My female muay thai team:Brainstorming thread (FEEDBACK WANTED)
So as I posted in my other thread in the BBC and on my Myspace blog, I have this big plan to put together a women's muay thai team. This is basically my thread where I get all my ideas down in written form for how I plan on actually running things.
I guess I'll start things off with a basic class structure and add/modify things as I think them through. Any and all thoughts on what I post is GREATLY appreciated. I need input from people, especially those experienced with training people in a group setting.
(Oh yeah, for those that want some context and get a little more info on my idea, go here http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?f...ogId=484699350)
Ideally I will make this a two hour a day thing, I'd like to have it scheduled as regularly as possible with classes that people can take every day. This, I hope, would help get more people to come in every week since they have a little more freedom to come in on the days they can. When things get closer to being set in motion I'll talk with my kickboxing coach about what time of day would be wisest to run things. He does personal training with people at the gym and runs some of the cardio classes throughout the day so he'd have a good idea of when I'd be able to get the most amount of women in the door.
The first hour I want to be an intense fighters training session. The primary focus of this session will be prepping for competition both fitness wise and perfecting things like strategy and cultivating a competitive mindset. Here's an idea of how the session would go:
-3x 2 minute rounds of high intensity rope skipping. I would make a point of how I want skipping rope to be treated; not just as a lazy warm up, but specifically focusing on skipping fast and intense and encourage adding fancy footwork, criss crossing etc. I feel the purpose of skipping rope, beyond being a nice warm up exercise that works your calf muscles and arms is also coordination exercise where you're doing a fast, intense activity that also takes a certain degree of focus and body coordination.
-3x 2 minute rounds of ring movement drills (this is one of the key reasons I'm aiming for doing this at my current gym, I very much feel a ring is required for a lot of the work I want to do here). If you've done a boxing class you've probably done this drill, moving left or right around the ring continuously as the coach calls it out, rolling under a punch, throwing a combination, or changing up your foot work all while being able to stay mobile and keep moving.
-Stretching period involving various dynamic stretches. I'll need to learn more about this myself, since I've only got some minimal knowledge on the basics of stretching and how best to stretch and when. I've read that stretching after warming your muscles up first is more effective and that dynamic stretching (rather than static stretching) serves more purpose for a pre-workout stretch. I'm not sure how long is necessary, but I wouldn't want to devote much more than 5 minutes to it if I could. I don't do much stretching myself, but I'm also not terribly flexible haha.
-Gloves on, guided bag work 3x 2 minute rounds. I would make it a point that all bag work be done properly and realistically. Bag work is NOT just an exercise in seeing how hard you can hit something for an extended period of time. The bag is to be treated like a dangerous opponent that is trying to hit you back. I would make a point of stressing not just work output, but offensive and defensive strategy and never treating the bag like a bag.
If I see people passively stepping away from the bag, stopping and repositioning the bag, mindlessly slugging the bag, or putting their hands down and acting tired they will be corrected and have explained to them that these are not things you can do in a fight. If you get fatigued, you have to learn to deal with that fatigue in a strategic manner (defensive jabbing, push kicks, circular maneuvering etc.). I will make sure that at least one round of bag work is devoted purely to clinch range fighting.
-3x2 minute rounds focus mitts. This may vary depending on the total beginners vs not beginners ratio on any given day since more time may have to be given focusing on instructing new people how to hold pads. I will make sure, however, that this does not slow down the training of the more advanced students and simply take newer people under my own guidance while the more advanced people continue to train eachother.
Beginners will start off learning both how to hold and hit mitts starting with just the jab, with punches being added as proficiency in both holding and hitting is demonstrated. I will have each student do rounds with me on the mitts and correct on all aspects of how to throw the punch (trying not to slow down the pace of the pad work as much as possible, but making sure they understand the corrections) and make it very clear that I want them to hold pads for each other exactly as I do for them, making corrections when necessary. Presumably, as proficiency in technique increases, less corrections will have to be made, thus the pace of the pad work will match the level required for whatever level they're at in their fight training.
