Monday, August 17, 2009
Benefit From Training Muay Thai Without Pads
If you subscribe to my YouTube channel you've probably already seen the above clip, what I don't mention in it is the importance of training without pads.
We can all agree that thai pad and focus mitt drills are vital to any muay thai or mma curriculum, but it does have a few drawbacks - including reinforced bad habits and a false sense on security in one's skills.
Striking pads is actually a very different sensation from hitting a real person. Aside from the actual impact, the entire interaction is entirely different when you strip away the pads, gloves, and other protective gear. I'm not saying that you go all-out on someone else. I suggest you learn to play with your combinations and get a feel for where the true targets lie. This is especially important for those of you who are learning close quarter combat (self defense) systems.
So, what do you really get out of this? Here's the truth: you can master any fighting system, but when it comes down to it: when you find yourself in a fighting situation in the street, your subconscious, reptilian brain is going to rely on a handful of strikes or combinations. All of those fancy, technical - fine motor skill - small joint locks are going to wash away with the adrenaline rush.
Repeated drills such as the one in the video can help you train your subconscious mind so that when its called upon, your animal brain won't freeze on you. It becomes a natural reaction. John Grissom, author of the combat blog, 1Urban Warrior and fellow Muay Thai Academy International alumni covers this topic extensively. Dave Grossman's book, On Killing also provides some interesting insights into the application of the fight or flight mechanism in combat.
Other variables including target selection, environment, and the unpredictability of your attacker all factor into the equation. And that only adds to the importance of training your subconscious mind. Oh boy, I'm gonna have to expand on this a little later.