From Mr. Richard Smith, world renowned Muay Thai fighter, trainer, and
founder of Bad Company Gym, In Leeds, England. Readers are invited to e-mail any
questions or advice related to training, fighting techniques, strategy, or
other related subjects. All questions will be forwarded to Mr. Smith, who
will try to answer as many as possible
Long story short, I am the
only woman training at an
academy full of men.
Ninety-nine times out of one
hundred it's not a problem.
The guys are great -
respectful, etc. Problem
is, I have my first fight
coming up in a month and I
am at a loss for women to
My question for you is, Do
you have any suggestions
that could help us to alter
our sparring so that it's
mutually beneficial? Right
now I'm kind of getting the
crap beaten out of me and
the boys end up feeling
bad. My coach and I have
been looking into
alternatives since there are
no women around and I
figured you might have some
P.S. I wish I had started
searching women's teams
earlier. I was in Leeds for
the New Year! Wonderful
people, bad winter weather.
Thanks for your question. I
understand your problem – when
Lisa (Houghton-Smith) started
training at my gym there were no
other girls and it was often
difficult to get sparring for
her. What we had to do was
travel all over the place to
other gyms for sparring with
their female fighters. I suggest
that you ask you coach if there
is anyone that he/she knows
nearby that you could arrange to
do some sparring with. Either go
there or invite them to you.
This will be good from two
points of view – first you will
get to spar with other girls and
also as you are outside your own
gym and comfort zone you will be
a bit more nervous that usual
and this will be good fight
practice. You are certainly
always welcome at my gym in
Leeds – we have loads of girls
here bit who fight and who
don’t. Please feel free to
e-mail me at
Another possibility would be to
try to find a local interclub
and put you name forward and
hope to get matched with another
girl. I’m not sure whether
Thai Boxing or Full/semi Contact
or what gym you are from but
there should be something
suitable near you.
Obviously I don’t think it’s a
good idea for your training
partners to give you a hard time
in every training session but
training with bigger stronger
partners who give you a hard
time will benefit you in the
long run. It should also be good
for them as they will need to
learn control and how to deal
with a partner who is faster and
more often than not technically
better. A lot of the time a man
has to go hard with a girl to
even up that fact that she is
better than him!
Good luck with your training and
your fight – please let me know
how you get on.
Hi my name is Chris and I have been
training for about 9 weeks in
kickboxing and am planning on going
into competions. During training
today I went over leg kicks and on
the flip side leg kick blocks and
even while blocking correctly i got
major bruising and lumps on my
shins. I know in the movie kickboxer
Van Dam kicked a tree are there any
exercises to strengthen my legs for
blocking kicks and all around
bettering my kickboxing. Thanx
Thanks for your question. I really
with you – it was a problem for me
when I started too! I’m sure that
something that most new starters
The problem is that you will not yet
have the conditioning or the control
to avoid injuries. More often than
not, unfortunately you will be
training with another beginner and
will both have the same problem! All
you can do for the moment is double
up on the shin pads and wear as much
protection as you can when sparring.
Try to control everything that you
do and learn your technique by going
really light. Thais spar with no
shin pads as they do everything very
controlled and light. Eventually
you will learn better control and
timing and find that you are not
injuring yourself so much.
On the other hand when you are
kicking the bag and pads, try not to
wear shin pads (unless you are
injured) and kick with power to
increase your conditioning. This
will thicken the bone slightly,
increase bone density and kill off a
few of the nerves that transmit the
pain! I am not really a believer in
kicking banana trees or rolling milk
bottles on your shins or other
extreme techniques – all your shins
are is skin and bone and it doesn’t
matter what you do to them it will
always hurt if you kick
Just try to learn to time your kicks
and control them and I guarantee
that after time you will find that
you hurt yourself less.
am a 16 year old girl who trains 3 times a week
for two hours each time at a local muay thai gym.
I have recently started running 3 times a week
before school to improve my fitness as i would
love to fight. Could you give me any other
tips to improve fitness and diet please?
i would like to know what would be the ideal
fighting weight for my height as i am currently
5ft 4 and weigh 55kgs. And, as i am now
16 would i be fighting grown women or juniors?
for your question. Your routine sounds great. To
be honest I wouldn’t add much else to it or it
will become too much for you.
16, I wouldn’t advise a routine with much more
than you are doing. If you want to add anything
else such as strength training I’d advise you
cut back on the running.
you want to get fitter for Muay
Thai, at first I’d advise
concentrate on your Muay
Thai training as its only doing the sport
specifically that you will condition your body to
get used to it.
you are getting ready to fight you can step your
training up for a short period before the fight by
adding extra Fight training sessions and maybe
some sprint training – I am sure that your coach
will be able to advise.
far as you ideal fighting weight goes – its
difficult for me to say without seeing you but
55kg sounds ideal for your height and I wouldn’t
worry about trying to lose weight.
16 I would think that your coach would look for
opponents of a similar age – I certainly
wouldn’t expect you to be matched with adults
unless you were very experienced.
hope this helps but of course if you need anything
else please let me know.
Richard! My question is: How can I improve the
speed of my kicks? I started practice kickboxing
6 years ago, train 2 or 3 times in a week.
Thanks a lot! :-) Ilaria from Italy
Thanks for your question.
good kicker often isn’t the fastest kick, more
to do with good timing. Practice your
sparring a lot and you will find that you land
kicks more easily by developing better timing.
develop more explosive power (and therefore speed)
in your kick you should concentrate on “Plyometric”
training for your legs. Jumping squats, Box jumps,
Star Jumps etc.
will find plenty of sites on the internet if you
search on “Plyometric
Training” that will describe routines and
explain the exercises that you could incorporate
into your routine.
would only advise doing this type of training once
a week as you need to allow your body to recover
hope this helps.
Hi Mr. Smith –
would love some advice on how to prepare better
mentally for an upcoming fight that I have.
feel like I am missing something in my
preparation. It’s been three years since my last
fight and since then
have had two children and I run a very successful
school. My coach is good at physical training but
had anyone to help me mentally.
could definitely use some direction on this –
personal; view on gaining the mental strength
required for a fight is that it can be gained by
hard physical training. If you take yourself to
the limit every time you train and push yourself
to your limits you will develop physical
conditioning and confidence. When a fighter takes
their fitness to another level I find that they
start to look forward to testing themselves in a
find it sometimes helps to ask the fighters to
visualize how they will feel the next day after
the fight when they wake up and they have won the
fight. This helps motivate them in their training.
Otherwise. if your greatest fear is losing then it
may help to imagine how it would feel to lose
before you train to help you push yourself, although
this is a rather negative way to approach
things. If you have had two children I have little
doubt that you will be
well able to face any physical challenge!
I think that if you have suffered enough in the
gym, when the going gets tough in the ring you
will have the mental reserves to push yourself
luck in your future Fights and I hope that you are
let me know how you get on.
name is Romana and I`m 24 years old. I started
training muay thai 3 months ago and fell in love
never trained any sports before, just atended gym
and aerobics classes so I am in good condition. Now
I train 5 times a week.
have so many questions but all of them will be
answered in time if you answer this one : is it too
late to start training for figths at my age,I mean
to become a muay thai figther.and if you have any
advice in aditional training like running or
weightlifting, I`d appreciate it.
if my english is not so good.
you for your answer in advance
for your question.
– 24 is definitely not too old to start training and
fighting in Muay Thai! I
know many fighters that did not start until later than
this and became great fighters. I think that female
fighters mature later than male ones and some of the
strongest women in the sport are over 30 so you have
plenty of time!
e-mail me if you have specific questions but generally
don’t worry too much about too much additional
training like running or weight lifting at forts –
concentrate on learning Muay
Use your energy to concentrate on learning technique and
getting better. Dont rush
too much – be patient and take your time.
hope this helps but if you need anything else, please
let me know.
Dear Mr. Smith,
I have been taking kickboxing for about a year and began
sparring 6 months
I am going to have a competition in a couple of months
and have had
trouble staying on track. I am either training 2hrs or
more a day or
class consecutively. I was doing really well for
a month training
2hrs a day everyday , then hardly worked out 1/wk for a
month. So this
I worked out about 2hrs 3 nights but I was too sore on
day number 4.
Got any suggestions on how to pace one's self to get
back on the wagon if
is a tendency to go between extremes?
Thanks for your question.
To be honest I think you’ve answered your own question!
