A Simple, Effective Way To Progress In Your Muay Thai Evolution
First off Happy New Year to everyone, and since you are reading this, one of your New Year resolutions will probably be to either start training Muay Thai or to drastically improve your skills in Muay Thai or your selected Martial Art style.
I am here to help you achieve your goals with some very solid tips and strategies to get the most from your Muay Thai training in 2017 and BEYOND!
My name is Nick and this is a guest post, you can find out more about me and my work on my website TheModernFighter.com. I would also like to thank Sean for giving me the opportunity to help other people achieve their Muay Thai training goals this coming year and beyond!
In this Muay Thai training article I will be writing about goals, planning, time management, creativity and most importantly progression. I understand that some of these subjects might seem boring and unrelated to each other, but you will see how we will make use of all of them together by the end of this guide and how each subject will help you get the most out of your Muay Thai training sessions, even if they are very short.
You will also notice that I like to break things down, that is because it is the fastest way to learn and then progress by adding everything you learn separately together.
Muay Thai Training Goals
First up is figuring out what you want to achieve.
By having a clear goal in mind, or better yet written on paper, we can figure out how to plan our Muay Thai training sessions to achieve those goals in the most efficient way. Once we achieve those goals, we will know that we are progressing and improving.
Figuring out your goals is easy to do. There are various goals you can pursue, such as physical fitness goals and Martial Arts training goals, you can dive much deeper in both those categories so you can have very specific things you want to improve on.
For this guide I will specifically focus on a couple of techniques so you can have a better understanding of how to identify problems and structure your Muay Thai training routine, and then add on top of that to progress much faster and prepare for various circumstances and outcomes when fighting.
Now to figure out what you want to improve on specifically, I suggest you do a sparring session and either film it or have your instructor watch you (watch how Sean films and breakdowns his sparring rounds in this video). This way you can either see what mistakes you are making, or your instructor can comment on what you need to improve. The reason this is an effective method is because you will be performing techniques on a moving target and you will also be under some pressure, to an extent.
However if you are a complete beginner and have no idea where to start, I recommend you sign up for NakMuayNation.com. There is a whole world of information there!
Now let’s say that you are sparring and somehow your front leg teep never manages to land on time before your opponent reaches you with his jab, round kick etc, and you figure out that the reason this is happening is because of the half step you are doing with the rear leg right before lifting your front leg. So you decide that you want to improve your intercepting teep.
The teep I am talking about for those of you who do not know is a defensive front kick used to intercept an advancing opponent. This kick is done without doing a half step with the rear leg, making it less powerful, but much faster. So it will be of great use to you when you want to defend against an incoming opponent and you only have a split second to react.
Now that we found a goal we want to achieve, it is time to plan out the training session.
Planning, Time Management and Progression
Now these three subjects are all intertwined together and you will see why, so just bear with me for now.
First up I would like to point out that not everyone’s schedule is going to be the same, which is why figuring out the amount of free time you have solely comes down to you. If you can find at least 30 minutes of free time a day which you can dedicate to your training, it ends up amounting to 14 hours of training a month!
Now for this guide let’s say you have 45 minutes of time and we need to make the best of them to improve the intercepting teep. If you are a beginner you will have to dedicate all of that time on that one skill, however if you already have more experience you will get used to this kind of teep much faster.
So the example below is only for beginners, then we will get to the most important part which is progression and is more suited for more advanced practitioners. I will also give a very brief explanation of the technique in the bullet points below and how to break things up with the time that we have.
- For the first 4 minutes focus only on the hands. If you are kicking with your right foot (lead leg) then you drop your right hand and cover your face with the left hand simultaneously. 2 minutes for each side should be enough as this is a very simple movement.
- For the next 10 minutes focus on the legs only. Just lift your lead leg up and kick, without doing the half step with the rear leg. You can either do it in the air or on a heavy bag. Do 5 minutes for each side.
- For the last 30 minutes you can combine both exercises together. Dedicate 15 minutes to each side.
You will need more time than that to master the technique, however it’s a good start.
