The Bigger Picture – Can You See What I See?

I use a lot of analogies when I'm coaching. I try to pick a common reference that the client or athlete has experience of, and lever this to help them quickly grasp whatever I'm trying to get across. I'm going to attempt the same in this post. My analogies only work if you have a frame [...]

A Few Good Words…

Sitting watching the Commonwealth Games, I'm struck by the coaches activity — grabbing fleeting moments to refocus their athletes. None is more apparent than the boxing corner-men. What's imparted during these brief exchanges? What's useful, and (more importantly) what's not useful? Although understanding how to coach effectively during competition is crucial, it's also important throughout training too. [...]

Muay Thai: Balancing the Extremes

Every element within your being constantly swings between two opposite extreme states like a pendulum. This fluctuation is normal as your body strives to maintain balance. But, if the pendulum swings too far, balance is lost, problems arise and breakdown is inevitable. This principle is true at every level of existence, from the solar [...]

Testing Fighter’s Anaerobic Fatigue & Power

Here's a simple but highly effective test you can conduct on a rowing machine to determine your maximum average power, anaerobic fatigue and anaerobic capacity – a very useful gauge for Thai boxers. The result of this modified Wingate rowing test can not only be used to track your personal fitness progress and the effectiveness [...]

Bleed Less – The Steps to Take Before Climbing in the Ring

Cuts are part of Muay Thai. A well placed knee or elbow can easily result in a profuse cut that prematurely ends a fight (7, 22). This sort of external bleeding is obvious, but there's also internal damage; bruising and haemorrhage of various tissues within the body (17, 22) – the most consequential being [...]

Make Muay Thai Your Own

A big mistake coaches can make is to produce clones of their own style rather than developing fighters as individuals. As I discussed in my last post, the importance of individualisation, no-one has the same biological or psychological traits. You're can't duplicate the exact performance of someone with different stature, limb lengths, body proportions [...]

The Importance of Individualisation

We're all different. You can't expect everyone to respond to training in same way. In truth, everything is probability, an outcome is either more or less likely depending on many different factors. Structuring training to achieve a desired result is relatively easy for the majority, but there are always outliers, those high-responders and non-responders that [...]

Possessing & Teaching Character

It's often said that sport builds character, but participation alone doesn't build it, character must be taught. How do you know if you possess character, how can you teach character? As a coach of any kind, we're also responsible for developing character in those we interact with. We're in the privileged position that people [...]

By | 2017-04-13T19:57:51+00:00 March 24th, 2014|Coaching, Sport Psychology, Written Post|0 Comments

Weight Training Is Skill Training

During our Interclub event this weekend at Unit 1 Gym, I had a chat with KO fighter Greg 'The Prodigy' Wootton about strength and conditioning for Thai boxers. The topic of resistance training came up, and the opportunities this presents for fighters to further develop skilled movement. I thought I'd expand on our brief [...]

Olympic Lifting & Kettlebells For Muay Thai?

Quan A Nguyen recently asked on the Heatick S&C Facebook page: "What do you think about Olympic lifting, and kettlebell training? Is Olympic lifting appropriate for MT? If yes, how should I modify my weight training schedule to include them?" Both Olympic lifting (snatch, clean and jerk etc.) and kettlebell training (swings, snatches and [...]

It’s Not Your 8 Limbs Striking

The private Muay Thai sessions I've coached recently have handed me a common-thread that I thought I'd share with you. Muay Thai is often referred to as the science of 8 limbs, but being pre-occupied with the striking limbs themselves is a big mistake. This is something I've found to be true myself, and [...]

Muay Thai & The Law of Accommodation – Part 2

Avoiding training plateaus (accommodation) requires some forethought. As discussed in part 1 of this article, it's important to vary training load (intensity and/or volume) and the exercises or drills used. These modifications to training are essentially quantitative (changing the amount and intensity) or qualitative (replacing exercises and drills). Fighters/athletes with more advanced training ages [...]

Muay Thai & The Law of Accommodation – Part 1

When it comes to physical training, most haven't heard of the law of accommodation, even fewer have considered it's application to Muay Thai. But this great question came up on the Questions & Answers Forum. Although I've briefly touched on it before, it's a subject that's of particular relevance to Muay Thai and warrants [...]

Wisdom vs Knowledge: A Fighter’s Perspective

What's the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Learning theory gains knowledge, whereas applying this knowledge through practical experience gains wisdom. It takes time to gain wisdom. I’m always learning more, from everyone that I come into contact with — because of their experience, regardless of their academic knowledge! Learning is important, but you must [...]

By | 2017-04-28T10:03:01+00:00 October 28th, 2013|Coaching, Mindfulness, Written Post|0 Comments

Mastery Begins With Your Intent

My early morning run was feeling easier today, my pace was quicker than previous outings and my mind was sparking - thoughts, ideas where hitting me without conscious effort as I sprung along. At last I was beginning to feel myself again after a training hiatus. As I neared the end of the run [...]

Training Age

At a seminar I delivered to Thai boxers in Cork, Ireland, there were some very experienced fighters — having invested many years of training both domestically and in Thailand, and amassing a large number of fights internationally. You wouldn't describe these guys as 'beginners'... or would you? A small part of this particular seminar [...]

Are You Fighting With The Brakes On?

Here in the UK we’ve recently had a heat wave (I’m definitely not complaining, I love it — it’s been more like Bangkok than Bury St Edmunds), and the Muay Thai classes I’ve taught in such conditions have shown that movement economy needed some work. It has been an opportunity to focus on efficiency [...]

By | 2017-04-28T10:18:21+00:00 August 4th, 2013|Coaching, Motor Patterns, Movement Training, Written Post|3 Comments

Periodisation of Muay Thai Technique Training

I've come across an interesting periodisation model while reviewing a classic article from the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal, "A Theoretical Model of Strength Training" by Stone, Bryant et al. And I thought I'd share it with you as it helps Thai boxers picture how their training should be structured approaching a fight. The [...]

Outuflow Muay Thai Activation Exercises

This weekend I was privileged to meet Will Chung when attending his Tacfit MMA workshop. To say he's had a profound effect on me would be an understatement. Will is not only an renowned martial artist and coach, but really knows movement. His approach is one of a universal practicality - it doesn't matter [...]

What is Strength & Conditioning Exactly???

  This post was prompted by a recent Facebook status, which asked, “As strength and conditioning is becoming a big part of fighters training, what do coaches and fighters think it is? Weight training? Cardio? Padwork? Bag work? Core exercises? Body impact conditioning?” It's a great question, and one that certainly attracted a lot [...]