When you train, you are training too much and burning
yourself out so your body is making you rest. You need
to structure your training so that you have a routine to
Limit your sessions to no more than an hour and a half
and remember that you don’t have to kill yourself in
every session! Decide what days its best for you to
train on (say Monday Wednesday and Friday) and stick to
those days. If you are near a competition you could add
an extra session and you can always do your own training
away from; the kickboxing gym such as running or circuit
training or weights, but again limit the sessions to no
more than an hour and always make sure you have 2 days a
week off so you can recover fully. You
cant work all aspects of your
fitness at once, you need to concentrate on one at a
time, so if you are trying to improve your kickboxing
add an extra session but cut back on other types of
training. If you are wanting
to focus on strength for a while, focus on weight
training but cut a kickboxing session out.
Its all about balance and it sounds like you haven’t
been able to find one yet!
Best of luck and I hope that some of this helps.
I am 5'4' and 130lbs, they may seem silly to want to lose 15lbs but I
you I have a very small frame and now my weight gain was from my
brownie binges and convenient fast food runs. I started kickboxing
months ago but although having added muscle the fat still resides
around my stomach and thighs). I know its my diet but here is my
With my very picky eating habits its hard to stay low calorie with out
starving. When I do find foods that are low calorie and high protein I
like I am slammed with fat. For example, I will eat tuna with no bread
throw in a tspn of mayo and I just added 10g of fat. Will this kind of
hinder my weight loss and how much fat should I consume a day to lose
Although I am not a nutritionist, I can say that from a weight loss
view it isn't really about the amount of fat that you consume, more
calories. Also you need to find a diet you can stick to.
Eating tuna with no bread - even with mayo will not keep you satisfied
give you the energy to train. You will soon end up with low blood sugar
start on another binge. This kind of Yo-Yo dieting will not get you
and is not healthy.
The most sensible advice is to be reasonable with your diet. Dont deny
too much. Make it a diet that you can stick to by making small
as using semi skimmed mil, eating more fruit and vegetables, and eating
good quality complex carbohydrate to fuel the training that you are
avoiding too much processed food and simple sugary carbohydrates. If you
mayo with you tuna, dont worry about it, just take it easy. Dont be too
obsessive about what you eat ofr you will never stick to it.
Eat sensibly, stay away from binging on chocolate brownies etrc and
and regular and you will find that your weight and overall health will
If you want to lose weight it would be best for yoru training to include
aerobic type training such as jogging, skipping or cyclinf\g for a
20 minutes working up to at least 3 times a week.
I hope this helps
Dear Mr Smith.
Hi, sir I am 23 years of age and wanting to start kickboxing in order to
loose weight and get fit as well as learn a martial art and self
defense. Im not really that fit, I only jog about three times a week. I
was wondering if you have any ideas on a training programme or schedule
that I could follow in order me to get fit for when i join the
I would also appreciate any tips for beginners that you might have.
With regard to diet I am quite healthy would I have to increase my daily
intake of food? If so which food group should I increase?
Thank you for all your help.
Thanks for your question.
To be honest
if your level of fitness is ok for jogging 3 times a week, I would say
that you should be fit enough to start out in a beginners class and that
the best way to get fit for kickboxing is to do kickboxing! This might
sound stupid, but fitness for any sport is pretty specific and while
running or weight training may help you with specific areas of fitness
such as endurance or strength or power, the only way to find out what
areas you need to work on is to train and do the sport first.
If you are
determined to change your training to a more specific routine to suit
your new sport, then I would add some interval training into your runs –
such as hill work (find a hill that takes about a minute to run up at a
steady pace, after a warm up of about 10 minutes, run up and jog back
down building up to 5 reps and then finish with a cool down,) or
sprint training – (10-15 second bursts with 2-3 minutes recovery in
between). Alternatively you could start some weight training to increase
strength and muscular endurance – start with an all over body routine
working legs (quads hamstrings and calves), chest, shoulders, back and
arms after a warm up. If you go to a gym they should be able to advise
you on a specific programme.
to diet, you should need to make too many adjustments at first, other
than to make sure you get plenty of protein to repair the muscles and
drink plenty of water, but make sure you follow a reasonably balanced
Sorry not to
be more specific but really you need to start the sport and then you
will see what effect it has on your body and then you will have more
idea on what needs adjusting in your training and diet. Once you get
started, don’t hesitate to let me know how you are getting on and let me
have any more questions that you may have.
I am a 15 year old girl who is very
dedicated to freestyle martial arts. I started at the age of 4 and have
started fighting in tournaments since the age of 9. I'm always training
and trying new things. I would love to be a world champion in the future
and fight for England.
What I want to ask you is to help me come up with a training programme
that will help me to improve everything. I usually just go on my punch
bag for about half an hour every night but I want to work on cardio,
punching and kicking techniques. Please write back to me with a training
programme because I really need your help
your e-mail. Its great to hear that you are so dedicated.
difficult for me to suggest a routine for you when I don’t know your
training routine, whether you train at a club and what type of
Kickboxing you want to compete in.
Will it be
semi-contact, light continuous, full contact, etc?
sounds of your e-mail you are training on your own and not at a club.
strongly recommend that if this is the case, you will find it hard to
reach your potential and that you should look for a club with a
reputable instructor who has a history of producing fighters in the
style that you want to compete.
If you want
any suggestions or if you can let me know a bit more about yourself, I
can advise further, so please don’t hesitate to e-mail back. In the
meantime I hope that this helps.
hi my names mel I am from
Devon I have been
kickboxing for near 2 years. I had to fight a man last night 4 times the
size of me came out of it feeling a bit disgruntled, as he had a harder
hit and did not matter what I did he came in hard, do u have any tips on
sparring someone a lot bigger and how to regain confidence .
For a start
you should not be put in a situation where you have to “fight” a man,
never mind someone (male or female) who is much bigger than you. Even if
you mean sparring in the class, there is no excuse for someone bigger
and stronger, going hard and you coming out of it upset and disgruntled.
advice on how to deal with this situation is to avoid it! I can give you
all the advice in the world about attack, defense and footwork, but at
the end of the day none of it will help you to deal with a trained
person much bigger than you coming in hard and this should not happen in
a gym or in competition.
that you speak to your instructor and tell him/her that you are not
happy about this. Any decent instructor will address this and make sure
that it doesn’t happen again.
Hi there Richard,
My name is Susie and I
write to you from
I have been in serious
boxing and kickboxing training for the past 2 years and have some
wonderful trainers, yet I like to get lots of
advice from many different professionals.
My question to you
Standing at 4'11" tall
and weighing in at 40kg (of solid muscle) I am quite little. Being an ex
jockey I have rather incredible strength for my slight frame, am at the
peak of my fitness and have a huge heart.
Now as you can well
imagine all opponents have a reach advantage, not to mention I am a
great target for some serious head kicks!
I have become quite
efficient in blocking, weaving, slipping and my constant dancing in and
out of range causes my opponent's a great deal of frustration!
Now...this is fine as
I have the endurance to go the distance, yet as frustrating as it is for
my opponent, it too is for me. I was wondering if you could advise me
on some offensive techniques as so in between my incredibly frustrating
"dancing routine" I can get in a few decent points.
your question. To be honest it sounds like you have the answers right
there in your question! You need to work on turning what could be a
disadvantage (your height/reach) into an advantage. Your center of gravity
is low and when you are at your range it will be very difficult for an
opponent to get their shots off properly.
find that you need to work on pushing your opponent backwards and not
standing directly in front of them – ie step
left and right when you are in range. Try to avoid being pushed backwards
yourself. Use you lower center of gravity. It would be a good idea to pick
up as many tapes of Thais fighting (especially against Westerners) and
look at their footwork as they are masters at cutting down the ring and
not being pushed back.
I hope that
i live in the UK
and i have been looking on the website
EVERYWHERE to find training in kickboxing for
women.i was wondering if you knew any in
would be very useful. i
find that i am not naturally confident and
want to build it, and want my health to improve also. i
am asthmatic and slightly anaemic and am
slightly underweight for my ageof 21
i weigh only 7 stone.
i am unsure if it would be appropriate
for me. what do you suggest.
are many gyms in Manchester but on that I am sure you will find offer
what you are looking for is Master A’s gym. It is a very friendly small
place right in the city center and Master A is a great teacher. He as
many girls training there and has produced many champions. Don’t worry
about your strength and health as training will only improve it Go to
your your doctor before you start to make
sure its ok, but after that Master A will look after you. The website is
where I am sure you will find all the information
that you need.
not please let me know.
Hi Mr Smith,
just started my Level 2 Beginners course, week 2 finished
yesterday (see course curriculum below). I would like to know
if you can give me any tips, videos, DVD's suggestions to
buy, etc. that may help learn and perfect to the best of my
abilities these techniques. I'm trying to get the moves right
and learning the co-ordination, kicks, boxing, etc., but they
seem to be taking time (or is it that I'm impatient!). Can
you suggest anything I can do to improve my movements?
