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MMA Cardio Thai Boxing – Made it into the ring again

Great workout at the Metro Fight Club!

It is a different workout in the boxing ring.  We are paired up with someone with about the same experience/abilities.  There are a few different people that I am usually paired up with.  I am there to get a workout, but do not want to be punched in the face or want to punch anyone in the face.  Getting a workout and learning the techniques and moves are my goal.

In the ring, Mondays and Wednesdays are sparring days, Tuesday and Thursdays are more structured with the same punch/kick combinations.

Since the last time I was in the ring was Monday was a sparring day, my partner and I followed Coach Adrian’s directions.  First round was left jab.  My partner threw a left jab, I blocked, then we move in a circle about 90 degrees.  Plastic dots are place on the floor of the boxing ring to keep everyone in place.  There are about 8 pairs of people in the boxing ring and it is important to be aware of the space.  Circle around the dot, staying in boxing stance in between each jab and block combination.  The ring is great because it is springy.  It is easy to stay on the balls of my feet because the floor of the ring springs back every time I move on it.

While sparring, my partner and I switch back and forth, for two minutes she is throwing the left jab, I am blocking the left jab constantly moving in a circle and resetting my boxing stance, followed by a 30 second rest.  During the rest, Coach Adrian tells us the next move.  The next move, it is my turn to throw the left jab and my partner blocks the left jab.  Two more minutes but this time I get to punch and my partner gets to block as we keep moving around in the circle, maintaining the boxing stance with the left foot forward about 10 o’clock and the right foot back about 4 o’clock, knees bent, on the balls of my feet, chin tucked, constantly protecting my face and body with my hands and arms.

The next direction from Coach Adrian is to spar back and forth freeform.  First my partner jabs and me, we move to the right about 90 degrees, then I jab her, we move again around in a circle.  We throw in some double jabs, which usually throws the other person off at first.  It is good to practice sparring.  At first, I am not blocking properly, I am not reading where she is aiming to punch.  But the more I practice, the more I pay attention, keeping my gloves in front of my face and blocking every jab as it is thrown.

Next Coach Adrian adds body shots, jabs to the chest and stomach.  We learn to bring our forearms together to block the jab to the chest and bring the elbow in towards the stomach to block the jabs to the stomach.  First my partner throws different body shots, in different combinations, double jab to chest then single jab to the stomach, I am blocking them all and the we circle about 90 degrees keeping proper distance between us and maintaining our boxing stance every time we move.  Then she makes up another combo, double jab, then we move to the right.  Two more minutes of punching/blocking.  Now it is my turn to punch and my partner’s turn to block for two minutes.  Time to spar freeform where either person can jab and the other has to be ready to block.  Sometimes we both throw punches at the same time.

Coach Adrian throws another move into the mix, left jab, left ear slap.  When we are sparring, we can’t really do the full on punch to the side of the head with our elbow even with the floor.  Instead, we just jab or slap at the ear with our gloves, the partner blocks the slap to the ear by bringing their glove to the side of their head and then bringing it back in front of their face to prepare for the next punch.  When we bring our glove to the side of our head to protect our ear, our right ear, then we must bring our left glove to the center of our face to protect our whole face.

Time to practice the jab to the chest or body and slap to the ear.  My partner is jabbing and I am blocking for the first two minutes, then it is my turn to jab while she blocks.  At first when we are sparring I am thinking “This is nothing, I should be on the floor practicing punch combinations, I don’t feel like I am getting a good workout.”  But after 45 minutes of jabbing, blocking and constantly circling around, I am starting to get a bit sweaty and feeling the work out.  Ok, so this is a better workout than practicing the punches on the floor.

I am happy to report that I have always sparred with nice partners and no one has tried to smack me in the face.  There are people that workout that are not so nice.  I hope to never be partnered with someone that is more aggressive than I am comfortable to spar against.

As always, a great workout of Thai Boxing in the truest sense.  This is not kickboxing class with music in the background.  We are truly learning how to Thai Box, to punch and kick to defend ourselves if ever required.

To your health!

Kate Hauer, MMA Thai Boxing

Great Workout at Metro Fight Club, MMA Cardio Thai Boxing!