-3x 2 minute rounds Thai pads, like with focus mitts this may vary from day to day. Basically the same idea here as with the focus mitts, though with all the techniques of muaythai included. I have some basic understanding of elbow technique/strategy, but really hope to improve on this as much as possible during my time in Thailand. I think I would also break it down so that one round is nothing but kicks, one round nothing but clinch range technique, and one round of all muaythai techniques.
-6x 2 minute rounds clinch sparring. Beginners will start simply fighting for the neck clinch, with other forms of clinching being added as proficiency in this area is increased. Light tagging knees will be allowed, but it will be stressed that the primary goal is positional dominance. Upper body, muaythai style throws and sweeps from the clinch will also be trained, though this is an area that I need more training in myself before I can even begin to try to teach it to other people. I hope to not only make this a focus of my training in Thailand, but also I will attempt to get some instruction from Khunpon here in Atlanta on the nuances of the clinch. I hope to get some elbow pads so the more advanced students (who know how to relax enough to control their strikes in sparring) can practice elbows in a sparring context.
The second hour is going to be much more technique focused with a fairly lower level of intensity. However, if someone is getting ready for a fight, the intensity level of their training will be adjusted accordingly.
-3x 2 minutes of shadow boxing. The shadow boxing will be as personally directed as I can manage. I want to make sure that people are really using this time to fine tune their technique, use the mirror, and make sure they're using this time refine whatever techniques they particularly need to work on. If someone just isn't getting the jab, that's what they'll work on etc. Unless someone is getting ready for a fight, I won't require that they shadow box at fight level intensity, but I will always require that every technique is explosive and committed. No lazy pawing punches and kicks that pause in the air. I want techniques to be thrown just as if they were going to be hitting someone. Also, like the heavy bag, they have to treat their "shadow" like a real threat always attacking, defending, and moving strategically and never letting your guard down.
-3x 2 minute rounds of focus mitts. The focus of this will very specifically be technical refinement of punching, so things will be taken somewhat slowly to make sure every correction of technique is made. This will also involve things like learning how to slip/roll under a punch and immediately counter and working on the nuances of very basic combinations as students gain proficiency. More advanced people will simply be expected to be more refined in their technique and have a better eye for critique. I will be going around making sure to work directly with everyone to see what, specifically, they need to focus on. In the first hour, mitt holders can get is convoluted as they want with the advanced fighters, however, this mitt work is focusing on refining the basics, something every fighter can benefit from.
-3x 2 minute rounds of thai pad work. Like with focus mitts, this will be about technical refinement and learning the techniques of muaythai. Slow paced, and heavy critique of the techniques of kicking/knees/elbows/punching with more of a focus on the first three. First round will be focusing on refining round kicks and push kicks, second will be clinch range techniques, and third will be working basic combinations to learn how to flow these together. Some direction will be given in basic combinations, but more advanced people will be expected to try and be creative and come up with their own combinations and how to refine them.
-3x 2 minute rounds of sparring drills. This will be all about restricted sparring drills like attacking with only the jab and catching the jab, one person attacking with round kicks and cut kicks with the other person working on kick defense etc. This will be kept at very light contact and I will be going around correcting technique. First day/week beginners will spend at least one round working with me.
-3x 2 minute rounds light clinch work/clinch sparring. Heavy focus on the techniques of positional dominance will be stressed here. I will also make it a point that people are to use as little strength as possible to maintain/break the clinch. More advanced people will be encouraged to throw very light contact knees and attempt to use muaythai style throws to toss each other around.
-Remainder of the hour will be spent doing round robin sparring in the ring, each person doing 3 consecutive 2 minute rounds with me actively reffing. Beginners will only spar with me until enough proficiency is shown to where they can relax in sparring to the point where they can both not be too afraid to attack (very very common among women) or have too little control that they hurt each other and get into a slug fest and feelings are hurt (does occasionally happen with women, though not as often as with men from my experience).
Apart from the class structure, the idea behind this will both be for women who just want to learn muaythai for fun/self defense/whatever but very specifically be for those who really want to compete. I have pretty decent connections and know how with the fight game so my plan is to have an active fight team that will travel around the country fighting in events. If women want fights, I WILL get them fights as long as they're willing to travel with the team.
