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MMA Thai Boxing, Another Day’s Workout

Cardio Thai Boxing is a great workout.  It is also a lot of repetition.  However, it is amazing how much I’ve learned over time about the form and technique of Thai Boxing while repeating the same punching sequences.  The only way to get better is to practice.  The only way to get faster and more powerful is to practice.

The class started out the same, first warm-up and then back to the wall mounted pads for punching.

We completed the following sequences:

One two, which is left punch right punch, 10x, repeat

One two three, which is left punch, right punch, left hook, 10x, repeat

Then combine the two:  one two, one two three  10x, repeat

One two three two, left punch, right punch, left hook, right punch, 10x, repeat

Combine all three:  one two, one two three, one two three two.

We moved to the front of the gym and paired up one person with mitts, the other kept their boxing gloves on. We repeated the same boxing sequences above.

Now it was time to work on boxing footwork.  Paired up with the same partner, we stood facing each other, each in the boxing stance.  The person moving back leads.  Take a step with the right foot back, drag the left foot for the length of the short side of the mat.  Then we added in the punching sequence listed above.  Take one step back, one two, another step back, one two.  This teaches me to maintain my boxing stance when I move and to always drag the 2nd foot to maintain better balance.  The same sequence was repeated for the other two punching sequences. Finally we added all three together, one step back, one two, one step back, one two three, one step back, one two three two.  Of course when we got to the edge of the mat then we had the chance to move forward one step, punch one two, move forward one step, one two three, move forward one step, one two three two until we were at the edge of the mat again.

Now it was time to practice roundhouse kicks against the bags.  Two people per bag, we each took our turn starting in the boxing stance, stepping forward with the left foot turned out to the left 45 degrees.  Then come up onto the ball of your foot as you bring your right hip on top of your left hip and kick the bag with the outer right shin.  I just learned that I was to be kicking with the outer shin.  I’ve been getting bruises on my shin bone, so when I finally learn to kick properly, maybe the bruising will go away.  It was only this week that I can finally do the roundhouse kick on the ball of my foot.  It’s been since August.  My balance is getting better the more I practice.

We practiced right knee.  Again the left foot is turned out and the knee is delivered when I am on the ball of my left foot.  The hips are thrust forward as the knee moves forward to hit the bag.  After the first one, you know if you are too close or too far from the bag and adjust your distance.

Class was over, everyone lined up.  Saul has been in California training a Pro MMA fighter.  He is supposed to come back next week I believe.  I will tell you more about the Pro MMA fighter Saul has been training in the next post.

To Your Health,

Kate Hauer, MMA

First MMA Thai Boxing Workout of 2016

So happy to be back in the gym.  The gym was closed from Christmas to New Year’s Day.  I was on vacation, out of town.  It felt good to get back into the rhythm of working out.

Coach Saul Soliz has been in California for about a month.  I believe he will return mid-January.  He is training out there, getting someone ready for a professional fight.  Rene and Adrian have been keeping the gym going.  They are both great coaches.  I miss Saul and his constant coaching.  He does not miss a thing.  He knows the next thing you need to work on to help you move to the next level.

Last night I was lucky to work with a woman who is very experienced in Thai Boxing.  She has been out for a month due to an injury.  Everyone warmed up and then the more experienced guys were told to get Thai pads.   Thai pads are bigger than the usual mitts that we use.  Thai pads allow the person throwing the punches or kicks to punch and kick harder.  Also, Thai pads allow partners to work together to practice kicks.   Mitts are used to catch punches, not kicks.

For some reason I wanted to go with the more experienced people into the cage.  I have been working out at the Houston Metro Fight Club since mid-August.  Most of the people that were in the more beginner class were children.  I didn’t want to be one of the four adults with children.  My partner and I got a pair of Thai pads and went into the cage.

