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If you’re ready to push your Muay Thai training to the next level, then a Muay Thai camp in Thailand is the ideal way to hone your skills. By receiving world-class training in the home of this ancient and prestigious sport, you can maximise your potential as well as having the time of your life in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Furthermore, you’ll meet lifelong friends in your fellow campmates.

However, as you may already know from previous Muay Thai training, it isn’t easy. A Muay Thai camp will put you through your paces and then some. While you may have the determination and positivity, you must also make sure you (and your body) are fully prepared for a Muay Thai camp by following these five preparation steps.

Get training

If you are heading for a beginner Muay Thai camp, then it is essential that you build up your basic level of fitness and skills. For those with experience in Muay Thai, it also doesn’t hurt to up your game a little before you head to Thailand. It is well worth joining a local Muay Thai gym (if you haven’t already) and training a three to four times a week.

If that isn’t possible, head to your regular gym four times a week and ensure you have a balance of strength training, endurance training, bag work and cardio. Get adequate rest though, you don’t want to end up with an injury before you arrive.

Lace up your running shoes

Most Muay Thai camps will start the day with a run of around 4-5km. To prepare for this, it is well worth running at least twice a week and joining your local Park Run. If you are not used to exercising in the early morning, then start jogging before work, so you are raring to go when you get to camp.

If you struggle with running, build up your cardio in other ways such as cycling, swimming or on the rowing machine at the gym.

Skip and jump

Getting to grips with a skipping rope before your Muay Thai camp will be a great advantage. Skipping is likely to be a key feature in your warm-up session as it improves your agility and strength in the lower legs. However, skipping takes time to master, especially with regards to timing. It is well worth making skipping your warm-up activity of choice at the gym or buying a rope for your home so you can perfect the practice.

Remember, you will be skipping barefoot at the Muay Thai camp so practice without shoes where possible.

Feel flexible

Stretching is also an essential part of your training as it promotes flexibility which is needed for kicking in Muay Thai. While your focus may be on building muscles, it is also important to stretch them out, so you don’t feel stiff or cause an injury such as a muscle strain.

Spend some time on the mats at the gym to stretch out your muscles. Make sure to focus on the lower body by stretching your hips, groin, calves and hamstrings. It may be worth joining a yoga class if you are not sure where to begin with safe stretching.

Get ready for the heat

It is not just the training that will be intense inThailand, it’s also the heat and humidity. If you are from colder climates, then prepare your body for heat by training in more layers of clothing than you’re used to and making the most of steam rooms and saunas.

If possible, try to arrive in Thailand a few days before your camp so that you have time to acclimatise. If you head out to train as soon as you arrive, your body will be in shock and struggle to perform at it’s best.  Make sure to up your water intake; it is essential to stay hydrated for maximum performance.

While a Muay Thai camp may seem daunting, by putting in the preparation before you head out, you’ll begin the camp feeling much more confident and be able to perform at your best while your coach puts you through your paces.

The post How to Prepare for a Muay Thai Camp appeared first on Martial Arts Lab.

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Speed bag workouts are some of the most common sights in any boxing gym and many martial arts dojos. The reason that you will see fighters using them is that they offer so many different and potent advantages as far as workouts go.

We’re going to do a quick rundown of some of the benefits of working out on a speed bag and why you should definitely start using one.

1. Learn To Regulate Your Punching Power

Any time that you watch a fight and hear the announcer say that someone is “gassed” you know that they are in trouble. They have run out of stamina by moving or used too much power in their strikes in hopes of dropping their opponent. One reason that people tend to overestimate their ability to last in a fight is because they forget to keep a consistent punching power.

Using a speed bag, you have to keep your punches consistent once you start hitting it. If you punch too hard or land a sloppy hit, the bag is going to have a bad bounce and throw you off. When you learn to keep a rhythm, you can keep hitting that bag with the same power over and over again. In a fight, this will help you gauge the power you should be putting behind your punches. When you use this technique in conjunction with strength building, you will land flurries of punches with solid power behind them, whilst knowing how long you can maintain this pace without tiring.

2. You Will Never Drop Your Guard Again

One of the difficulties that a lot of new fighters face is learning to keep their hands up all the time. When you drop your hands in the middle of a bout, you are just begging for someone to take advantage of you and land a solid shot. When you are using a speed bag for your work out, your hands should never drop.

You have to keep them up in a fighting stance or risk missing your next punch on the bag. This translates directly to fighting, where you will feel more compelled to keep your hands up and ready to strike or block. There is a lot more that goes into holding an effective stance. Still, you will start to notice when your hands are down and self-correct your habit of dropping your guard.

3. Building Your Cardio

Like we already said, the last thing you want in a fight is to go into round and find yourself huffing and puffing. At that point, you are in serious trouble.

A speed bag can help alleviate this problem in a few ways. For instance, you can use your speed bag as a cardio work out and get used to the feeling of using energy for strikes while maintaining good fighting form.

You will keep your hands up, throw punches, and continue to effectively use the energy you have left. Yet, there is another element to using the speed bag.