That's the basic idea for the overall structure of the class. Critiques/suggestions/criticisms of any of this is pretty much what I'm looking for here, so please throw it all out there.
I'd also like to do short videos of myself doing what I expect from drill/exercise/whatever so people can see this all in action. I think it would be a helpful way for me to figure things out more specifically on how to do things.
I know this is kind of long and boring to read but PLEASE GIVE FEEDBACK!!!!!!
Last edited by Torakaka; 4/24/2009 10:27pm at .
Subscribing. Comments to come.
Have you thought of how you are going to get the numbers to make training work? I'm sure you know that even less women want to fight than men, if you can solve this problem i think your class will be a success.
The class layout looks great and i'd take it myself. Will these girls be doing other classes as well as this? For myself I'd want to be adding in some bodyweight exercises like iso-pushups, burpies and heaps of ab work at least a couple of times a week. Weights would be a plus too but even the women fighters i know seem scared of them.
Total n00bs would probably get discouraged as the lesson plan is very long and complex. And if you have a lot of n00bs you wouldn't be able to one-on-one them all to ease them into it. However, without sufficient n00b uptake, you probably wouldn't have enough people to make a team.
You're talking a lot about "beginners", but would some squishy person with no conditioning really be able to stick with all that?
I don't expect much in the way of numbers for a while, but even just one person showing up for each training session would be a start. I do plan to really make a huge effort to sell the idea of this team to women around Atlanta. There are a lot of women doing the cardio classes during the day who I think I could sell the idea too, certainly, and they could simply switch over to training with us from the cardio class. Not only will it be a work out, but much more fun.
Originally Posted by Sang
Beyond that I plan on posting ads on craigslist, doing a myspace and facebook page and regular website, and even making up a bunch of fliers that I can hand out to people and take to places where there may be women interested in something like this.
I understand completely that not many women have any interest in fighting, so I would sell it more as a fun group activity where women can learn the skills of muaythai and get in great shape as a team. While women may not necessarily be all that interested in fighting (at first), I know lots of women are looking to get into group activities with other women and lots of women have interest in learning a martial art.
I was originally going to throw in a 15 minute section of core muscle building type stuff, with lots of medicine ball exercises, but ended up running up the hour with other stuff. It's hard to decide what is more valuable for each hour of training. I think depending on people's over all fitness levels and how much they're obviously willing to do I'd add or remove more general fitness type work. While I want people to get in awesome shape, I've got to make sure it's not so hard that it scares people off.
Originally Posted by Sang
My intention is to have the second hour be the "beginner" class, with the first hour being optional to everyone except those that want to be officially part of the fight team. The people that don't want to be too hard core can just come in to the second hour, that's much more of a laid back, technical skill building session.
Originally Posted by Wounded Ronin
I definitely plan on basically everyone (unless I luck out and get one or two of the chick fighters I know to come some times) to be total beginners at first, so they could either just come to the second class until they feel ready for the first one, or they could do whichever one they wanted and the training intensity would be as hard core as their level of fitness allowed. Keep in mind that cardio kickboxing classes are full of out of shape people, but if you really do them correctly they're actually a really intense, very difficult workout... but people still go (not only that, but cardio kickboxing is about 10x more popular than muaythai).
**** that's a long ass workout. It is gonna suck for the people who are not in shape. Good program though. You will put out some really good fighters.
Like I said to WR, the full two hours is only required of people that want to be part of the official fight team and really start training to prepare for competition. People that just want to come in and train for fun or whatever can do whichever hour session they want.
Originally Posted by diesel_tke
Thank you for your answer, Spatch.
It leads me to think of another point. How will you make your second hour session seem approachable, nonthreatening, and fun to female n00bs who are socialized, as you point out, to do "cardio kickboxing" instead of trade head-punches? How will you ensure that the n00bs are not intimidated by the sweaty athletic fighters who are left over from the first hour? How will you make it be very clear to n00bs walking into the gym that the second half of the hour is for them, that they can just jump right in, and it's okay that their skills suck compared to the dedicated first hour people?
I'm not trying to rip your idea down. Just trying to ask some helpful questions.
First you need a cool sounding name for the team.
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