In the cage, the moves are timed.  I think they put three minutes on the clock.  I will have to look tonight at the gym.  I was punching and kicking and my partner had the Thai pads. The first sequence was jab (left punch) and right roundhouse kick.  Then we both move to the right approximately 90 degrees.  Regain the boxing stance and repeat.  For three minutes.  The buzzer rings.  Adrian yells out the next sequence.  Left punch, right punch, left roundhouse kick.  Three minutes of this sequence, moving 90 degrees to the right and regaining your boxing stance in between each punch/kick combo.  Then we put the two together for three more minutes, twice.  The next sequence was left punch, right punch, left punch, right roundhouse kick for three minutes.  We did this combo twice.  Then we put the three sequences together for three minutes, took a short break and did it again,

By this time, I was completely out of breath.  I had just come back from a weekend in New York City and was having trouble breathing when we were running up the stairs to catch the subway in NYC before it left.  I have asthma and for some reason it felt harder to breathe in NYC than in Houston.  Or maybe I was out of breath from not training over the holidays.  It was the first time I went in the cage and now I know, I need to work on my cardio before I go in there again.  Maybe I will try again in two weeks.

My partner and I went out of the cage, I got some mitts and it was her turn to punch.  Left punch, right punch.  Then left punch, right punch, left hook.  Then the two together.  These are the punches that we always do to warm up.  It seems like it would get old, but it never does.  There is always something else to work on with my form.  The next punch sequence is one two three two, or left punch, right punch, left hook, right punch.  My partner does this sequence at lightening speed.  I didn’t expect it the first time, but then was in sync with her the second time she threw the sequence.  We did this combination about 10 times in a row, rested and then again.  Then we put all three combinations together.  Since I had been the one punching and kicking in the cage, I let my partner take my turn for punching and she did all of the combinations again.  Then we had 20 minutes at the end to practice kicks.

It took at least two months for the coach to let me kick the bag instead of lining up with the new people and children and kick the dummy, with his direct supervision.  I was either leaning wrong, or bending my knees, there was a lot to fix about my kick before I was allowed to kick the bag.  First we did right roundhouse kick about 12-15 times.  We switch and did it again, each having three turns.  Then left roundhouse kick.  Foot placement of the standing foot is very important in roundhouse kicks.  The standing foot must turn out, the standing leg is straight and then I am on the ball of my foot when I bring my kicking leg hip on top of my standing leg hip and deliver the kick.  If you are not on the balls of your feet, you could tear your parts of your knees or other ligaments, tendons in your joints.  Last night I learned that I also need to start throwing my hips into the kick.  I have barely mastered my balance on the ball of my foot when I kick and now the next thing to think about is my hips.

After the roundhouse kicks, we practiced right push kicks and then right knees.  I can throw my hips when pushing my right knee into the bag.  I have to think about and work on that action in the roundhouse kicks.

Thai boxing is always new.  Even when we repeat the same punching and kicking combinations, they are new and different every day.  Thai boxing is complicated and I am truly a beginner at mastering the punches, kicks, knees, elbows, blocking, and everything else I am learning.

At the end of class, we raise our arms three times and exhale while our arms drop.  Then we bring our hands together in Wai, Thai way of greeting.

 

Another Monday Workout, MMA Thai Boxing

The workout started out as usual.  Light jog around the matts, keeping our shoulders loose.  Then the same sequence of warm-up exercises to get our joints loose and ready to go.

Next we move to the back of the gym to the wall-mounted punching ‘boxes’.   The boxing stance is feet at 4 o’clock and 10 o’clock, knees bent slightly.   The left hip is forward.  When punching, move your shoulders, turning at the waist when you punch.  The punching comes from your whole body, not just your arms.

Left punch, right punch, or one, two,   We do this combination at least eight times, maybe ten times.  Stop, shake our arms out, then bring our gloves back up, keep our chins down, and get into the boxing stance.  Keep the top of the boxing gloves even with your eyebrows to protect your face.  In-between each boxing combination, bring the gloves back to cover your face.  At first I was keeping the gloves in front of my face, but now I see the more experienced boxers keep the boxing gloves a little more on the side of their face.  See the you tube video below for glove location to protect your face/head.