Level 1 (6-8 Week Beginner course)
Techniques: Fighting stance, front
kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, looping leg, jab, right
cross, left hook, right upper cut, forward, backward, lateral
movement, ducking & slipping, covering head/body, knee strike,
spinning back fist, walk-off.
Week 1: Jab, right
cross, duck, move forward/back/side, front kick, roundhouse
kick, hopping roundhousekick.
Level 2 (8 Week course)
Week 2: Side kick, knee strike, cover (body), kick touch.
Week 3: Loop leg over top, left hook.
Week 4: Right upper cut, covering (head).
Week 5: Slipping.
Week 6: Spinning back fist.
Weeks 7-8: (prep-period), walk-off
Techniques: Hook kick, round Thai kick, switch round kick,
back kick, outside & inside low kick, right hook, lead
uppercut, pivot jab, left/right hook (body), parry jab & right
cross, duck-step & pivot, inside foot sweep, outside foot
Week 1: Hook kick, Round kick(Thai style), left hook (body),
Week 2: Lead uppercut, right hook, switch round kick,
step-right cross, light body sparring.
Week 3: Round Thai kick, inside low kick, outside low kick.
Week 4: Duck-step, pivot-jab.
Weeks 5-6: Low kick blocks, inside foot sweep & outside foot
Weeks 7-8: Multiple kick combinations, back kick.
Level 3 (8 Week course)
Techniques: Spinning hook kick, outside & inside lowkick(rear
leg), switch back fist /step-in right cross, lunging right
cross, chop back leg, switch-inside calf sweep, break falls,
faking, broken rhythm.
Week 1: Switch back
fist/step-in right cross, inside low kick(back leg).
Week 2: Spinning hook kick, outside low kick(back leg)
Week 3: Lunging right cross, chop back leg.
Week 4: Switch-inside calf sweep.
Week 5: Break falls, faking.
Week 6: Broken rhythm.
Weeks 7-8: Prep-period.
I have been searching around the net for days but i couldn't find any
suitable kickboxing courses for me. I found this website and hope you
would advise me!
I am a 23,168cm tall and weigh 240pounds living in Hong Kong.I have
been working in my local gym for a week and i tried kickboxing
aerobics and found i am in love with it .I would eagerly want to
start training real kickboxing.However, real kickboxing is not
available in my local gym,called Physical. Do you know if there is any
good ones around?I found it really hard to tell how good each boxing
I am not very comfortable with my shape but I really want to be strong
and healthy. However,I am worrying my fitness level is not qualified
to join kickboxing. In my first kickboxing aerobics class, every girl
is around size 12. I felt so out of place and worried that i will
become a burden for a class.
My main concern is not about losing weight but about how to improve my
fitness and muscles. I can't wait. Your advice will be so so valuable
Thank you very much for reading my mail and i look forward to hear
from you soon!!!
Thanks for your question. I'm afraid I
cant recommend any gyms in Hong-Kong as I dont know any there
personally, but I'm sure if you look in your local directory you
will find a few choices.
The first thing that I would say is that
its great that you have started training and that you are enjoying
kickboxing. If you find a good gym with a good trainer there is no
reason why you should feel out of place or to feel that you are
holding the class back. Remember that everyone had to start
somewhere and even the world champipns that you see on this site
were beginnners once and someone had to take time out to help them
get started. It sound like your main problem is going to be self
confidence as you are worrying about feeling out of place and a
burden to the class. One of the hardest things about our sport is
getting started - walking through the door. When you do though you
will find that most people are helpful and friendly and when they
see that you are committed and determined they will be supportive and
encouraging. If the odd person is not that way, it is there problem
Any decent coach will be able to set you
on a program and give advice to suit your need whether it is to
improve fitness or lose weight or both. If you look further down the
list of Question here, I give some advice on losing weight that you
might find useful.
I hope that you are successful in
finding a place to train - please let me know how you get on and
best of luck!
Name is Sarah and 19 years
old. I am deaf and I wear Cochlear implanted. I was wondering if that
thai boxing at the ring permit protection like helmet? I can take off my
hearing aid but can't take off the implanted inside my head, the
implanted is small and need a little protection.
Thanks for your
The answer is pretty
simple - if you fight Amateur Muay Thai you will wear headguard, body
protection and shin pads. Pro is without padding.
If you compete on
gym shows or novice events, it may be that your trainer will be able
to agree with the other camp to wear head protection.
I hope that this
helps and good luck with your training and fighting. Please let me
know how you get on.
I have been kickboxing for six
months now, I started when I was living in Holland and I now do it in
the UK. I think it's fantastic! I was wondering if you could give
me some information on the levels of kickboxing. For example, in
something like karate you can progress through coloured belts, the
ultimate aim being the black belt. Is there anything like this in
kickboxing and if there is, how do you go about gaining the belts/ level
awards? I would be really interested to know as I would like to get more
seriously into the sport.
Thanks for your
question and I'm really pleased that you are enjoying your training.
Kickboxing is a
competitive sport and many people like to test their progress by
competing. There are plenty of options out there from Light Contact to
Light Continuous to Full Contact. However, many people do not wish to
compete and after only 6 months I would suggest that it is a little
early for you to consider competing.
Most gyms usually
follow a grading syllabus which will take you through to the
equivalent of Black Belt or Instructor Level. Although Kickboxing in
the UK is not as organised as Karate and therefor there is a less
uniform grading system, most of the major Governing Bodies do have a
grading syllabus for their instructors to follow. Have a word with
your instructor and ask whether you do gradings at your gym. If you
dont and this is something that you wish to do in order to monitor
your progress, I am sure that you will be able to find another local
gym that offers this.
I hope that this
helps, but of course if you want to know anything else, please let me
I just started Kickboxing about 2 months ago.
In the class we get to use a shield that reads how hard you punch and
kick It and the Instructor has said for the yellow belt grading we
have to be able to kick the shield with a right front kick and get
a reading of 12 from 10 attempts and strike It using a right cross
and get a reading of 10 must be recorded from 10 attempts. Using
this shield previously my right cross reads at 5 and my right front kick
reads a 7. Do you have any Ideas of what I can do to build
strength or any Ideas to help me hit the shield into double
figures. I'm 5ft 3" and 7stone and I just cannot get It Into
Any help or tips will be great!
Thanks for your
The first thing that
I notice is that you have only been training for about 2 months. With
this amount of training, you are unlikely to have fully learned the
techniques to the extent that you can yet generate your full power.
The most important thing that I would say to you at this stage is to
practice! Just keep practicing the techniques over and over again and
the repetition will "groove" the techniques into your
body so that it generates force more efficiently. Keep asking your
instructor to look at your technique to make sure you are practicing
properly, getting your body weight into the techniques and generating
power from twisting your body.
As you get better at
the techniques, you will find that your power will improve quite
dramatically at first. If you are looking to punch harder, I would
advise you to be careful about wrapping/bandaging your hands and
wearing decent gloves, as your wrists and hands will need protecting.
The most important thing when punching is to make sure that you twist
your body using your hip and shoulder. This means that you will have
to come up on the toes on the side that you are punching and get your
body weight through the shoulder and down the arm. Think of twisting
your body as if you are throwing a stone.
With kicks, make
sure you kick through the pad and fully twist your body, twisting on
the standing leg.
Once you get you
technique right I am sure that you will find you generate enough power
to pass your grading. If you want to develop more power after this,
you will need to look into strength training incorporating Plyometrics
and well as putting more time into your Kickboxing to condition your
I'm sure you'll get
there, but best of luck, and please let me know how you get on.
i began kickboxing when i was about 14, training a few times a week for
3 years and competing in light contact tournaments.
i took a break during my final year of high school to concentrate on
studies, im now in my 2nd year of uni, turning 20 in 2 months time and
really want to take it up seriously again!
im definately not at the fitness/weight(56kg) level i was 2 and a half
years ago (probly close to 10 kgs heavier), and i was wondering how
should expect it to take before im back to the level i used to be at?
i'm also an asthmatic, and since i stopped kickboxing my asthma has
a lot worse than it used to be when i was training regularly (it was
basically non-existent then!)
what other sports/exercises can i do to maximise my chances of getting
back to where i left off asap?
Thanks for your
question. My own non-medical opinion is that if you get back into your
trainng and improve your fitness, this will help your asthma. However,
I would advise you to go see your Doctor just to check that its ok. One
who specialises in asthma would be the best to see.
My main advice would
be to take it easy at first. Dont push yourself too much to soon, as
you may end up injured and losing motivation. For the first few weeks
dont train any more than 3 times a week to give your body plenty of
time to recover.Take a look at your diet too. If you are increasing
your training, drink plenty of water and increase your protein intake,
look to increase the amount of fresh unprocessed food such as fruit
and vegetables and of course reduce the amount of "junk"
that you eat.
