Jump to content
F2 V2314

How do I improve as a superheavy weight?

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to improve your skill set as a super heavyweight?

For context, I'm 6ft 3, 140kgs, and compete at superheavy weight. I change between a Muay Khao and a Dutch kickboxing style, as well as being a switch fighter. Most of the people I spar or train with are smaller than me, with the odd few who are the same - if not bigger - size than me. So I work at a 50% power rate as I could really hurt my training partners - which I do not like doing haha. I am able to keep up the pace, apply pressure and apply good timing but not really knowing if I'm getting better. Anyway, I have been denied access to some gyms because I compete, and been to others that turn sparing into full alpha fights - which I also don't like doing.

I would really like to stay at my current gym where there is no ego, so any advice would be great 🙂

  • Gamma 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/17/2021 at 12:04 PM, Fitu Vaega said:

Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to improve your skill set as a super heavyweight?

For context, I'm 6ft 3, 140kgs, and compete at superheavy weight. I change between a Muay Khao and a Dutch kickboxing style, as well as being a switch fighter. Most of the people I spar or train with are smaller than me, with the odd few who are the same - if not bigger - size than me. So I work at a 50% power rate as I could really hurt my training partners - which I do not like doing haha. I am able to keep up the pace, apply pressure and apply good timing but not really knowing if I'm getting better. Anyway, I have been denied access to some gyms because I compete, and been to others that turn sparing into full alpha fights - which I also don't like doing.

I would really like to stay at my current gym where there is no ego, so any advice would be great 🙂

Well, this is just playing around with the ideas you present. You know you can't turn up the power for obvious reasons, but you can do a lot of things to handicap yourself against smaller fighters. Devote rounds to just teeping (teep the thighs, the waist, the chest), improving your eyes and timing. You can keep the power down and set challenges to yourself like: Only throw in 3s, or if 3s are easy, only throw in 5s (so you can learn to feel the holes in your combination choices). You can eliminate hands, and just work defense and kicks in flow. All these kinds of handicapping will increase your timing and vision which ultimately will give you advantages with opponents at your size.

Also, I don't know if you are a patron yet, but there is a new Muay Thai Library session which might really change your game, because you have limited training opportunities. It's an hour session on shadowboxing:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/49616909

20 minutes of vigorous, creative shadowboxing can really build your flow and your stamina. Sylvie's one of the best conditioned fighters on the planet, and it wiped her out. It's an approach to shadowboxing that I've never seen before.

And, while you are over in the Library there is a really good session by a fellow Big Boy, Kru San:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/16912720

It's really inspirational to see how light and smooth he moves, but also the whole session is about ring control, one of the more ignored aspects of Muay Thai basic training. If you can bring ring control to your bigger bodied moves your game can take leaps and bounds of improvement.

 

Hope some of that helps!

  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Well, this is just playing around with the ideas you present. You know you can't turn up the power for obvious reasons, but you can do a lot of things to handicap yourself against smaller fighters. Devote rounds to just teeping (teep the thighs, the waist, the chest), improving your eyes and timing. You can keep the power down and set challenges to yourself like: Only throw in 3s, or if 3s are easy, only throw in 5s (so you can learn to feel the holes in your combination choices). You can eliminate hands, and just work defense and kicks in flow. All these kinds of handicapping will increase your timing and vision which ultimately will give you advantages with opponents at your size.

Also, I don't know if you are a patron yet, but there is a new Muay Thai Library session which might really change your game, because you have limited training opportunities. It's an hour session on shadowboxing:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/49616909

20 minutes of vigorous, creative shadowboxing can really build your flow and your stamina. Sylvie's one of the best conditioned fighters on the planet, and it wiped her out. It's an approach to shadowboxing that I've never seen before.

And, while you are over in the Library there is a really good session by a fellow Big Boy, Kru San:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/16912720

It's really inspirational to see how light and smooth he moves, but also the whole session is about ring control, one of the more ignored aspects of Muay Thai basic training. If you can bring ring control to your bigger bodied moves your game can take leaps and bounds of improvement.

 

Hope some of that helps!

Thank you for replying Kevin!

I have been following both you and Sylvie for years, it seems so feels so unreal to have you respond to my posy 🙂 much appreciated!

I currently handicap myself by going at 50% power and let my sparring partner go 80% to 100% if they are smaller. I do dedicate rounds to 1st round just hands, 2nd round just kicks, 3rd both, 4th round just defence and counters etc, but I haven't tried devoting rounds to single techniques before, so I will give this a go. 

I am actually a patron and have consumed so much from the Muay Thai library already, which I actually contribute to me winning my last fight. I utilised techniques from Sylvie, Dieselnoi and Yodwicha. I have seen the Yodkhunpon video as well, completely changed the way I shadow box, or even think about shadow boxing. I've been doing 20mins a day of it and can definitely feel a difference in my stamina as well as my technique - much tighter. 