It has been hotter than hot in Houston, Texas, for a while now.  Real temperature upper 90s, feels like temperature including humidity 107F or so.

For our workout Tuesday in MMA Thai Boxing, we started by running for at least 5 minutes on the mat.  This was way too long in the heat.    When we stopped running we did the normal warm-up:

Neck circles, arm circles, bent arm shoulder circles, twist at the waist letting arms be loose below the elbow, hip circles, knee circles, touch toes 50 times, feet together and then bend forward with legs straight to touch the floor.

Next, we were put into groups of three.  We have never sparred in groups of three before.  I was paired up with two of my long time friends from the gym, so it was fun.  We were numbered one, two, and three.  The first person threw a left jab to number two.  Number two blocked the jab by bringing both boxing gloves in front of their face touching their forehead, kind of like peek-a-boo.  Number two throws the left jab and number three blocks.  Number three throws the left jab at number one and number one blocks.  In between every jab and block, each person must adjust their boxing stance to be lined up with the person with whom they are sparring.

Maintaining the boxing stance includes staying on the balls of your feet, left foot at 10 o’clock, right foot at 4 o’clock, chin down, chest up, shoulders back and relaxed, standing straight up.  This drill kept us moving and constantly adjusting our boxing stance to switch from one person to the next.

Next we threw a round house kick with the right leg, chopping with the right hand.  The kick was thrown softly, using control, so that no one was hurt.  We kicked each other between the knee and the hip.  When sparring to practice Thai Boxing moves, it is important to know how to control yourself, do the move correctly but not with enough force to hurt your partner.  When you are fighting, that is when you can kick and punch with full force.  We went around in the circle with the right round house kick.  Then we put left jab, right round house kick together.

Next Coach Saul showed us how to block the right round house kick by lifting our left leg, bent at the knee, leg turned out about 45 degrees, foot flexed in the direction towards the direction that the kick is coming.

Then we threw the right push kick, kicking our sparring partner in the stomach.  Really, touching our sparring partner on the stomach, not kicking.  Soft touch.  We put the moves together, left jab, right round house, right push kick.

We practiced the left round house kick separately, then we added the left round house kick to the sequence of moves.

The next move we did was the right knee.  We practice right knee caught by our partner with the right glove pushing downward.  After several rounds of right knees, we added the right knee to the sequence.  When throwing the right knee we were sure to have the left foot turned out 45 degrees and be on the ball of the left foot.  We practiced the whole sequence:  left jab, right roundhouse kick, right push kick, left round house kick, and right knee.

Left elbow is the next move we practiced.  We threw left elbows in a circle.  Number one throws the left elbow to number two.  Number two throws the left elbow to number three.  Number three throws the left elbow to number one, and around and around.  When throwing the left elbow turn the whole body to the right and turn out the left heel twisting on the ball of the left foot.  The left elbow was added to the sequence and we practiced all the moves.

The last move we added was left stiff arm.  A stiff arm is used to create space between you and your sparring partner.  After the elbow push your sparring partner on the chest and move back as you straighten your left arm.

We put all the moves together:  left jab, right round house kick, right push kick, left round house kick, right knee, left elbow, and left stiff arm.  All the moves we worked on during class all put together in one smooth sequence.

It was so hot!  Lots of sweaty people.  Another great workout at the Metro Fight Club.

To Your Health,

Kate Hauer, MMA Thai Boxing



The Cleansing Physical Exercises from The Power of Prana

At the beginning of MMA Thai Boxing, first we light jog to loosen up, then we stop and do the same exercises every class.   Neck circles, arm circles, shoulder circles, hip circles, knee circles, spread feet apart and do 50 toe touches as fast as you can, then stand up, feet together, touch the floor with your hands keeping your legs straight, move right foot to the left side of the left foot, touch the floor with your hands, then switch and put the left foot on the right side of the right foot and touch the floor with your hands.

These exercises get our joints prepared for boxing and kicking.