Since you are constantly moving and punching, using the speed bag is a real cardio workout. You can count on putting in a lot of hard work that will help you build stamina similarly to other cardio exercises. The difference is that using the speed bag tends to be a lot more fun and also develops your arm and shoulder endurance.

4. Improve Your Reaction Time

Imagine that you are in the ring for some sparring. It’s near the end of the session and both of you are incredibly tired and sweaty. You circle in on your partner and he drops his guard out of habit, but just for a second.

Using a speed bag can make that second in which he drops his guard a chance for a serious attack or just another missed opportunity. It all depends on how quickly and concisely you can land a strike. You have to trust that you are able to land those counter strikes that can make the other guy completely rethink his approach.

When you train using a speed bag, you get the benefit of honing your reaction time and coordination. You will have to constantly evaluate the speed and sway of the bag to effectively land strikes. Over time, this becomes second nature, and that makes you a dangerous fighter. Soon enough, those little moments when your opponent makes a mistake will turn into a painful reminder on their part.

5. No More Excuses: Train From Home

One of the greatest aspect of speed bags is the ability to set them up at home. This does require a bit of handy work, however all you need is a decent platform for the bag, a swivel and of course, a speed bag.

That means you get to work out in the comfort of your own home. Any time that you want to work off some frustration or get in some quick conditioning, the speed bag is there and ready to be hit.

It also comes with the added benefit of not having to go all the way to the gym to get in a decent punching workout. You can fit in a workout with your personal speed bag and then go on a quick run or lift some free weights. There’s no need to go downtown to the gym every day of the week, but you still need to work on your fitness.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are a lot of reasons that you should consider using a speed bag for a work out. The benefits of working out on a speed bag are numerous and directly affect the way that you are able to perform in the ring.  If you are looking for a new way to improve your cardio, coordination, and speed using one piece of equipment, this is it.

Thanks for reading and feel free to drop us a line to let us know what you think of the topic or if you have any questions!

The post 5 Benefits of Working Out on a Speed Bag appeared first on Martial Arts Lab.

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In addition to making for great television, these stars gave young and amateur fighters people to idolize. It’s important in any sport for people who might be up-and-coming, or who might simply have aspirations, to see athletes they want to model themselves after. This is why some argued that the real tragedy of the U.S. not making the 2018 World Cup was that young soccer players in America wouldn’t see teenage prodigy Christian Pulisic competing on the world’s biggest stage. And all of a sudden, this is looking like something of a potential problem for the UFC. The search for the next stars in the sport is on, and the answers aren’t as evident as they might have been one, two, or even five years ago.

With that said however, these are some of the fighters amateurs and young fans might still do well to keep tabs on.

Ronda Rousey

Yes, Ronda Rousey is more or less out of UFC for good, or so it seems. Once the sport’s most dominant and charismatic athlete, she had a rather stunning fall from the top and now appears to have moved on. However, she’s still a very compelling figure. Young fighters would still do well to study her prime, and in the event she comes back – which she’s certainly still young and fit enough to do – she’d immediately be the biggest story in the sport once more. UFC is not a scripted sport, but we certainly wouldn’t put it past Dana White and Co. to pressure Rousey back into the ring for the sake of the story.

Conor McGregor

Like Rousey, McGregor now exists on the fringe of UFC. He’s also a less admirable figure than Rousey outside of the ring. However, by boxing against Floyd Mayweather and largely holding his own, McGregor successfully boosted his own profile to become perhaps the most famous male UFC fighter in the sport’s short history. As of now there are persistent rumors of an octagon rematch between McGregor and Mayweather, and if this ends up happening – and McGregor can win – he’ll likely raise the whole sport to new heights.

Sean O’Malley

Sean O’Malley, who’s from Montana despite his Irish name, is a little bit different for UFC, and that might just help him stand out in a crowd. If most male UFC fighters more closely resemble smaller versions of, say, The Rock or Vin Diesel, O’Malley looks more like an Orlando Bloom type, and gets by more on skill and tact than brute force. It remains to be seen how effective the young fighter will be in bigger bouts, but he has a chance to be a fan favorite.

Mackenzie Dern

Mackenzie Dern is one of the known prospects to watch in the UFC, and perhaps inevitably she gets compared to Ronda Rousey quite a bit. That’s not appropriate based on her early record in the sport (she’s not a submission machine like Rousey was). But Dern’s jiu-jitsu skills are good enough to take her far, and make her a very compelling fighter to watch.

Paolo Costa

Paolo Costa is what a lot of fans want to see in the UFC. He’s a big, charismatic, muscled figure who hits with enormous power and has tho potential to plow to a middleweight title with sheer force. That’s not to say he definitely will, but if Costa winds up competing in and winning title fights he’s going to be very popular doing it.

Brian Ortega

Despite his recent scratch at UFC 226 (due to Max Holloway’s injury), Brian Ortega is perhaps the clearest pick as an up-and-coming star in UFC. He’s already amassed an impressive string of wins and would likely have seized a title against Holloway. He’s a fun fighter to watch, and one with a versatile array of attacks that make him just the littlest bit unpredictable. Ortega is an excellent young fighter for amateurs to watch.

The post Who Are The Best UFC Fighters For Amateurs To Watch? appeared first on Martial Arts Lab.

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