5 rounds of sparring… God I’ve missed training!

Tonight was AWESOME!!

I have been down to the gym twice this week and we are only on Tuesday. I went yesterday hoping to do a Thai session but didn’t realise as I was out of swing that it didn’t start until 8pm so managed to get some S&C in. It was a good session, it was a body weight session that consisted of working on our core, plank, headstands, handstands, some fun stuff and then onto some circuits.

A class at Northern Kings

A class at Northern Kings

This morning, safe to say, I felt a little sore. After 3 months of not doing much training at all, it felt good to be doing some sort of exercise again. I paid for two sessions yesterday but my little lad was getting tired at the gym so I decided to give the Thai session a miss and get the little one home to bed. I agreed that I would come the next day and do the other session that I had paid for.

Tonight was awesome. It felt so good to be back. I have missed it so much! I went to the advanced class as it is at 5.30pm and it gets me home early…ish. I thought I was in for some sort of punishment when I was on my way down and sure enough, after 10mins on the rope the words “Sparring gear guys!” was like music to my ears.

It felt wicked to be using my mind again. Thinking about attacking and defending. Bobs and weaves. Fakes and feints. Hitting and not getting hit. To be honest I felt good, i wasn’t sparring hard at all, it was light and technical, just what I needed. Much to my surprise it was like I has never been away. Always the welcoming vibe of the lads down at the gym is always good. It makes it so much easier to get back into it when all the lads (and lasses) there are down to earth and love to just get down to business.

The Northern Kings family

The Northern Kings family

I have signed myself up for a beginners course as a refresher to brush up on the basics as well as get myself back into going on a regular basis. It also gets my arse inspired to get writing again, because here I am again, writing. I find it difficult to get into the swing of things when I aren’t training myself but it definitely felt good to be back!

I will keep you updated on my blog with the things that we get up to on the ‘101’ course. It will be good to strip things right back to basics and get some good training in again.

Until then, you can keep updated with all things MTBUK at http://www.facebook.com/muaythaibloguk and also http://www.twitter.com/muaythaibloguk

I am potentially going to be making a new website soon and will be looking for gyms/brands to fill up some advertising space, so if you know of someone that may be interested, you can contact me on muaythaibloguk@gmail.com

Take care & thanks for reading!

Peace – Dom – MTBUK

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Training and Progression

So it’s been a while since I wrote an actual blog post on here. I am trying to figure out how to migrate my posts to where I want them to be. But that might never happen because we all know how fiddly WordPress can have a tendency to be. 
Things are good at the moment. I am feeling positive about my training and the way in which my directions within Muay Thai are heading. I have only been training a few time these past few weeks. 
With the imminent arrival of my first born child I am a little preoccupied with other things at the moment, like getting my driving test passed, preparing both mentally and physically for his arrival and working a bit more on the site. 
I have now managed to work out how to make pages on the website and have began to post a bit more content for you guys. 
Yesterday was a hell of a session. It was brutal. I had a fight at the weekend and was debating whether I would actually go down to the gym or not to train yesterday because I was still achy from it.
Been the dedicated bastard I am I thought balls to it, I might as well go and get back into the swing of things. Maybe I should have thought about what it was I was realistically getting myself in for. 
The session was quite a tough one, we were working in defending with our left side. Using the teep, jab, left hook, left body kick, left leg kick… Basically anything on the left hand side. It was good fun. I love using my left leg for my kicks. Primarily the back leg kick. People don’t expect it at all during sparring and I can usually land it quite solidly with a lot of success. 
There is a couple of lads fighting up in Edinburgh this weekend and one of the other lads is training for a fight on 16th August in Harrogate so there was a lot of them getting pads with Craig. From the fight at the weekend I am now more motivated than ever to get the weight off so I can think about getting in the ring and fighting Thai. 
So in the exercise one of the partners were sparring, using any of the weapons you might in a normal spar and moving forward. The person defending was mainly on the back leg, defending and moving back while countering and attacking with the left hand side. By the end of that exercise because we were swapping partners in between and both having a go at it it was nearly the end of the session. 
For fitness we did something that we have never done before but it was something that challenged you and pushed you. Paired up again, we would do a combination with your hands or legs, one two hook right kick and then one two hook two kicks and then one two hook three kicks and alternating between your partner and you and then once you did that you would do 10 burpees and that was timed so would just keep going until the timer ended. 
Then it was a different combination with a different exercise and this went on for about 10 minutes. At the end of it, I went to get a drink of water and say hello to some people who were waiting to join in the class after the advanced class and I had missed Waiing off. Don’t. Ever. 
I heard Craig shout from the mats “Dom and Jonny… 50 burpees for missing Waiing off!!” I thought “shit!”
I haven’t ever missed Waiing off because it is a matter of respect you say thank you to the coach for taking the session but I was only off the mats for a few moments and had missed it. The 50 burpees was horrible. I mean really horrible. To link in earlier what I said about having my fight and debating whether I were actually even going to go to training because my arms were still sore from all the haymakers I were trying to throw. 
50 burpees was just what I needed to finish me off. I was a broken man. So much so I got home and had a cup of tea and got in bed. I was destroyed. 
On a different note I just want to talk about what it is I am hoping to do and eventually accomplish by writing about and partaking in Muay Thai. I am slowly beginning to resent my 9-5 job. Not to the point where I am wanting to quit but to the point where it is pushing me to try and achieve my goal of becoming a full-time writer/blogger/whatever it is I can do in the sport to pay my way. 
I’m not bothered about being rich. Nor am I bothered about being famous. It would be nice to have an income that would be able to let me have a mortgage, go on holiday two or three times a year and let me see the world but all the doesn’t bother me as long as I can get by, save a little each month and be happy. A life in Muay Thai could do that for me I think. 
With the sport growing in such a way that it is at the moment it would he nice to be on the forefront of its growth. To be able to spread the word to the masses about what this sport is all about and why so many people love it. 
There isn’t enough time right now for me to do that nor do I have the following to really make a difference… Yet. No dream is ever too big. I am a firm believer in that. If I intend to show my son that if he wants something he should go out and get it, I need to do that myself. 
I hope you can all bare with me while I get my feet on the ground here, build a solid foundation for which MTBUK and the sport can grow and then I can have the opportunity to give back to the community. 
Thank you for reading, head over the my social media pages, like them, follow them to keep up to date with what I am up to. Have a little exploration of the new structure of the site. I am going to look for a new theme that I can use to achieve what it is I want to achieve with MTBUK but that will take time. So for now I will be just building on what I have and where I can go from here. 
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Thanks for the continued support. Be true to yourself. Work hard, train hard and you will get to where you want to be. 
Thanks 

