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Muay Thai Seminars - What Are They Like, What to Expect?


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So I signed up for a seminar in January. It's a muay thai seminar with Tiffany van Soest (sp?), and though I don't follow her or know much about her, it seemed like a pretty cool opportunity that wasn't a huge cost and wouldn't be difficult to get to. But, I've never been to one of these things and have no idea what to expect. Has anyone ever been to one ? What happens, what's it like, are they helpful, etc ? Any advice or words of wisdom would be awesome.

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So I signed up for a seminar in January. It's a muay thai seminar with Tiffany van Soest (sp?), and though I don't follow her or know much about her, it seemed like a pretty cool opportunity that wasn't a huge cost and wouldn't be difficult to get to. But, I've never been to one of these things and have no idea what to expect. Has anyone ever been to one ? What happens, what's it like, are they helpful, etc ? Any advice or words of wisdom would be awesome.

 

I've only been to one seminar, a long time ago. I suspect it's like a group class where she will show you techniques or combinations and then you all practice it. Perhaps there will be a chance to interact with her? You can find clips of Sanchai seminars in NY and around the world on Youtube and his Instagram, generally him in the middle of the group with everyone circled around while he spars with attendees or shows a technique. Of course, I don't know what Tiffany's are like in particular, but most seminars seem to be one person directing a group of people wanting to learn their advice and set of skills. I've heard tales of seminars as large as 300 people in Italy with Buakaw leading movements at the front, but also some given that were really small, just a handful of people (Dekkers gave one like this at John Wayne Parr's gym).

My recommendation is to bring someone with you who you can train with later, so you both see the moves and hear the advice and can keep drilling it later on. Otherwise, try to relay the techniques that you really liked to one of your training partners ASAP after the seminar so you don't forget and can keep working on it. It's a lot of information in a short amount of time and forgetting where your foot goes or how exactly something went can happen quickly. 

Hope you really enjoy it! And make sure you get back to us with your experience so we all know more.

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Hi Michelle!

I'm one of the co-owners of 8 Limbs Academy where the Tiffany Van Soest Seminar is being hosted. Everything Sylvie said is spot on. The seminar is 3 hours long. Typically there is a meet & greet, a warm up & then Tiffancy will instruct us in a class setting. We will be paired up with a partner (no worries if you're alone...many people will be looking for a partner) & we will practice the technique she teaches. Typically the person giving the seminar will do very basic techniques to gauge & see where everyone is skill level. Then they will start showing some cool tricks/techniques. Tiffany is known for head footwork (Dutch) & explosiveness. I'm imagining it will be a lot of head movement & footwork drills but I'm not sure. BUT I do know it will be fun, interactive & you'll learn a lot. After the seminar they typically do a Q & A where you can ask Tiffany questions. I've also been to seminars where the fighter will spar a few people but given she will had just fought 2 days beforehand...I doubt that will happen. Feel free to email me if you have any more questions! - Kate

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Lobo, I watched some of her fights after I saw your post. She just breaks people down. It was pretty wicked to watch.

 

Sylvie, I'm actually trying to talk my mom into going with me. I'm hoping she does, because then I'll have someone I can immediately babble to about it. She won't understand it, but I know she'll listen. I have a friend who has also asked me to write about my experience when I go. I will definitely be sure to write it down and share.

 

And Kate, thank you for your response! I got your email as well. I didn't realize it would be an interactive thing, which is so awesome. I am so excited I can literally not concentrate on anything because I can't stop thinking about it. My only question, which is probably slightly silly, is do I need to bring gloves and handwraps ?

 

I am mentally jumping up and down with excitement, like a little kid in a candy shop. Is it time to go yet?

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Lobo, I watched some of her fights after I saw your post. She just breaks people down. It was pretty wicked to watch.

 

Sylvie, I'm actually trying to talk my mom into going with me. I'm hoping she does, because then I'll have someone I can immediately babble to about it. She won't understand it, but I know she'll listen. I have a friend who has also asked me to write about my experience when I go. I will definitely be sure to write it down and share.

 

And Kate, thank you for your response! I got your email as well. I didn't realize it would be an interactive thing, which is so awesome. I am so excited I can literally not concentrate on anything because I can't stop thinking about it. My only question, which is probably slightly silly, is do I need to bring gloves and handwraps ?

 

I am mentally jumping up and down with excitement, like a little kid in a candy shop. Is it time to go yet?

I think you need to bring what you'd use in a training session. Wraps, gloves, your normal training attire, shinguards if you have them... better to have more than you need than less, I think. But send Kate a private message if you don't hear back from her here!

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okay, so my gym had a surprise last minute short seminar thing last weekend and I decided to use it as my practice for when I write my experience down later this month. I had one friend read it and say that there wasn't enough detail. any other feedback is welcome. 

 

 http://crazyallyrose.blogspot.com/2016/01/muay-thai-seminar-1215-united-thai.html

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, feedback on the seminar...

FUCKING AWESOME.

I was soooo nervous about it. Up until the point we got started my anxiety was through the roof. But looking back, it was well-organized and well taught. I honestly could not have asked for a better experience. 

