Shadowboxing for Muay Thai

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Shadow boxing is a tool that is often overlooked by martial arts practitioners. It doesn’t matter which art you practice, you need to include shadowboxing in your training regimen, especially when it comes to Muay Thai. If you want to better your center of balance, reflexes, speed, motion and flexibility, then shadowboxing is the way to go. Just think of your shadow as your opponent and let ’em have it! With proper technique and form of course.

The following guidelines will help you make the most of shadowboxing:

be-focused

Focus on Focus

 

In shadowboxing, focus is of the utmost importance. You must not just wave your limbs here and there, if you’re not putting your mind into it then you’re wasting your time. Focus on the form of your punches, kicks, elbow strikes and knee shots.

Start Off Slow

Always start with loosening your shoulders, legs and hips. Be light on your feet and warm up. Once you feel the heat building up inside your body start adding more strength and power to your strikes. It’s actually harder on the body to throw a strike and miss than it is to hit something, so ease into throwing with power.

Practice Foot Movement

Shadowboxing is the best way to practice your foot movement. As a Muay Thai fighter, you know how important it is to stay on your feet, move around and confuse your opponent. Do some head movements and practice your footwork into getting in and out of fighting distance.

Time Your Shadowboxing Sessions

Time yourself as if it were an actual ring fight. If you have an upcoming fight then time yourself accordingly. You can do 3 or 5 rounds with 2 minutes for each round, and a 1-minute break in between. Not only will this get you ready for the real Muay Thai fight, it will boost your stamina as well.

Fight Like You’re in a Real Fight

In the warm-up phase you just need to focus on your form and technique, don’t use too much of your power at that time. Save it for the after-warm-up session. This is where you go all out. Work on your feints, striking combinations and counters; make sure your shadow-self knows you’re the king of the ring!

Visualize & Strategize

Picture yourself in the arena, walking into the ring and taking off your mongkol. Take deep breaths as you prepare to take with your opponent head-on. This can really help to calm your nerves and focus as if the fight was actually happening.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shadowboxing:

  • Always stay in fighting stance and be aware of your balance
  • Focus your punches at eye level
  • Generate your power through your hips and legs
  • If you want to master a technique, repeat it till it becomes second nature
  • Know why, what and how you are executing your techniques

Shadowboxing is the best time for you to come up with strategies. Do it in front of the mirror in your room, in the park, anywhere you have space for a little maneuverability. At Arashi Do Martial Arts in St. Albert, we teach you the most efficient ways of shadowboxing that improve your mental conditioning and Muay Thai techniques.

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A Few Helpful Tips for New Years Resolutions

It’s that time of year again! On and around January 1st, many peoples’ thoughts will turn to what kind of 2018 they want to have and what positive choices they can make in order to improve their chances. In his article, “The Psychology of New Years’ Resolutions”, Professor of Behavioral Addiction Mark Griffiths lays out the following helpful tips:

Be realistic. You need to begin by making resolutions that you can keep and that are practical. If you want to reduce your alcohol intake because you tend to drink alcohol every day, don’t immediately go teetotal. Try to cut out alcohol every other day or have a drink once every three days. Also, breaking up the longer-term goal into more manageable short-term goals can be beneficial and more rewarding. The same principle can be applied to exercise or eating more healthily.

Do one thing at a time. One of the easiest routes to failure is to have too many resolutions. If you want to be fitter and healthier, do just one thing at a time. Give up drinking. Give up smoking. Join a gym. Eat more healthily. But don’t do them all at once, just choose one and do your best to stick to it. Once you have got one thing under your control, you can begin a second resolution.

Be SMART. Anyone working in a job that includes setting goals will know that goals should be SMART, that is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Resolutions shouldn’t be any different. Cutting down alcohol drinking is an admirable goal, but it’s not SMART. Drinking no more than two units of alcohol every other day for one month is a SMART resolution. Connecting the resolution to a specific goal can also be motivating, for example, dropping a dress size or losing two inches off your waistline in time for the next summer holiday.

Tell someone your resolution. Letting family and friends know that you have a New Year’s resolution that you really want to keep will act as both a safety barrier and a face-saver. If you really want to cut down smoking or drinking, real friends won’t put temptation in your way and can help monitor your behaviour. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from those around you.

Change your behaviour with others. Trying to change habits on your own can be difficult. For instance, if you and your partner both smoke, drink and eat unhealthily, it is really hard for one partner to change their behaviour if the other is still engaged in the same old bad habits. By having the same resolution, such as going on a diet, the chances of success will improve.