Dom – MTBUK

Sparring and strength

Last night at training…
To say that I got beasted would be a massive understatement. I felt really good in the gym, surprisingly because I was only there twice last week and before that I had a couple of weeks off. I am in the process of writing all the content for the new site so that was my initial week off, getting the foundations laid for the new site… the second week off was due to my wife being ill. I needed to play the superhero and save her. 

Last week was a good couple of sessions, I was in on Monday and Thursday the two strength and conditioning days. I do like to try and get down for the strength and conditioning classes because I do like to lift weight and push myself that way rather than skipping that session and coming down just for Thai… Plus I finish work at 5 and by the time I have walked down to the gym it is time for the strength class to start. 

I was so sore last week and tired too! I was struggling to keep my breath as I hadn’t done anything in terms of fitness while I had been away from the gym in the previous two weeks. Lo and behold, in typical Dom fashion, I pushed myself too far too fast and was totally exhausted! It was a nasty fitness combo on the pads and I was ready to drop man!

This week has been much better, I have only done one session so far but last night was awesome! It was the sort of session where it relights the fire in you to begin to push yourself again. Its funny when you slip out of the routine of training it quickly becomes something that you begin to push to the back of your mind but then when you manage to pull your finger out of your arse and get back to the gym you begin to think to yourself “why was I off?!?”

Last night in strength and conditioning we worked on technique. Craig said that going forward once he gets back from Thailand he will be making a program to begin getting our one-rep max on each of the lift, which, to be honest, I am quite looking forward to because I have never actually managed to track my personal bests not to the point where I could actually manage it and try to better in week in week out. So that will be in the coming months which is good.

The actual session itself was going to be working on, dead lift, push-press, bench-press, back-squat, front-squat, the clean and possibly a couple more but I just can’t think of then right now. We only managed to get through bench, push, front and back squat, we still have to do dead lift and clean of which we will probably do on Thursday. It was a steady strength class go really as far as they go, we still had a workout from it but I wasn’t totally gassed which I guess set me up for the class after that. 

After the strength class we had a wicked Thai session, this is where the blog post really begins! I got to do the session with Craig as my partner which is always an experience. To begin with we worked on defending attacks and standing your ground. Something that with my weight, I have quite the advantage. We worked on a single shot at first, so one would defend, the other attack and it would be one for one. It would usually start off quite slow but then end up being really fast. I felt so fluid last night and it almost felt natural. When we began to link three shots Craig told me something.

I went to throw a combination and I stumbled and Craig gave me a good tip and it was “try not to plan what you are going to do. Try and see your next shot then take that.” Which makes perfect sense if you think about it. If I plan a one, two, hook but he would move back and then my right hand barely reaches and my hook would just miss completely. Whereas if I were to use the formula that Craig gave me, maybe I would do the right hand but do a leg kick instead and walk it in to then follow that up with a hook or something. 