We did start a little late, but it was understandable being that a majority of people probably came from out of town. I thought I was one of the farthest, but turns out there were a couple people just south of me. (I live in North Carolina.)

---

But, alas, an overview:

Introductions.

Warm-up, shadowboxing.

Started with the basics, footwork. Brief practice of the movements. Then she talked about explosiveness, which she is known for. 

Moved into learning how to explode, forward, backward, and side to side. 

(Each drill was probably 10-15 minutes a piece.)

Learned the Dutch Rush. 

Inside, outside, go. (She may have called it something else, but this is what I heard/what the literal movement is.)

Rush on rail, hit one rail off. (Lots of train metaphors. Surprisingly helpful.)

Controlling space. This one is a big one for me, as I'm short and have a difficult time with this in sparring. I forget that I can use angles to help control my space. Basic point being there is a "V" of green space (or good space) and it goes from your shoulders out into a V. Don't let opponent/partner get past your shoulder. 

When trying to get close for elbows, step into the person's space. You can use any movement, but you have to step in. IE, Dutch Rush. 

When hitting with someone taller, step off line/rail.

Catching a switchkick and sweeping. 

When someone Dutch Rushes you, do J's or step and then cut. 

Spinning Back Elbows. 

Question and Answer session. I asked a question. It was a humbling experience. From my Facebook post about it : "I was given the chance to ask Tiffany a question while there. She had already brought up her elbow surgery in another person's question, so I immediately latched onto that because a year post-surgery from my shoulder and I'm still having issues. I asked her how she dealt with the frustrations of coming back from something like that. Answer ? One step at a time. Go after little goals. Don't get overwhelmed by the bigger picture. I'm not sure what miracle answer I was hoping for, but she told me the truth that I've been staring in the face for quite some time. Guess I'm one of those people who just has to hear it so many times before finally getting it. Lesson learned."

---

I know there's probably a couple things I missed. This is the first time I've taken notes during a session so remembering to take them down was difficult. Also, we were constantly doing something. I only got one quick video of the end. There was only time to learn and practice on the go. 

For those who DO decide they want to go to a seminar, I highly recommend going. But, in conjunction with that, I also recommend: 

DRINK WATER, before, during, and after. I came home the next day, 10-11 hours in the car and hardly drank anything and only drank my normal amount the day of. Tuesday and Wednesday I was so incredibly sick and dehydrated, it was horrible. I'm still reeling a bit from that today. 

TAKE NOTES, while the person is speaking about the drill. Water breaks weren't really offered much, so note taking had to be done on the fly or from memory. Hence why I missed a few things. But I'm sitting here trying to remember everything and I can't. Notes have saved the day. 

PICK YOUR PARTNER ASAP. Set the tone of the seminar for yourself. I'm incredibly shy in person, and it took a lot to get out of my comfort zone and approach someone my height to work with. I ended up having an awesome partner who was also patient with me as I still struggle with movements sometimes. 

SMILE. Why? Because while you're learning, you also need to have some fun. Three hours is a long time to frown. And if you make mistakes, laugh it off. You're learning, it happens. I kept getting frustrated in the beginning because I wasn't immediately getting it. But, it's also a learning process. 

 

ALSO, Kudos to Kate for putting this thing together. I know it can't have been easy, and I commend you for it. 

 

PS, I am working on my blog post for all of this. It might take me a while as I'm a slow writer. 

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Okay, feedback on the seminar...

FUCKING AWESOME.

 

PS, I am working on my blog post for all of this. It might take me a while as I'm a slow writer. 

Thanks so much for writing up this breakdown and for the tips on note-taking and water. I think it's hard to organize so many people. Buakaw does these seminars in Italy that are so enormous that it's him on a stage doing moves and, like, hundreds of people following suit. I don't know how they do it. But this seminar sounds great, solid techniques taught and getting to ask Van Soest a question is a pretty great opportunity!

Looking forward to your blog post. What's your favorite move that you learned?

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Honestly, it's probably the footwork that was my favorite. Like, it just clicked. And I got the opportunity to use some of it today. Saturday is flow spar day, and I was able to pair with the pro fighter at our gym. She is short like me (which is also rare to have someone to work with that is my height.. everyone else is like 5'8 or taller) (I'm 5'3) and so it actually challenges me more because I'm so used to working with taller people. And she kept getting into my space faster than I could react. It's always been that way. But with the explosive footwork, I was actually able to get a couple shots on her for once. That and the Dutch Rush worked really well, too. Like, I just had the biggest grin on my face when I was finished with the realization that the stuff I learned at the seminar could be used in application. I even texted my husband when I got done and told him how excited I was. He, of course, doesn't understand, but considering how bad this week has been otherwise, it was such a satisfying feeling. 

I will post a link to the blog post once I get it written up. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am really pleased you found it so helpful and were able to put the techniques into good use. It sounds a great seminar

 

I have never been to a seminar but then I am incredibly lucky in that the gym I always trained at had national and International champions in it so none of us have ever felt the need to go to any seminars. They did hold a workshop where the owner of a gym in Spain came over and did a K1 session with his daughter. That was very interesting especially as I like playing the long game and rib and head kicks and am quite slow.  This was all about speed and low kicks.

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