Arashi-Do Out in Force at Dekada!

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Dekada Contender is the next upcoming event on September 8 hosted by Calgary’s premier Boxing and Kickboxing promotion, featuring two of Arashi-Do’s biggest talents – Stephanie Essensa and Chris McMillan! Tickets available by calling 1-403-804-5277.

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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.

Double Up for Maximum Damage

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Since Muay Thai has eight weapons as opposed to the 2-4 normally utilized by other striking styles, combos are usually heavily varied. This is one of the greatest strengths of Muay Thai, but even though combinations are infinite, traditionally-trained fighters can still fall into certain grooves that can make the next technique easier to see coming. For instance, the majority of the time if a strike was thrown from the lead, the next strike will be thrown from the rear. Even if that strike could be any one of four weapons, having narrowed it down that much is a big help for defending against it.

This opens the door for a very simple strategy to shake up traditional combo structure and catch opponents off guard – simply double up the same strike! A double jab is fairly common, but when was the last time you threw two crosses in a row, two lead hooks in a row, or two power head kicks in a row?

The strikes don’t have to be identical. One of my personal favourites is a short cross (no hip turn) to throw off the opponent’s sense of how far they are from me by just knocking on their defense, followed immediately by a full cross that penetrates the defense fully. You could throw a lead hook to the body followed immediately by a hook to the head, or a lead cut kick to the inside thigh and then go to the head with the same kick. Try mixing doubled-up strikes into your combos, you’ll be surprised at the effectiveness!

Fb 30 day trial profile

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.

 

Blocking versus Evading

Whether it’s Muay Thai or any other martial art, most beginners are taught to emphasize defense and survival skills. It makes sense, as when you are just starting out it’s more important to be able to stay in the fight until you can get away or help arrives than to “win the fight” which becomes the mindset with more skill and experience.

However, defensive techniques aren’t all the same, and some are more difficult than others in different ways. They can be divided a variety of ways but the two basic categories are blocking and evading.

Blocking: Any technique where you’re putting something between the opponent and the target, usually something hard and durable like a shin or forearm. The advantage of blocks is that they are usually subtle movements that require less speed and reflexes than evading. Beginners usually learn blocks first before they learn evading techniques. The disadvantage is that it’s difficult to attack and block at the same time, so if the opponent can keep the pressure on and keep you blocking they can build momentum. Also, seasoned opponents will still do damage even if their strikes are blocked – even a shin or forearm can only take so much punishment.

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Evading: Evading is usually taught a little further down the line after a beginner has learned the fundamentals of blocking. Evading has several advantages over blocks. First, making an opponent miss with their strikes will tire them out more quickly. Second, if you can evade well then you’ll sustain much less damage overall. The disadvantage is that evading oftern has a much higher “cost of failure” than blocking. If you’re slow to block and only partially shield yourself, you’ll still reduce the damage done. If you try to evade and fail, you’re more likely to take the full force of the blow. Evading techniques must be done quickly and with excellent timing.

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There are always exceptions to the rules and in some cases blocking or evading may be the best way to defend against a given technique whether you are a beginner or not. It is important to always come back to the basics and then work on what style suits you best later on.

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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.

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

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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.

Fb 30 day trial profile

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.

 

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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Fb 30 day trial profile

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.

Muay Thai Culture and History – Wai Kru Rai Ram and Muay Boran Demonstration

In class students often hear Khun Tyson refer to Muay Boran, which is the ancestral martial art of Muay Thai. Indeed, when you watch Muay Thai and Muay Boran side by side it becomes clear that the basics of the style haven’t changed a whole lot, but there are subtle differences. For instance, in a warfare style like Muay Boran elbow strikes to the base of the skull and kicks directly to the knees are commonplace, as these sorts of blows are effective for immobilizing, maiming or killing an opponent quickly. In sport as a general rule, victory without lasting or irreparable damage to the opponent is the best case scenario. These kinds of strikes are illegal so as to allow for fighters to have long and accomplished careers.

This video begins with a demonstration of the Wai Kru Rai Ram, sometimes simply called the Ram Muay. This is a ritual of Muay Thai to this day, where fighters will perform a series of movements mixing fighting techniques and dance to pay respect to their trainers, family and ancestors. While most Ram Muay performances share a basic outline, most will have personal touches that may represent where they come from, where they train or their unique fighting style and personality.

Upon completion of the Ram Muay, they demonstrate some of the techniques of Muay Boran. You will recognize many of them from Muay Thai, but will see some techniques ill-suited to the rule set of modern muay thai as well as some grappling and throws that would be more characteristic of Judo or Jiu-Jitsu.

Fb 30 day trial profileWant to learn more? St. Albert Arashi-Do now offers Muay Thai for ages 5 and up! Call for more information at 780-217-0059, e-mail us at tlarone@arashido.com or visit us anytime athttp://www.arashido.com .

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.

 

Great Day for Arashi-Do at the Derby!

This past Father’s Day the Arashi-Do family took part in the annual St. Albert Soap Box Derby, which is part of the anniversary of St. Albert itself. For bringing along a few volunteers and putting in some hours ourselves, the organizers were kind enough to let us spread the word about the benefits of martial arts for both kids and adults to the families enjoying the festivities! Professor Mike and Khun Trevor also built a car to enter, with Thomas at the wheel. He placed second in his first heat and did very well in his other two races despite some axle issues. Here are some great shots from the day!

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Thomas was a natural at the wheel, and will be a serious contender next year with a new and improved car!

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When he wasn’t driving, Thomas was putting in hard work on the mats doing an awesome demo with Kira!

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Professor Tyson and Khun Trevor took to the mats to display some of the Science of Eight Limbs for the crowd

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Thank you to everyone from the Arashi-Do family that came out to support the event. We had a lot of fun and hope to see even more of you next year!