Sylvie’s Tips – How I Improved My Knee Bagwork | Rounds of Play Knees

“Play Knees” – Sylvie’s Tips video above The other day I put up a video of “play knees,” bagwork that Muay Thai legend Sakmongkol taught me at WKO, here...

“Play Knees” – Sylvie’s Tips video above

The other day I put up a video of “play knees,” bagwork that Muay Thai legend Sakmongkol taught me at WKO, here in Pattaya. He was displeased with me merely doing counted, repetition knee drills, the traditional Muay Thai camp endless knees on the bag that everyone knows. (These are still good and useful, by the way, just for stamina.) He wanted me to do play knees, to move the bag around in fight simulation action and energy. It was something I’ve never seen before, but I did my best to adopt it. Sakmongkol knows fighting. I added it to my sessions as a finisher, a way to cut of cut loose and relax in attitude while still expending bursts of energy. Now, about a year and a half later, I’ve gotten comfortable with play knees and sometimes when I get vigorous with them the whole gym stops to watch. Nobody else here does them, which is maybe why everyone looks, but they are really good work.

On Facebook lots of people got excited about this video I posted the other day, so I thought I’d make a “Sylvie’s Tips” video about how to do them. In the beginning they can be a little difficult, just like shadowboxing can feel uncomfortable when you’re new to it. I talk about some of the things I focus on when I do them, what I’m aiming for.

The explanation video is at the top of this page. Below are a few rounds of me doing play knees in case those examples help. Then there is a video of when Sakmongkol first taught the exercise to me. My style has developed differently than his, but that’s okay. Everyone has their own Muay. His, though, is so beautiful. I’m trying to build my cardio up to the point where I can run a 5 minute round of these with full energy. Right now I’m sitting at about 2 minutes, though these demo rounds were shorter. These play knees, though I’ve always done them since Sakmongkol taught me, have become a new focus for me because I’m trying go build a more relentless clinch attack style. Phetjee Jaa’s father always says to me, “you’re a knee fighter, throw more knees.” Makes sense, right?

2 Demonstration Rounds

Sakmongkol teaching me Play Knees in February 2014

you can see more of this original instruction, including more video in my post How to Knee a Bag – Muay Thai Bag Instruction from Sakmongkol – WKO Pattaya

An Introduction to Sylvie’s Tips

You can read about the Sylvie’s Tips feature here in my first post:

Sylvie’s Tips – Muay Thai Tips, Techniques & Helps from Thailand

See all my Sylvie’s Tips articles.

The Full Sylvie’s Tips YouTube Playlist

Or go to the Sylvie’s Tips Playlist here.



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A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see


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