When I was reading a book called ‘The Power of Prana’ by Master Stephen Co and Eric. B. Robbins, I was interested to see a lot of the same exercises labeled as ‘The Cleansing Physical Exercises’.  There are 13, so more than the quick exercises done at the start of class.  The book says to do two sets of these exercises and they can be completed in less than 5 minutes.  They are designed to clean from head to toe in order to flush the dirty energy from the more delicate areas (head) and chakras (crown, ajna, throat, heart) through the less delicate lower chakras (basic, sex) and then out the feet.  These exercises quickly clean the energy body and doesn’t leave any energetic congestion in more sensitive areas.  It is best to complete them in the order listed.

  1.  Eye Rotation.  Keep your head and neck still rolling your eyes 12 times clockwise and then 12 times counter clockwise.
  2. Horizontal neck rotations.  Start facing forward.  Gently twist your head left and then right twelve times.  If you have no restrictions while you rotate, you should make a 90 degree turn left and right.
  3. Vertical neck rotation.  Start with your head up and chin slightly back, facing forward.  Smoothly pivot your head up and down twelve times.
  4. Downward hand flings.  With your arms hanging at your sides and your hands open, pivot at the elbow and briskly pull your forearms up while balling your fists.  Then quickly pivot at the elbow and fling your forearms down while opening your hands.  Perform the up and down motion twelve times.
  5. Hand Looseners.  Extend your arms straight out in front of you, with one palm down and one up.  Open and close your hands quickly twelve times.  Then reverse, putting the other palm down and the first one up and repeat the movement.  (Those who have practice any internal martial arts may recognize this as an exercise taught to open the lao gong points [they roughly correspond with the palm chakras] in the center of the hands.  It increases your sensitivity to energy and allows your energy to be more easily transferred to an opponent during a fight.)
  6. Wrist rotations.  Extend your arms forward, palm facing down, fingers outstretched.  Roll your wrists twelve times each in both directions.
  7. Shoulder rotations.  Stretch your arms out to the side horizontally, palms downward.  Make circles with your arms moving backward twelve times.  Then reverse the motion, and make twelve forward circles.  Perform this at a moderate pace, not so slowly that you don’t feel the shoulders stretch a bit, but not so fast that you feel a strain.
  8. Torso twist.  Extend your arms straight out from your sides so that they are parallel to the ground.  With your feet about shoulder-width apart, twist twelve times to the right and to the left.  As with the neck rotations, try to get your torso to a 90-dedgree twist, but don’t strain.  With each twist, allow your arms to sink down, so that they’re at your sides as you conclude.
  9. Shoulder shrugs.  Drop your chin to your chest and shrug your shoulders slightly forward while allowing your arms to hang loosely in front of you.  Breathe in while pulling your head and shoulders back as far as they can comfortably go.  Then move your head and shoulders forward while exhaling.  Do this twelve times.
  10. Hip rotations.  Put your hands on your hips and bend your knees slightly.  Rotate your hips twelve times clockwise and then twelve times counterclockwise.
  11. Squats.  Bend slightly at the knees, and then perform quarter squats.  See if you can do one hundred per session.  Unlike full squats, in which your buttocks touch your heels when you dip, with a quarter squat, you dip your knees only a little.  Energetically, the quarter squat is only slightly less powerful than a full squat, and it is much easier on the knees.  If you wish to do a full squat, feel free to do so.  The squat charges your basic chakra, which is the principal chakra regulating your overall level of energy.
  12. Knee rotations.  With your legs together and knees slightly flexed, place your palms on your kneecaps and move your legs in circles.  Rotate them twelve times clockwise and twelve times counterclockwise.
  13. Ankle rotations.  Balance yourself on your right leg, lift your left leg a few inches off the ground, and extend it slightly in front of you.  As you did with your wrists, rotate your ankle twelve times clockwise and twelve times counterclockwise.  Then repeat with the right ankle.


Working out at the Metro Fight Club, MMA Thai Boxing

Another great workout with Coach Saul Soliz at the Metro Fight Club. 

Since the summer started there are so many new faces.  Last week on Monday, there were so many people, Coach Rene took all the really new people to the back to work on punches at the wall mounted pads.  The rest of us were paired up with one other person and we got warmed up and continued the workout on the mats at the front of the gym.  I like the one on one workouts, as they are good training for sparring.

