally just Mike. He's over 250 lbs, definitely a "heavyweight" not just in Thailand but anywhere. He can move, man. He usually fights on a more local circuit because at that size it's very hard to find opponents in Thailand, but he's had some big side-bet fights at Lumpinee as well. He's awesome. I'm including some short video of his sparring, just to give a flavor for how he goes about it with someone much smaller. Keeping in mind that this is likely for the benefit of the smaller guy, who definitely doesn't share Mike's skill or experience, but Mike is still getting something out of it himself and his fakes, feints, blocks, snuffing and closing of distance is, to me, quite beautiful and looks good for anyone sparring.
  9. Kevin and I were talking about this over breakfast this morning and I noted that the narrative form of scoring in Western sport certainly used to be more present. There's no way a 25 round boxing match was a round-by-round mathematical tabulation of points. Bullshit. But as the narrative disappeared, fights became shorter, sportsman became spokesman, the narrative was extracted. So you get things like WWE, contemporary boxing beefs, MMA, all the shit-talking that's outside of the ring, outside the fight, prior to the event in order to give it structure and context within the fight itself. There's no narrative within the ropes, so it's constructed outside of it instead. Aside from scoring, apart from scoring, but rather how the audience will be divided to cheer one way or the other - not based on what they're looking at, but WHO they're looking at. Thailand's Muay Thai has Legends, heroes, icons, playboys... all of it. But it's not part of the narrative of the fights, almost ever. There are grudge matches, rematches, etc. But it's not at all the same as these examples in Western sport; the narrative is within the fight itself. They're fucking amazing story-tellers, back in the day. Less so now.
  10. A number of the fighters we interview talk about lack of opponents, the lower frequency of fights makes training and cutting weight much more difficult, an overall feeling that they're "done" in the sense of just not feeling as strong or willing to go through the intense fatigue and work that's required to be a top fighter; some get distracted after reaching a top level - Kaensak was Fighter of the Year for 2 years in a row, then started losing at a high rate just after. I asked him why and he said he had a girlfriend and spent all his time with her rather than focused on training (usually this is a soft implication to a fighter becoming sexually active, as this whole men-have-to-abstain-in-order-to-have-power belief is STRONG here). Some just lose the passion. Most I've talked to talk about just being tired. If they're at the top level, even in their mid or late 20s they're facing rising stars in their late teens or early 20s; that's hard. It's pretty crazy that Suk fought into his 50s and Wichannoi and Chamuakpet were downright old men, retiring in their 30s. Saenchai is a fogie by Muay Thai standards. If we're talking about women it's a completely different story. Yes, lack of opponents but from a much, much smaller pool. Hormones change and the body changes. Women retire much earlier. Some go to school to get a career so they can support their families because there's no such thing as a female fighter who is earning what even mid-level male fighters earn. Women have children pretty young here (male fighters also start families but that's obviously a different process). Lommanee is the oldest female fighter (Thai) I can think of, at 31. Sawsing at 24 is unusual, for sure... and a mother as well.
  11. I can't see your lower body. It looks like it turns over too soon to be the Golden Kick, as exemplified by Karuhat, Boonlai, Samart, etc. It's a nice kick though.
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  13. Yes, Hippy taught this to me (it feckin' hurts) and Rambaa also does it in the clinch.
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  15. Posting my Playlist here in the forum. It contains all the publicly published videos of my work in the Diamond Guard, a Playlist that will be added to as it developes: The Muay Thai Diamond Guard is an evolution of the old time Western Boxing Cross-Armed guard, as used by fighters like Gene Fullmer and Archie Moore (among others), but adopted to the ruleset of traditional Muay Thai. It was first taught to me by the legendary Thai fighter Kaensak Sor. Ploenjit, but I've started to work with it on my own as a side project. This playlist is a collection of some of that work and references.
  16. Hey! I recognize your handle from Youtube. Andy Thomson was the first to really emphasize the importance of ambidextrous training to me. Not to fight as a switching fighter, but just to be balanced. I love that you're taking meaning in training both sides and truthfully speaking, everyone has a "weak side" and quite honestly it's much weaker in most people than is necessary. Your workout sounds solid and will develop as you go, but just feel where you're struggling and push the line a little. Then a little, then a little. It's awesome.
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  18. 1000 Baht is for a private session, 5000 is a month of classes. You can contact Sasakul Gym directly about where to stay, they have accommodation nearby that probably has package deals. We went and visited one of them, it was nice, not too fancy and reasonably priced.
  19. My immediate advice any time I see someone hurting their foot in kicking, it's because you're too far away. If your foot is contacting the pad or the bag, you're too far. Just step forward 6 inches. The kick should land on your shin and the foot should wrap around to the back of the leg, body, pad, bag.
  20. That would also be considered bad form in Thailand, mainly because the hierarchy of a gym is that fighters are not independent agents. A trainer, and more likely than that the owner/manager of the gym would be who gets the invite in Thailand. That said, I don't know what the etiquette of your country is, assuming gyms are composed of paying customers rather than contracted fighters.
  21. Diamond is right on the beach, as I understand it. None of the Phuket options are very far from beaches. Pattaya has awsome gym options and beaches, but the beaches are not what you're picturing. Kem's gym is amazing, great training, beautiful, good weather. But it's also very isolated. If you plan to go be out and about between sessions it might not be your best pick.
  22. This is very cool! I like your editing and music choice to express the gym and your team. There's nice pacing to the edits, not the "highlight" blender cut so there's space to breathe and really see what's happening, but it has movement to it that feels energizing.
  23. I've definitely noted a very stark difference in appreciation for the dangers of head impacts between western perspective and Thai perspective (where I have experience watching, but likely similar to what you're seeing at your gym). There is an understanding of concussion, but it's kind of considered to be momentary, like something you "walk off." One of the fighters in my gym got hit hard in sparring and was definitely concussed (after he'd been KOd in a fight not too long before) and they just had him stretch his jaw out. So, your trainer might not have a full comprehensive understanding of what cognitive impacts there might be from such a kick to the face. Since your friend didn't lose consciousness, the trainer might think it's not even concussive. Kevin and I have largely relied on me to determine what the damage may or may not be from any head impacts. So, likewise your friend needs to pay attention to his own symptoms. As for the "walk it off" attitude of the trainer and the reckless sparring, I think this is simply a case of limited understanding and perspective. I don't think they're being dicks about it, not on purpose.
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