The full article can be found at https://theconversation.com/the-psychology-of-new-years-resolutions-51847 .

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Is getting in great shape, or learning a martial art your resolution this year? Come and check out our Muay Thai programs in St. Albert for ages 5 and up! E-mail us at tlarone@arashido.com or give us a call at 780-217-0059 for more information.

The Anatomy of Leg Kicks

Image result for leg kick pain

For people that do striking martial arts where kicks below the waist are not allowed, it’s difficult to imagine the pain of a series of leg kicks from someone that knows what they’re doing. That’s why one of the most important skills to develop early on in your Muay Thai training is checking (blocking) against leg kicks and footwork to help avoid them.

Typically, the leg kick is performed using the shin as the weapon of choice. Shins are much harder than the bones of the feet, and are more durable as well. This means if you end up running into knees or other shins instead of your intended target, you’re less likely to get injured. In Muay Thai, the feet are usually reserved for softer precision targets like the face. For recreational students and for fighters in training, shin guards are used to soften the blow so that techniques can be developed without getting hurt.

Illustration of sciatic nerve shows the L4-S3 spinal nerves, the sciatic notch, piriformis muscle, common fibular and tibial nerves. Description of sciatica and common causes of sciatica.

The target is most often the outer thigh, a muscle called Vastus Lateralis. Many fighters report that while the first few leg kicks might hurt a bit, the pain of leg kicks is more of a cumulative effect as the fight wears on. This is because when the VL’s and other muscles have been hit a few times, they become inflamed. This puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs through the area and provides all the major muscle groups of the leg with sensation. That’s where the pain comes from, and how quickly it happens depends on the conditioning of the muscles to take the blows, how hard the kicks were and other factors. Once in a while in sparring you might have a particularly tough time blocking kicks and be sore afterwards, and that’s a good time to stretch and ice the affected muscle to bring down the inflammation and take the pressure off the nerve. Beginner to Intermediate students are introduced slowly to sparring on purpose to build up the conditioning of the legs to take kicks so that they can enjoy the challenge of full-contact sparring later on if they choose.

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Love to compete, or just want to get in great shape this year? Come and check out our Muay Thai programs in St. Albert for ages 5 and up! E-mail us at tlarone@arashido.com or give us a call at 780-217-0059 for more information.

 

The Benefits of Heavy Bag Training

heavybag

There are many techniques in Muay Thai, and the most common way to train them is by bundling them in combinations. The combinations themselves are usually arranged specially to develop some kind of skill or simulate a particular situation you may face in combat. For example, the combo Check, Teep, Chase Jab Cross would simulate you having checked a kick that your opponent threw, then quickly throwing a teep to try to catch them on one leg before the kick is withdrawn. While they’re knocked off balance, you close the distance and hit them with the 1-2.

In order to fully understand a combo, it’s best when trained in five ways – Shadowboxing, Heavybag, Thai Pads, Cooperative Partner and Sparring. Each of these training methods will develop different aspects of the combo and altogether combine to produce the finished result, which is a combo usable and effective in full contact under stress. In this article, I’ll focus on the benefits of the heavy bag.

  1. Power – The heavybag is a great tool for developing raw power, since it can’t be hurt and doesn’t require a great deal of accuracy to hit. Striking accuracy will be developed using Thai pads and partners, so it doesn’t need to be as much of a consideration when hitting the bag. That means you can focus entirely on hitting hard. You can think of it like sculpting, where the heavybag work is the initial chiseling of large chunks off the block so that it can be shaved down, styled and smoothed later.
  2. Conditioning – The bag is also great for building cardio, for the aforementioned accuracy not being an issue and also because you can hit a bag anytime without training partners so it’s easier to get in extra workouts.
  3. Toughening – In any striking art, the joints can take a beating. Even if you can throw a punch or kick hard, your fists or shins might not be able to handle the impact over time. The wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, shins and feet all must be conditioned for health and safety reasons. It might look cool on YouTube to kick banana trees, but almost all top trainers will say the same thing for shin conditioning – kick the heavybag, hard and often.

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Want to learn more about how to get in great shape with a heavy bag? Come and check out our Muay Thai programs in St. Albert for ages 5 and up! E-mail us at tlarone@arashido.com or give us a call at 780-217-0059 for more information.

Congratulations to Derek “Honey Badger” Jolivette on his victory in Toronto!