I always try to take at least one thing away from every session I do and that will definitely be what I take away and use going forward. After the technical aspect of the session it was on to sparring. With me being paired up with Craig, naturally got to do a round with him which is always awesome! I accidentally cracked him in the knackers. I mean, it was a drain of the face and knocks you for sick sort of impact. He was out for the rest of that round and when it came to change, I thought I had got away with the punishment but when he said “everyone find a new partner… No… Not you!” I shit my pants a little bit. 

This round was an awesome round. Albeit tough, I had to think about everything. My movements, what Craig was doing, keeping my posture, relaxing and striking. After my round with Craig I swapped between a few of the people within the session but I was so tired by the end of it. I took a knee to the stomach off Craig and then a couple of the people from the group teeped me in exactly the same place and my stomach was totally knackered by the end. 

At the end of the session we worked on core strength. Core strength. Sit ups, crunches, leg raises, plank, side plank. Yes, I looked like I was having some sort of seizure. After the first couple exercises my core was totally shot but I had to push, I had to dig deep and make sure that I did as much as I could and then push a little further!! 

I was sore when I woke up this morning but being sore is the sign of a damn good session and a kind of session I look forward to doing more of in the future!! 

In other news, I am in the process of creating PunchLine Fights. A place where all combat sports will come together and thrive. MTBUK will still be around and I will still be blogging and documenting my experiences in Muay Thai. It may only be once or twice a month but there is a lot going on behind closed doors with PLF and I hope to begin putting the content out for you all!

Remember to head over Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites and give us a follow or like! Everyone of you guys that comment, favourite, like my content means so much!! So for that I thank you all!! 

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Keep being awesome! Keep training hard and working hard to achieve your goals!!

Peace and love – Dom – MTBUK

A master class on the pads and a bloody nose!

Tonight’s session was amazing! I got totally pasted! I did two hours tonight… One hour strength and conditioning and then one hour Thai. Strength was a good session, we began by warming up doing pull aparts, dislocates and goblet squats 10 of each 2 times round. So was feeling pretty warm after that.

We were going for personal best on both back squat and push press. We began with push press, this is something I feel quite comfortable with, we started by doing 5 just with the bar, two sets of 5 with little weight on, 2×3 with a bit more weight on and then when the weight was up to a point where you were feeling the strain we went to one rep.

I was the only one in the group that was training that managed to get to 80kg, which is my PB at the moment but I did feel as though I could have gone a little bit further so I look forward to pushing that a bit further next time.

Next up was the squats, squats are something I feel at home with, I have quite big legs so I feel confident with it in general. We didn’t have time to go right to our limits but we got up to 100kg which is okay, it is over my body weight but I could have gone a lot further. Next time I look forward to getting to the point where I nearly shit my pants or I go really really red in the face!

After the strength class, which I really enjoyed, the actual thai class we did was awesome! It was a beginner class but it really pushed me to my limits today. Got to the point where my lungs were ready to totally collapse and just give in… But I digress. We began the class with a nice warm up, a little run around the mats, press ups, squats, burpees and sit ups, good solid warm up.

We were instructed to partner up as we were going to work on basic pad work, so I got myself a partner and got ready for the rounds to begin after Craig told us what we would be doing but just before Craig began telling us my partner was swapped and I was left without. So throughout the class getting told what we would be doing, I was looking around looking for someone to partner up with but I couldn’t find anyone.

When the rounds began I went to Craig and said I don’t have a partner, he said… Looks like you’re with me then! I was scared and excited at the same time! It’s ace doing pads with Craig and all the fighters really, don’t get me wrong, I just love pads in general but when the likes of Gordon, Gaz or Craig hold the pads for you, you can push yourself to another level. So yeah, we began just working on the singles and twos, jab, cross, jab cross, hook cross, cross hook. We did that for 3 minutes or so. It has been a while since I had Craig hold pads for me and to be fair I felt on really good form.

After the singles and twos we then began throwing in the defences, so he would throw leg kicks and hit me with the pads if my hands weren’t up after the combination. For the first few rounds, his leg kicks were being checked, he was getting me to get my weight on my front leg and then throwing the leg kick, which is ensuring that I am on the balls on my feet ready to check at all times I do have to say though that by the end he was definitely landing a few more of the leg kicks!

