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  1. Hi all. I have been contemplating moving from my local gym that I have been fighting with for the last year. Partly because of feeling stagnant where I am (see How Do I Improve as a Superheavyweight) and feeling a lack of progression. That, and I find myself constantly at odds with my coaches methods of training and lack of openness to other ways of thinking. For example, I have learnt so much from the Muay Thai library. I largely attribute my progression to the content that Sylvie and Kevin make, and I am able to implement the things I learn at my gym. But because it is different than what my coach has learnt, and is teaching others, he seems to be pulling me up on things that he disagrees with. One example is that he tells me I overextend with my rear straight, and even dedicated an entire class to not over extending your rear punch. Nothing really wrong with it, there are many reasons why over extension is bad (poor balance, leaves you open, weight distribution is off), but there are some benefits to overextending (often head is off centre line, strike from longer distance, weight heavy on front foot so more torque or power) and some negatives to they way he wanted us to punch (head remains in centreline, shorter strike, stationary). When I tried to explain why I throw my straight the way I do, he said it is wrong and needs fixing. I'll give another example, I have been implementing a lot from what I have learnt from the Yodkhunpon Sittraipum - The Art of Shadowboxing - specifically using maximum effort in my strikes and really visualising what is happening. But my coach tells me I need to slow down and I shouldn't be striking that intensely. I tried to explain the logic behind the way I'm shadowing, but he's not having it. I do as he says but pick it up again, this time he comes over with a stick and starts prodding me in the face to keep my hands up. I block the stick, and explain I was visualising the fight, and in my visual I was out of my opponents striking range, figuring out my next move to close the distance. He laughed and dismissed it, saying "yeah, and you were out of range when the last guy broke your nose" (I won btw haha he broke my nose in the last 30seconds of the last round). I said, "No, I was in his range and dropped my hands - my bad yes but big difference being out of range". He left it, but kept telling me to keep my hands up, even during bag work when it was out of range. The gym has also shifted to making fighting more accommodating for those that want to give it a go, removing fighters only classes and having all skill levels for all classes. This has been great for some, but is a large part of why I am having difficulty progressing. I really enjoy helping people get better, I love martial arts and take any chance I can to help ignite that same passion I have for Mauy Thai in others. But at the same time, I am at a loss in the exchange. I have tried talking to my coach and asked for advanced classes specific to fighters or people that want to train hard, but nothing as of yet. Its gotten to the point where I feel like its time to move on in order to grow, but everyone I talk to say you should stick to your roots. So has any else felt this way? like its time to move to another gym, or find a different trainer? lots of people I know have stayed with the same trainer for most of the careers, so would be good to get others opinions on this.
  2. I've been serious about muay thai for about a year now, been going inconsistently for a few years before that. I'm back in the gym after three or four months off due to finances. Now that I'm back, I'm feeling my motivation seeping away as I see new members get to do smokers and I have never gotten the chance to do one, though it's been brought up to the gym. I am overweight and my stamina needs work, I know this, so I started going early to run before class. I am making extra efforts to build up my stamina and work on my form. I'm starting to think my form is so horrible that my trainer doesn't want to embarrass himself by putting me in a smoker--or anything like a fight. He's always telling me to keep my hands up. I don't know how I look during sparring, sometimes he says good, but usually it's keep your hands up or look at the chest. He has told me I am getting better...but better does not mean decent. I started skipping sparring this week because the thought of sparring with really good people who are probably going super easy on me and not throwing at every opening they see, has me cringing. I've been sparring since August, 2015, but I don't see myself getting to do a smoker anytime soon. :ermm: It's frustrating. I don't want to go to the sparring class because I'm very self-conscious about how behind I am, but if I don't go, I'll be even more behind. I love sparring but I want to reach the next level and I don't think that's going to happen. Did anybody have to go through a ton of training, more than other students, before doing a smoker/interclub? How did you deal with the feelings of inadequacy? How did you motivate yourself to be aggressive about making progress? Has anyone seemed to hit a wall in their progress and, if so, how did you overcome that plateau? Thank you!
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