We do the following combinations to warm up:  Left punch, right punch which is also called one, two.  Do the combination eight to ten times, stop, shake out your arms and shoulders, get back into boxing stance and do eight to ten more.  Next is the left punch, right punch, left hook combination.  One, two, three.  Do this combination eight to ten times.  When you are punching, you have to stay light on your feet.  Stay on the balls of your feet, not on the whole feet.  ‘Don’t be a zombie!’ is what Coach Saul will say to remind us to constantly shift our weight back and forth on our feet.

Then we put the two combinations together for eight to ten more times:  One, two, then one, two, three.   Stop, shake out your arms and shoulders, then do the combinations again.  Next is left punch, right punch, left hook, right punch, or, one, two, three, two.  Do this combination eight to ten times, stop, shake out, then do the combination again eight to ten times.

I am starting to get warmed up by this time.  Now we put all three together for eight to ten more times.  Stop, shake out our arms and shoulders, then do the three combinations altogether again.  The second time punching faster while maintaining accuracy.

Now we are warmed up.  We move to the front of the gym and are paired up,  We do the same combinations we just did at the back of the gym on the wall-mounted punching boxes with a partner.  One person wears mitts and one person keeps their gloves on. 

Today instead of just standing on the matts, Rene, one of the coaches at the gym, put 22.5 inch tires on the matts.  The person with gloves keeps their left foot in the middle of the tire, the person with the mitts stays in their boxing stance outside of the tire.  After each punching sequence, the pair moves 90 degrees to the right. 

The coach reminds us to not ever cross our feet.  Move first with the right foot and then drag the left foot so the feet are in the correct boxing stance.  It throws a whole new twist into working out when you move 90 degrees in a circle after each punching combination. 

The tires teach us to move our feet without crossing our feet, since it is impossible to cross our feet when the left foot is inside the tire and the right foot is outside.

Each person completes the same warm-up sequence, then the person with the boxing gloves puts on the mitts, the person wearing the mitts puts on their boxing gloves. 

It is good practice to catch punches as well as throw them.  It is the same boxing stance for your feet, keeping the shoulders relaxed.  When wearing the mitts, keep them on your chest when not catching a punch. 

We start a new punch combination.  Parry with left boing glove, right punch.  The guy with the mitts is throwing a jab with this left hand and the guy with the gloves turns his boxing glove around and pushes the jab down with the left parry, then right punch.   Do this combination eight to ten times, stop, relax and shake out, then do the combination again.  The next combination, shoulder roll, keep your left boxing glove at your eyebrow, turn your left elbow and left shoulder to the right by twisting at the waist, the guy with the mitts touches your left forearm, then right punch.  Do this combination eight to ten times, stop, shake out, do the combination again.  Now put the two together.  Parry, right punch, shoulder roll, right punch.  Do this combination eight to ten times, stop, shake out, do it again.

Now add block, left hook, right punch.  The guy with the boxing gloves keeps her boxing gloves touching their face up high, the guy with the mitts touches the right glove with the left mitt, moves the mitt a couples inches down and towards them to catch the left hook then catches the right punch.  Do this combination eight to ten times, rest, shake out, do the combination again.  Then do all three together.

The last combination is drop step, right hook.  The one with boxing gloves steps back while the one with mitts reaches out with the left mitt, then the one with the boxing gloves throws a right punch.  Finally, put all four combinations together. 

There are still ten minutes left of the hour so it is time to do roundhouse kicks against the hanging boxing bags.  We fire off at least ten kicks to the bag.  Start in the boxing stance, when you kick a roundhouse kick with your right leg, keep your left are straight.  When kicking with the right leg, the left foot is at least 45 degrees out to the left, kick the bag with the shin of your right leg.  Get back into the boxing stance in-between each kick.  Keep your standing leg straight, foot turned out, get onto the ball of your foot for maximum impact.  This takes a lot of balance and does not happen the first time you try.  Finally getting your right hip on top of your left hip when you are kicking.  Switch with your partner and hold the boing bag for them. 