Last night, we started our workout at the back of the gym at the wall mounted pads.

one, two; one, two, three;, one, two, three, two

Standing in the boxing stance, chin down, hands up with my gloves touching my eyebrows in between each round of boxing.

As soon as I throw my first left punch, bring my left hand back to protect my face.  The more I practice, I understand that my speed improves the more I practice the punches.  Also focus on punching and bringing my hand back to protect my face as fast as possible.  Reaction time.

Always light on my feet, balls of my feet, transferring my weight back and forth between my left and right feet, no flat feet.

Next we went up front and were paired up.  Lately all the experienced people are paired up with new people.  So you don’t get the best workout possible, but sometimes it is your turn to help teach someone, as someone before taught me.

We went through the one, two;  one, two, three;  one, two, three, two.  Then we went to the bags and started practicing knees, push kicks and the combined push kick and then knee.  There were four people at each bag.  Then we worked on the left side:  left knee, left push kick, then combined left push kick and left knee.  When practicing the knees and push kicks, it is important to always keep both hands up to protect my face.  and when I throw the knee or push kick, I throw my hand down as a counter balance.  At the same time, keep the other hand up by my ear with my fingers relaxed.

It is important to keep the whole upper body relaxed while throwing the knees, push kicks and roundhouse kicks.  The more relaxed the upper body is, the more power there is available for the knee or kick.

When completing the push kick, kick the bag with the balls of the last three toes of the foot.  That is one new thing I learned last week.  bring the knee up to the chest and then kick the bag with the ball of the foot, especially the last three toes.

We partnered back up and practiced left punch, right knee, left, right punches, left knee.

At first we do each action separately, then put them together as we learn the next one.

First, we started with right knee, the partner using the mitts to catch the right knee.   Then we added left punch right knee.

Next left punch, right knee, left punch right punch.  And finally practiced left knee alone and then added it to the sequence.

I like the way Coach Saul teaches, always building one action onto the next, creating a sequence of punches and kicks.

Another great workout at the Metro Fight Club.

To your health!

Kate Hauer

MMA Fight Skinny



Made it to the boxing ring in MMA cardio Thai Boxing!

It has been my goal for a while now to get into the ring and train with the guys during Thai Boxing class.

Last night I trained in the ring at the Metro Fight Club.  It started like the normal Thai Boxing class:  jog for 3-5 minutes barefoot on the mats, complete the exercises we do every time to get our joints warmed up, then I went to the back of the gym and started with the warm up punching routine.  Punching the wall mounted punching pad.  One two, one two three, one two three two, then a combination of all three.  We do each sequence at least 12-15 times, repeat four times.

Last night I worked with Coach Adrian in the boxing ring.

I’ve worked in the boxing ring before on either Friday night or Saturday morning when the advanced fighting guys are not at the gym.  Mostly when there are not many people in class, we go into the ring and practice different moves.  During the normal weekday classes Monday thru Thursday, the guys who have been coming to class regularly and are in good shape go in the ring to practice.  I’ve always worked with the more beginner students.  It has been quite annoying because there will be a guy that shows up and after three weeks of punching with the more beginner students, boom, he is in the boxing ring working out.  These guys are all younger than I am.  There are a handful of girls in the ring.

I suppose Coach Saul is looking out for me.  I had asthma when I started cardio Thai Boxing in Houston.  If you have asthma, it is going to come out in Houston, guaranteed.  Houston is the asthma capital of the United States.  The air is heavy with humidity, pollution, and allergies.  After 7 months of MMA cardio Thai Boxing, my asthma has seemed to disappear.  I am very happy about this.

Last night in the boxing ring, Coach Adrian put a small tire out for me.  Everyone else had a dot as their center point of boxing.  He put the tire out and I had my left foot in the tire as we jabbed back and forth and kept turning and resetting our base to get back into the boxing stance.

Coach Adrian and I both had our boxing gloves on.  We practiced for two minutes and then break for 30 seconds.  There were about 20 rounds.  First, Coach Adrian was punching at me with his left boxing glove.  I was practicing blocking, both the Pary block, turn my glove around open fisted and catch the punch, or push the punch down.  Then we worked on both left chest punch and added stomach punch.  Coach Adrian showed me to block the stomach punches with my elbow, bring my right elbow in close to my body to block a left punch.  Next, we added the left hook.