Now after you’ve got it, go and test it in sparring again! You will probably notice that your teeps are connecting more often now, but not always. We need to progress beyond the teep and have contingency plans in place.
So you will probably notice that there are three likely outcomes that will happen after you execute the teep.
- The teep connects successfully and your opponent is stopped in his place and stays in the kicking range.
- The teep connects successfully and he is stopped but he is more resilient and immediately charges forward again.
- You miss or the teep slips/gets brushed off of the opponent so he manages to get in the boxing range, during your interception.
Now we have three new problems we need to solve, or should I say three new goals we have to crush!
We have to progress from one simple teep to multiple techniques… now it’s time to get creative! Remember creativity will take you a LONG way, not just in Martial Arts but also in life!
Let’s say your teep works and your opponent stays in the kicking range and is fazed for that split second after your teep connected. A follow up attack you can do AS SOON as your front teep lands on the ground is to teep with the rear leg this time. This is a much more powerful kick and gives you the range you need to hit since he is in the kicking range, and still fazed for that split second, so it gives you an opening.
You can easily train technique combo this with a punching bag. Push the punching bag so it can replicate a rushing opponent and time your intercepting teep as soon as the bag comes back and is within kicking range. Then follow up with your rear teep. It will take you multiple tries before you get everything right, including timing, balance, form as well as power.
Now the next problem I want to touch up on is if the strike lands but your opponent immediately rushes in again and enters the punching range. The simplest and most direct technique you can throw right after a lead teep is a cross. This can also be easily trained on a punching bag.
The third and most problematic situation you can find yourself in is if you miss or your kick slips/brushes off of your opponent. This will open you up to punches, but at least, if you trained well, you should have one arm covering your face (just like I discussed in step 1 for the beginners).
If this situation happens you have to adjust yourself as fast as possible to your opponent, because you never know what he might come out with. For now we will move on with the planning of the other techniques we mentioned, so we do not complicate things too much.
So, like before, let’s say we have 45 minutes of free time.
- We can spend the first 20 minutes training alone on a punching bag so we can get the hang of both techniques. I am talking about the rear teep follow up as well as the cross follow up. You can dedicate 10 minutes to each technique.
- Then we can spend the remaining time on the Thai pads, and make it a point that the one holding the pads rushes in so the techniques you learn can be pressure tested, considering our main goal was to stop a rushing opponent. You can also add some follow up techniques as well, so the session does not become very repetitive and that way you also improve much faster. I recommend that the pad holder wears a protective vest to prevent injuries.
After you learn the techniques you can further test them out in sparring. By doing so, you will improve your reaction time and instinctively throw the appropriate technique at the appropriate time.
In summary, we figured out what we wanted to improve on, planned our Muay Thai training sessions out to get the most out of the little time we had available by breaking things up, and then progressed and built up on the basic techniques that we learned.
Keep An Open Mind
Another VERY effective way to become a better martial artist in 2017 and beyond is to keep an open mind and explore other Martial Art styles.
By training in other styles you will have a huge advantage over any opponent you might come across that has no experience in other styles, since you will have a broader set of techniques and strategies which you can capitalize on.
A good place to start to expand your knowledge and learn more styles is on my website TheModernFighter.com. We have a FREE video course as well as a one month trial. If you take advantage of the trial you will get a total of 4 hours of in depth video footage.
This Muay Thai training guide is a very simple and basic way to help you out in the coming year and beyond. There are many other ways and many tools you can use to improve much faster, even if you have no Muay Thai training partner. But for now I think this is enough to help you get started or improve your current routine.
That’s it for now, just try to be creative and plan everything out. If you have any Muay Thai training tips or suggestions that would be valuable to other readers of this blog, don’t hesitate to share your knowledge in the comments below!
- Hi, first off I am the main author at www.TheModernFighter.com. I am from the island of Malta and practice different styles, mainly focusing on street oriented martial art styles such as Kali and JKD.
I am very open minded about ALL things in life including Martial Arts, and STRIVE to learn as much as I can everyday.
'Research your own experience; absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.' - Bruce Lee