If you want to
incorporate other types of training, at first I would look at running
or if you dont like to run, go to the gym and use the stationary bike,
rowing machines or other cardio equipment but this would be part of
your 3 times per week training, not as well as. Build up slowly with
your running and other weight bearing stuff as your increased
bodyweight may make you a little more prone to injury on your knees
and lower back.
After 4 weeks,
you should be ok to add another session a week - either extra
kickboxing, another weights session or some light weights. Your
kickboxing trainer should be able to give you some advice in a
programme that will suit you more specifically with the amount of time
that you have available etc.
Its difficult to say
how long it will take you to get back in shape, but as its only about
3 years since you stopped training and you are still only 20, I would
have thought that your fitness would come back pretty quickly at
first (asthma permitting) and definately within 6 months, and you
should get your weight back down (as long as you are sensible with
your diet) in less than a year.
I hope that this
helps and GOOD LUCK with your training. Please let me know how you get
I have been training in Muay Thai for approximately three years
and in the past year I have been competing.
I usually train 5 times a week combining padwork, bags, cardio and
Recently I have been training six days a week as I have been
training for a fight two weeks away. However, I have just
discovered that I am 6 weeks pregnant and have had to pull out.
I wish to continue with my training, with obvious modifications
sparring, lower intensity and no fighting for now!) and I wondered
you have had any experience with students training whilst
My doctor is happy for me to continue training, but with less
intensity, as I have had such a high exercise routine prior to
Any specific drills, exercises or advice would be very much
Thank you for your time taken in answering this question.
Hi, I'm Lisa
Houghton-Smith, Richard's wife and thought I'd be better
equipped to answer this as I had a baby a year ago!
First of all ,
Congratulations : )
I spoke to a few of
the girls on the circuit and most of us managed to train Thai
boxing until between 5 and 7 months ( There's a point when your
bump gets big and you just feel uncomfortable but you'll know
your own body and recognize this point.)
Really I can only
tell you what I did as the fighters I know I did different
things. For example, 2 fighters I know carried on running
and skipping at a lower intensity for a while and were fine but
it felt wrong for me to do any sort of bouncing from the
beginning - Listen to your own body and instincts and don't do
anything that doesn't feel right.
Keep an eye on your
heart rate, most books say don't go above 130bpm but my Doctor
said I could push it in the 150bpm range as I was already fit.
Also try not to work so hard that you get too hot as this is not
For the first few
months I did pad work but 3 sessions a week and one normal gym
session ( cross trainer/bike/light weights no abs obviously as
you want those muscles to stretch not tighten!) When doing pad
and bag work I worked technique and balance as the hormone
relaxing will make your ligaments more prone to injury so I
slowed down everything slightly and used more hands. Shadow
boxing is fine.
Balance stuff is
fantastic to do from early on as it helps to avoid problems when
you have a bump knocking you off centre - Standing on one leg
stuff like low side leg raises.
Around 5/6 months
roundhouse kicks may become uncomfortable - I did lot of front
kick drills on the bag ( 10 off one leg, 10 off the other, 100
alternate etc) and boxing.
From about 7 months
I did shadow boxing, squats, light hand weights, loads of
walking, some stationary bike and a pregnancy yoga class. I
probably did about 3/4 gym sessions a week and walked
everywhere. At this stage I think that it's a bad idea to throw
any sort of kicks as you could damage your pelvis not to mention
jarring your baby about!
The main bit of
advice I'd give is to go easy on yourself - If you feel tired,
rest - Many times I would come in from work and just sleep then
go out for a walk. People can get so competitive so ignore
the "I was doing press ups as I gave birth"/" I only put
on 6lbs" brigade. All the women I know put on varying amounts of
weight regardless of the amount of exercise they were doing.
Think why you are exercising - You are not going to get fitter
as you cannot exercise to that intensity, you are trying to
maintain your fitness so that after your baby is born, you can
get back to normal fitness quicker.
Enjoy your pregnancy
and remember, it's health related fitness now not sports
related. Do things you enjoy and look after yourself and bubba!
Good luck and
please let me know how things go. If you need any more
information please don't hesitate to get in touch again, either
through this site or on my e-mail address
Sir: How common is brain tissue and spinal cord damage in
women's kickboxing? Do females who participate in this
sport run a higher than usual risk of such injury, and will
good training reduce the risk? Respectfully yours,
Thanks for your question. To the best
of my knowledge there have never been any studies undertaken
relating to this so the only way that I can answer this is
from personal experience and opinion.
I have certainly never personally
heard of any serious injury relating to females in
kickboxing. In fact such incidents in the sport in general -
males and females are extremely rare. Over the last 20 years
in the UK I know of only 1 serious incident which involved a
There are 2 sides to this however -
there is the possibility of acute injury such as immediate
trauma and injury, but also of chronic damage that will
develop over time due to repeated blows to the head. As
stated above I know of no studies related specifically to
kickboxing or to females.
Your question is "Do females who
participate in this sport run a higher than usual risk of
such injury". The answer to this would of course have to be
yes they do if compared to females who take part in no
physical activity, but if compared to other sports such as
horse riding, downhill skiing or motor racing, the answer
would be that the risk is much lower. Good training will of
course lower the risk for several reasons.
Firstly the athletes in question will
learn better defensive skills and therefore take less
punishment. Secondly the athletes will be better conditioned
and able to absorb the impact of the blows with better
muscles protecting the spine in the neck and back. Of course
a factor here is how a fighter chooses to fight. If their
style is to "walk through" an opponents blows then injury
either superficial or more severe is more likely. This is
why I believe that a good coach will teach good defense and
that fighters should never take fights unless they are
prepared properly. There is also an issue in making weight.
A weight drained dehydrated fighter runs more risk of injury
due to reduced fluid around the brain and greater risk of
fatigue impairing defensive ability. It is therefore
important that fighters and coaches take their own safety
into consideration by preparing properly and fighting at the
I have also long held the view that if
you want to make boxing safer, the best thing to do is to
add kicks! This is because the longer range weapons and
increased targets mean that the head is no longer the focus
of attack which is spread out around the body. There is more
chance of minor injuries such as bruises etc but less of
trauma to the head. Of course I accept that a kick to the
head is likely to inflict more damage than a punch, but it
is very difficult to land a head kick, particularly on well
Another thing to consider is your
question specifically relating to females. My view is that
because it is generally accepted that females different
physical make-up mean that they do not usually have the same
pound for pound power as men. They can be technically much
better and able to inflict damage on their opponents,
particularly over an untrained man but this may be a factor
that reduces the risk of such injury in women further.
I hope that this helps to answer your
Hello Mr. Smith,
I am 30 years old and 215 pounds (5'11"). I have increased my
training from 4 hours a week to 8 and will add another 2 hours in
March (when I begin to train for tournaments). With all this training
(Bagwork, Thai pads, Mits, Paddles and one hour of sparring plus
running once a week) what kind of diet can you recommend to help me
shed 50-60 pounds.
I am gaining muscle and training very intensely but I want to get the
edge in my eating so that the pounds come off even easier and I'll be
in a better weight class.
Any advice will be appreciated.
Shelley in the U.S
Thanks for your question. You sound like
you are building your training up nicely, but losing 50-60lbs is a big
goal! In reality you can only safely lose 2lbs of fat a week without
losing muscle too so you need to allow yourself plenty of time to
achieve what you have set out to.
The initial increase in training levels
will help to kickstart your weight loss, and my main advice to
maintain this loss is to take it steady. If you are burning extra
energy and you impose a very strict low calorie diet on yourself too
you are less likely to be able to carry on long term without getting
ill. Training hard and dieting will suppress your immune system and
make it easier to pick up illnesses unless you go about this in as
healthy a way as possible.
In order to train hard and get fit you
need to eat well to fuel your training and help your body to repair
itself. This means that you need to be getting plenty of protein and
to be eating regularly. Stick to 4 or 5 small meals a day rather than
2 or 3 big ones as this will keep your blood sugar levels more
constant. Keep healthy snacks like dried fruit and nuts on hand so
that if you feel desperate you are less likely to go mad and eat
sweets, cakes etc.
I don't know what your likes or dislike
are, or what your routine is or what foods are easily available to you
so I wont get into anything specific, but basically cut out as much
processed food as you can, and stick with fruit, vegetables, nuts,
pulses, whole grains and low fat meats or fish as much as you can.
Don't be too strict all the time - allow yourself a day off each week
to relax and eat a bit more, getting your cravings out of the way and
stoking your metabolism up a bit, and drink plenty of water!
I have seen fighters training very hard
and eating a very strict diet and still not lose weight, but as soon
as they increase their water intake, it drops off. Your body needs
water to flush out the toxins that your body produces and the fat loss
process needs lots of water to work.