In between every punch/block combination, we moved to the right in a tight circle.  Coach Adrian made me put my left foot in the small tire, to ensure that I would stay in the tight circle.  After the move to the right, it is important to regain my boxing stance left foot/hip forward, right foot/hip back, knees bent, looking straight at my partner with my chin tucked in, elbows close to my side ribs, and always on the balls of my feet, no flat feet.

The sparring was fun, not violent.  We were practicing punching and blocking.  First Coach Adrian throwing the punches at me, with me blocking them.  Then I was throwing the punches at Coach Adrian and he was blocking them.  Then we were both throwing punches and blocking punches.  No one was calling out the sequence.  It was spontaneous.  It was playful.  I can see how it could be more serious if I was working with someone who was more violent and not so fun.

I had a great time sparring with Coach Adrian!

To Your Health

Kate Hauer, MMA Thai Boxing

Jui Jitsu at Metro Fight Club with Coach Saul Soliz

The Art of Jui Jitsu

I am lucky to have the chance to learn Jui Jitsu from Coach Saul Soliz.  Jared is the usual coach.

A couple months ago, Coach Saul Soliz was giving Jui Jitsu classes for beginners right after the Saturday MMA Thai Boxing class.  I had the benefit of three of these classes.  Then I went on vacation and when I returned, these classes were not held anymore.

Jui Jitsu is a sequence of moves, using logic to maintain control.

I am starting my journey to learn all of the moves that I can to evade any move made by an opponent.  This opponent could even be a person that is attacking me, not a sport event.  Jui Jitsu started in Japan, now is popular in Brazil.  I need to read and learn more about the history of Jui Jitsu.  There is a lot of tradition associated with Jui Jitsu.

Last night there were three woman and a bunch of guys in the class.  The coach told us to pair up.  The two other women went together.  I was lucky to look at Jeff, the purple belt who helps with the class, and ask him to partner with me.  We started with the basic move.  Jeff sitting in my in my guard, I am on my back and Jeff is sitting in front of me, facing me.  I have my legs wrapped around him with my feet crossed.  Jeff is bending forward with his hands on the ground.  The first exercise roll onto my left elbow and reach with my right hand behind Jeff’s back and touch his belt, then I move to my right elbow, reach behind his back with my left hand and touch his belt on his lower left back.  We do this for a timed one minute.  But I swear it was two minutes.  I think the coach was playing a trick on us.  Great core work.

The beauty of a class with Coach Saul Soliz is everything is a sequence.  The first move, reaching behind the opponents back while he is in my guard, is the beginning of the second move taught.  The second move the opponent starts with his hands on my hips.  I bump up my hips a little and on the way down, I remove his hands from my hips and his hands hit the ground on either side of me.  Bumping up my hips just a little gives space for me to displace his hands.  Then I lean on my left elbow, reach around with my right arm, grab his right hand with my right hand, put his hand behind his back and grab my right wrist with my left hand.  Kimora.  To make it hurt, move the opponent’s arm away from his back, torque it.

After Coach shows us a move, then we practice it endlessly, or it seems like endlessly.  about 5 minutes each.  Which means we each do the move at least 20 times.  It gets ingrained in your head after you practice it many times in a row.  perfecting it.  Figuring out exactly what you are doing right and what you need to improve.

Back to MMA Thai Boxing, after a sweet vacation in California

First it was bronchitis, I mean I haven’t been sick like this for many many years.  In fact, I don’t remember when I’ve ever been out of work four days in a row.  I tried to go to work on Wednesday and they told me to go home.  My cough was horrible.  My boss thought I was contagious.  I didn’t tell him that I saw the doctor on Monday and was on my third day of antibiotics.  There are very few times I go to the doctor, but when I am sick and can’t breathe, I am grateful to have a good doctor that will see me whenever I call.  Thank you Dr. Bui.

I was back at work for one week working out and then I went to California for vacation for 9 days.  I went to MMA cardio Thai Boxing two days of that week in between being sick and vacation.  Some days it is all I can do is to get up at 5:30am/6am, get ready for work, work until 4pm to 5pm, depending upon when I arrive to work.  Then go to work out at the Metro Fight Club, go home, relax for maybe an hour and time for bed already.

