Sunday, August 24, 2014

KO of the Week: Samkor Kiatmontep vs Satoshi Kobayashi (video)

A little late for the weekly swing kick KO/stoppage post...but better late than never! Here is Samkor Kiatmontep. In his prime, this southpaw had one of the most explosive left kicks (dtae sai) on the scene.

This fight in particular is quite entertaining and makes you appreciate the power of a good swing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PCP's Reads

Sawadeekhup. Yes, I can read. If you're interested, here are two books that changed the way I think about fighting and training. I think only one of them is available in the YMT library, so check it out.

The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game
By Sam Sheridan

"We're all fighting something." - Renzo Gracie.

 The Fighter's Mind is Sam Sheridan's vastly superior followup to his first book on martial arts, A Fighter's Heart, both of which are available at the YMT library. For this book, Sheridan traveled all over and interviewed a wide variety of fighters and trainers from vastly different backgrounds and focused on mentality around fighting and training. Very insightful look at the mental processes of some top level fighters and trainers, such as Freddy Roach, Kru Mark Dellagrotte, Renzo Gracie, and even a little bit from Jongsanan "The Woodenman" Fairtex.


"Fighting is fifty percent mental." Through the ages, grizzled fighters and veteran trainers have said words to that nature to eager young fighters, to reporters, to anyone who would listen. Tim Sylvia, a former UFC Heavyweight champion said, "Fighting is ninety percent mental, half the time." We've all heard it from a dozen different places.
   But what do they mean? Fighting is two guys in a ring or cage smashing each other, the ultimate physical endeavor. It's meat on meat. How could something so physical be more mental than physical? What do all these professionals intend to convey with the word "mental"? Is it an empty cliche?
  This book is an attempt to answer that question, a question that appeared simple but began to unfold into peeling layers of complexity. It started as a purely selfish quest; I was curious. After a few months of interviews and talking to great fighters I began to see the universal nature of the answers. The more you look around, the more you see that everyone is fighting something."

Got Fight? The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat
By Forrest Griffin

 Okay, okay, hear me out on this one. I know it's written by a seemingly typical MMA guy, but this book is totally worth checking out. He's pretty much a regular average dude who has enjoyed a decent amount of success in MMA based on working hard, being committed to training, and good old mental toughness. Griffin's self-awareness, his witty, somewhat cynical humour and his informal writing style make this book a quick, easy read. There are some surprisingly poignant anecdotes and also lots of legitimately good advice for average, unathletic people looking to compete in a combat sports like Muay Thai. This book made me giggle, and also made me think.

Excerpt from the inside cover:
" Wondering why you should purchase this book when there are other titles on the shelves written by much higher-caliber fighters? Well, I'm not as good looking as those guys. I'm not as smart as them. I'm also not as athletically endowed. And let's face it, neither are you. Those other fighters are pretty much better than you in every way. But you can aspire of be as good of a fighter as me one day. Why? Because I'm nothing special, just like you."

 "I'm not sure if I'm humble, have a really good self-understanding, or just have a tremendous amount of self-loathing. All I know is that I can see what I am as well as what I am not. I realize I've had some good fights, but I have never fought miraculously like Anderson Silva... I've never had a reign of terror like Chuck Liddell. And the reason is simple - I'm not as gifted as those guys. I push my body and mind to their limits in training, but I'm not so delusional that I think I'm the best fighter to have ever walked the planet. 
  Being honest with yourself is the best way to live life because it keeps you from having massive falls. After all, if you think you are unbeatable, and then get your ass served to you on a platter, your whole world comes crumbling down. That's when the excuses start to flow, but who is buying them? No one. Not yourself, not others. If you can admit to yourself that you simply got beat by a better fighter, it dissolves the lies and allows you to be a happier person.
  Although it is depressing to admit to yourself that you will never be the best, it is liberating at the same time. Instead of trying to be better than everyone else, which is existentially arrogant, you can focus on being the best that you can be.... You can take pride in every accomplishment. What more could you ask for? 
 ...If you choose to ignore this advice and treat the world as though you own it, when you do fall, everyone is going to kick you while you're down. If you're humble in defeat, everyone may still kick you, but they won't kick you as much."

See you in the gym.

Ajahn's 55th birthday party

Some of the YMT team at Ajahn's bday party this past weekend!

We also supported Mike in his return to the ring. Mike had not fought or done any exhibitions since his successful year in 2011! He took time off to pursue his masters in engineering and work in his field. We are proud of Mike for sticking it out with a strong and skilled opponent who gave him a great challenge.

Look forward to Mike continuing to shake off the ring rust...he'll be back in action more and more this year!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A thought

"The enemy has only images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you will break the enemy."