Your training schedule sounds good, but it
may help to increase your running when you have lost a bit more
weight. I wouldn't run too much at first as your joints wont thank you
for it and you could end up with injuries. Stick to the stationary
bike, rowing machine or other non-impact cardio.
I hope that this helps but without knowing
your specific routine and diet I have had to keep it pretty general.
If you need any more advice, please feel free to e-mail your routine
and diet and I could go into more detail, although I am sure that your
coach will be able to help too.
Regards and Good luck with your programme
Hi, I am interested in starting kickboxing classes could you recomend
anywhere in any of the following areas please? Guiseley Rawdon
Yeadon (west yorks)
Sorry, I dont know of any gyms specifically in Rawdon/Yeadon. I think
that my gym in Leeds might be the closest to you. Check out
for more information and a map etc or
e-mail me at
Dear Mr Smith: I am 37 y/o and
have been working out for 11 years. I currently teach step
aerobics and have always crosstrained. I have been attending a
fitness kickboxing class for the past year but just need more. I
was curious about the full contact kickboxers workouts and joined
them last week and loved the physical part of the 2 1/2 hour
class. My concern is the sparring. I had no idea what to do, how
to get close to the opponent or where to focus my eyes. I could
not even get much power behind the few punches I threw. I am short
and have no martial arts experience. What suggestions do you have
that may help me?
I'm glad to hear
that you are enjoying your training and that you are looking to
progress to a more "full contact" work out.
I'm surprised to
hear that you were put in to spar in your first class - please
make sure that you explain to the coach that you have no
previous experience. Hopefully you should then be guided through
a basic beginners programme that will teach you the basics of
footwork and defence, attack and counter attack before you are
"thrown in the deep end". Basic kicks, punches,
blocks, movement and counters should be broken down and
practiced until you are comfortable before you spar for real.
This way you will develop techniques and strategies that you are
comfortable with to suit your style and build.
Make sure you get a
training partner that you trust and work all your techniques
slow and light until you are more competent. As your technique
and confidence improve you will feel your punches and kicks
getting stronger as you learn distance and timing, but these are
things that will take time.
With your eyes, you
will need to get used to stuff coming at you. Try not to look
away as punches and kicks come at you. Keep your eyes focused on
you partner/opponents eyes. This is where you will see
techniques coming first. If you take you eyes off your opponent
even for a split second you risk missing your opponents attack
and walking into something!
I hope that this
helps and that you continue to enjoy your training. Please let
me know how you get on.
I have noticed that my shins and knees are severally
bruised, so bad that they change color and swell almost instantly
after hitting several rounds of low kicks, blocking, and knee
At first, I thought I just had to condition my body,
however it has been a year later with Muay Thai, and I have noticed
that even newer people than myself in the sport do not have this
type of bruising. It literally will keep me from sparring, or
throwing knees for several days, which is quite the hindrance to my
training. I was wondering if you have ever seen this type of
contusion in any other fighters, and or have any insight into what
might be an underlying cause of this.
Thanks for your
question. Before I answer this, I recommend you see your
Doctor, as there are one or two medical conditions that make someone
pre-disposed to bruising and injury. It would be wise to check
that there is no under-lying problem.
Other this its hard to
know exactly how you train to answer this properly, but I suspect
that your problem may be down to a number of things:
Timing and Accuracy - Try to slow down what
you do when you spar - go much lighter and try to time your
techniques and throw them accurately so that you dont clash with
your partners. Pick you partner carefully so that you arent with
someone too clumsy!
Power - Control what you do and try not to go too
hard when you are sparring. At least until you have developed better
Padding - Maybe you could look at the pads
that you wear. If you bruise your knees, wear neoprene knee
supports, and check that your shin pads fit properly, and cover the
full shin and foot. Maybe wear foam shin pads underneath and a pair
of leather ones over the top, and pull a second pair of foam shin
pads over your knees.
It may also be worth
looking at your diet - often bruising may be an indication of an
iron deficiency, and again it may be worth asking a doctor or
nutritionist about this.
The homeopathic remedy
Arnica may be a good idea to take too. You can get this is tablet
form and it can help with bruising and healing.
I hope that this helps,
but if you need any more, or you can tell me anything a bit more
specific, please do not hesitate.
Dear Mr. Smith:
I recently started
Thai boxing. I was leg sparring with a guy a
taller than me and when I went to kick him, he didn't
defend in time,
ended up kicking him in the knee
with my outer shin. I felt
excruciating pain, but shook it off. Well, when
partners, I was unable
to continue due to
the pain. That was 2 days ago, and although the
somewhat better, it still aches. It hurts to go
down a flight of
stairs and when
I press on it, but not
when I'm walking. So, this brings me to
First of all, are the ways to
prevent this type of injury in the
is there a way to speed the healing process?
can be annoying and painful, and can often take a frustrating length
of time to get better, especially if you keep
training on them.
Try to train round the injury as much as you can -concentrate on
your boxing and knees or kicking with the other leg. Use it as and
opportunity to work on something different to what you normally
I suggest you go to your doctor to get it checked
out incase you have a slight fracture, although its more likely to
be "just" bruising. With
this type of injury you can help the
healing process by resting the injured area as much as you can
(avoiding any further impact), and applying ice only for the first
48 hours, followed by a mixture of hot and cold after that. Apply
heat for 1 minute followed by ice for 1 minute, for about 10 minutes
in total, as often as you can throughout the day. If you can stand
it, try to gently massage the affected area with ice too. This
should help to reduce the inflammation.
You can help to
prevent this sort of injury by finding a decent pair of shin pads,
finding a decent training partner and as you get better you
will find that you time and control your techniques better so that
things like this are less likely to happen, but unfortunately in a
sport like ours these things come to try us!
Good luck with
your training and I hope this advice helps with your
My Question to you is:
Actually i'm a
beginner kick-boxing student.... (i'm an orange belt)
My next fight for
getting the green belt should be in 2 months (March, 21th) so i'm asking
you for tips or advices for improving my strength... since i'm a 'bit'
worried due the girl i know i have to fight with... since she's taller and
heavier than me...
My last exam (past December) i fought with this same
girl... and my friends told me that i gave a decent fight considering the
difference between height and weight between the two of us, but i'm not
really sure, the impression i have from this fight was like i was like a
living human punching bag...So, any advices for me??? What should i
Increase my strength?? Improve my defensive skills?? Improve
my fighthing techniques?? I was seriously considering to attend at least 3
days a week to a gym
for starting to workout with weight for improving
my strength... as a plus...gaining weight is not a choice for me, since i
attend regularly (each month) to Weight Watchers and my weight was settled
to 123 lbs. since my height is 5' 3"
Thanks for your question. If you are fighting or sparring
bigger and heavier than you, its important to use the
right tactics. Of
course, any extra training that you do will help,
whether its strength
training, cardio, or extra kickboxing, but I would
concentrating on one thing at a time. In the time that
you have available it
will be difficult to make significant enough
strength gains to make a
difference, but try to maximise your training
so that you are as fit and
strong as you can be by the time of your
For your forthcoming grading, I'd work on your specific
tactics for sparring
with this particular girl. Your coach should be
able to help, but if she's
bigger than you dont get involved in a toe
to toe fight with her. Use your
footwork to move out of range and dont
stand in front of her. You dont need
to "bounce" around all over, just
on step left or right each time she tries
to set herself to hit you.
Remember she has a longer reach, so avoid moving
back in straight
If she's taller than you, her limbs will be longer and that
she will be more
effective at certain ranges. Try to work inside her
best range where she
wont be so strong and move round closer to her,
working at angles at the
range where you are at your strongest. With
your lower centre of gravity,
you will find that you are more
effective. If as the fight goes on you find
her getting tired, try to
push her backwards as you work inside. Try to
attack from the side
rather than walking straight on to your opponent.
I understand what
you are saying about not feeling like you did well against
opponent last time, even though everyone said you did well. Fighting
bigger taller opponent is hard work and often you need to be on the
to see the success that you are having. If this is the case for
time, just remember that if its tough for you, it is for her
too, and keep
Good Luck with everything, and
please let me know how you get on.
Dear Mr Smith: Can you recommend a good place to
train in my area?
Thank you, Charlotte
Thanks for your question. I do
know there are a couple of Thai Boxing clubs round your area. These are as
Tuesday & Friday 8.00 -
9.00pm and Sunday 10.00 - 11.00am
Monday & Thursday 6.30 -
8.00pm and Saturday 2.00 - 3.30pm
For either of these ring Seb
Jones on 07946 730318
I am sure that you will get
excellent training and have fun at either of these.
14 is a great age to start and
I wish you all the best with it.
