Thanks for the thoughts.
I'm hoping that it's possible to let Muay Thai corrupt my karate, rather than the other way around. We have a lot of leeway in sparring (yes, most people are all bouncy-bouncy like in that video of RurikGreenwulf's cousin, but some people revert to boxing style movements, and get away with it). Kata has to be done "right", but it's trained more like dancing.
Our body shots are decently powerful, which is where my bad habit of dropping my hands comes from. Most people either don't punch to the face, or punch just "towards the face" because they're worried about the "touch contact" rule. So I respect the power of body blows and have no incentive right now to protect my head. I was hoping Muay Thai would put that right, plus teach me how to punch in a less telegraphed fashion.
Just an update to this thread.
I passed my 1st Dan test and started training Muay Thai as well as taking the MMA class that my BJJ instructor runs. I've really clicked with the way that my BJJ instructor explains things and the kinds of drills that he uses. It's taking a very long time to undo my muscle memory from Karate though :(
I stuck with doing just one karate lesson a week, but I think that's enough that I'm not able to un-learn my bad habits. I've decided to focus exclusively on thai/MMA for a while and see if I get any better. Right now both styles feel "wrong".
I really appreciate the feedback people gave last year. I wish I could compartmentalize two styles the way that Gregaquaman says, but it's not working for me, so I'm going to have to focus my efforts on one thing.
When I started training pradal serey I cut back on the TMA stuff I was doing. I stopped going to TMA classes and just constantly practiced what I already knew. Mechanical changes are tough, but you do have to learn how to compartmentalize like Gregaquaman said.
Compartmentalisation sounds about right. For me there are many things I enjoy about Muay Thai and traditional karate. Likewise there are things which I find frustrating and disagree with and this is probably because of clashing due to lack of compartmentalisation. For example keeping the chin down in Muay Thai is obviously pragmatic, but I find it somewhat restricting, likewise the use of hand wraps seems like wrappling your hands in bubble wrap due to my training in TMA. However the Muay Thai clinch, elbows and all round body conditioning is indeed strong. However I prefer the non telegraphic and closer range head kicks of karate ... they're less powerful than Muay Thai kicks but gel better with my muscle memory. Traditional karate can be frustrating with the air punching and large children to adult ratio, but I enjoy the traditional moves, breathing and kata ... moving meditation I guess. For me personally, both have something to offer.
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I'm obviously insanely late to the party, but the update seems recent so I'll just chime in and say I think you made a smart choice. If you wanted to keep both up you'd need to very selectively think of your style as Muay Thai (Since this is the only true practice you're getting). Kyokushin has an incredible arsenal of techniques found outside of MT, but because your class specifically avoids head strikes and only has point sparring competitions, the style you employ there will invariably be fundamentally flawed (or at least it'll be very hard for you to fight properly while following their ruleset and it would like create style/rule mismatches like you always see with olympian boxers wasting body shots or blocking their face fully when they're currently boxing with helmets).
Originally Posted by etali
The only way you could've benefit from Kyokushin (imo) is getting comfortable sparring realistically in Muay Thai, then slowly adding and experimenting with the techniques you gain from Kyokushin in MT sparring so you know how to pull them off while under full pressure.
...Problem is, that's an incredible amount of money and time to be spending just to add advanced and somewhat extraneous techniques to another style. The meat and potatoes of effective kickboxing is surprisingly similar, with different styles instead tending to simply focus on different approaches imo, and as long as you're studying with proper sparring, the more advanced techniques are something you probably shouldn't be worrying about.
If I could give one last piece of advice, be careful if your MT instruction is very traditional!
I went to Siam No. 1 in Toronto which was a wonderful school, had a great pedigree and certification from the Thai government (Plus ajahn was a former regional champion) and produced champions as well as put heavy stress on sparring.... But Godamn was the style classical when compared to K1 fighters (back in the day) or more currently relevant, when compared to Glory fighters
Very linear with fairly weak lateral movement, strong tendency to exchange blows and kicks (especially strong man leg kick-offs), terrible hands (speaking relative to Boxing, American Kickboxing or Dutch-MT, not Kyokushin or TKD), and because of what I believed to be a THAIS VS. ALL-COMERS mentality (not unlike many early MMA fans towards boxing technique) they tended to completely undervalue head movement with the argument that dips or slipping leave you vulnerable to clinching, knees or headkicks...
Which they totally do, but it's idiotic to completely abandon an important facet to a fighter's elusiveness simply because it represents a greater risk in this sport over boxing. Also partially as a product of their reduced emphasis on hands, the set up for leg kicks relies less on punching, and that can get you in trouble with leg kicks being checked (Sure Thais aren't afraid because they have bannana trees, but we're only mortal), not to mention they tend to practice terrible hands with infighting because kneeing and elbowing is so effective at close range (again, a totally valid point, but no reason to abandon vital technique), and they tend to only throw wider or rangey hooks and punches with an emphasis on power over combinations.
That's not to say the emphasis of traditional MT doesn't have it's strengths, insanely effective clinch work or ridiculously technical kneeing and kicking, but whatever style you do focus on, make sure you always question. Ask why they teach you this type of movement, this type of blocking, this type of stance, and if it seems different than something other styles do or what you see great fighters use in competition, ask politely why? As long as you're insanely respectful (don't want to risk offending an instructor), it's great and once you understand why a certain technique is being taught, it's no longer easy to muddle it up.
The next time you hear about a boxing punch or kyokushin kick with different mechanics, you'll already know why your instructor doesn't use it that way, and you can ask to spar light so you can practice it in the ring and see what its benefits and draw offs are. That's what you need to do imo, stick to one style or approach to kickboxing to avoid getting confused, but understand the style and when relevant start experimenting again with your old Kyokushin styles or anything else that will round off the striking. Y
You don't want to get mixed up, but when the basics are in place, you realize how insufficient any one style is and how important it is to add to it under the realistic setting of sparring.
...Anyways, went on a tangent there and started meandering so this will probably all be tl;dr, but
Good luck, don't be afraid to ask questions, and if your instruction seems to have deficits in training head movement, hands or mobility with footwork, start doing it yourself or emulating competitors in light sparring.
You make a mistake or do something dumb, you not only won't get hurt, but your instructor will tell you what you're doing wrong and you can try to work off from there.