After that we introduced kicks into the mix. Kicking is my strongest point but at the same time, in sparring I have to be very weary of them because I can sometimes lose control and I hit a little harder than I would like to, I mean, I know when we are sparring that we are there to get a feel what it would be like in a fight or what it is like to actually get hit. So, when we introduced kicks to the round, this is when I seriously began to start gassing out. Craig loves to make you do 2, 3, 10 consecutive kicks and by the end of that alone I am ready to collapse never mind carry on into the round and keep my guard up, keep doing what he is calling all while remaining switched on to defend when necessary.

It’s awesome man, I love it! I was cursing him something rotten while we were in the rounds, even cursing him in between rounds! For the fourth round we threw in knees. So there was now, single punches, two punch combinations, kicks and now knees. Knees are something I don’t particularly utilise as much as I should do really, not for any particular reason but I intend to get using them a bit more. After all, it is called the art of eight limbs for a reason!

By this time I was totally gassed, struggling to breathe, keep up my guard, my technique had suffered, I’m sure I stroked the pad at some point because I just couldn’t punch with any decent amount of power and Craig just laughed at me then threw the pad at my face!

For the final round it was a free for all, do what ever the pad man wanted basically, any of the combinations that they want. It’s the kicks that take it out of you. It has been so long since I have just had a total pasting on the pads and to be fair, much to my surprise I fared up quite well! I felt fluid and relaxed and as though I was just having fun with it, while trying to concentrate on my breathing and just enjoy it! Which I have learned is key! Why else would I go there?

So after that everyone who had been holding the pads were about to switch and get to have a go on them, Craig told me that I was going to go on the bag and do some clinch work and I was happy with that, I haven’t really done much clinch, at all. Pete then came into the gym and wanted someone to spar with and Gordon piped up and said that I was free to have a spar with him!

Now to put it into perspective Pete is an ex cage rage champion and totally frickin’ awesome at clinch and is super fast. He is the nicest guy, really clever and totally an unexpected brute! He said to me in the changing rooms while I was grabbing my gum shield for me to take it easy on him because he is old… Me? Take it easy on him? I was totally up for a spar but after the pad work I was feeling a little bit tired and I was his ‘warm up’ before his clinch class.

It was good, he gave me a couple of good pointers to take away and try, like bringing your leg out as though you are going to kick but then at the last minute turning it into a teep, he also gave me a good point where your opponents shoulder position dictates what kick you should be using. So if they are square on to you, a teep would be suitable and if they are turned to the right (if they are orthodox) looking as though they are ready to give you a boxing then the back leg kick would be a good one because it would be very difficult for them to be able to check it and get it decently defended.

One thing he did show me is that my guard was down; after I had kicked him he came in with a right hand straight down the middle and popped my nose. Blood had a steady trickle for a few minutes. Since I got it punched the other week and it bled it has been a bit weak ever since that, I should really try and let it heal before the interclub but it doesn’t really hurt when I get hit in it, it just has a funny feeling and then begins to trickle. It is a strange sensation; I haven’t ever really been made to bleed before, not properly anyway.

So tonight was a bit of a master class really, I have to thank Craig and Pete for giving me a thrashing. There’s nothing better than getting a beating at the gym, leaving with your head held high knowing you did the best you could and looking forward to the next time you get back in there to blast your old PB or to work on the techniques you used and try and implement them in the sparring or pad work. It was the best session I have had in a long time!

I have a few projects in the making at the moment; I have made a pact to myself after listening to Sean Fagan’s podcast with Paul Banasiak that I am going to get at least one blog post per week. Be it, a fight review (of which the first one will be going live on Monday), documentation on my training or whatever it may be!

If you haven’t already, head over to Facebook and give us a like at www.facebook.com/muaythaibloguk

I am also on twitter at www.twitter.com/muaythaibloguk

You can find me at www.instagram.com/muaythaibloguk too.

Thank you for reading my babbling, I know this was quite a lengthy post but it feels good to be writing again, it is just a motivation thing for me really, actually setting the time aside to get it done! All you bloggers will know that it isn’t something that takes two minutes to blast one out.

Well head over to each of the social media sites and give us a follow and a like and also, don’t forget to head over to my interview with Phil Shedden one of the promoters of The Main Event which is one of the biggest shows in the UK at the moment and give that a read we touch upon a number of things that you may find interesting! You can find that here:

http://muaythaibloguk.com/2015/04/05/muay-thai-blog-interview-with-phill-shedden-one-of-the-promoters-of-the-main-event/

Thanks again!!

Keep training hard and keep being awesome!

Love and respect to all!

Take care – Dom – MTBUK

You can’t out train a bad diet.

The most important thing about training and keeping healthy is diet. I have quickly come to realise that if you don’t eat correctly the damage you are doing to your body is going to far surpass that of any exercise you may be doing to improve it. If you can eat healthily, consistently then you will reap the rewards from it, if you don’t, you won’t.