Should you need anything else,
please let me know.
Dear Mr Smith:: please tell
me where could i join kickboxing, though i have been working out.. i come
from manchester and
i am nearly 14 will u write back
Hi there - thanks for your question.
There are lots of gyms around Manchester and I'm not sure which part you
are from, but I would always recommend Master A's gym in the City
This is a friendly gym with a
family atmosphere and excellent coaching.
The gym is on Thomas Street in
the City Centre. Tel 01618341127.
I hope that you are successful
and that this helps but if you need anything else please let me
MY QUESTION TO YOU IS
I AM A SMALL FRAMED WOMEN AT THE AGE
of 30 AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YOUR OPINIONS IS ON HOW TO START OUT
INTO A TRAINING. PLEASE LET ME KNOW .THANKS
Thanks for your question. kickboxing or thai Boxing are an
excellent way to
get fitter, stronger and more confident however small
If you are not used to training, of course you need to
take it easy and
hopefully your coach will take you through an
effective beginners program
that will include basic conditioning and
strength work as well as teaching
you the basic techniques.
advice would be to join a class, but maybe if you do not feel
confident at first, look into private tuition for a short time to
confidence and basic fitness.
Please let me know where
you are from and I will try to pass on some contact
numbers that might
Regards and good
Mr. Smith, I find that running everyday makes me
tired in the gym.
Should a fighter be running every single day,
or alternate in between
days? Exactly how far should one run? Are there
other options than
running if your joints hurt?
There are many different opinions on
If you are looking to lose weight, 30 minutes + of steady
pace running will
help you. If it is fitness and stamina you are
looking for, increase the
intensity by using spirnts, intervals or
hills. In my opinion, steady paced
roadwork will not help build the
type of fitness requires in the ring where
bursts of all out effort are
needed. On days that you do this type of
training however, you would
have to make it your main training session and
reduce or cut out
any other type of training.
If you find that running is
compromising your Kickboxing (which is after
all the main
objective of your training), reduce the amount - either
cutting down on distance or as you suggest run every other
You do not say whether or not you are a fighter, or what the
of your training is, but I would suggest that if you are
just starting out,
reduce the amount of "other" training such as
running that you do and
concentrate you energy on learning the skills
involved in the sport. You
will find that your specific fitness
improves without the need for much else
at first. You will not get
fitter or improve if you do not give your body
If running is causing your joints to ache, stop straight
away. You can get
high intensity cardiovascular exercise in many other
ways. Circuit training
either with weights or without is one option. If
you have machines
available, rowing as excellent as are spinning bikes,
or many of the other
machines found in most gyms such as stair
I hope this helps, but if you need any help on anything
that I have said,
please let me know.
I am nearing 50 years and have just begun Kickboxing
I was a professional dancer in my teens, 20's and
30's. Since that time
I have tried my hand unsuccessfully
at various martial arts styles
(Kenpo, Jui Jitsu). I have
also taken two self defense classes and some
I am trying kickboxing now and really am enjoying
it a lot. I have a lot
> of work to do to get into good shape
and gain endurance and strength. I
like my instructor too.
My goal is to get fit, and get good at this. I
to be able to defend myself.
My question is this. Do
you think it is reasonable for a women my age
kickboxing as a regular work out and with these goals in
I am open to the idea of competition some time down the
line if I get
good enough. Are there any senior
Thank you for your time and
Thanks for your question. I am pleased that you are enjoying
Your first question " Do you think it
is reasonable for a women my age to
explore kickboxing as a regular
work out and with these goals in mind?" can
be answered very easily
with great big YES!
I think it is great that you are taking on the
challenge of learning
something new. As with any beginner of any age,
you must of course be
careful - you are learning something that is
placing new demands on your
body, and you must listen to what your body
is telling you. Pay particular
attention to getting a thorough warm up
and concentrate on gentle
stretching, but most of all take it easy and
don't try to keep up with other
fitter members - work at your own pace
and if it hurts don't do it! This
advice is nothing to do with age,
just sensible for anyone just starting
out. Your trainer should be
aware of your fitness levels and what you are
capable of, and not push
you too hard at first.
I do not believe age should limit anyone -
it is after all just a number!
With regard to competition, I'm not
sure where you are from but I have to
say that am not aware of any
senior competitions. However there should be
plenty of other options
such as light contact interclub type events that are
anyone starting out. Your coach should be able to find the
of event and talk to the organizers to find someone who would be
Good luck with your training - please let me know how you
get on and if you
need any more help. If you let me know where you are
from I will see if I
can find anything out about local
I have 2 questions for you. The first is the
day after i've been training in the boxing gym, i find that my wrists and
part way up, my arm are aching.
I do use hand wraps under
my gloves, but find that it happens every time. I'm
beginning to worry that the punching might affect my
hands in the long run. The second question is i have been training now for
just over 3 years and have started training with another gym once a week
as well. They are both Kickboxing classes, but my main
class does self defence in the sylabus as well. The other class
concentrates only on the fighting side of things. Do you think in your
opinion that Kickboxing classes should be only that or should they consist
of other elements ? KG
Thanks for your
The problem with your hands
could be a number of things. I would look at your technique for bandaging.
Maybe ask your coach to show you how to do it again, or experiment
by wrapping slightly differently each time and see how you feel after
each session. I would also suggest using bigger gloves to protect your
hands and wrists. I don't know whether you use bag gloves, but try 10 or
12 oz gloves instead.
If you can get someone to tie
them for you, lace up gloves are best, but if not use velcro ones and get
them as tight as you can.
It sounds like you have some
underlying damage or irritation in your joints that you are stirring up
each time you box. Try resting and not doing any punching for a while and
maybe go see a physiotherapist. They will suggest some treatment and some
exercises for strengthening your wrists.
If you don't see a physio, at
least give yourself some treatment by resting and regularly applying a
mixture of 1min hot, 1 min cold to your wrists, and exercise by squeezing
a tennis ball or squash ball. This will strengthen the joints and get rid
of any inflammation.
I dont think you are doing any
long term damage, more likely irritating a small injury or weakness that
you already have, but I would suggest you see your doctor to get it
With regard to your second
question, I think that the thing with "Kickboxing" is that it can be so
many different things. Nowadays it seems that any sport that involves
kicking and punching is being called kickboxing.
I don't think there is any
right or wrong and it depends what you personally want. If you want to
learn some self defence, certain styles of kickboxing have a lot to offer.
The only thing that I would say is that it is hard to judge with the self
defence whether the classes are any good or not. With the fighting side
the results of the students fighting out of that class should speak for
themselves and you can see the pedigree of the gym through this.
I hope that this answers your
questions, but if you need anything else, please let me know.
My name is
Heidi and I am presently working in Europe. I recently visited your
website and am
wondering whether you would know of any kickboxing
schools for beginner women (I have only an orange belt in kickboxing from
a course I did a year ago) either in the United Kingdom, Europe or the
United States. I would be willing and able to do attend a camp for 2-4
weeks to improve my skills.
Please let me know at your earliest
convenience whether you have any information or know of any websites I
Many thanks for your time and I am sorry for any
inconvenience this request may cause,
are hundreds of gyms all over the UK, Europe and the USA and I only have
personal experience of a few of them. You are of course always welcome at
Bad Company in Leeds. Please e-mail me if you are interested (email@example.com) or
check out our website http://www.badcompany,co.uk/. If
you are coming to a specific part of the UK, please let me know and I will
put you in touch with someone.
There are many gyms in Holland, but
Fighting Factory Carbin (FFC) run by Lucien Carbin has a very good
reputation and I am sure that you would be made very welcome there. Lucien
is a great trainer. They can be contacted through their website http://www.ffcarbin.com/.
If you are in the USA, Master Toddy has always hsd a lot of
success training girls and I would definitely recommend a visit. Master
Toddy can be contacted through his website: http://www.mastertoddy.com/.
you can let me know where you are going to visit, I may be able to put you
in contact with someone in that area.
Dear Mr. Smith-Many thanks for taking time to respond. All of
this sounds very positive. I certainly wish I could go to Leeds, but
unfortunately do not have any contacts there for accomodation.The
place I am most likely to spend most of my time in in the next coming
months is Brussels Belgium. Do you happen to know of a gym there that
would work with women.
Many thanks for your help
Thanks for your reply. I am
afraid I know only one gym in Brussels. I do not have personal
experience of them and so cannot recommend them personally, although
they have a good reputation.
Belgium Kickboxing and Muay
Sorry I cant be of more
help, but maybe the above will point you in the rtight
If you need anything else,
please dont hesitate to e-mail.
