How Shadowboxing Can Improve Your 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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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!

Fb 30 day trial profileIf you‘re interested in learning Muay Thai in Edmonton or St. Albert, Call or Text Arashi Do Martial Arts North at 780-220-5425.  We offer a 30 Day FREE Trial and a Free Training DVD just for coming in.

 

Conditioning for the Muay Thai Fighter

Muay Thai is fast paced and action packed, so the majority of your staying power in a bout comes down to the level of your cardio. Improve your cardio and your endurance and win ratio is going to go through the roof. Don’t just go for a run though, it may sound strange but there are different exercises to fine-tune your cardio to the task at hand. Muay Thai uses energy explosively, so training for endurance by running marathons or swimming miles isn’t going to help as much as a dedicated cardio program to help you improve. Here we detail some ways to help improve your cardio specifically, and help you stay in the fight!

Sparring and Pad Work

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Good old fashioned sparring and pad work are awesome ways to improve your endurance in Muay Thai.. If you add a slight twist to the sessions, by fighting for a longer time than you would do in a competition, when you compress it back down, you’ll smash your opponent in the time period as you’ll feel completely charged. When sparring or playing with combos on the pads you can be working new moves or perfecting old ones, so it is one of the best ways to see rapid improvement.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT is switching quickly between very low and very high intensity exercise. This closely simulates a BJJ Roll or Muay Thai Sparring session and also provides a very efficient workout. It takes very little time, which is great for when you’re trying to fit it into a busy schedule with your mat time.

HIIT can be worked into any of your staple cardio activities – running, swimming, biking, rowing etc. The most common way to organize it is 30/30, which is to say 30 seconds of very light activity and then 30 seconds of very intense activity. This is usually repeated for 10-20 minutes, sandwiched between warm-up and cool-down periods of about five minutes each.

 

Weight Training

Technical Practice for Safety and Performance

Weight training often gets a bad rap in martial arts circles due to the unfounded claim that it will build big, heavy muscles and make you slower when the truth is just the opposite. Speed is strength expressed quickly, so basic weight training to increase your strength is a great way to develop explosive, powerful strikes to end fights. For best results, stick to functional, multi-joint movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press and dumbbell rows.

Fb 30 day trial profileIf you‘re interested in learning Muay Thai in Edmonton or St. Albert, Call or Text Arashi Do Martial Arts North at 780-220-5425.  We offer a 30 Day FREE Trial and a Free Training DVD just for coming in.

 

What is the Difference between Muay Thai and Kickboxing?

A lot of people think Muay Thai and Kickboxing are the same, which is not true. They do have some similarities but there are some major differences between these two martial arts. If you’re looking to learn one of these martial arts then first you need to know what Muay Thai and Kickboxing actually are.

What is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai, as its name suggests, originates in Thailand and dates back over a thousand years. The techniques used in Muay Thai have their roots in Muay Boran, a form of ancient boxing taught to soldiers so they could fight when disarmed. Muay Thai grew as a sport and a form of combat. There is evidence suggesting that Muay Thai competitions have been taking place for hundreds of years. Thai citizens and soldiers alike learned this ancient martial art for self-defense.

It was during the late 18th and 19th century that Muay Thai was modernized in the ways in which it was taught and how the competitions took place.

What Is Kickboxing?

Kickboxing brings us to the 20th century, during the 1960s and 1970s. It was during this time that kickboxing was first developed. It is more of a western term used for combat styles such as Muay Thai, Karate and Kyokushin.

The people of the Indochinese region call it full-contact karate, kickboxing evolved from Japanese martial artists learning the ways of Muay Thai and related systems in the 1960s.

Differences between Muay Thai & Kickboxing

  • Muay Thai fighters can use both their elbows, knees, feet and fists. Kickboxers only use fists and feet.
  • When it comes to clinching and grappling during a fight, Muay Thai fighters are allowed to grapple their opponents for close combat knee and elbow strikes. Kickboxers are not allowed to grapple their rivals and any clinching will be broken up by the referee.
  • In Muay Thai, fighters are allowed kicks to the legs, essentially anywhere below the waist with the exception of the groin region. Kickboxers are not typically allowed to strike below the waist, though it can change depending on style and Country.
  • Muay Thai fights start out slow as both fighters get the feel of each other, building up momentum with each passing round. In kickboxing, both fighters start out strong, trying to go for a KO as early in the fight as possible.
  • Muay Thai fighters perform rituals, prayers and ceremonial dances before a fight. They wear armbands, boxing gloves and shorts during a fight. Kickboxers have different variations depending on the region from where they come from.

