Dear Diary: my MT and WC Experiences
As per Whitesharkīs request, I will record on this thread my most significant experiences regarding Muay Thai (which Iīve been doing for about a month now), specially those related to my wing chun training (which, of bloody course, I still do). Please note that Iīve been doing wing chun for only about 20 months now, so I am not really an authority on either of those systems - this will be just a record of my personal experiences.
A brief overview of my WC and MT classes:
WC: we usually do lots of base training. We practice some drills, both on air and against each other. We also hit pads (punching them mostly)in order to develop punching power. We also practice forms, but we donīt really spend more than 10 minutes each class on those. Lately I and the other advanced students (itīs a small class) have been doing some really neat stepping exercises to keep our structure and base solid while moving. My sifu is also very careful to keep us punching and parrying in the centerline when we practice, of course. Up to the moment we havenīt really done much kicking. We donīt really do much exercise in my wc class, as we only train 2:30 hours every week (saturday mornings).
MT: very good aerobic exercises, as well as push ups and other kinds of exercise. Really good stretching. We also do some exercises geared towards conditioning our chins and other body parts - I only did this on one class, we did exercises to condition our forearms and shins. Techniques-wise, we have so far praticed drills - punches and kicks in the air or at pads. I have practiced jabs and round punches (the lateral ones are named round punches, right? parallel to the floor), as well as frontal and roundkicks aimed at thighs and ribs (I cannot yet reach heads). I go to two classes per week, every tuesday and thursday, about 1 and a 1/2 hour each class.
I sparred today! My partner was a much stronger, and very experienced, thai student. He was also bigger than me. He sparred against a beginner (some months experience) thai student before sparring me, and I noticed the other guy was mostly afraid of getting into punching range (comprehensible, given the size difference).
We used heavy boxing gloves and shin guards (I will buy a mouth guard, I promised myself and my girlfriend).
Well, first of all Iīd just like to state that that guy is much tougher, experienced, stronger, faster and technical than me. He could certainly have kicked my ass if he really wanted to. We did some very light sparring (though punches to the head were allowed), although he was moving quite fast - he just wasnīt using all his power (neither was I, for that matter, but he still could have crushed me if he wanted to, I have no doubt about that).
The sparring: he used some kicks, which I was able to evade and/or block with my arms (I know, that was stupid). But mostly I tried and managed to keep inside punching range, where I kept a good old wing chun guard (I donīt think the MT coach particularly liked that). Well, surprise surprise - the wing chun guard and the parries worked beautifully against his punches!
I landed a LOT of punches on his face, while he only clipped my right ear once (itīs still hot, but what the hell). My control of the centerline really helped: he had quite a bit of difficulty blocking my straight punches, while he could only use round punches and hooks himself (good ole tan sao did his job very well - hey, Iīve been practicing), as he couldnīt shoot jabs against me (I fear those guys jabs very much). I even managed to pull off a tan sao parry/straight punch to the face move!
I used the thai front kick I learned, with indifferent results (i.e. he could have just ignored it). Mostly I had to rely on my wing chun - my kicks suck really bad, and that thai kick, IMO, is actually much more efficient than the few front kicks my wc instructor taught me.
Conclusion: All in all, I think I did it quite nicely. The MT guy was certainly going very easy on me, I have no doubt about that (give me a break, the guy is a monster), but I think my wing chun training paid itself off. I think I will be able to use most of what I learned in wing chun during my thai sparring, even with those heavy gloves.
I certainly think my MT training helped a lot, specially regarding physical conditioning, and I think it has great potential for helping me in my game, specially regarding kicks (my kicks always sucked, but my MT coach seems intent on improving them). But technically I am still much more of a wing chun man, of course - one month of training wonīt do any miracles.
All in all, I am enjoying crosstraining a lot. Both styles seemed to me to be perfectly compatible, and I think the thai kicks and physical conditioning (not only cardio, but pain resistance as well - shin and forearm conditioning, other kinds of conditioning my coach mentioned) are certainly reason enough to keep doing MT.
OK guys, feel free to ask any questions.