We’re going to be starting a new segment with Kevin aka Huggy Bear called “In the Ring”. He’ll be answering your questions around, training, technique, ass kicking and name taking. I’m hoping to make this a weekly post, so keep the questions coming.
The posts are only as interesting as your questions… so fire away.
- Who was your toughest fight (abroad and local)?
Abroad would have to be Michael Dicks. I fought him on the king’s birthday in 07’. He actually outweighed me by about 15 pounds and I broke my hand in the 2nd round, which definitely didn’t help. I’d really love to get a rematch with him. Locally would be Romie Adanza. I dropped down to 127 for this fight, which almost killed me. He was my first 5 rounder, he was undefeated at the time, and I had been watching him fight since before I even started so it was a little nerve wracking.
- How do u feel when you hear people’s negative comments about the skill level of American MT fighters compared to Asian or European fighters?
Well unfortunately most of the time they are accurate. That being said I think there are a handful of great fighters here that can definitely hang on the world class level and every year the level of American Thai Boxer’s is getting better and better. So on one hand I agree with them but at the same time there are those that are paving the way and it’s only going to get better. Plus proving people wrong is one of the best things in the world!
- Which is your favorite technique?
I’ve always loved elbow’s, especially the reverse/spinning elbow. If there was a fight where all you could do was elbow I would be the first to sign up. Most times I get a little elbow crazy and Mark(my corner man)is always yelling at me, “No elbow wars” hahaha, but to me it’s one of the best and funnest parts about muay thai.
- How oblivious would u say American fighters are in the art of “clinching”?
It’s almost none existent here, which is sad but people just need to be taught properly and it can improve. It’s one of those things that is hard to teach and even harder to learn. If you don’t have someone good to clinch with then it’s almost impossible to get better at. Clinching is a whole style of fighting in itself. It would be like teaching a boxer, jiu jitsu. You have to spend just as much time, if not more, on it as you do everything else. Every day in Thailand they are spending around an hour, sometimes twice a day, working on their clinch. The only way to get better is to practice and to practice with someone that knows what they are doing. Most American’s don’t teach it because as long as you’re only fighting in American it won’t cause you too many problems.
- Why do u think MT hasn’t caught on in the East Coast as much as it has in the West Coast?
That’s a good question. For some reason it seems to me that there are a lot more Thai trainers on the West coast whereas the East coast seems to have a lot more American trainers that have either been to Thailand or trained under thai instructors. Maybe that’s not the case but I think that could be one reason.
- Who is your favorite Muay Thai Fighter (Other than yourself)?
I’m actually my least favorite muay thai fighter because I am my worst critic and all I can ever see is the things I should do better, ha. But Wangjannoi(I’ve sen his name spelled about 5 different ways) is my favorite. He fought back in the 90’s.
- What is your best advice to enhance “timing”?
Slow down! Technical sparring will not only improve your technique and accuracy but also your timing. You will start to be able to ‘feel’ attacks coming and you will have much better flow in your techniques.
- How do u deal with Meatheads or gym warriors at the gym?
When you have guys like that unfortunately the only real way to teach them is to put them in their place. Obviously the best advice would be to try and get through to them by talking but we all know that is almost impossible. You need to have an experienced fighter/trainer do this so that way they don’t really get injured. Toddy used to have either me or even one of the girls do this (like Christine), since we’re smaller, because it would really kill their ego’s and quickly open their eyes. Now this is not to give them an ass whooping or injure them but to show them that proper technique will beat some big brawler any day regardless of size.
- What does a typical day looks like for you?
This all depends on what weight I’m fighting at, as many of you may or may not know I pretty much fight at whatever weight I can get a fight at. I prefer to fight at 140 so if that is the case here is my usual day: Wake at 6am, 3-5 mile run,2 rounds shadow boxing(1 round with 5 pound dumbbells) 5-10 rounds bag work, a few rounds of technical sparring(if I have someone to train with), exercises(sit ups/push ups/etc) usually done by about 9 or 10(some days I teach at 9am so I have to be done by then), go home eat/rest,2nd session I start around 3 or 4, 15-20 minutes skip rope, 2 rounds shadow box(1 round w/weights), 6-8 rounds of pad work(if I actual have a pad holder), 5 rounds of bag work, 30-45 minutes of clinching or sparring, exercises, go home eat/rest, back at the gym by 6 to teach classes. Now this varies on the day because I also have strength and conditioning coach I work with 3 times a week and also depends on what training partners and trainers I have to work with so this is just a basic idea of my day.
- Any advice on diets?
Donuts and ice cream are my favorite so I guess it just depends what you are trying to accomplish(that’s for asking me too many questions hahaha)
- The best way to cut weight (for you)?
I really despise cutting weight in the sauna. Some people like to keep their weight up as high as possible then cut it down so they are as big/strong as they can be in the fight. I like to keep my weight down by sticking to a good diet throughout my camp as well as a good training regime and a good amount of roadwork.
- Sparring with Headgear or without?
For me it’s gotta be without. There’s been much discussion about this so it all depends on the person, experience level and preference. I find that I take more shots when I have the head gear on, it also causes me to keep my chin up in order for me to see properly. I think head gear is good to avoid cuts from head butts but in muay thai it’s not as prevalent as in boxing.
- If u were given the chance to travel to another country (other than Thailand) to learn and train Muay Thai…which country would u pick?
I would really love to go to Australia. I’ve known Angie and Wayne for a while as well as a bunch of other guys from Australia who have invited me out to train I just haven’t been able to make it there yet.
hahahahahaha, fantastic question :) Regret no, I’ve had a few that definitely weren’t what I had in mind when I started cutting it but then had to salvage what was left. To me it’s all part of the show and makes it more fun. Let’s face it, fighting is entertainment, what’s the point of doing this if you can’t enjoy it. At times I get sick of coming up with a new hairstyle and that’s when I’ll just hack it all off.
Well when I first started I quit for a year straight, had my first drink after my 2nd fight which was one year to the day. After that I would have a few drinks but only the day or two after fights. Well this went on for a while and then that one or two days became one or two weeks and just went on from there. So I quit again for all of 09’, drank in New Years going into 2010. That whole cycle started up again so after my birthday in July I quit again, so I haven’t drank in about 4 months. I have to take it one day at a time ya know, once you’re an alcoholic you’re always an alcoholic.
You know it’s been a constant struggle for me. At the end of 08’ I was really considering making the switch to MMA. I was having a really hard time finding fights and obviously there is a ton more money and opportunity in MMA so I thought about it. My new year’s resolution was to quit drinking for a year again and I told myself that I would give muay thai one more year and push it as hard as I could and then make a decision. For me I have to do things 100% or not at all. So I didn’t want to be going back and forth between MMA and Muay Thai, if you train in one it’s going to take away from the other. SO if I was going to do it I was going to completely switch you know. Then like January 2nd I got the call to fight Kangen in China for the WBC title and ended up winning 3 different titles in all that year and the rest is history. Right now, being where I’m at in this sport, I would never switch over. I would feel like I was betraying the sport. I want to see it grow as much as possible and with so few people actually sticking with it I just have to suck it up, sacrifice being poor, and take it as far as I can. Money’s over rated as long as you’re doing what you love :)
You’re welcome, but you should really be thanking her. If it wasn’t for her inspiring me to want more out of life and to stop wasting mine I never would have started. Most of the Thai’s I’d like to fight unfortunately aren’t in their primes but I’d still like to get a fight with Bovy, Attachai as well as Anuwat, all three of them are amazing fighters and I would love to test myself against them. And there’s always Saenchai :)