Muay Thai Workshop by Kru Chris in NoVA
Muay Thai Workshop in NoVA by Kru Chris
One of the great things about doing Muay Thai are the people you train with. T.A.G. Muay Thai recently attended the Grandmaster Chai Sirisute seminar in Columbia, Maryland and met other instructors and students from surrounding schools. One of the young ladies we met was Kru Krysta, who teaches and trains out of One Spirit Martial Arts. Once we found out we are located in the same area, we both agreed to guest instruct for a muay thai workshop. I dropped by the gym weeks later and met Professor Sauer, and the Head Muay Thai instructor, Kru Kristen. Kru Kristen, Kru Krysta and myself are all certified by the same organization, the World Thai Boxing Association (WTBA). We discussed plans to get our students together and cross train, invite each school for a special muay thai workshop, work with each others students at fights, sparring exhibitions, etc.
I was the first up! After the kids class on a Tuesday evening, the coaches closed up and drove to Herndon along with our other adult students to cross train with the students from One Spirit.
Was it awkward and nerve-wracking at first? Absolutely!
I definitely was nervous because teaching on the other side of the mat was Professor Pedro Sauer, an 8th degree Black/Red Belt under the Legendary Rickson Gracie. Everybody was separated into groups at first, however, we told the 40+ in attendance, why the idea of “cross training” would benefit each of them. A lot of gyms in the area have already collaborated for local muay thai workshop events, and “East Coast Strong” gyms like Level Up Boxing in Bowie, Maryland, they have been doing great Sparring Events where all East Coast regional schools all get together and spar with top talent in our area.
One of the first things I do when instructing a muay thai workshop or class with new students is shadowboxing. Not your typical shadowboxing, I add the element of intervals into it, with 30-second bursts of non-stop, 110% speed and power shadowboxing. I look at footwork, slight variations of techniques, realistic combination, intensity, breathing, etc. I call time, bring in the students and let them know (in my humble opinion) what they can do to improve, differences of techniques, etc. We then go onto a boxing combination, then start to switch out some of the boxing techniques with Muay Thai weapons (knees, elbows, kicks, clinch entry, etc). From there, we worked our defenses and counters. At the workshop’s close, we put everything together. I put on the interval timer and every minute, they got somebody new and learned to make immediate adjustments going with somebody with a different skill set and body type.
Everybody seemed to train well with one another and even learned something. We were also able to match a couple of students up for T.A.G.’s 2nd Sparring Exhibition, which worked out well for all! We look forward to cross training again soon!