Friday, August 15, 2014

KO of the week: Sam A vs Thaksinlek (videos)

Muay Thai is one of the most exciting and devastating sports to watch. Blink and you just might miss something. For the rest of swing kick month, I'll be posting a swing kick KO every week.

That's right...knock out by swing kick. You'll get to see different timing, different set ups and targets each time. Try and look out for ones that you have learned, and even some that you may not have. Today's video has been widely shared on the facebook MT community, so I thought it would be appropriate to re share here.

Stay tuned for next week's KO video!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Swinging away...Kem vs Jordan Watson (video)

It's kick month, so check out this kicking war between two well known welterweights! Also watch out for the elbows...Gotta love em. Jordan Watson is a well known British fighter with the nickname "Quadzilla". Kem is a sucessful fighter who has won titles training out of Sor Pleonjit, Fairtex and now Sitsonpeenong gym.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Golden Era Muay Thai on Ch 7 (video)

Ajahn Suchart mentioned this link last night in his class. In the interest of swing kick month, there is a pretty awesome low kick finish in this video. I think it's the third fight. All the fights are pretty great though. Check it out!

Thank You Ajahn Suchart!

Ajahn Suchart came to teach at YMT on Aug 7, 2014. Not only did he teach his traditional technique, but also about the value of what we are doing. More than anything, he impressed upon us the need to work hard for what we have, learn to appreciate it and then help build the community further.

The 3 things he feels that work against our progress are: Convenience, Ease and anything Cheap. If something's too convenient, comes too easy without being earned, or can be bought with little to nothing then it will most likely spoil us. It is harder to build and sustain unity and love in a community where these 3 things are the foundation. They make us selfish and lazy, drawing us away from others and the chance to improve. He urged us to continue to invest in ourselves and each help each other and treat each other as family.

Lastly, he wanted us to continue to spread and promote Muay Thai for what it can do for our society. Promote the art, promote your teacher, promote the school, and of course yourself. With the proper physical training and development, a martial artist can gain patience in their every day life; the patience to forgive, the patience to persist and so forth. Ajahn asked us to help get Muay Thai to the masses, so that we can give everyone in our society a chance to gain that patience and change the way we relate to our fellow human beings for the better.

Thank you all for attending and meeting the man who gave us our Kru Jen, and therefore our school and each other. Of course, a thank you (Khup khun khup) goes out to Ajahn for coming out and spending time with us!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

PCC's personal reads

Sawadeekhap everyone,

PCC here. Just a couple reads of mine I thought I would share that you may enjoy and benefit from.
We have a library at York Muay Thai (YES! We do. Go check it out today) I thought it'd be appropriate to throw some titles out here. One of these books is actually in the library at our gym.

As martial artists, we come to understand that the learning process is an endless one. We are constantly discovering things about ourselves and others. Even in a single technique, the amount of improvements and tweaks that can be made are never ending.

In my experience, I've come to find training Muay Thai to be like a walking on a tight rope. That sweet spot in the center constantly eludes most of us. In order to even taste that sense of perfect balance on the rope, we must pay close attention and lean one way before we end up falling the other way...and then vice versa. It's tightening up one area of our abilities, only to then need to turn our efforts to another area, and then back again to the first. You can learn a lot about yourself in this viscious cycle, so long as you pay attention to the experiences.

Here are two books that helped me learn to pay attention my own strengths and weaknesses, and how they relate to my learning. Truth be told, I'm still working on applying what they've taught me.

I found them fairly accesible to any skill level of student...from the beginner to the athlete. I hope they might help you too:

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey in Pursuit of Excellence
By Josh Waitzkin

Preview the book: click here

"With a narrative that combines heart-stopping martial arts wars and tense chess face-offs with life lessons that speak to all of us, The Art of Learning takes readers through Waitzkin's unique journey to excellence. He explains in clear detail how a well-thought-out, principled approach to learning is what separates success from failure. Waitzkin believes that achievement, even at the championship level, is a function of a lifestyle that fuels a creative, resilient growth process. Rather than focusing on climactic wins, Waitzkin reveals the inner workings of his everyday method, from systematically triggering intuitive breakthroughs, to honing techniques into states of remarkable potency, to mastering the art of performance psychology. 

Through his own example, Waitzkin explains how to embrace defeat and make mistakes work for you. Does your opponent make you angry? Waitzkin describes how to channel emotions into creative fuel. As he explains it, obstacles are not obstacles but challenges to overcome, to spur the growth process by turning weaknesses into strengths. He illustrates the exact routines that he has used in all of his competitions, whether mental or physical, so that you too can achieve your peak performance zone in any competitive or professional circumstance. "

 The Talent Code
By Daniel Coyle
*Available at the York Muay Thai library*

Preview the book: click here

"New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition. "

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

YMT Camping fun!