Last thing, roundhouse kicks with the left leg.  Start in boxing stance, step forward with your right foot, keep your standing leg straight, kick the bag with your chin.  At the same time keep your hands, relaxed, up by your ears, and chop out with your left arm when kicking with your left leg. 

Kick as many times as kick is yelled out.  It seems like 20 times.  Probably only 10 times, I lose count.  Stop and do it all over again.

Class is over.  We line up.  Coach will talk about the moves we practiced and how they can be used in a real fighting situation.  we lift our arms up while we inhale, exhale, three times.  Then bring our hands together in Wai, bring the palms of your hands together in front of your face and bow your head. 

Everyone high fives, starting with the Coach going to the start of the line and everyone high fives each other. 

Class is over.  Time to take off the hand wraps and drink some water.

To your health,

Kate Hauer, MMA

MMA Fight and Jui Jitsu at Houston Metro Fight Club

Two months ago I started MMA Cardio Thai boxing training at the Houston’s Metro Fight Club.  Saul Soliz is the coach and owner.  This is the most intense workout I have found.  Saul and the other guys that work at the gym, Rene and Adrian, keep everyone in line.  For class, hand wraps are put on your hands before class.  These are 180 inch Amber hand wraps.  The first two months Saul, Rene or Adrian will help you put the wraps on your hands.  This week, I started to put the wraps on my hands myself.  Here is a good youtube video to show you how to wrap your hands:  https://youtu.be/79JAamkYRTs

The first class was very intense.  I felt light headed for the first 4 or 5 classes.

To warm up, Saul tells everyone to run lightly, shoulders relaxed, around on the matts.  We run for 3-5 minutes.  Then we stop, do head circles each way, arm circles with arms straight out to the side, roll the whole shoulders forward and then backward. Saul tell us when to change direction.  Then we twist side to side with our arms loose and bent so the lower arm bounces around, loosens up.  Next we do whole body circles from the waist, forward, left, backwards, right, keep circling, then change direction.  Then bring your legs together and circle your knees to loosen them up.  He never says change directions so I do three circles one way, then three circles the other way and keep doing that until we change to the next exercise.  Next we do standing forward bend, or uttanasana, Sanskrit name of this pose.  Keep your feet and legs together and bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight.  Reach your hands to the floor.  I put my hands flat on the floor because I am lucky enough to have long hamstrings.  Next put your right foot on the outside of your left foot and bend over again, stretch your hands to the ground.  Then put your left foot on the outside of your right foot, keep your legs straight as you bend at the waist and reach your hands to the floor.   Widen your feet, wider than shoulder-wide, bend at the hips and touch your right foot with your left hand and the your left foot with your right hand.  Most everyone does this as fast as they can.  I touch each foot once for one count and count to 25.  This is another good twist for your body.

This is a great warm up, moving all the joints to get the fluid moving and loosened up.