It’s a funny old world we live in. I really can’t understand why so many shit foods are easily accessed then where good, healthy foods aren’t. We live in a society where fast food, sugar, refined carbs and genetically modified foods reap havoc on our bodies and well-being. This is a time where we would rather pop to McDonalds and eat a burger and fries rather than try to find some locally sourced fruit and veg and nutrionally rich foods.

I have been the victim of the ‘modern day man’ for 25 years now. Eating shit day in day out, pizza, fizzy drinks, burgers, pasta, processed foods that are no good for us and that starve our bodies of the essential nutrients we need to do even the most basic of things. I have been watching documentaries and films about where food comes from and what to do if you feel as though it is time for change.

It is like smoking. Eating badly has just become part of our daily routines that when it comes time to change the ritual it becomes a struggle when it shouldn’t be. The reason we are now in the position we are is because 10,000 years ago when food was scarce we lived on a diet of leafy vegetables and the fruits that we could find. The odd bit of meat here and there when we managed to kill.

Our hunter gatherer instincts never left, we just got more access to the foods that our bodies needs and began to move less. Imagine this, you have just managed to kill a wild boar and you have just cooked it on the fire you made and shared it with your family. You don’t actually know when your next meal is going to be but to get it you have to travel for miles and miles, days and days without food to get it. Our bodies are trained to store the energy that is required for us to do this.

But now, when we have daily access to these foods on every corner, all we are doing are crippling ourselves because our bodies aren’t using as much energy to find the food, yet we are filling ourselves up as though there is a famine around the corner. Because our bodies have been trained to store the energy needed to go out and gather the food, that is why the society of today is suffering from diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Our tastebuds were trained over time to enjoy the sweetness of sugar and the complexities of fatty foods, which is why we take such pleasure in eating everything that is on offer today but at the same time, the processed foods we are putting into our systems are nutritionally poor. They have no micronutrients in them because they have all been chemically changed to be made cheaper to make and to be addictive so we keep coming back for more.

I am holding my hands up and saying that I to am very guilty of doing this. Eating convenient  foods where I should be going out of my way to hunt and gather proper whole foods. I would love to be able to fight one day. To get in the ring and go to war with someone of an equal weight and ability but that will never happen until I sort out my eating habits.

I am writing this so I am actually holding myself accountable for the things I put into my body. It isn’t anyone elses fault that I am overweight, it isn’t anyone elses problem, only my own and to that I put my hands in the air and agree. But then why do I find it so difficult to change? Why is my brain so determined to go againast everything I know and carry on eating shit? I may know one day. Until then I guess I will manage to keep myself at a level pegging of 98kg.

Do you have any concerns about the foods of today? Are you like me and have fallen into a routine of damaging our internal systems? Do you have to cut a lot before a fight because you enjoy a food binge after it? Do you keep a regular healthy diet almost all the time?

Let us know in the comments below, I would love to hear your input!

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The time is nigh

There are so many things going on at the moment and I know that the writing has taken a back seat. I seem to be saying this quite a lot but I am kickstarting things again now I am back into training. The website is going to be going through a makeover over this coming week so watch out for that!

I have some massive news. MTBUK is going on tour! I am going to Yokkao this weekend and I have been so lucky to get the opportunity to get some ringside access to take some photos! Me… Taking photos at Yokkao! Mental!! It crazy to think that this time last year I was totally oblivious to the world of Muay Thai. As soon as I stepped foot into the gym that all changed.

Over the past 10 months I have been lucky enough to be totally immersed within the community. Speaking to some top promoters within the UK, some world class fighters and trainers along with all of the people that I have either sparred with or talked to at the events I have been to. My twitter now has over 300 followers and my Facebook has over 140 likes and my Instagram has over 100 followers too and for that I am so very thankful!

I find it totally overwhelming, the support that the community gives to the up and coming and all the opportunities that are there if you are willing to try and reach your goals and you feel passionate about it. This is something that I am massively passionate about and I guess that it has began to shine through a little bit.

Now that I am back into training and I am back into the swing of things I am going to be more consistent with the posts and keeping you up to date with all things Muay Thai inside and outside of the ring. I am going to be structuring what I will be writing and setting a day that I will put out each post. I don’t want to put myself in a position where I can’t keep up with the posts. So I will be writing one post per week. It will be covering my favourite training session from the week, my goals for training of the coming week and also how my goals went from the previous week and any other trivia I feel is relevant.