I was lucky to be able to go workout after work Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday morning.  They pulled up all the old mats and put down brand new red/orange mats.  They are like gymnastics mats, solid and just the right amount of give.  I’m not sure what kind they are, but they are beautiful and brand new.


For the MMA Thai Boxing class, we started the same as always.  Coach Saul Soliz was there to whip us into shape.  Punches jab cross, jab hook cross, jab hook cross hook.  Warming up in the back of the gym at the wall mounted punching boxes.  In boxing stance, body turned 45 degrees left foot forward, right foot back.  Standing up tall, yet keeping my knees bent slightly.  When throwing the left punch, use the whole body, left shoulder comes forward, twist at the waist, left heel twists out to the left.  Punch with the whole body.  The more we practice the same punches, the better the form gets, the harder I can punch.  Practice, practice, practice and the power will come.

Then we go to the front of the gym and practice the same punches.  One person holds the mitts the other punches.  When catching the punches, I am still able to work on twisting my body and my foot work.  Always staying on the balls of my feet, re-adjusting my base in between every punch, keeping my chin down, shoulders back and relaxed, face emotionless, moving the weight from one foot to the other.

Now I know what Muhammad Ali meant when he said “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.


Lately we’ve been working on punching and kicking combinations.  First we practice the right knee.  Step forward with my left foot, foot turned out 45 degrees, throwing my knee when I am on the ball of my left foot.  Learn the proper distance from the punching bag, first by reaching out and touching it, throwing a knee and re-adjusting the distance after one knee.  When I throw my right knee, I throw my hips forward, keep my shoulders back and chest out.  Again, the more I practice, the stronger this move becomes.  When I throw my knee, my arm is bent with my right hand near my right ear.  As I throw the kick, I also throw my hand down towards the ground, keeping the fingers relaxed.


After the knee we practice right push kicks.  The distance from the bag is a little further for the push kick.  Again left foot turned out 45 degrees and kicking from the ball of my left foot, throwing my hips forward, chest out, shoulders back and relaxed.  My right hand starts near my right ear and I throw my arm down as I throw the push kick.  The arm helps with balance.


Next, we practice the right roundhouse kick.  Again the left foot is out 45 degrees, I’m on the ball of my left foot as I kick my right leg, shin hitting the bag.  At the same time I am kicking, I have my right hand across my chest on my left shoulder, I reach out with my hand even with my shoulders towards the bag.


The combination left jab, right roundhouse kick is next.  Starting in boxing stance, throw the left jab, re-adjust my stance and then throw the right kick.

Another combination right jab, left hook, right jab, then right roundhouse kick.   Again, starting in boxing stance with left foot forward, right foot back, on the balls of my feet, shoulders relaxed, elbows in, hands up always protecting my face.

Now we put them both together.  left jab, right roundhouse kick, right jab, left hook, right jab, right roundhouse kick.  After practicing this about ten times, it starts to feel natural.

We’ve also been practicing the same knee, push kick and roundhouse with the left leg.  When I first started Thai Boxing the left kick felt easier than the right.  Now I’ve practiced the right kick more than the left.  I need to practice the left side more so both sides are equal.

Time is up.  We all line up.  lift our hands up inhale, let them drop down exhale three times.  Then Wi, press our hands together and slightly bow our heads.

Time for Jui Jitsu class.

Another great class.

To your health,

Kate Hauer, MMA


MMA Thai Boxing – Practice Punches and more Punches!

MMA Thai Boxing is one of the greatest activities to keep your mind young.

Thai Boxing is a mind/body sport, my mind is always engaged in the moment to make sure I am punching correctly, kicking correctly.  When I first started taking this class I had no idea what this sport was all about.  Over time, I am learning the proper technique that it takes to throw a strong punch.  Coach Saul is always saying, ‘Right now we are working on repetition to learn the form, technique.  The power of the punch/kick will come with repetition.’

