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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

 

 

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

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.

PUNCHES

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”.

KNEES

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.

PUSH KICK

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.

ROUNDHOUSE KICK

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.

COMBINATIONS

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

 

 

 

 

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