Conclusion

Both Muay Thai and Kickboxing are great martial arts, deserving respect. Fighters of both disciplines train hard to compete in their tournaments as both are full-contact martial arts. These require the utmost focus and commitment from their practitioner as only the best get to compete for glory and honor.

Fb 30 day trial profileIf you‘re interested in learning Muay Thai in Edmonton or St. Albert, Call or Text Arashi Do Martial Arts North at 780-220-5425.  We offer a 30 Day FREE Trial and a Free Training DVD just for coming in.

4 Ways to Be a Great Training Partner for Muay Thai

All martial arts require good sportsmanship and Muay Thai is no different. If you love Muay Thai then you know how good it makes you feel when you train and spar. This cannot be true for everyone however as some people are not lucky enough to have good partners. Training and sparring with your classmates requires that you have a good personality. A good person always teaches others and in the case of Muay Thai, he/she always does their best to be a good training partner.

Here are four ways to enforce the idea of how to be a good training partner in Muay Thai:

1: Don’t Be a Jerk

No one likes people who are arrogant and display how good they are at something as if they’re the best. If you want the other person to feel comfortable sparring with you, then keep it light hearted. You don’t have to be cracking jokes in the middle of the session, just say something to ease the tension (if any) between you and your partner. This is especially helpful when sparring with a person of opposite sex as being a bit loony can give you two the jolt to spar better rather than keeping your distance. When the time is right, smile and crack a little joke, but make sure that you don’t make someone a target of your joke as it will be very disrespectful.

2: Give Others a Chance by Thinking Positive

As sparring is crucial to Muay Thai training, chances are that you might pair up with a member of the opposite sex. This can make most people nervous, especially if a guy is paired with a girl. Guys will be hesitant to kick or punch a lady and won’t want to be the ones who ‘raised their hands at a woman’. Relax! This is Muay Thai; anyone who takes up Muay Thai knows what they’re getting into. When sparring with a person from the opposite sex, just make sure that you follow the rules of Muay Thai. If you’re more experienced, give them a nudge in the right direction and let them hit you a few times to make them feel comfortable. This will show them that you are a positive person and are giving them a chance to learn.

3: Don’t be a Know it All

When learning Muay Thai at a gym, you are there to learn from the instructor. No matter how many YouTube videos and Muay Thai fights you may have seen, don’t try to be a know-it-all and try to show everyone you know everything there is to know about Muay Thai. Everyone is there to learn from the Muay Thai instructor so instead of trying to show off new techniques, go with the class. In time you will realize how little you actually know, as training and learning from a real instructor is never going to be the same as watching videos on the internet. Flow with your teammates and if you think you can do a technique in a better way then make sure that you consult with your instructor quietly instead of boasting loudly about your immense knowledge.

4: Keep a Cool head

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Martial arts are all about learning patience and discipline. Sparring in Muay Thai is about learning and getting the feel of how a real fight would be like. Don’t lose yourself in the heat of combat and hit your partner with powerful blows to knock them out. Remember, this is not a match, it is a training session and you’re both there to learn. If you hit too hard then the other person will get bruised needlessly and will most likely make a complaint against you. No one will want to spar with you again and you will lose credibility. If you want to hit hard then do it in the ring or on the bags. In such times deep breathing is always helpful and can help calm your nerves.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Muay Thai classes or BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!

 

 

What to Look for In Boxing Gloves and Shin Pads

learn muay thai 2Throughout your training of Muay Thai, you’re going to end up acquiring a lot of equipment. You’ll constantly change between what you need and what’s right for the situation you’re training for. There are literally hundreds of brands and styles to choose from, so getting the right equipment for you can be a bit of a minefield. You want to get the right equipment before your wardrobe turns into an equipment warehouse, so here we’ll highlight some key features to look for before purchasing your next set of gloves or shin pads.

Gloves

Muay Thai in EdmontonWhen you’re starting out, you’ll need a pair of basic gloves to protect your hands when working an opponent or just a hanging bag. To be perfectly honest, you can get away with a standard pair of boxing gloves. You don’t want to splash out on anything expensive just because you don’t know if Muay Thai is going to be for you, as it’s not for everyone. As you start to get in to it, and begin to improve, you can invest in a solid pair of Muay Thai gloves. The difference being that Muay Thai gloves offer protection for both wrists as well as the hands, where as boxing gloves only cover the hands.

