Strengthening Your Weak Points

Strengthening Your Weak Points

Strength and conditioning specifically for Muay Thai is still in early days. There are sport specific conditioning coaches in basketball, football, American football and other sports.

Athlete and trainer Douglas Malagon is developing a program for Muay Thai fighters.

His first client is himself. An avid runner, Malagon hurt his calf. To rehab it he works with one leg on the squat press.

“I’m doing calf conditioning because I have an imbalance,” Malagon said. “I’m building strength in the other leg.”

Most athletes don’t do proper rehab. This stalls their career and their healing process.


What To Look For When Watching Fighters

The trainers at Fairtex are always looking at the fighters. They watch them hit pads. They watch them hit the bag. They watch them clinch.

Former fighter Kru Hern watches Kompetch and Petch knee spar. The thirty minute grappling session is important.

“I look at everything,” Kru Hern said. His eyes stayed glued on the boxers.

As Kompetch and BM worked their skills Hern appraised them.

“Kompetch is good with his knees. Petch is good with his elbows,” Hern said.

Both boxers are from Sitsatwatseua gym. They came together to Fairtex and both have been on a great run of form under the watchful eye of Kru Hern.


The Story Of The Weapon


All the trainers have stories in the fight game. For Wut’s began when he was young.

“I saw my friend fight and train,” Wut said.

Seeing his friend try it, encouraged Wut. He fought. Then he fought. Then he made money and the rest is a fight career.

Over 140 fights later he’s still fighting. The Bangkok native is a Max Muay Thai Champion. His style is iconic. He is a Muay Buak, a relentless fighter that moves forward, forward, and forward. 

Unlike a Muay Khao fighter (clinch and knee), Buak athletes use a variety of attacks. They punch, kick, elbow and knee all while moving forward and putting together their combinations.

Wut is a high level trainer at Fairtex. He works with Smilla Sundell. The ONE Championship champ uses a similar style.

While still able to fight, Wut is taking time off. He takes his daughter every day to school. This prevents him from being able to focus on his fight career. But the fighter is focusing on his career as a father.


Fighting For Family

Family is important in Thailand. Friends are brothers and sisters. The people that take care of you are aunts and uncles. But the people that matter the most are the parents.

This is especially true for Yodnamchai. The 19 year old is on an incredible streak of form. He hasn’t lost at ONE Lumpinee in 4 bouts. The small gloves suit his knock out style.

His last performance caused a braining shocking knock out for Chokdee Maxjandee in the third and final round.

The fights are a way to provide for Yodnamchai’s family.

“My son, Haarit, is one year and six months old,” he said. “When I make money from I give it to my mom and dad. It also goes to support my son.”

Supporting his family as a provider is a mark of distinction. It is especially important as his father ages.

“My dad has heart disease,” Yodnamchai said. “His health is not great.”

Yodnamchai must use his health, youth and skills in the ring to provide for an aging father and a growing baby bow. He fights for his family.


Performance Remorse


(In This Photo: KPLC5, TV2 Body Shield)

The stadium roared. Over 600 athletes came to Lumpinee for the WBC Amazing Muay Thai Festival.

And in the ring were two of them. There was Quinty Gotink and her opponent Jenny Freitas.

The two fought for three rounds. It went to a points decision. Freitas’ hand was raised.

Gotink’s shoulder’s slumped with disappointment.

“I think I could have done better if I went forward,” Gotink said.

During the bout she circled. She used hard and simple combinations. Jab cross. Jab cross.

“I could have won if I did something. It’s sad,” Gotink said.

The would have, could have, should have of remorse is common in athletes. Even many winning athletes believe their performance is sub par.

The feeling is hard to beat and lingers.


Fixing The Breaks


(In This Photo: BGV14 Painter- Black)

Preawa Sitthaninu and Elisa Keck went at it for a second time. The rematch was part of the Thaiwasadu Tournament.

Keck lost the first outing.

In the second Preawa attacked the leg and used stalls. The clock control and techniques were too much for the Muay Buak athlete. Her forward combinations were slowed by Preawa.

Her lead leg was yellow and bruised after the fight.

“It hurts a little bit. A bunch of people kicked me already,” Keck said.

The injury was salved by a fix though. Kru Ram and Keck worked on fixing the stalling problem. Many Thai athletes will use a leg across the body to stall their opponent. Keck learned to turn out or push out of the stall.

“Kru Ram and I practiced,” Keck said. “I need to use my brain more. During the fight I didn’t.”

Using the brain requires being able to use techniques practiced.

Keck is making her first steps to righting her wrongs by drilling through her problems.



Author: Matt Lucas

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