I haven't seen the Kru San video, but will do now that I know he's big haha. Most of the content on YouTube is created by lighter fighters/trainers. Hardly any I have found has featured heavyweights - let alone super heavyweights. 

Thanks again Kevin! I hope both you and Sylvie all the best

Edited by F2 V2314
  • Nak Muay 1
  • Gamma 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually hate giving advice, but this issue tends to get ignored a lot. All the advice out there is for small fighters, and hardly any for bigger dudes. 

Basically the heavier you get, the more the mentality of your partners becomes a thing. So when you partner up with someone new for the first time, and they're good to work with and the two of you got a good energy going, talk afterwards and get their number. Meet up an hour before training starts, or outside of the gym on a Sunday, do some extra practice or whatever. Eventually get a few guys like that, even from different gyms. 

 

Edited by Oliver
  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

  • Like 1
  • The Greatest 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/26/2021 at 12:21 PM, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

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.

 

 

Thank you for sharing this Sylvie. I shared with a trainer friend who took on a very heavy client (100kg plus) recently so he can share with his student.

Could I hijack this with a question? My trainer friend is a bit concerned abt the knees and potential injury since the guy is so heavy. They do kicking and knees. Any advice? My advice would be agility work (backwards walking/ running is great for knee stability) wallsit, strengthen VMO and proper stretching warmup to activate inner thigh muscle etc. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/25/2021 at 9:14 PM, Oliver said:

Usually hate giving advice, but this issue tends to get ignored a lot. All the advice out there is for small fighters, and hardly any for bigger dudes. 

Basically the heavier you get, the more the mentality of your partners becomes a thing. So when you partner up with someone new for the first time, and they're good to work with and the two of you got a good energy going, talk afterwards and get their number. Meet up an hour before training starts, or outside of the gym on a Sunday, do some extra practice or whatever. Eventually get a few guys like that, even from different gyms. 

 

Thanks Oliver! So true. Have looked into a few videos - including those in the MTL - still not much content with emphasis for heavyweights. 

I have done something similar with a few guys around my gym, and from a few other good gyms. I have increased fitness and timing work with the lighter guys, and increased strength and skills with the heavier guys. I'm still the heaviest, but its still a challenge doing 5 min rounds of clinching with guys around 100kg. Just chipping away, but feeling like I'm improving this way, including implementing things from MTL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/26/2021 at 3:51 PM, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

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.

 

 

Thank you for this Sylvie! 🙂 Big Mike definitely uses his size to his advantage, despite the skill disparity. I think one thing that I have difficulty I have is that smaller people is that they tend to run, or go 100% maximum effort with their strikes. Not sure why but it tend to happen a lot ( have dropped 3x people from blocks and checks). I got to the point now that I have to pick my training partners throughout the classes. I have a few good training partners now, so am seeing some improvements. I am competing in a show in June, so will hopefully have some footage for people to critique 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/10/2021 at 7:49 PM, F2 V2314 said:

smaller people is that they tend to run, or go 100% maximum effort with their strikes. Not sure why but it tend to happen a lot 

Didn't want to say it before...but, basically yeah - there you go. Not something that can be said out loud, so glad someone else did. 

Am nowhere near super heavyweight, but in most European countries if you're 80kg or above you're basically considered a giant monster, and 2/3 of the room simply don't want to partner up with you. So you get friendly with that final 1/3. When the others do spar with you it's because the trainer tells them to, and then they have this energy of annoyance and bitchy suppressed anger - you can feel it, just seeping out of their pores. And yes, most of them do exactly what you just described, start unloading on you at 100%. As if they just watched you run over their dog in your driveway. 

The reason? Again, one of those things that you're simply not allowed to talk about, but some people really really believe this. That they're allowed to hit someone harder than they're being hit. Genuinely. This guy's got 5 more fights than me? I'm allowed to hit harder. He's an inch taller? I'm allowed to hit harder. He's heavier? I'm allowed to hit harder. He had 3 karate lessons when he was 12 years old? I'm allowed to hit harder. They don't accept that productive sparring has an unspoken, unconscious equilibrium, where you both intuit your power & speed levels, in yourselves and each other, and then you sync up. Then, the clock beeps, the round is over and you can't believe it went that fast, and you and the other guy have smiles on your faces and you don't know why. Regardless of the weight difference between you two, regardless of what power level you decided to spar at. Could have been hard or light, doesn't matter, because you both went at the same rate. My 2 favourite partners when first starting out? A HW buddy 25kg heavier than me, and an 18 year old kid 15kg lighter than me. The difference was never an issue. 

Now some people simply don't believe in that and never will, ever. And they get extremely upset when it's ever brought up to them. So best not to. Just stick with the minority of guys who actually do want to work with you.