A lot of times beginning students, especially young men, try to punch and kick as hard as they can.  They are only punching with their arms and hands and kicking with their legs.  Before knowing the technique of using your whole body to throw a punch, throw a kick, you get exhausted very quickly by trying to use too much power.  When you finally learn all the form and technique that Coach Saul Soliz is throwing at us in every class, then you start to be able to throw those punches and land those kicks, using your whole body, and it doesn’t take so much out of you.  You build endurance and learn how to conserve your energy.

Since Coach Saul Soliz is back, we pack so much more activity into every single class.  He is always saying “Quickly, grab your gloves and go to the back quickly!”  There is always a sense of urgency.  There is never enough time.  As I get older I understand this sense of urgency.  This is something that I did not have when I was younger.  There isn’t all the time in the world.  The time to take action is NOW!

The class started as always with the warm-up jog and then exercises to loosen up our joints.  Immediately followed by the more experienced people who have shin pads and head protection go to the cage to spar, everyone else to the back of the gym to practice punches against the wall mounted punching boxes.

Stand in boxing stance, left foot at 10 o’clock and right foot at 4 o’clock, head facing the wall, chin down, shoulders relaxed, face emotionless, on the balls of my feet, no flat feet, constantly shifting the weight from one foot to the other, bend my knees, ready to punch.

We go through the punch sequences to warm up:

One two, one two three, one two three two.  We throw the one two about twenty times, two sets.  Throw one two three about twenty times, two sets.  Then combine the two punch sequences.  Throw the one two three two twenty times, two sets.  Then combine all three about eight times, two sets.

Next we move to the front of the gym.  It is amazing because it has been less than 15 minutes and already we have done so much!  The best thing about this class is the constant dialogue that Coach Saul Soliz keeps up.  ‘Stay on the balls of your feet, reset your base’ he calls after almost every single punch sequence.  ‘Keep your chin down!  Relax your shoulders!  Bring your hands up and your elbows in!  Every time he sees someone with incorrect form, he is by them talking to them in between keeping the class going.  Getting them back on track, making sure they understand what they need to learn.

We practice the same punches with a partner.  One with mitts, the other with gloves.  Now we are really warmed up and ready to go!

The next set of punches we practice:

Parry with the right glove, punch with the left glove.  Parry definition – a defensive movement to deflect a thrusting attack, a word from fencing.  Parrying is superior to blocking offensively and defensively.


Shoulder roll with left, punch with right.

Block with right glove by right ear, left hook, right punch.

Step back with the right foot as partner with mitts reaches out with the left mitt, then throw the right punch, using momentum from my right big toe as I push off to step forward.

We practice each of these sequences individually and then add them practice them together.  For the beginners, and when I first started, this sequence was overload on my mind.  Now that I’ve done it many times, it is easy to remember and practice.

It is great to see progress as I practice the punches over and over.  There is a feeling of satisfaction and most importantly, a great cardio workout!


Another great workout!

To your health,

Kate Hauer, MMA

Coach Saul is Back!

Today was a great day at the Houston Metro Fight Club  in Houston, Texas!  Coach Saul is back from California and now we can all look forward to Coach Saul pushing us to work harder, faster and smarter.

Coach Saul was training Cris Cyborg, MMA Professional, in California.  After a successful UFC win last Saturday night, Coach is back to Houston.  He is back to his day job and we are very lucky to have him.

Coach Saul has a constant conversation going on.  There are always new people in the gym, and there are other people of varying degrees of ability and fitness.  He seems to know where everyone falls on this list.  He constantly reminds everyone of all the things that we need to hear to become better fighters.

Stay on the balls of your feet

No flat feet

Keep your chin tucked in

Relax your shoulders 

Readjust your base

Punch with the knuckles of your first two fingers otherwise you could hurt your wrist

He doesn’t miss a thing.

The workout was great!  Instead of 2 sets of 8 or ten punches, we must have done 3 sets of 20 punches of each combo.

One two, one two three, one two three two.

We moved through the warm up quickly and still had over half the class to work on new combinations.

With a partner at the bag, we practiced right knees.  To make sure I was the correct distance away from the punching bag, I reached out with my left hand.  That is the perfect distance.  I had a yellow noodle, one that you use in the swimming pool, in my right hand, my left hand up by my ear, noodle in my right hand over my right shoulder, I step out 45 degrees with my left foot, my right knee hits the bag with the thigh parallel to the floor.  I stand up straight and on the ball of my left foot as I thrust my hips forward as my right knee hits the bag.  Right now we are practicing form, not trying to see how hard we can hit the bag.