Hello, Mr Smith, I have two
I've tried to change
my technique twice, with no success. I practice with a speed bag
and a 40lb bag. With my right hand, i seem to hit harder then
with my left, any tips for improving left arm strength to match my
I keep hurting my
middle finger knuckle of my right hand, and i dont know how to correct
my form. any tips or picture of correct form would
be extremly helpful, and appreciated thanx!
Its pretty normal to hit harder with one hand
than the other and not something I'd worry about too much. I will
assume that you are right handed and fight from an orthodox stance,
as it would be usual for your strongest hand to be at the back.
Its not strength that makes you hit hard but timing and
Normally the left would be used as the jab from
the front and be used to set up techniques, find range and keep the
eyes of the opponent occupied. It is used so that openings can be
created for the heavier right or for bigger scoring techniques like
kicks, while the right hand is used less.
If I were you I would not worry too much about
power with your left, more about speed and timing. Work rounds on
the bag (either the speed bag or the heavy bag) of nothing but your
left from the front, moving round the bag. Next do the same
with your right, but this time from the back. Eventually you will
build up timing so that your punches are more effective and you will
be hitting harder.
With your knuckle injury, I would suggest that
for a start you go see your doctor and that you give it a rest.
Maybe just use your speed ball or something lighter to reduce the
impact. Next take care to wrap your hands carefully and use
extra padding such as a piece of soft foam over the knuckles and two
bandages. Also try wearing a sparring glove on this hand instead of
You should be hitting with the two
big knuckles on each hand so that sounds ok, but make sure your
wrist is bent slightly with each punch to angle the hand and the
knuckles to hit square on.
From where the injury is it sounds like your
technique is ok and that you need rest and to protect it until it
Hope this helps, but if you need anything else,
please let me know.
Please can you help?
My daughter has been in sports acrobatics and sports aerobics for
the last 8 years - She would very much like to use the stamina and
strength she has gained and move into kickboxing on a competitive level.
Please could you tell me where I could find a school at such a level
in my district. We live in Hillingdon, Middlesex, which is about 5
miles from Heathrow Airport.
Kind regards and thank you
There are a number of gyms in
the London area, but 2 that are close to you are Ralph Beales Minotaur Gym
in Watford (tel 07831 441421) and Seb Jones' gym in Egham
Both are good trainers, but if
you need any more information, please let me know.
if you could advise me where I can train in kickboxing in Bangkok?
Obviously there'll be thousands of places, but I'm looking for
somewhere where foreign women are accepted, and where it's possible to do
it only two or three times a week as I've got a day job.
A great place to go in Bangkok is Jittis. Jitti has trained
many girls and in a great trainer. The address is Soi Prachankadee 3.
(Sukhumvit Soi 49) Bangkok.
Jitti has now moved from his old
gym in Banglampoo, to a new premises close to Sukhumvit Road. The gym is
brand new and well equipped with a new ring, bags and a padded training
area, and is all undercover. Fighters can go there to train and can live
at the gym in clean air conditioned rooms ith all meals provided, and full
use of the facilities at the Racket club next door including the swimming
There are always 5 or 6 padmen all of whom are excellent
fighters and many fighters, both Thais and Japanese at the gym.
further information contact Jitti at firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit the website http://www.thailandroad.com/jittigym.
you do not want to stay at the gym there are plenty of hotels, guesthouses
etc on Sukhumvit Road, especially around Nana (Soi 11) and this is a good
place to stay with restaurants, bars, shops, street stalls
To get to Jittis, Take the Skytrain to Phrom Phong and then
take a taxi, Tuk Tuk or pickup from the station to the gym. This should
take about 5 minutes and cost about 30 baht.
I hope that this provides you with what you need - enjoy
your training in Bangkok!
I have been asked to take part in this fund raiser for the
local kids program in the area that I live in.
It is a
women's boxing match. I have no idea on how to train for
I currently do circuit training
equipment and live on a ranch. I have about 4 weeks to
for the match. Could you help me with what I need to be
doing as for as
diet, endurance, strength,
Thank you for your time ,
That's a difficult one! 4 weeks to a fight and no prior
My first instinct would be to tell you not to do it -
a fight is a serious
thing and should only be entered into by serious
and well conditioned
But if you are set on doing this
and if it is a charity fun event, hopefully
it wont be too serious,
then all I can recommend is that you find a decent
club, tell them what
you are doing and go live there for 4 weeks!
Or at least spend as
much time as you can. In particular work on your
defensive skills -
learn the footwork to get out of trouble and learn how to
Also work on your fitness with as much intensity as you can.
Anyone who has
not fought before will not believe how tiring it is! The
fitter you are the
easier it will be.
Good luck! Please let us
know how you get
dear Mr. Smith, I'm 13 years old, I always have
had an interest in what kind of activities kick-boxing includes could you
give me an idea of what comments you feel i should learn before going to
find out about this sport, thank-you.
Hi there and thanks for
Kickboxing is a great way
to keep fit and learn something useful at the same time. It is great for
your aerobic fitness, muscular strength, flexibility and
A good class will take you through the basics
first - teaching you your stance, footwork and the basic punches and
Basically dont worry about learning anything
before you go to a class - you should learn everything you need to know
from the very beginning at your class. Just do a bit of research to find a
This might include ringing round (speak
to individual gyms in the area and to any of the governing/sanctioning
bodies or even ring a gym out of your area and ask them to recommend one
near you). You could also look on the internet. When you find a gym, go
and visit first, watch one of the beginners classes and decide if you
would feel comfortable there.
Good luck - I hope you find a god gym
near you and enjoy your training!
is Irina, and I am 29 years old. I am in kickboxing training for
now over a year. I was wondering if
you might have some helpful information
on muay thai training camp
facilities in Thailand
, which are also
appropriate for women
You will find many camps in
that provide excellent facilities for
really depends where you want to go.
Bangkok we always train with
Jitt Damiram, who is a great trainer and has
trained several female
champions including Lisa Houghton-Smith and Niamh
Griffin. Jitti has
just moved to a new gym. Click here for details -
is also Fairtex in Bangkok
Bangkok there is the WMTC camp at Rangsit stadium which specializes
training females. I do not have any contact details, but Rangsit is
outside Bangkok past the airport. I cannot comment on the quality of
training as I have no first hand experience., but Rangsit is some
way out of
Bangkok and is
not somewhere I would like to stay for too long, as there is
there! Check out http://ukmuaythai.com/reports/where.html
article on the camp.
Koh samui, the WMC camp run by
Stephan Fox is in an
excellent location in Lamai, and provides great
training. If you go to
samui, just go to Lamai and ask for the gym. For
more information e-mail
In Chiang Mai
there is Lanna camp where many tourists go. There website is
hope that this gives you some information to help you get started. This
by no means an exhaustive list - there are hundreds of gyms and
Enjoy your training and good
I found your site on the
My question is, is it too late?
I am 32 years old woman,
who lived for last 7 years in US ( Czech),, I
have been taking martial
arts for last 3 years, lately I started to be more
serious in women
kickboxing,, however, I am not sure , if this would not be
too late to
start,, I practice 6 days in week,, 2-3 hours in a day, and would love to
get into tournaments kickboxing, is it too late?
Also, I am US resident
but not citizen., What are mine choices
Thank you much!
Thanks for your
I would say that
it is never too late! Age does not need to be a limiting factor.
I believe that an athlete can be just as fit and strong in their 30's. The
difference is motivation and desire. If you have that and you are willing
to put in the hard work and training your age is not a problem. It sounds
as though you are very dedicated now, with the amount of training that you
do and you have already been training for 3 years so you must be at a
One of my ex
fighters did not start training until he was 33, but went on to win
British and Commonwealth titles.
Admittedly it may
take you longer to learn something new at 32 than it would for a
youngster, but determination and discipline should overcome
It may be easier for a younger person to pick
up new skills but they often don't have the discipline or maturity that
someone a little older has.
Good luck with your training - find
a good trainer and give it everything you've got and the sky is the
What type of training
do you have your fighters do to get them at their peak performance
conditioning wise.( So that they are able to go the distance?)
Going the distance is often being
strong in your mind, not necessarily just in your body. A fighter has to
be mentally tough to get through the hard parts of the fight.
I believe that it is important
for fighters to train hard in all areas so that they are used to having
things hard when it comes to the fight. The old saying "train hard, fight
easy" is very true.
Some trainers do
use traditional/old school exercises such as dropping a heavy
medicine ball on the fighters abdominals, shin conditioning through
kicking tires or rolling milk bottles up and down the shins and even leg
conditioning through kicking one another's thighs as hard as the fighters
can stand it!
In my opinion while these
exercises may be effective, I believe it is mainly the mental conditioning
and confidence from going through these things that will benefit the
In reality the best way to
condition a fighter so that they can go the distance is to teach them good
defensive skills so that they do not take too much punishment in the
fight, and to make sure they are as fit as possible so that tiredness does
not affect their performance.