 

  • Super Slick 1
  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some articles that might help on this topic, especially this one. Many people can't even tell how hard they are going:

Brain Science: Why Sparring Gets Out of Control – Neurology and Muay Thai

https://8limbsus.com/blog/brain-science-sparring-gets-control-neurology-muay-thai

Also this:

The Challenge of Non-Ideal Sparring Partners and Avoiding Bad Habits

https://8limbsus.com/muay-thai-thailand/challenge-non-ideal-sparring-partners-bad-habits

 

and this:

Fear of Escalation in Sparring and Training Aggression as a Skill

https://8limbsus.com/muay-thai-thailand/fear-escalation-sparring-training-aggression-skill

  • Respect 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Except that’s not the argument a lot of them make. When it comes to sparring people who they feel have something over them, be it weight or just experience, some will flatly admit that they should be allowed to go harder than the other person, or they’ll eventually semi-confess to it out of frustration. As retarded as this sounds, some of them actually believe it - both practically and morally. So what you end up with are games where nobody cooperates and everybody defects.

Your articles there, I mean...yeah, OK, shouldn’t have generalised before. For sure, that accidental side of things does happen. But we’re probably talking about 20% of the explanation, if that. The, “Oh man, it’s not his fault, he doesn’t realise his power, didn’t mean it, accidental, etc etc” - that’s cool and it does apply to certain people. If someone’s new to the sport, been training 2 months or something - and then cracks you like you stole something? Yeah fine, he gets a pass for that. He didn’t know any better. But then there’s people who have been training for years and have enough of an understanding not to make that mistake. Which is why it’s not a mistake… even if they claim otherwise after the fact.

Thing is, when you’re in the moment you can always tell which one you’re dealing with, you just feel it. You can feel if he’s happy, if he’s tired & stressed, if he’s focused & calm, or anxious & nervy, or distracted, or had 7 red bulls that day, or whatever it is. Yeah, there’s studies and research reports and smart people doing experiments with electrodes or whatever, and there’s a place for all that. But beyond study, beyond instrumentation, there is instinct. Certain things you just know before you think them.

 

Edited by Oliver
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/12/2021 at 5:51 PM, Oliver said:
On 5/12/2021 at 5:51 PM, Oliver said:

Now some people simply don't believe in that and never will, ever. And they get extremely upset when it's ever brought up to them. So best not to. Just stick with the minority of guys who actually do want to work with you.

 

 

On 5/13/2021 at 1:32 AM, Oliver said:

Thing is, when you’re in the moment you can always tell which one you’re dealing with, you just feel it. You can feel if he’s happy, if he’s tired & stressed, if he’s focused & calm, or anxious & nervy, or distracted, or had 7 red bulls that day, or whatever it is. Yeah, there’s studies and research reports and smart people doing experiments with electrodes or whatever, and there’s a place for all that. But beyond study, beyond instrumentation, there is instinct. Certain things you just know before you think them.

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences Oliver 😎. I have actually changed my routine a lot since my last post because of that exact thing. The energy of others when training. Though the articles do show some insight into that side of sparring and training, I believe energy is important to keep in check and balance when you are starting out, or are feeling out your sparring partners. Like you say, its instinctual.

For example, I am always laughing. I have a very positive attitude towards training as I treat it like a game. I try to punch you in the face and vice versa, who ever punches the other person in the face more wins the round. This can be good and bad. With some more experienced fighters, its fun because they have the control to keep the pace and play the game. With less experienced fighters, I found them to have poor control and get frustrated and bitter, even if you slow down to cater to their level. I have found that there are outliers that no matter what happens, they are going to win in sparring - which I don't like - and these people have happened to be all smaller than me, so I couldn't go 80% without hurting them.

I actual chose to mention this to one of the guys I sparred with who threw really hard shots. I asked him why he was throwing hard and that its suppose to be light. His answer was because I'm bigger than him that I should be able to handle it. I stopped training with him after that. I'm now just sticking to sparing people that I trust and that I can learn together with. I've also reduced sparring outside of the people I trust to every fortnight, where I get the chance to try move sets on different bodies. its been great so far

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 5/12/2021 at 8:17 PM, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Some articles that might help on this topic, especially this one. Many people can't even tell how hard they are going:

Thank you for the resources Kevin 😁 definitely many reasons why people spar differently. I think lack of control and experience is a key factor with some of the people I have had issues with in sparring. Some people are receptive to the feedback, others not so much. I have actually been referring people to the Yodkhunpon Sittraipum - The Art of Shadowboxing video on Youtube to learn how to control their movements better. It has really helped me in how I spar and hit pads, feeling sharper and throwing ALOT harder than before - which was probably the biggest shock in progress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...