At the moment, I am just a normal guy but I can see some amazing things happening for MTBUK if I put in the effort to do so. The things I have lined up at the moment are Yokkao! I can’t explain how excited I am for Yokkao, to see some of the best fighters in the world compete! I am also going to be giving the website a bit of a makeover, make it a bit more structured and make it more aesthetically pleasing, I may also be planning a trip down to Birmingham to see the Main Event which would be another amazing opportunity to see some of the best talent out there compete, I would like to get the opportunity to do some writing as a guest on a website of some sort or a fighting brands website or a fellow blogger or an event review or anything.

I have a few interviews that I am going to get ready to post on here, I do have a couple of people that are going to answer some questions for me too, so the interviews will still be happening, which I am totally pumped about! So watch out for those! This is a post really to just put you all in the picture and let you all know where MTBUK is at the moment and what I have planned for it in the future. I hope you all enjoy what I am writing at the moment (or will be writing as I have written in nearly a month) and if you have the time feel free to head over to my other social media sites and give us a follow and a subscribe and please introduce yourself!

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I love to hear from people, if you would like to write a post for me, answer a few questions, have some ideas that you would like to work on or would like any tips to do with training and things just please give me a message or simply just say hello!

Thank you again for all being so welcoming of me and my work, hopefully I will begin to reach my goals. I have a now written myself some goals that I am going to strive to achieve by the end of the year.

Take care of yourselves, keep being awesome!

Dom – Muay Thai Blog UK

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.

muay thai punch

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

Leaving the gym with a limp and a sore jaw… Today has been a good day!

When I booked my private with Craig, I knew I was in for a hard session and surely enough it lived up to my expectations. I started with a pretty standard warm up, on the ropes for about 10mins, then did some sit ups and some stretches, combined stretch, stretched the hamstrings on the ropes of the ring and a few more.

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When we got started he mentioned that I wasn’t using my right cross properly so he said that we would work some on that, he got me on the bag and then said that it looked okay so he wasn’t really to fussed about working on that for today. We then did a few rounds on the pads, working on finding my range and getting the smaller things tweaked. He said that my technique is really good, when I said that I thought that my boxing was my weakest area, he said he didn’t know why I thought that.

Any way so after the rounds on the bags he said that the only way to put into practice what he wanted me to work on, which was timing and getting to land punches in a fight sort of situation that the only thing to do was a bit of sparring. I remember the first time I sparred with Craig I totally shit my pants! I thought I had to get my game on, he said that we shouldn’t work on strength/power all he wanted me to work on was speed and accuracy of my shots.

So that’s what I did. We did 5 or 6 rounds or three minutes (I think) and it was fucking awesome! Getting the chance to spar with someone who is far far far more experienced than what I am, to the point where I could only aspire to be that good one day, I (without sounding as though I have a case of vaginitis going on) honoured to be able to do that. In-between rounds he would tell me what I need to do differently, the first round he told me that I needed to throw my right kick more often.

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So I did. he was getting through with straight jabs, which was really frustrating, that is what I need to work on. Defence. My striking is okay, something that with time will only get better. My defence is something that is lacking, I know this because I took enough shots to the face to think I don’t want that to happen again, but it did. So in my next private session that is what I think we will work on, he will like that, getting to punch me! Oh, totally unrelated to todays post, yesterday! I had left my gloves in the gym over the weekend and he has posted a picture of them on Facebook and said that however many likes this photo gets the owner of the gloves would get as many body shots.

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I had to take 150 body shots in yesterdays class. 150!! I mean come on!! So I know, from personal experience, that he enjoys punching people! It has nothing to do that he was a professional fighter or anything, just that he took so much pleasure in causing me a shit load of pain! But yeah, back to today. In the next private I need to work on defence but saying that, I think I did much better this time round than what I did the last time round. Which is something that I was pleasantly surprised with, I didn’t think that I had come on that much in the past two months or so.

I think with it being Christmas and me not being in the gym a great deal throughout December that it took me a lot longer to get back into the swing of things. Saying that, I feel I did today, the best I have ever done. So after trying through the five or six rounds to land the right leg kick, I managed to land one or two. Using the tips that Craig had given me throughout the session. Set it up with a one, two, hook or just step back and let them come forward and when they do, throw the kick! I hurt my, this is going to sound so pathetic, but I will run the risk, I hurt a toe on my right foot in one of the rounds so it was hurting throughout the final two rounds but I managed to power on through.

After the session he came to me and said that he was really impressed with what he had seen in the sparring. He said that it has been a while since he has been surprised and that I had surprised him! I mean, what!! He said that I need to stop fucking about and get the weight off me so i can begin to fight! He said that after today, I would  be more than welcome to join in with the advanced classes. Which before Christmas, we were told that it was only people who were either training for fights or had been training over a year or two and for him to say that I would be welcome in the advanced classes, I honestly felt really proud.