This past weekend, Derek “Honey Badger” Jolivette and his coach Kru Ryan Timoffee from Arashi-Do Sherwood Park represented Lom Pa Yu Muay Thai in Toronto at the Canadian Muay Thai nationals tournament. Not only did Derek defeat Jake Mackenzie, he was also awarded the honor of “Best Athlete”. Awesome job, Derek!

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Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

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Love to compete, or just want to get in great shape this year? Come and check out our Muay Thai programs in St. Albert for ages 5 and up! E-mail us at tlarone@arashido.com or give us a call at 780-217-0059 for more information.

Building Blocks of Muay Thai Training

Basic Building Blocks of Muay Thai Training

Tyson LaRone

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing is commonly used as a warm-up, but it’s often a bit misunderstood. True, you aren’t actually hitting anything or being hit back for that matter but that’s no reason to be lazy. Once you’re warmed up, shadow boxing should be used as an opportunity to push your conditioning and work on your techniques the way you want to use them in a real fight. Concentrate on your footwork and head movement as if you have a real opponent trying to cut off the ring and knock you out. Throw your strikes hard and fast, keep your hands up, and mix up your combinations. Imagine different kinds of fighters – fighters taller than you, ones that like to kick lots, ones that want to clinch with you etc. and shadowbox the way you would deal with them.

Heavy Bag Work

The heavy bag is the perfect tool to work on one very important thing – power. You don’t have to worry about being hit or hurting a partner. Heavy bags don’t tend to move around a lot so you can work on the technical side of producing bone-shattering strikes and think about what you could be doing better before throwing the next strike. The heavy bag will also condition your fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet for the stress of throwing hard strikes.

Thai Pad Drills

Pad work is absolutely essential to your growth as a muay thai fighter. In Thailand, pad work makes up the majority of a workout and it can take just as long to master pad holding as actually doing the striking yourself. When done well, thai pad combos mix the benefits of the shadowboxing with the benefits of the heavy bag. You can throw strikes with power and get used to actually hitting something but you still have to move around, defend yourself and mix up your combos based on the padholder.

Sparring

This is where it all comes together – attacking and defending yourself against a real opponent. Sparring is very exciting and it’s important to have fun but remember one very important thing – sparring is not the same thing as fighting. In a fight, both fighters are there to win and are prepared to give and take at 100%, with intent to hurt each other. The goal in sparring is to get a taste of that but the goal is for both people to improve, have fun and go home without injuries so everyone is happy to come back and do it again the next day. Take care of your training partners!

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Advancing with Muay Thai in St. Albert

P1030421With the recent surge in the local interest in combative arts and sports, St. Albert residents are faced with a glittering fork road of opportunities, with one way leading to diamonds and the other leading to gold, by way of the choices they have in the combative arts and sports — quality choices at that.

Those fighting enthusiasts who are a bit more of a traditional incline, may make the choice between combative sports like martial arts, judo or wrestling, while those who are seeking the thrill of learning something which is relatively new to these parts of the world, may be inclined to go with something like Jiu Jitsu or make the choice of advancing with Muay Thai in St. Albert.

Muay Thai is a combative art form of particular interest, on which the emphasis will be placed for a while, with the aim of emulating Arashi Do Martial Arts principles.

The Science of Eight Limbs, as Muay Thai is often referred to, in a loose description of what this fighting art entails, is essentially a specialized form of kickboxing.

No prizes for guessing where Muay Thai originates from (Thailand), as the name suggests, but what is rather interesting is just exactly how big the sport is in its native Thailand.

The very competitive nature of Muay Thai, in its native land, does a lot to inspire many of its students in other parts of the world, such as those practicing in St.Albert, to go the whole twelve yards and give their participation their all. This is usually in honor of their fellow Thai warriors, who don’t have a choice in their participation of Muay Thai, as it often serves as a matter of utmost importance, in that their participation is somewhat forced by their circumstances.

There is a lot of money in Muay Thai, in its native Thailand, so many of the sons of families feel as if they simply have to take part, as a means through which to escape poverty, so they approach the sport as a matter of life and death.

In this part of the world however, the luck of the draw has smiled upon the residents of Keller, as well as the surrounding areas, since participation in the combative sport of Muay Thai is completely optional, but it does require that participants take the sport seriously, in order to progress and possibly compete at a higher level of competition.

Advancing with Muay Thai in St. Albert is great in that it encompasses the classic combative striking fighting styles, cutting out a lot of the grappling which a lot of people don’t like to get involved with, while falling in line with Arashi Do Martial Arts standards.

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