After warming up, the more experienced people are told to put their gloves on and head to the cage.  These are mostly young men who have been coming to the gym for quite a while.  The rest of us, which are the new people including young men, women and children, go to the back of the gym where there are boxes on the wall where we practice our punch sequences.  There are two different stations. There are five old stations with 3 circle pads, one straight in front, one on the right side 90, and one the top facing down.  There are six more Amber Uppercut Bag wall mounted stations.  The more experienced people head to the newer equipment.  If there are more than 11 people practicing punches, then people stand behind and switch.  The more experienced people do not switch and do not get a break.  The first sequence we practice is one, two, left punch, right punch.  Keep your chin down, shoulders relaxed, be able to extend your whole arm as you punch with your first two knuckles.  Look down your arm as you punch.  Keep your face emotionless.  Stay on the balls of your feet, constantly moving your weight from foot to foot.  Figuring out the footwork is an ongoing challenge for me.  Coach said to me last night “Don’t stand there like a zombie.”  There are so many things to think about, it is hard to remember everything all at once.  Keep your elbows in, chin down, twist from the waist – when punching with the left hand twist your left side forward from the waist.  I am learning to use my whole body to punch, not just my arms and fists.  The power comes from the legs.  We start with the one, two combination.  Then left punch, right punch, left hook with elbow parallel to the floor.  That is hard to do at first, but after the coach comes and lifts up your elbow every time to throw the left hook about three times, you do not forget. The third punch is left punch, right punch, left hook, right punch.  You have to remember to keep your gloves in front of your face about eye level in between punching.  In a fight, keeping the gloves in front of your face protects you from an opponent’s punches.

After 15 minutes of punching practice, we move to the front of the gym, to the matts.  Coach pairs us up, one person puts on mitts and  the other keeps on their gloves.  The more experienced people put the mitts on first.  We practice the same punches we just did in the back, but this time with a partner.   One two, one two three, one two three two.  First separately, then the first two together, then the third, then all three one after another.

After this we either do other combinations of punches or kicks.

More about the other combinations in my next blog.  Last night I took Jui Jitsu for the first time and I want to tell you all about my first class in Jui Jitsu as well.

I started MMA Cardio Thai boxing to become more confident in myself and also to get in better shape.  After two months, I don’t feel like I am going to pass out during class as often.  I am excited to find a sport that is interesting and can teach me how to protect myself if I ever find myself in that situation.

If you have any questions you can always email me at info@mmafightskinny.com.

To Your Health,

Kate

Embrace Change

Change is the only constant in life.  I am always looking for ways to be healthier, eat better, spend more time exercising.  Every day it seems like there is a new study with new information, half the time it contradicts the information that was published years ago.  It is difficult to keep up with all the changes.

With my diet, I stick to whole foods.  Foods that are not processed, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans.

I’ve looked into several diets, some of them look good, others won’t work with me.

It is best to make real permanent positive changes in your diet.  Currently I am making sure I drink enough water.  I have a reusable cup with a lid and straw and fill it up all day long at work.  I also drink green tea, other herbal teas, once in a while black tea.  Stay away from diet and sugar soda, too many chemicals.

Yoga is an important part of my life, for my body mind and soul.  Riding bikes is one of my favorite things to do.  It feels like I am flying when I ride my bike.  It is great that Houston has so many bike trails, way more than Austin.  That way I don’t have to worry about car traffic.  I also lift weights.  I am interested in learning to fight, learn how to punch, kick and defend myself.  I am going to take a class on Saturday and I will let you know how it went.  I want to be able to defend myself if someone decides to mess with me.

Hope you are healthy and happy!  Let me know how you keep healthy and what works for you.

Here is an article with 34 benefits of water:

http://www.greatest.com/health/health-benefits-water/

There are also a lot of benefits of drinking water with fresh lemon in it.  Lemon juice makes water alkaline, which is beneficial for your body.  Lemon water helps digestions which increases detoxing your body and increases belly fat burning.  Lemon water increases your immune system.  Lemons have vitamin C which is an amazing anti-oxidant, as well as vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and vitamin B1.  Lemon also includes calcium, copper and potassium.  Copper possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Lemon is good for oral health and increases your mood.  Honey and lemon water aids in weight loss.  It increases the metabolism and helps burn fat, especially when you drink it first thing in the morning.  Lemon water is acidic, but when you drink it, take it into your body, it becomes alkaline.  This helps maintain the pH of your body, balances it.  Lemon water is also great for your hair and skin.  Lemon has natural anti-bacterial properties and helps prevent skin and scalp issues.

Adding lemon water to your routine increases your intake of water and has so many other health benefits.

To your health.

Kate