Visualization/Mental Aspect of the MT Roundhouse?
So I had my first Muay Thai class today. The class is taught by Ryan Gruhn, who seems like an awesome guy and a good teacher. He sent me a video to watch before class on the Thai roundhouse so I would know what to expect.
YouTube - Muay Thai Boxing / MMA - Round Kick - Real Contact Fighter
Anyway, after doing Tang Soo Do for years and years, I knew I'd have trouble with this kick. And I did. Obviously, with TSD, TKD, etc. the aim is to kick with the foot, with full extension of the knee and a retraction to chamber afterwards. Meanwhile, the Thai kick is done with the knee bent the whole way through, hitting with the shin and spinning through rather than retracting. Pretty much the only similarity is that the hip rotates far enough that the heel ends up pointing at the target.
The technique I can at least mimic, but I had real trouble hitting the bag with any power like Ryan did in the video. So I think part of it is, I don't mentally understand the kick in terms of power. A Tang Soo kick is easy to understand, because extension of a joint while tensing at impact feels powerful, so I sort of understand how to generate power with the kick.
I might be thinking too much into it, since this was just my first class, but I'm not getting where to (silly as this might sound) "think" the power from in the MT roundhouse. Is it the swing of the leg around? The lift from the ball of the foot on the base leg? The snap of the hip rotation?
Any suggestions as to how to think about the Thai kick relative to the TSD/TKD kick in order to understand the power it generates better? Or is this just going to take lots of practice until it "clicks?"
Think about it like this:
Nail a baseball bat to a revolving door. The revolving door is your hips, the bat is your leg. If you spin the revolving door the centrifugal force will push the bat out parallel.
GOOOO SHITTY ANALOGIES!!
Ok, that's a good idea...so what it translates to is to relax below the knee and let the leg swing while turning in a tight motion with the hips.
That's basically what I'm looking for, the right mental image to get my body to do what it should. I'll have to try this approach, thanks.
For the record I don't agree with the video 100%. I don't know what his experience is but he's comparing apples and oranges. The baseball bat analogy is my favorite though. As a matter of fact I have my guys hit the bag with the staffs like a baseball bat and then kick to get the proper motion.
What is that instructor's full background anyway?
Generally, if you know how to swing a baseball bat properly, you know the primary motion for the roundhouse kick.
From the website of the gym he teaches at:
Unfortunately I can't find a fight record for him, although there are pictures of him up in the gym in MT matches.
He has earned his Level I & II instructorship through Kevin Seaman and his Level III Muay Thai Instructor Certification from Ajarn Surachai "Chai" Sirisute of the Thai Boxing Association of America. He is also a state representative of the Thai Boxing Association and uses his Thai Boxing skills regularly in competitive arenas such as the Dog Brotherís Gathering of the Pack along with other various Real Contact Stick Fighting events.
I did find a video and article on the gym's fight team page with him in a PA BJJ tournament: http://realcontactfighter.com/wordpress/?p=22
And a picture page of him being inducted as a member of the pack in the Dog Brothers: http://realcontactfighter.com/wordpress/?p=84
And a page about him winning a first place in a national stickfighting competition: http://realcontactfighter.com/wordpress/?p=88 (video no longer works)
So, nothing solid on his MT record, but he does have qualifications as an instructor and verifiably does full-contact stickfighting and BJJ. I dunno, I trust him given his other credentials and the gym he teaches at (it's the fight gym in the area). He also made a passing reference to a Thai fight in April, and not a glowing one. He was mentioning how a kick caught him on the one "sweet spot" he has left on his shin that he hasn't conditioned enough.
Plus, this is one of the only Thai boxing places nearby and it's definitely the best (by local reputation), so I want to try it his way since I'll be continuing in his class.
Ryan's a dog brothers dude, right? I think I remember one of derek walker's guys wailing on him in the little trailer they have on their website.
One visualization technique that helped me was to imagine a rope connects your shoulder to your opposite hip, and when you swing your arm back, it pulls the shoulder, which pulls the hip, which pulls the leg.
Just like you should feel punches in the balls of your feet, you should feel the roundhouse in your shoulder.
Originally Posted by G-Off
Yeah, his comments are where mine were 13 years ago. I've learned that his approach and description of the kick power is not so definitive. My Thai kick comes from "Chai" too. Also his description of kicking with the foot is limited. Not all TKD/karate schools teach "kick with foot" It's usually "Kick with instep" Which is what I'm sure he meant.
Also, his brow makes him look like a neanderthal.
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO