My most recent thoughts about Muay Thai

The reason I got into Muay Thai was not to take pleasure in kicking and punching someone’s face in, as much as I do now take pleasure in this it wasn’t on the forefront of my mind when I joined the gym, it was to get fit and change my mentality towards fitness and exercise. When I started the gym I was totally unfit, hadn’t done any form of proper exercise in a very long time. I wasn’t sleeping particularly well on a night and I wasn’t by any means, eating correctly either.

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It’s funny really, since beginning my Muay Thai journey, a lot has changed in my life. I have been married; I have been through ups and downs and work and I am currently thinking about purchasing my first house. All steps and things that are massive in anyone’s life. It’s nice to be able to take a step back and appreciate what you have.

To be here, writing this, doing what I am doing with Muay Thai is a total honour. I read somewhere that when you begin your journey it is something that you begin for life and not for the short term. I remember my first ever session at Northern Kings, straight away I was made to feel like one of the family. This is exactly what it is, a family. A group of people who have a love for something, so much so they spend as much time in the gym as they possibly can.

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This blog/website/venture that I am on, I would have never though that this would get to where it is today, where I have over 250 followers on Twitter and over 100 likes on Facebook. It totally blows me away. I am privileged to have this opportunity to share my experiences with all the people that read this, that interact with my on the different social medias.

The way in which Muay Thai has changed my life in a way that I never thought it would is the ability to be able to push myself further than I ever thought was possible and also to not give a damn what anyone thinks about me. I don’t mean that in a negative manner, I mean that if I want something, I wouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion make me deviate from my goal or target. For instance, the job I am doing at the moment, I have recently applied for a new job within the bank and my colleagues were talking about how I shouldn’t have told anyone that I was applying for it and should have done it under the radar.

Why would I do that? I confided in the people that I trusted and hoped that they would be happy for me that I am wanting to progress, but yet, I get told that I shouldn’t be applying for another job because it shows that I am not dedicated to my current role. No. I am dedicated to anything that I am doing, I just want to progress to be the best that I can and doing Thai boxing has helped me push myself to be able to do that by overcoming the personal barriers I encounter while in the gym and doing my training. Being tired after 90 seconds of sparring knowing you have another 90 seconds to go until you get a rest, knowing that the rest you get is barely going to be enough to recover from the pasting you have just been given. Thinking about everything you are doing, footwork, defence, attacks all while making sure you are breathing and keeping yourself alive.

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Okay, maybe a bit dramatic about keeping yourself alive but you get what I mean. It’s such an amazing feeling. A feeling that cannot be matched by anything else, even when you are doing it with your friends and you are doing some light sparring, it still challenges your mind to push further and further each time. When you get to that point where you think that you can’t go for one second more, where you think your lungs are going to collapse because they are crying out to be filled with air, your mind then decides to push your body one step beyond. If you can get to that point and do that, you can do anything!

I love the respect that comes with the art. The respect you have for your trainer, your peers, your opponents and the respect you learn to have for yourself all helps contribute to make the sport such an all round amazing experience. You quickly learn when doing Muay Thai that your team mates and friends are the people there to hurt you, push you, teach you, make you feel better, make you feel as though you can take that extra step to be able to become the fighter you want to be. For that, you learn to have a massive amount of respect for everyone.

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You can spend 9 minutes punching and kicking each other black and blue, broken noses, black eyes even knocking teeth out! Then when the bell rings, you shake each others hand and say “good game!” This isn’t just for your peers, this stands for the fighters that you might end up going against in the ring. I can imagine it being a special kind of thing in the ring really. Just you and one other person, giving each other everything they have, fighting until you literally can’t go on, then when the bell rings for the last time, the killer instinct has gone and you can shake their hands and thank them for giving everything they did.

This is something that I look forward to experiencing one day. It’s kind of surreal even hearing myself thinking like that really, I would have never thought that I would be thinking I would like to get in the ring and punch someone’s face in for some laughs. 8 months ago, when I first crossed the threshold of NK I knew there and then that this was where I belonged. After a couple of short months I was already ready to do an interclub, which was awesome! Having the experience of building up to a fight, running through things in your mind, wrapping your hands, putting on your shin pads and hearing the spectators cheering at the people in the ring all goes towards your thought process and mentally preparing for the bout that you are about to delve into.

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I can get that having an actual fight will be different to an interclub but the basis of it remains the same. To learn how to deal with the situation, remain calm, relaxed and composed. Getting ready to jump in and give whoever it is that you are up against a good thrashing! Learning a lesson or two, reflecting back on it and assessing what you were happy with and what you could have improved which is all part of the process. All part of your Muay Thai journey!

Which brings me to this. Muay Thai Blog UK. I like writing. I love Muay Thai. It just makes sense to combine the two and try and make something out of it. Whether it be a business venture, which I am hoping it may one day become or just a place where people can come and talk about their love for Muay Thai and share their experiences and hopefully one day use it as a place to come and learn about it.

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It takes a lot of work and there are so many variable factors included within doing it. What to put on the blog, how to present the blog, is it a blog? Is it a website? How to develop the blog, how to bring in different aspects of Muay Thai and portray them in a way that people can easily understand, building the site, getting the content put onto it consistently all things that cross my mind when trying to build on MTBUK. I have a vision in my head of what I want it to look like, a vision of which direction I would like it to go in, it is just getting it there that is, for me, a mammoth task.