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I have only been training for seven months and to be asked to join the advanced class, I was more than happy to say yes! So after the private with him, he asked if I was staying for this session, it was an advanced class. I was tired, my toe was hurting and I wasn’t sure whether I was going to. His words were “Are you staying for this session because if you’re not, you can do some fitness.” I thought about it for a split second and said, fuck it. Why not. I just didn’t want to do the fucking fitness!!

In the advanced session we worked on moving around around our opponent and getting of the centre line and striking when we have got there. It was fun, it is something we have done a little bit in the beginners class. We worked on travelling with the switch as well for setting up the kick. Which, I think I heard him say, would score quite highly if you got to kick your opponent on the back. After we had done that for about 20/30mins Craig shouted “Sparring!!!”

More sparring, a part of me thought shit, a part of me thought awesome, a bit of sparring with someone at about my own ability or just a little better, not at Craig’s level and it was awesome!! We did 5 rounds swapping partner each time. I sparred with Gary, Davie, Sarah, Martin and Ruairi. The rounds I did with Lee and Ruairi were my favourite, they are about the same size as me and made me work the hardest.

I managed to put into practice what me and Craig and been working on in the private in landing that right kick. That is my weapon, in Craig’s words, “You should use that all the time, that is your bread and butter” Which worked. It felt so good, Ruairi managed to land a fucking awesome head kick on me though and hurt my jaw. I’m even struggling to close it as I am reading this. It was a corker!! I was okay while I was sparring, with him, at least I know I can take a punch, or kick!

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To round up today’s post, It has been an awesome day. I day that I am very proud of. To have Craig say that to me and to feel as comfortable as I did while sparring and what not I definitely feel as though I had turned a corned in my Muay Thai journey. I just need to get this weight shifted and you will soon be reading about my first fight!! Before that though, I have an interclub lined up in Leeds in a few weeks time, at Bad Company Gym, or at a place that they are putting on which should be totally awesome!! I so excited to be going doing down there and seeing what that will be like!

Thanks again for reading, I know this has been quite a long post but I did have quite a lot to say so I hope you enjoyed reading. Also, before I go, for any of you out there that might want to answer a few questions from me, I have been working on a list of questions that I would like to ask professional/aspiring fighters or gym owners. It would be done in text format and not via Skype or anything, I would email you the questions and you can take as long as you need to get them back to me.

Remember to head over tho Facebook and give us a like and go over to twitter and give us a follow. I like to also post a photo sometimes on instagram so you can head over there as well and give us a follow! I know the website keeps going through quite a lot of changes and if you could just bare with me while I get it to a place that I am happy with and I can actually work on getting some awesome content made for you that is awesome!! Thanks again for continuing to read with me and I promise there will be some exciting things coming your way in the coming months!!

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Thanks again for reading!! Wish you all the best for the rest of the week!! I would love to hear from you, so please get in touch!!!

Peace – Dom – MTBUK

Today we got to punch each other in the face!

Tonight training session was awesome! The first time in quite a long time where we managed to get a decent amount of sparring in! Before I divulge into tonights class I have a few things to brush over first.

I am going to be logging my meals so I know what I have been eating throughout my competition that I am having within the gym.

Breakfast wasn’t fantastic, while I was at home I had my morning green shake which had avocado, banana, Apple, cucumber, kale, spinach, watercress, a squeezed orange and a kiwi, it was probably one of the nicest ones I have made to date! I was running late for work so didn’t manage to get breakfast while at home, I picked up a breakfast wrap in sainsburys (I know, I know! Horrifically unhealthy!), for my 10 I clock snack I had carrot with houmous. Lunch was a spinach, watercress and rocket salad, with beetroot,Chicken, cucumber, pine nuts, tomatoes and a olive oil and squeezed lemon as a dressing. I had half of that for my 12 o clock lunch, with a protein shake and a spoon on cashew nut butter (which is totally spectacularly amazing!), then the same again at 3pm just a smaller portion. At 5 o clock I then had two bananas before I got to the gym and I’m not to sure if i will have anything when I get in. We will see.

I also have an announcement! I have another interclub coming up in 3 weeks! It is down in Leeds at a gym called The Bad Company Gym! It is a highly respected gym in the area, there have been some very good fighters come out of the gym! There are two that spring to mind, one being Yokkao world title contender Liam Harrison! And also the Yokkao world champion Jordan Watson! I am so pumped for it! It should be a wicked experience going down and seeing things down there!

The training tonight was a wicked session! We managed to get a decent amount of sparring in, which is totally wicked. I love a bit of sparring. At first, we was drilling with one attack, it could have been any attack, punch, kick, knee, anything. We did this one for one. Making sure we were using our fakes and feints, taking as long as we needed to ensure that the strike would land. After that it was one of my favourite sentences within the gym… “Gum shields in!”

