Thread: Kickapoo Learns Muay Thai!
4/26/2011 8:41pm, #1
Kickapoo Learns Muay Thai!
Hello, Bullshido, and welcome to what is going to possibly be the first of many fun-filled installments of me trying to learn Muay Thai.
The operative word I have used thus far is try. This is because, as I've learned:
1. Muay Thai is very hard.
2. I am not particularly good at Muay Thai.
3. I am so not good at Muay Thai, in fact, I fear I have set the art back at least a generation.
We begin our earnest journey for knowledge in Perrineville, New Jersey, where I live. You will notice that this is not Lodi, New Jersey, where North Jersey Muay Thai is located. These two places are actually pretty far apart, by New Jersey's road systems.
I was told to arrive at 5:45 to sign my waiver and all those lovely formalities. Want to guess what time I had to leave my house at?
If you guessed '4:30!', you are right, or perhaps cheating at our game. Yes, I drove an hour and fifteen minutes on New Jersey's beautiful road systems, the vast majority of it on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
Now, I'm going to pause here and discuss this a bit. In terms of driving stress and dangers you are exposed to, an hour and fifteen minutes on the NJ Turnpike is probably less safe then driving thirty-six consecutive hours somewhere else in the country. Keep in mind that the New Jersey Turnpike is in fact Interstate 95-it becomes the New Jersey Turnpike in our state and our state alone, perhaps to explain why, as soon as you get on the road in New Jersey, you have entered the Thunderdome. There is no rhyme or reason to how people behave on this stretch of road. People often add several zeroes to the front or back of the posted speed limit. I think one police officer patrols the entire stretch of road.
It is not a good time, is what I'm trying to say. However, in the interest of me trying to learn Muay Thai and the interest of you learning I am bad at learning Muay Thai, I persevered, despite the fact the air conditioning in my car does not work and New Jersey knows this and designs her climate around making me as least comfortable as possible.
Soon enough, I arrived in beautiful, scenic, Lodi New Jersey. I am of course joking. Lodi is not beautiful or scenic, unless you enjoy the scenery of an urban sprawl.
Coming in, I noticed right away that there were check cashing storefronts. I have never been to Lodi, but I have been to most of New Jersey, and let me tell you, 'Checks Cashed' is an ill omen.
Soon I arrived at my destination, or at least the road it was on. My map claimed my destination would be on my right, but upon closer, I realized that I had no idea where the **** it was. I walked up the road a bit, then back down.
I saw a young man packing some items into a bag from the back of a Mercedes-Benz. I had to do this carefully. Startling people in New Jersey cities is not often a good idea.
"Hey, man. I'm looking for 95-B, do you know where it is?"
He pointed at the building I was next to.
Hiding in plain sight, eh, NJMT? I'm onto your ways.
I begin to walk towards the door when he shouts that he will see me inside. I feel vaguely threatened for a second until I realize he is likely being friendly.
I open the door and climb the staircase up the gym. I introduce myself in the side room to the several Krus inside and fill out my waiver. I must look young because they checked twice to make sure I was at least 18.
I walk into the gym as the children's class is finishing. There are kettlebells, dumbbells, treadmills, as well as a few weight benches of various description. Around a sixth of the gym is dominated by a ring, and next to the weights there are a few small tractor tires hanging from the ceiling wrapped in duct tape. It looks like a fighter's gym and I love it already.
At six, everyone grabs a jump rope and starts skipping. We jump rope for five minutes, then do some more general fitness. Pushups, jumping jacks, a lot of core work. Then, the class breaks and we (me and two other new students, one of whom I find out is named Thor) step to the side with one of the instructors to learn the fundamentals.
We go over footwork and basic evading while the instructor talks a bit about the general style they try to teach at NJMT. We go over basic hand position in Muay Thai while I try to remove all I ever knew about boxing. We go over jabs and straight rights before Kru Ray tells us we will not be learning elbows that day. I am moderately disappointed before I remember that with great power comes great responsibility, and I am tranquil again.
We then move into very unfamiliar territory: kicks and knees. Despite my McDojo TKD red belt, I apparently do not have very good kicks. My knees were terrible. I teeped Thor in the penis. It was awful. I didn't swing my hands enough. I swung my hands wrong. I didn't thrust my hips enough. My thrusting was inadequate. I thrusted the wrong way. There was so much incorrect thrusting I feared I would need to be registered on some sort of database.
Then, we go over holding the pads for one another, how to hold them for punches and kicks and teeps and knees. We throw some basic combos to learn how to properly hold the pads, or in my case, how to allow a kick to slide through.
After that, we talk a bit about scheduling and how we'd pay (1 month or 6 months at a time, with a 20 dollar a month discount for paying 6 months). Class wraps up and I begin the arduous trek home.
Btw, over the course of my trip, I pay ten dollars in tolls to the state of New Jersey."That was the only way you could destroy me. Neither do I quail at death nor act in deference to any god. So drop your talk, I come resolved to die. But first, there are these gifts I bring for you." At once he hurled a javelin at his enemy, then sent another and another still straight to the mark. - Virgil's The Aeneid
4/26/2011 9:59pm, #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
- Deep inside the intestine of a sperm whale
- Judo, ITF, MT
4/26/2011 11:28pm, #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
- San Diego, CA
- boxing, jiujitsu
Good to see another person jumping into Muay Thai, it always warms my heart. I personally am on a boxing contract right now, but as soon as I am off I am back to Muay Thai (boxing is sweet, but doesn't fill the void left in my heart from stopping Muay Thai). Good luck with your Muay Thai adventures, and remember to be civil when kneeing opponents in the kidneys.
4/27/2011 1:35am, #4
A great read, and congrats, for starting MT. Half of your story was quote-worthy.
4/27/2011 6:43am, #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
- Gracie Barra BJJ
I took a single class last week and it was awesome. It's at the same venue I train bjj, too bad I can't attend on a regular basis because of my schedules, but they intend to offer more classes, and as soon as it happens I'm gonna study the possibility to start it. I was a karate kid (shotokan) kindda infant back in my days, so the feeling of REALLY kicking and REALLY punching was amazing.
Ok, sorry if I sounded too jumpy, guess I'm still in the mood of last night's bjj class, which was specially great.
Good for you for trying it out, now you have a pretty good story about how you started training.
4/27/2011 7:14am, #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
did you kick any poo
this is important
4/27/2011 7:36am, #7
MT, especially at the start, is just cardio and power.
So, train cardio and power, and you will advance quickly. :)
4/27/2011 7:45am, #8
No, technique is just as important as in other combat sports. Those who don't concentrate on improving it at the early stages will progress very slowly.
Cardio and power spring from technique. When you learn how to breath and use efficient technique (e.g. whole body in punches instead of just arms) you can hit harder and more often."Boxing is the art of hitting an opponent from the furthest distance away, exposing the least amount of your body while getting into position to punch with maximum leverage and not getting hit."
4/27/2011 7:55am, #9
I debate that! :D
Though, of course, you are right, too!
Now, Kickey surely already brings some physique as a boxer, but in my experience, if people gas after warmup, they don't get much of the technique. :)
4/27/2011 7:56am, #10
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
- Warwick, UK
- Judo, Muay Thai, MMA
My MT club recently got rid of the previous coach who somehow managed to run a club despite knowing less than nothing about MT, and replaced him with a professional fighter and accredited coach. First session is in a few hours, and I'm hoping it's more like what you've described than what I've had for the past year.
Oh and cool story.