It’s not something I will be giving up anytime soon and the blog/website will begin to flourish over time I have no doubt about that, if I keep at it and maybe get another person on board to help me along the way with the technical side of things it might actually begin to get some pretty awesome exposure! I am massively overwhelmed by the power of the internet and social media to be able to get your information and thoughts out there to other people. It is amazing really!
I really hope you enjoy some of the content I write and put onto MTBUK, hopefully over the next coming few months I will be in a position to release a new and improved site, where I can begin to sell things and inform you of different events that may be on in your area, continue with my training journals etc. I am looking into the prospect of becoming a personal trainer to couple with this venture, so look into the nutrition side of things, what workouts are good for building what muscles, what you should be eating when. I need to get my game into some sort of shape before I do this, currently weighing in at 95kg isn’t where I want to be when I become a personal trainer!

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Well thank you all again for continuing reading, it really does mean a lot that you all take the time to follow what I do. Remember you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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Head over, give each of them a like and remember to keep being awesome! You are all capable of much more than you think you are if you put your mind to it! Take care of yourselves!

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Peace! – Dom – MTBUK

The calm before the storm

Mondays session was canny. I got two hours in. One hour strength and conditioning and one hour Thai/K1. There were quite a few of us in the classes. I think with it being the beginning of the year people are wanting to get fit and lose the weight that they potentially put on over Christmas or want to make a change and generally get fit.

Because there were so many people in the class it was difficult to get everyone around the circuits that Craig had planned so he had to improvise to get us to be able to do it. To begin with we started with the usual warm up. Foam rolling to ease out the aches and pains of the day before, wall squats, roll over v-sits and spinal floss’s.

For the actual exercises we were doing 3x goblet squats with a weight that was suitable for you, which for me and Martin was a hefty 45kg, after that we had to do 5 jumping Squats followed by 5 weighted jumping squats and let me tell you, it wasn’t just a chain around the neck or even the 45kg dumbbell it was the other person on our backs.

I felt so sorry for Martin, he is a bit lighter than what I am, he is about 75kg and I am still at about 95kg!! Poor guy! So we had to do 5 weight squat jumps and then 5 assisted squat jumps where we helped our partners jump as high as possible. We had to do that three times round. The next one. The struggle.

This is all to work on our explosive power because it was slow down on the squat and high intensity on the rise to be able to make he jump or in the next exercise it was press ups. Slow on the way down but then explosive on the way up and you had to raise your hands to your shoulders. I didn’t do too well on this one. I struggled with it. 5 explosive press-ups, 5 resisted press-ups and 5 assisted press-ups.I struggle with upper body exercises, I don’t know why, probably because I haven’t ever done anything really strenuous on my top half like weight lifting or anything like that.

After we did that, we did a bit of fun stuff, we worked on head stands and hand stands to help us be able to engage our core and make it support us. Funnily enough, that sort of stuff I am quite good at, I enjoy that sort of stuff. Not that I could actually do it because I had totally lost all my strength in my arms because of the previous exercises! I did try and do them, hold them for as long as I could. If I was fresh I would have been able to do it no problem. I also got the opportunity to showcase my one handed cartwheel! We got talking about the Matrix being on the night before and how much a loved the scene where Neo does the one handed cartwheel and that I taught myself how to do one when I was younger purely because of that scene.

After that the Thai class started. It was a good session, albeit really busy, we could barely move for people being there, I love it!! Mondays are by far, my favourite class of the week. We worked on our boxing and footwork this week. We were partnered up and given ‘lanes’  on the mats. We worked on moving forward with boxing, jab, cross, faking the jab cross, then putting a kick or knee on the end of it depending on how far away your partner had moved.

Making sure while doing these drills we were keeping our footwork clean and well thought about. When we stepped forward we would have to make sure that both of our feet moved and we were able to keep ourselves centered.

After that it was fitness for one side of the class and sparring for the other side of the class. A month or two ago I would have probably been in the side of the class that did fitness but I wasn’t! I got to do some sparring. It was still a bit squashed in the ring but it was awesome. I love being able to push myself to my limits and sparring makes me able to do that. After the first round I am tired but I still have to engage my brain to think about what it is I am doing, where my feet are, what my hands are doing. Calculating what my options are and acting on them. We got four rounds in, I did two with Liam, one with titler and one with ruairi. It was class!

I have decided to take the rest of the week off training in preparation for this weekend. It is the interclub coming up in Leeds and I wanted to rest my shins and foot. Both of which if I train my normal 4/5 days a week I am in quite a lot of pain by the end of the week. So I have been resting this week. I am looking forward to this weekend. I feel as though I have improved quite a lot since my last interclub, it will be good to see what the other people from other clubs are doing too. It seems to be quite a big one, there are competitive and non-competitive bouts on Saturday so it will be good to see some showcased talents around the area.

I will be videoing some fights, getting some pictures and stuff so I will be posting a blog about it when it is over. I know I have touched upon this in my previous post but it still stands. I am in the process of building a new site, it is taking longer than I had anticipated. Getting all the writing done and all of the site designed as well as other things sorted too.

Time is all I need, time and effort. As is mentioned in Shawshank redemption, which for the record is an awesome film, you have to either get busy living or get busy dying. I am living! I can’t imagine my life being any different at the minute! It feels great!

Remember where else you can find us here at MTBUK… Twitter Facebook and Instagram. I keep these updated pretty regularly. So head on over and give us a like/follow and I will give you a shout :).

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Thanks again for reading! Watch this space, some great things coming, eventually ha ha.

Peace!