Search This Blog


Good coaching is about telling you what you need to hear, not what you want to believe

Despite attempting to divorce myself from ego and distance myself from pride, I've still got them.  My saving grace is that I have a greater desire for improvement and a central processing unit that contextualizes information well.  As I get instruction from Ian, I'm simultaneously mortified by how plainly obvious (after he explains or demonstrates) technique is and astounded that I wasn't doing the abundantly obvious already.  I can either blame lay off and injury for that, or just accept that this is the nature of improvement.

We started with shadowboxing, for reasons that elude me I'm still tense, I'm like water, unfortunately it's water at about -7°C.  We actually video recorded some of my workout (which will hit the internet sometime after my sex tape) and I do some sort of hand jive everytime I step.  It looks terrible, and if you time it right you can punch me in the face.  So that's out.  Next I still have difficulty fully extending my jab and having this occur simultaneously with my lead foot landing.  Another thing that I have trouble with is the posture, I actually have very good posture but for muay thai a more hunched posture with scaphoid abdomen is advocated, which allows more hip pivot.  Also I need to stay just barely on the balls of my feet, without rising on the rear foot as I come forward to throw a cross.

I worked on the perpendicular turns.  Again, one of the keys to this style of muay thai is that you are never, ever off-balance.  Each component is on balance, allowing a seamless flow from attack to defense.  When I step with the rear foot, it pivots inward, toes toward me, however I simultaneously shift my weight between my legs to begin the evasion and smoothly slide, rather than fall into the pivot.  A smaller step is fine, if I'm worried about misstepping.  It is important to use the hand on the side you are pivoting to as a guide/slap this helps your upper body turn allowing the former lead leg to flow into its new rear position.  The pivot foot rolls to the floor (a lá the stance switch in my first lesson).

There are two methods to generate power.  The "brute" method is simple and direct, apply more strength and weight to generate power.  The advantage is it has no learning curve and requires no technique.  The drawbacks are many fold: increased injury potential (for you), athleticism dependence, unsystematic and therefore unteachable, and sacrifices balance.  The "technical" method is still simple but more indirect, applying proper technique leads to efficiency, efficiency leads to speed, which translates into power based on dependence on velocity.  The advantages are that you can learn technique that is maximally safe for you and damaging to an opponent, it is systematic and while being an athlete helps it is not the limiting factor.

The "brute" method is exemplified by the haymaker, the bigger and stronger you are the harder you hit with it,  if it connects and you don't break your hand.  A "technical" method, i.e. a fast, straight, and accurate jab, can beat the haymaker, if you will, to the punch.  I like to brawl, I won't deny, but it has diminishing returns so I try to be more technical, only to cock punches and shift my weight into an unbalanced position.

The last drill we did was a jab-kick combo in the heavy bag,  The first version was step jab hitting the bag, then lateral stepping, toes pointed away from the bag while simultaneously throwing the kick.  Not so much a hop and kick as a slide and kick.  The shoulders turn through, making the leg whip the bag, and then pivot back using the step to offset yourself.  We did a second variation at greater range, where the step jab is away (not hitting the bag), then taking a 45° step to deliver the whip kick.

No comments: