Bangs and Bruises
Stamp is hard at work. Her body shows the pains of her labor. The MMA athlete is off to the USA this week in preparation for her fight debut in the states. She’ll be taking on Alyse Anderson at Atomweight in an MMA bout.
To get ready she’s on the grind of running, padwork, BJJ, strength and conditioning, and MMA training. The program uses high repetitions and lots of output.
Recently she got to spar with UFC legend Loma Lookboonmee. The Thai fighter from Isaan showed her what she’s learned from the legendary Bangtao gym in Phuket.
The lessons have shown on her body. Stamp is bruised up. But making it to the top requires you to pay the price.
Kendu Irving In The Thaiwasadu Final at 65kg
(In this photo: Fairtex BGL6 Pro Leather Laced Competition Gloves)
New York City native Kendu Irving faces Naruto Sathian Muay Thai next month in the Thaiwasadu finals. The construction company, similar to Home Depot in the United States, is sponsoring several tournaments at Fairtex Fight.
There is a 73kg division, 68kg, 65kg, and women’s 53kg. Eight athletes began the journey to the top and now in the 65kg division, there are only two – Kendu and Naruto.
Irving’s journey to the finals was full of ups and downs, literally. His first fight saw the referee lift his hand up. Irving, out of Renzo Gracie Muay Thai with Joe Sampieri, knocked out his first foe, Banchaseuk Sor Sor Pakon.
In the semi finals he took on Mongkolphet Tataewatsadumueangphon. In the first round, Kendu downed Mongkolphet. But in the second Mongkolphet rocked Kendu with an elbow. It sent Kendu to the canvas. Irving got back to his feet. He was as stable as a kite with a broken string in a hurricane. Like a force of nature, Irving regained control of the fight and took the win on points.
His opponent, Naruto is a very slick southpaw.
Sampieri, Kendu’s original coach, is confident in Kendu.
“Naruto’s style is similar to what Kendu is used to seeing,” he said.
We will see victory or defeat for Kendu Irving in the finals of the Thaiwasadu tournament next month.
Black Belt Instruction with Liisi Vaht
(In this photo: Fairtex HB6 Muay Thai Banana Heavy Bag)
Sweden’s first female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete is in Thailand. The skilled ADCC veteran came to the land of smiles to help Stamp prepare for her bout against Alyse Anderson.
Vaht uses a proven style of teaching. The first is showing the technique. The second is implementing the technique. Athletes will roll together and train their new skill.
The third step is to drill the technique with a slight amount of pressure. The goal is to be mainly successful in the third step. A ratio of 3 failures to 7 successes is good.
Next is isolated sparring where the technique is attempted in a controlled but live situation. Finally, Vaht goes over the technique a final time with an emphasis on correcting mistakes in form.
“It is amazing for me to be honest,” Vaht said about teaching athletes like Stamp. “I try to keep it as simple as possible. If I show them the logic behind what I am teaching. When I do that they pick it up very fast.”
The deadline for Stamp’s bout on ONE Championship is looming. Fast learning is imperative. Luckily Vaht knows just how to show some black belt level instruction.
The Kids Are Alright
(In this photo: Fairtex Breathable Gloves BGV1BR)
Muay Thai gyms aren’t just for fighters. The establishments are also places for fitness and fun. Two young aspiring athletes got into the MMA cage to duke it out. Saenchainoi, in the blue shorts, brought along with friend in the black.
Saenchainoi is a trained athlete with a whopping one fight under his belt. His buddy isn’t as experienced but larger in size. The two put on the gloves for some informal sparring fun.
Many laughs were had as the two went toe to toe.
Muay Thai in Thailand is like sports in the west. Kids will “play” Muay Thai in the same manner that children might play baseball, soccer, or basketball.
If there’s equipment around you know the kids are going to have a good time.
(In this photo: Fairtex Kids Muay Thai Boxing Shorts)
Saenchainoi is on the tire. Famed fighters like Yodsanklai are fans of bouncing on the tire.
There are two goals for tire jumping. One is conditioning. Bouncing back and forth strengthens the legs, particularly the calves. This is like skipping rope and or running. The second purpose is to build a rhythm.
Basic footwork patterns of shifting weight are used. The athlete will go heavy on one side, then the other. The shifting weight mimics the shifting necessary in a fight. The fighter will go heavy on the front foot when they are attacking. They will lean on the back foot when they are defensive.
Fighters will bounce on the tire for durations of up to twenty minutes or longer. The calves ache but the reward is worth the price.
Turning The Knee In
Smilla Sundell arcs her hip to smash in the knee. When a trainer or opponent comes in too close a fighter can turn the hip and knee to still score. Smilla demonstrates this technique.
As a tall and lanky athlete, Smilla uses her powerful knees to do damage. The leverage that she gets from her height puts on the pain.
The ONE Championship Muay Thai champ is going back to the ring. Her fight date is yet to be announced but we’ll see her soon back doing what she loves.
Author: Matt Lucas