Once you’ve found a design you like, appearance is half the battle after all, its about finding the right weight. The weight of your gloves can be directly related to your weight category in terms of competition. Your glove weights range from 8 to 20 oz.


8 oz & 10 oz – Light and Agile for Competitive Boxers

12 oz – Gloves for women or people with small hands for Muay Thai Training

14 oz & 16 oz – Your average sized gloves for your average sized trainee

18 oz & 20 oz – Larger weight classes training gloves.

The weight of your glove is important as it will have some influence on the speed and power of your strikes. The majority of the UFC pros use 8 to 10 ounce gloves to stay agile and nimble in the fight. As we aren’t pros though, there’s a little more scope for choice.

The most desirable characteristic we are after is comfort. You’re going to be spending thousands of hours in these gloves so they need to fit snugly, to prevent your hands moving in the glove and causing injury. Eventually, you will beat the gloves into shape, so you can take a glove that feels a little too tight as in time it will become perfectly fitting for you. Don’t forget to try the gloves on over your hand wraps as that is going to add size.

Shin Pads

Muay Thai Gear EdmontonShin pads come in a variety of types, defined by the amount of protection that they offer. The types are Cotton Foamed, Synthetic/Leather, Synthetic/leather special prints, Synthetic/Leather Double In-Step. The cotton foamed pads are usually the cheapest so may be the best choice if you are starting out, however they do offer the least protection. They do offer some advantages of being lightweight and easy to slip on or off, but often slip around when they are in use.

The most commonly used are the Synthetic Leather standard options. They are the best seller and there are reasons for that. They slip around much less than the cotton foamed pads. These are however designed for tournament usage so may not be the best ideal for your regular training.

The other types vary in design but offer much of the same protection, other than the double in-step pads. They offer a little more protection and as well as that they are around 30% lighter letting you train harder and faster.

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Where it can be a tough choice to make, as long as you chose the right pad for your needs you can’t go too far wrong. Give the equipment time though, as they will mold to your body and become more comfortable as time goes on.

Arashi Do not only offers a good variety of training gear but Awesome classes too.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!  

Metabolic Training for Muay Thai

learn muay thai 2Metabolic training is a common supplement for the modern day Muay Thai fighter. The new craze of CrossFit has really emphasised how much metabolic training can improve and influence your Muay Thai game. To sum it up, it’s a transition between many exercises focuses on lifting your own body weight or more in quick succession, with a very minimal rest between each exercise. It focuses of anaerobic work outs, improving your cardio and stripping fat like nobody’s business. It can be an incredibly effective tool, but can also result in over training and running the risk of nasty injuries, so it’s important that it’s regulated and used in the right way. At the end of the day, there’s no point training to improve your Muay Thai if it leaves you ruled out with injury for six to eight weeks every time. Here we suggest a few tips for those of you that are pursuing metabolic training to give your fighting a boost.

The Good…

abs-torso_2605017-792814By adding in some extra training, you can really reap the benefits. By pushing yourself through CrossFit exercises, you can give your cardio a boost, the minimal recovery time puts your body in a similar situation to a fight. This is going to help you go longer and faster when it comes down to it. Pushing through also helps build your mental strength, instilling a never back down attitude in your fighting game letting you give 100% right to the end.

CrossFit training also works the majority of your major muscle groups. Combine it with a clean diet and the right attitude your gains can go off the scale. You’ll notice improvements all over the place and be surprising yourself doing things that you couldn’t do before.

Regulate It…

wanted-muay-thai-beginners-todayIf you hit CrossFit too hard though, the bad can really outweigh the good. If you train too hard you run the risk of injury, if its by over stretching or trying to lift too much you’ll do massive damage. You need to remember that the weights training is in addition to your Muay Thai, you’re trying to become the World’s Strongest Man. You need to focus each exercise on an aspect of Muay Thai that you are trying to improve, whether its speed, power or balance.

Over training really is the big thing to avoid, so you only want to be doing 1-2 sessions of the extra weight training on a weekly basis. It’s also a good idea not to spend too long on each exercise type, otherwise you’ll be looking ridiculous being absolutely built in the upper body but with tiny chicken legs. Change the exercise every 6 weeks to keep the improvements even.

Ideally to avoid injury, your CrossFit Sessions shouldn’t go over 20 minutes in length, and should only consist of three to five exercises with no more than five sets on each. If you really want to gain weight you can look at super setting, but that isn’t for everyone and once again runs a higher risk of injury.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Mauy Thai programs or BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!