I wanted to keep the seminar size down to no more then 20 people per session. I didn’t want a massive venue, where you get to watch the nak muay kick pads for a few rounds.
In the seminar we focused primarily on techniques that Saiyok and Armin favour. Per Saiyok’s style loads of elbow techniques. Most of his techniques rely heavily on setting up shots, then following up with a finisher.
Saiyok stressed that linking combinations, getting 3 or 4 shots off is massively important. A lot of his combination’s stress 2 or 3 techniques just to set up a finishing knee or elbow.
Saiyok is known for his all out kicks, he stresses that there are a few occasions when you have the upper hand and need to use that advantage. He showed us a very simple technique, where you block and catch a kick. We’ve all drilled this before… nothing new here. Saiyok’s takeaway is that this is a rare opportunity in which your opponent is nearly defenceless. These are the moments that you need to kick them like you’re crushing thai pads!
Saiyok had hurt his knee, so he wasn’t able to have a play with the guys. Armin really stepped up… in the AM session, he had a quick play with everyone in the ring. In the afternoon session he clinched all 15 attendees back to back.
Armin is known as a clinch fighter and beasted most everyone with the exception of few bigger fighters.
We ended the seminar with a 30 min Q&A. I don’t recall a lot of the questions, but the ones that stuck out in my minds were… What Saiyok had planned after fighting? Saiyok said that he already owned a rubber plantation, and was going to spend more time there. He also raises and breeds fighting cocks. I think we match between Saiyok and Pornsaneh’s best roosters.
He also talked about not showing any pain. He said that when you show pain, it’s pretty much over for you. He said that if his opponent would have figured out that his leg was hurt it could have been a real problem for him.
He said that with experience, you’d be able to tell when someone is hurt. Maybe excessive smiling etc. He said that when he suspects that someone is hurt, he’d begin to probe his opponents, with kicks to the arms or legs. He says that if your opponent doesn’t give it away, then to continue to push and probe, that over the course of the round, you’ll discover something. Once you’ve got that, you have something to focus on in the later rounds.
Coach Martin asked Saiyok when he first started fighting. I think he said he was about 10… the interesting bit was that he didn’t know he was going to fight. His dad had taken him two a match making session, weighed him and then said, “ you’ll be fighting him in two weeks”!
Saiyok said that his brothers were fighters as well, that his older brother was pretty good but didn’t keep up with it. Shockingly, that his younger brother was far more talented then he was… but was a delinquent and washed out. He said that his brothers got him ready in about 2 weeks… he fought and won on points and made about 100 THB.
It was great to see so many nak muay from gyms all over London and from afar. Many Thanks to the KO Lynch, KO Barnett, Minotaur’s, and Team Tieu members who made it out Saturday. It’s quite rare to see each other outside of fights and interclubs, let alone training next to each other.
Many Thanks to Akash Gupta for driving the Nak Muay from Leicester and Sonny Lam for taking all the seminar pics.