In my gym I try to make sure
that fitness sessions, pad work sessions and technique and sparring are
kept separate and the fitness and pad work sessions are made as tough as
possible, sometimes downright unpleasant! However, sparring and technique
sessions vary in intensity so the fighters can learn and
I hope that this answers your
question although if you would like to discuss anything further, please do
not hesitate to e-mail again.
I am interested in starting
Muay Thai. What should I look for when looking for a gym to train
I think that most people who
start training in Muay Thai don’t realize how far they want to go.
Normally people start for fitness and to do something different and then
decide that they want to compete later.
However, whatever your reasons
you should try to look for a gym that has a good fighting reputation. Muay
Thai is a fighting sport and if it is being taught properly there will be
good fighters at the gym.
Some questions to ask:
What is the
background of the trainer's) there?
· Who was their
trainer/where did they learn?
ever fought? Not always necessary but often helps that they have first
·Have they ever
trained in Thailand?
·How long has the
gym been running?
· Does the main
trainer always turn up or is the gym left to the senior students to
· Have they ever
trained fighters to a high level or competed at a high level
· Do they have a
separate group for beginners?
· What will you
learn at first? It is important that any decent gym spend time working new
people through the basics before they start them sparring or heavy fitness
· Do you have to
pay a membership up front or can you just pay for each class at first
until you decide whether its for you or not?
· Do they lend
equipment such as gloves etc at first or are you expected to buy them up
I think it is best
to check out a gym’s reputation. Ring a couple of gyms in other towns and
ask which is the best gym to train at in your town. They will usually
recommend the one with the best reputation.
I think that a lot
of it depends on how you feel when you walk in. If you get the right
feeling, are made to feel comfortable and relaxed and like the sort of
people that you see training there then give it a try. If you feel
uncomfortable and don’t like the atmosphere take a look somewhere
is that if someone starts at the wrong gym for them, they are put off the
whole sport and walk away instead of realizing that the problem may just
be with the gym they were at.
I am not
very fit and need to lose weight. Should I try to get in shape and lose
some weight before I go to the Muay Thai Gym?
No - as the advert
says, “Just do it!”.
It doesn’t matter
how bad you feel - how unfit or out of shape, you can guarantee that you
will not be on your own. A decent gym will have new people starting all
the time and you will start to get fitter and lose weight just by learning
the basic techniques.
You have to
remember that everyone started somewhere and no-one is judging
I want to start
training but I feel nervous about going to a gym and
champions had to walk into a gym and start training once, and you can
guarantee that they were nervous too.
Any decent gym will
have new people all the time so you wont be on your own. Even if you are,
most people like to help and remember what it was like for them when they
You will find that
when you get started, no one (except the coach hopefully!) is looking at
you anyway - they are all getting on with their own
What should I
expect at first?
Muay Thai or
Kickboxing training is one of the best ways that you will find to keep
fit. It will not be long before you notice marked improvement in your
This and your new
found skills and fitness will doubtless improve your self
The training that
we do improves all aspects of fitness. Flexibility improves, muscle
strength and tone, aerobic fitness will improve and co-ordination will get
Each gym is
different but in my experience most gyms have a similar way of dealing
with beginners. At first you should learn the basics - punching,
roundhouse kicks (low and mid-point), push/front kick and knees. This will
be mostly to the pads with your partner holding for you. Contact will be
kept to a minimum - most decent gyms will not expect/allow sparring until
you have been through the basics thoroughly.
While you should
find practicing the kicks & punches hard work and a good workout you
should not be training flat out at first. Work at your own pace. Only you
know how you feel and a good coach will not push you too much at
Although it is
hoped that you will enjoy your training at first, the better you get the
more you will get out of it, so stick with it!
Nice to see you helping Dan out on his “Trainer corner”.
you perhaps know I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Carbin a couple of
times over the last few months. During our conversation there where a
couple of things which seemed strange to me, so I like to have your
opinion on them.
How do you feel about condition training (meaning,
running, pumping iron, those kind of things) Do you use them at your gym
for your top fighters?
Since it came up on the message board again. What
are your favorite countries to fight and which countries are you “not to
fond of”? (Corrupt judges etc.)
Do you think there are too many different
organizations putting up World Title fights.
Thank you for your
1) How do you feel about condition training
(meaning, running, pumping iron, those kind of things) Do you use them at
your gym for your top fighters?
I think conditioning
training is important in between fights. I believe that as a fight gets
closer (about 3 weeks off), all training should be specific. The fighter
should be concentrating on pad work , light sparring, clinch work etc.
Running and skipping are also important if the fighter needs to lose
In between fights
however, I believe that using weights, plyometrics and sprints
to work on strength and power is important. This builds a base of
strength, power and endurance that the fighter can take into the fight
It is impossible to work on
technique, strength, power and endurance all at once, so I believe that a
fighter should prioritize and concentrate on one aspect of training at a
time, whilst doing enough to maintain the others.
Since it came up on the message board again. What are your
favorite countries to fight and which
countries are you “not to fond of”? (Corrupt judges etc.)
I have been lucky enough to
visit quite a few countries over my career as a fighter and trainer. I
have been to Canada, Croatia, Russia, Czech republic, USA, Germany, Italy,
Holland, Belgium and France, not to mention Thailand, some of them
several times. Some of them we have been treated well and some not so
I do not think it is easy to
point a finger at certain countries treating us well or otherwise, just
that certain promoters sometimes do their best to make your stay more
uncomfortable or play mind games to give their fighter the
The best thing to do about this
sort of thing is:
a) Expect it
and if things go wrong not to waste energy by letting it bother you.
(Sometimes easier said than done!)
b) Try to
stay away from anyone involved with the promotion including the promoters,
organizers and even the other fighters, until after the fight. By keeping
your distance it is harder for anyone to play games.
c) Do not
allow yourself to be pushed around too much.
d) Use a
little bit of common sense and avoid situations that may cause problems.
Switch off the phone in the hotel room, don't drink out of water
bottles that have been opened, don't let the promoter take you out to
see the town the night before the fight! and make sure you know you are
the correct weight.
Having said the above, on the
whole I have had some great experiences competing overseas.
Do you think there are too many different
organizations putting up World Title fights?
I personally think that a
greater problem is the number of different rules and styles that the
general public has to get to grips with. There is kickboxing, Full
Contact, Thai boxing (with or without elbows), semi contact, light
contact, light contact etc etc etc.
If there are 10 associations
sanctioning world titles in each of these rules (and there are probably
more), that means that there are 70 world champions in Kickboxing at each
weight in the world!
The only way round this is for
better publicity and media profile for our sport so that he public can be
educated as to the differences between the different rules and for greater
publicity of the fighters themselves so that their achievements are not
under or over rated. For example at the moment there is nothing stopping a
fighter going out and setting up their own association, fighting someone
for a "world title" and then promoting themselves as World Champion. In
the public's eyes this will put them on the same footing as Lisa Houghton
Smith, Lisa Howarth Illonka Elmont, Laura Skinner, or any of the
others. This could not happen in Boxing because there is greater public
awareness of who the real champions are.
I hope that the above helps
with your questions. If you need anything else, please e-mail
I wonder if you could advise me where I can
train in kickboxing in Bangkok? Obviously there'll be thousands of
places, but I'm looking for somewhere where foreign women are accepted,
and where it's possible to do it only two or three times a week as I've
got a day job.
Grateful for an answer,
A great place to go in Bangkok is Jittis. Jitti has
trained many girls and in a great trainer. The address is Soi Prachankadee
3. (Sukhumvit Soi 49) Bangkok.
Jitti has now moved from his
old gym in Banglampoo, to a new premises close to Sukhumvit Road. The gym
is brand new and well equipped with a new ring, bags and a padded training
area, and is all undercover. Fighters can go there to train and can live
at the gym in clean air conditioned rooms ith all meals provided, and full
use of the facilities at the Racket club next door including the swimming
There are always 5 or 6 padmen all of whom are excellent
fighters and many fighters, both Thais and Japanese at the gym.
For further information contact Jitti at email@example.com or
visit the website http://www.thailandroad.com/jittigym.
If you do not want to stay at the gym there are plenty of hotels,
guesthouses etc on Sukhumvit Road, especially around Nana (Soi 11) and
this is a good place to stay with restaurants, bars, shops, street stalls
To get to Jittis, Take the Skytrain to Phrom Phong and
then take a taxi, Tuk Tuk or pickup from the station to the gym. This
should take about 5 minutes and cost about 30 baht.
I hope that this provides you with what you need -
enjoy your training in Bangkok!
envelope to send Mr. Smith a question.