At the same time my knee hits the bag, my right-hand chops down, a counter balance to my knee thrusting forward.

We practice this move at least 15 times, switch partners, Coach Saul says “Muscle Back‘ when we switch.

Next we practice push kicks.  To find the correct distance for push kicks, left hand reach to the bag and step back one stride.   Push kick on the right leg, step with the left foot out 45 degrees. bend my right knee and push the bag about hip high.  Coach Saul says ‘Think of squashing a bug on the bag.”  Two sets of 15-20 push kicks, then switch people, muscle back.

Roundhouse kick with the right leg is next.  Two sets of twenty.  Then we put all three together.  Push kick, knee, roundhouse kick.

That was enough for one day.

Another great workout.

To your health,

Kate Hauer, MMA




MMA Cardio Thai Boxing, Saturday Morning Class

Saturday classes are great!  Not as many people show up.  This week there were four people, two women and two men. Which worked out perfectly when we paired up for punching and kicking.  Less people means more coaching, more scrutiny of my form.  Classes like this help take me to the next level.

After warming up, we did the normal punches at the back of the gym at the wall mounted punching boxes.

  1.  One, two; left punch, right punch.

2.  One, two, three, or jab, hook, cross.

3.  One, two, three, two.  Left punch, right punch, left hook, right punch.

The usual warm up, we do two sets the first one, two sets of the second, two sets of 1 then 2, two sets of 3, two sets of 1, 2, 3.  Standing in boxing stance, chin tucked, elbows in, hands up protecting my face in between each punch sequence.  Every time we punch with the left punch, bring my left shoulder forward, twist at the waist, knees bent slightly.  When punching with the left hand, the whole left side of the body twists forward, on the ball of the left foot, the left heel twists forward, out.  It is the same when punching with the right hand, right shoulder comes forward, twist at the waist, knees bent slightly, on the ball of the right foot, right heel twists out.

Coach Rene was training us on Saturday.  He has been stepping up for the classes since Coach Saul Soliz has been in California training Cris Cyborg.

Coach Rene told us to get the big pads and mitts.    I’ve never used the big pads before.  The big pads allow people to be able to kick harder when we are working with partners.

We went into the boxing ring.  First we started punching with the mitts.  I held the mitts and my partner punched.  Doing the same sets of punches that we completed at the back of the gym against the wall.  First I caught the punches, then I threw the punches.

I put the pad on and the women I was working with started with right roundhouse kicks.  We stayed in place at first, we did two sets of 8 right roundhouse kicks.  Then we started moving along the side of the boxing ring.  Right roundhouse kick, one step back, reposition, right roundhouse kick.  Then we moved backwards.  Right roundhouse kick, one step forward for me (the one with the pad), one step back (for the one kicking), making sure to step with the right foot and drag the left foot when moving backwards.

Next we practiced right knees.  Then we combined right roundhouse kick, right knee.  This is almost as much work for the one holding the pad as it is for the one throwing the kicks and knees.

When throwing the right knee, I am on the ball of my left foot, my right thigh is parallel to the floor, then throw the knee forward by thrusting my hips forward.  The hips are powerful and that is what makes the knee powerful.  We are still working with the large pad, so my knee hits the pad that my partner is holding.

Practicing right knee, one step forward, back into boxing stance, right knee, one step forward, reset into boxing stance.  We went the length of the boxing ring, reversed directions by throwing a right knee, right foot back, drag left foot into the boxing stance.  We went back the length of the boxing right, about 8 knees.

The two guys went to go practice roundhouse kicks on the bags.  The clock was set for two minutes.  First they practiced right roundhouse kicks for two minutes, left roundhouse kicks for two minutes, then alternated kicks for two minutes.

Rene worked with me and the other woman in class.  We balanced out our practice by working on left roundhouse kicks and left knees.  Rene held the pad for us while we got to kick and knee.

Time was up, class was over for another day.

To Your Health,

Kate Hauer, MMA