|“I’ve always been extremely impressed with how friendly everyone has been here…”[When I started about 4 months ago I was 15lbs heavier and had a hard time getting through 15 push-ups. Tonight I didn't have any problems getting through 40 body-builders]|
|“they are great for fitness advice and nutrition… most of my decisions are based around being able to come in to class”|
-Phil, NWFA member
Our Portland Muay Thai classes provide an outstandingly effective workout! The sessions are always changing and evolving to keep you engaged and motivated. With consistent training, your whole body will become toned & conditioned. You will have improved strength, flexibility, greater bone density, and remarkable cardio endurance. While this training can result in the best physical fitness of your life, anyone can get started regardless of current fitness. We have training options for all skill levels from total beginners to those preparing for a fight. The main requirement is a desire to strive toward your goals. NWFA’s motto for Muay Thai classes is: intense, challenging, effective, exciting.
“…every part of the Thai is blessed with venom”
The purpose of training is to develop and enhance the body’s strength, co-ordination, while learning to use the body’s tools for self-defense. Having skill and strength requires that we trade in some time and effort. The challenge of most fitness attempts is that they become routine and dull. Muay Thai training is always varied with new moves, drills and combos to keep us engaged and challenged. With these goals of high level fitness, skill & co-ordination in mind, you can see that there is a lot more to training then just getting in the ring and swinging at each other. The classes will involve a variety of drills that fall into one or more of these categories: Speed drills which develop our quickness (one of the key elements of power). Conditioning drills which develop strength, endurance and physical resilience. Rhythm drills to develop a sense of range, position and ease of flow between techniques. (You can often tell the skill of a fighter by the fluid grace of their movements.) Finally you have timing drills which put together everything we have learned so far and help us develop the ability to read an opponent and work techniques in ideal response to the opportunities we are given.
Thai Pad work outs:
Muay Thai pads are heavy padding strapped to the forearms which are used to safely absorb the force of a kick or knee. We will work a sequence of strikes and blocks in response to cues from the pad holder. Initially we do this just to develop the skill, strength and sense of range with simple fixed patterns. From there we can progress to more complex patters, random cues from the pad holder, and defending against counter striking from the pad holder.
|I am loving it… it calms me down and de-stresses me… I feel great when I done [with class].-Mike, NWFA member|
Muay Thai Training drill examples:
Heavy Bag workouts:
Heavy bags are the power and technique part of a training session. On the bags we can deliver as much power as possible without having to be concerned for our training partner. We will often work a series of strikes in a fixed pattern to develop our transitions and precision. We can also work short medium and long ranges with the heavy bag work. This training is also excellent for developing fluid footwork as we adjust our position relative to the swinging of the bag. When working random striking on the bag you also use it’s movement to determine which range of technique you use.
Heavy Bag Training Examples
Focus mitt work outs:
Focus mitt work outs are predominately focused on the hands and elbow strikes as they are not designed to take the full force of a kick. The progression is similar to the Thai pads with simple to complex patterns, random cues and counter striking. The focus mitts are excellent for working timing as they are lighter and quicker to move than the muay thai pads. A good mitt holder can and will tag any opening or flaw in your striking technique. This is an excellent and safe way to test your skills without the risk of injury. Additionally, focus mitt work helps you hone to basic form of your offensive and defensive movements. For an experienced fighter the focus mitts can be used for what is called a tune up. If a particular issue, like dropping a hand after a strike, comes up a coach will use the focus mitt drills to elicit the problem and retrain the fighter.
Muay Thai Glove Drills:
Partner glove drills are used to develop your understanding of how to apply a series of strikes and counters. Similar to earlier progressions we start with a fixed set of strikes and counter, next we work with greater complexity and broken rhythms within our patterns to try and tag our partners, from there we can move to a set or random strikes and their counters to train us to respond naturally to the unexpected nature of a real situation.
Muay Thai Classes – Fighting and Self Defense training.
Timing sparring: This is the natural progression of the technique flows. At this point we are randomly “sparring” training our responses to random techniques. This is done with absolute control where we only place the tool on the target and at a relaxed pace. When timing sparring you are encouraged to take a touch rather than scramble to stop it. This trains us to be comfortable and natural exchanging strikes and by simply letting the occasional blow through you can analyze how your partner is attacking and learn to read the cues of an attacker. This level of training in the Portland Muay Thai classes is absolutely safe.
Full contact sparring: The final step in the training sequence is to put on appropriate protective gear and work striking with speed and power. Even now the intensity and power of the blows are controlled. We are training, not trying to win a fight. The goal is to learn something new and improve every time you spar. Normally, in our Portland Muay Thai classes we progress from hands only to hands and feet. Elbows and knees are reserved from full contact as it is too easy to injure your partner. This level of training is intense but, if you’ve trained appropriately to this point, sparring is an exciting challenge.
NWFA traces our lineage directly to Arjan Chai Sirsute and teach according to the principles he instilled.
Though the precise origin of Muay Thai is lost in history we do know that it has been the national art of Thailand (once known as Siam) for many hundreds of years. It had been a piece of the military training before a famous incident in 1560 A.D. brought it into the mainstream. King Nareusan of Siam was well known for his ability in unarmed combat. During a battle with neighboring Burma Nareusan was captured. The Burmese, confident in their own champion gave the king a chance to fight for his freedom. Nareusan was triumphant and the Burmese honored their agreement. King Nareusan returned to his country as a beloved hero. The Siamese-style boxing (as it was then known) that had won him his freedom became recognized as a national sport and is practiced to this day by the majority of the Thai population.
As Muay Thai spread through the world in the early part of the last century some lost the connection to it’s roots. It became known as kick boxing, Thai boxing and a few other names. All trace their inspiration back to the ancient art from Thailand.
Muay Thai came to the United States with Arjan Chai, the honored president and founder of the Thai boxing association of the USA. Surachai Sirsute was a talented and passionate martial artist from a young age. He arrived in the states in 1968 after a successful career as a fighter in Thailand in which he fought in more than 72 professional bouts. Arjan Chai turned his attention to teaching and spreading the art of Muay Thai just as his teacher had dreamed he would. Arjan endured some difficult years in the beginning when few knew of, or respected Muay Thai. He persevered and taught widely, including many colleges, the F.B.I and even the Dallas Cowboys.
The first American team to compete in the Muay Thai world championships came from Arjan Chai’s camp in 1982. Muay Thai is now well known throughout the states and is an integral component of the MMA fighting style used in the UFC. One can also find strict Muay Thai bouts, sponsored by the TBA, all over the country.
In Muay Thai training it is important to understand how to effectively use all three ranges of combat. Long range, middle range and close range refer to the distance between you and your opponent…
Muay Thai has a long history of traditions. These Muay Thai traditions are usually related to showing respect and paying homage to those who helped you along the way…
To have a safe long career in Muay Thai either as a competitor, trainer or fitness practitioner you need to use the appropriate Muay Thai equipment needed for the training. Most training facilities will have a variety of training equipment….
Like most competitive full contact fighting sports, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning. Many coaches believe that 80 percent of a fighters success is based on his/her conditioning…
Portland Boxing Class: The Six Count Combo (AFT Group)
Applied Fight Training member Howard Wong writes about the training in one the Applied Fight Training Group Boxing classes in Portland.