View Full Version : started muay thai, have some questions about how to train, speed in training, etc.

6/07/2007 10:37am,
okay, so i finally started muay thai. i am super-slow and my reflexes when someone starts trying to hit me are all pretty much worthless/dangerous, so this is definitely what i need to be studying.

yesterday i was working with a guy whose theory was that you should strike hard and fast and "realistically" while you're training your combinations. he would do annoying things like, when i would step back to get my distance, keep pressing in with 1-2 combos that i definitely wasn't ready for. great for fighting i'm sure, not for helping a super-newb like me to learn. =P

the drill was this: partner A feeds a 1-2 punch. partner B parries the 1-2, steps off to deliver an inside leg kick, and then uses that angle to deliver an overhand right.

every part of that is cool and new for me, but the guy was so.. i dunno, obnoxiously uncooperative with it.

i eventually told him to just slow down and stick to the drill, so i could slowly practice radically new things like slipping punches, in hopes of committing them to muscle memory. from judo and bjj i know that if you can't do something right when you do it slow, you'll never do it right when you do it fast.

so, i got a bad training partner, definitely, but still, am i right about this?

should i be practicing these strikes and combinations at a relaxed speed, or should i encourage my partner to strike at a realistic speed?

also, should you hit your partner during drills? i mean, not hard, obviously, but if they know that you're throwing a 1-2, should you just try to pop them lightly in the nose? of course you shouldn't attack the air beside their head...

and these drills, to me, seem like mini-kata, although muay thai is supposedly devoid of such things. partner A does pre-decided attack or series of attacks, partner B responds with pre-decided response. it's a dead pattern, but trains your technique and muscle memory. i wasn't seeing a lot of "dead pattern" yesterday, but i think it was just my uncooperative training partner. is this the right way to look at it, though? just stick to the pattern and let your body learn it, rather than just doing.. whatever?

what do your muay thai classes look like? we started with an individual warmup, then moved into several combo drills with gloves and a partner, which occupied the class until the end when the instructor had us all do several sets of pushups as a "burnout." i know sometimes he brings out the thai pads, or uses the bags, but it's generally all partner work from what i've seen.

anyway, thanks in advance.

Khun Kao
6/07/2007 12:14pm,
Your training partner was a dope....

When you are a beginner, you *have* to start with static, "dead" patterns to learn the movements CORRECTLY and commit them to muscle memory. This includes a lot of the partner and sparring drills where you and a partner go through a predetermined sequence. Start off slow, build up speed, until you can do it correctly without even thinking about it. Its the same in any combat sport.

The classes I coach start off with approximately a 10 min warmup, then about 3 rounds of shadowboxing, then pad drills, partner drills, and/or sparring. Sometimes I have a burnout drill at the end (time allowing), sometimes not. We dont' get in a lot of bag work simply because the gym currently only has 2 bags available. Most people who want and/or need bagwork either come early to use the bags, or stay late. You have to take how the gym is equipped into consideration. Are there enough heavy bags and/or Thai pads to suit the number of students in any given class?

At my old gym, I predominantly trained the fighters. After warmups and shadowboxing, I would have them do a rotation on the various bags (banana bag, tear-drop bag, wall bag) and also getting in the ring for one-on-one padwork with me. Once the rotation was done (2 or 3 circuits, usually), then everyone would take gurns sparring for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes....

6/13/2007 4:52pm,
Doing is the best way to learn, but to each their own.

I always tell my students that slow and perfect is better than fast and wrong.

I have to agree with the other poster in that the person you were stuck with was a tool, and I advice trying to avoid that person next time you go to the gym. When partnered with some one the goal should be for you to BOTH learn. Not some dumb ass to use you as a punching bag.

As for the static combo drills, they are great for learning the proper mechanics of the attack. For instance jab, cross, hook (1,2,3) then a round kick. This is a good combo to teach you how you body moves and builds power off of each move. In time you will learn to make your own combos.

For speed I suggest starting out with heavier gloves. When I started training with 18oz gloves. In 6mo I went to 12oz and the difference was amazing in my speed.

There are only so many truly effective attacks in any MA (opinion here). Learning to put them in varying combos is what will make you a good fighter. Adding those combos to good foot work will make you a great fighter.

The classes I teach tend to start with 30min warm-ups and conditioning. Shadow boxing, technique training (with thai pads, or focus mits), and ending with bag work or sparing. Every one runs their class/training sessions different though.