We then began the 20 minute sparring session. It’s funny, because I remember when I first started doing Muay Thai, when we were doing sparring I was so tense! It tired me out so quickly, I got so gassed that I just couldn’t go on and I began to psych myself out telling myself “I’m not going to be able to do this,” or “I can’t keep on going!”

What I realised this weekend is that I was a lot more relaxed. So much so that I was trying to think about each strike I was doing. Granted this was a sparring session with a group of my friends and training partners, it might be a little different with a stranger in a different city. Every time I go into the gym I learn something different. Take something new from the experience!

I listened to a podcast this morning by Sean Fagan with a guy who was talking all about the spiritual side of training and about how becoming a yoga instructor helped him with his training and becoming a trainer. I love listening to that sort of stuff, learning about how quieting your mind to a place where you can think about what you are doing, learn from your mistakes and in turn become a better person, or Muay Thai fighter!

Granted I am a long way off from becoming a fighter but it is one of my longer term goals of training. Having at least one fight and I will feel as though I have achieved something I never thought I could! To be fair, Muay Thai has opened up so many things for me, this blog, the people, Twitter, facebook, training, events… All things I never thought or seen myself doing even this time a year ago.

Not to get all nostalgic and soppy on you all, I’m just very thankful for the opportunity to be able to be here, do the things I do. In time, hopefully it will become something more.

Well that’s it for today’s blog. Remember to head over to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and shot us a like if you are a fan and want to keep up to date with what we are all up to.

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I felt totally exposed today!!

It has been an interesting experience today. I got my body fat measured using the Poliquin Bio-Signature. I have entered a competition with the gym I go to called “NK Biggest Fattest loser.” Now as you all know, I am on a mission to get some of this excess weight shifted.

What better way to do it than take part in a fat losing competition among my peers! So basically, the way that it works is that we get the percentage of our body fat taken today. This is done using the Poliquin Bio-Signature method using callipers. I was totally dreading it, I only took it upon myself to do some research on what it actually was that we were doing and safe to say… I shit my pants!!

The other night me and my wife decided to take ourselves off and go on an adventure somewhere, just go to the train station and pick somewhere off the board. You are probably wondering why I am telling you this. Well we were running around this morning packing stuff up in the bag for the overnight stay in wherever we were going to go. Which meant that I forgot to pack some bloody shorts!!

Now when I got on the train to Newcastle to get to the gym, Amy (my wife) asked me, “Dom, did you not pack any shorts? How you going to get your reading taken?” Instant panic set in!! My brain went into overdrive thinking shit shit shit!! I was totally thinking that my body fat was going to be above 30% but when it came to the crunch, I was quite happy with the reading that came out!!

The reading itself was an interesting experience. Kat, who took the all the measurements was awesome, she was really informative and stuff and gave us good feedback and told us what we should be working on. So when I was getting my readings taken, without bloody shorts on she had to get to my knees, my quads and thighs… It was, try and shimmy my jeans up far enough or just drop them… I came to the conclusion that I would probably look like less of a knob if I just stripped down.

So picture this, I was stood there, no top on, my jeans round my ankles and Kat was there with the callipers inspecting every jiggly bit of my body. I felt totally on show!! I have never felt so exposed in my entire life, granted it was only me and Kat in the changing rooms but I can safely say, I will be taking shirts next time!!

So the reading itself came out to be 25% body fat, which means, of the 96.5kg that I am, 72.5kg of that is lean mass. The areas that require the most attention are my pectorals, umbilicals and my quadriceps. What Kat told me is that I need to eat more often. Which I know is right, try to keep my metabolism up throughout the day. That should keep my fat loss active if I keep drinking the right amounts of water and stuff obviously pair that with the exercise that will be done in and out of the gym. I am going to start running again to up my cardio and endurance and be in the gym 4 time a week.

We should hopefully get a reading again in a few weeks time which would be a pretty cool help, get a midway reading so we know what progress we have made and where we still need to work on. I hope I begin to see some changes within my composition which I am sure I will but it is all a work in progress. All working towards one goal… Being able to get in the ring and punch someone in the face!

I am excited for this year, there is a lot of promising things that I am expecting out of 2015! This is it for now, I have rambled on enough for today, I will be back in the gym on Monday! So I will have another blog post up for you on Monday night.

Peace to all and I will see you on the flip side…

Again remember to head over to twitter and follow us at http://www.twitter.com/muaythaibloguk and then on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/muaythaibloguk you can also find us on instagram on http://www.instagram.com/muaythaibloguk

Thanks for the continues support and carrying on reading my blog!

Dom – MTBUK