So I'm looking through Instagram on Wednesday (the 10th) and I see Kevin Ross announcing he's coming to Vancouver to do a seminar!
In two days.
Right when I'm working (Teaching Muay Thai at UBC Rec.)
Now if you don't know why I'd be choked to miss out on this, then you probably aren't familiar with Kevin Ross is. Here's some background on him -
Pro Muay Thai Record - 31-10 (12 KO's).
–WBC Muay Thai Super Lightweight (140 lbs) International Champion
– WBC Muay Thai Welterweight (147 lbs) National Champion
– USMF Super Lightweight (140 lbs) National Champion
–FIDAM Mexico Welterweight (147 lbs) National Champion
Oh, and he has also fought Saenchai. So that's pretty awesome.
It's been years since I've been to a good Muay Thai or Kickboxing seminar in Van City, and it could be a while since the next, so I really wanted to check this out. But...It's hard to get a class covered on Friday night on short notice. Most people are busy doing fun things or teaching already, but after a few "Sorrys!" I got lucky and Anthony, a very capable, friendly and experienced student at UBC took my class
There's a lot of stuff I want to get to so I am going to skip the rest of the pre-amble just get down to it.
We started off with a Light Warm up of Shadow Boxing. Probably a good way to start so he can see the skill level of the people he'll be teaching. We spent maybe 4 or 5 minutes doing that then we got into some light drills. The whole seminar we had just gloves, no shinguards. We started off nice and slow making contact with every kick in a light way. We did the same thing with just teeps and then just knees. At least I think that was the order we did it in. I can't remember. My brain is kinda mushy right now from sleep deprivation. Anywho...each time we spent a few minutes doing just one strike back and forth. Then we spent a few minutes doing all three.
He emphasized how important it is to go slow, so you can really feel if anything is off and not cover up bad technique with a show of speed/power. Also it's to get used to kicking elbows and other undesirable targets. Because it's will happen sooner or later, so we might as well get used to it now.
Something I totally agree with and was happy to hear. He does this almost every day by the way.
The overall theme for the night was kickboxing style combos with an emphasis on Body shots (liver punch, straight right, right hook etc.) and finishing with leg kicks. This was awesome because landing a good Liver shot is something I have been trying to really work on. He also had us doing a lot of "hand fighting" using our hands to grab, push or pull our opponent's hands/guard in order to set them up for the next strike. We'd spend quite a few minutes on each one as him and Ken (Tran, the coach at Titan) came around and made corrections.
For the sake of simplicity I'm going to use the number system for Punches.
1=Jab. 2=Cross. 3=Hook. 4 = Right Hook.The letter "B" stands for Body. So a 3B = Left Hook to the Body. Clever, right? Right.
Pushing the opponenets hands up and back with the jab while stepping in to hit the 2B and 3B. So, 1-1 Push the guard, while stepping in, then dropping down to hit the body shot. My timing felt a bit off at first but I got it after a couple minutes.
Grab the hand with the hook to pull opponent into the right hand. So 1-2-3 (the grab), pull opponent counter clock wise so they're open for the 2B or 4B.
1-1-Overhand to grab opponents lead hand and pull them into the liver shot.
There were a few more like this, and he'd have us stepping out for big leg kicks at the end. Again, this was with no shinguards so we were going pretty light and really focusing on control and crisp technique each time. My partner, Joe, was really controlled but he's either got bony ass shins or I'm getting soft in my old age, cause my legs were starting to hurt after the, ya know, the 100th or so leg kick.
We also did some off of defense (slipping or parrying incoming straight punches. He had us using some baiting jabs at first but some of the newer students were having trouble with the drill so he simplified it and everyone caught on pretty quick it seemed.
I love that he took the time to get into a lot of details with each strike, and the benefits of doing things different ways. He's prefers a Shovel hook style punch for the liver and he had us really dropping down into the 2B. This is something I normally do anyhow, or at least thought I did but he pointed out I wasn't down far enough.
He also mentioned details about where to be after throwing your kicks, especially to the back leg and how to use your hands to defend yourself while kicking the legs at closer ranges. Very similar to how Duke taught me and how I teach it to others.
The last 20 minutes or so we did a Question and Answer session. "This is my favourite part of doing seminars, and please feel free to ask about anything. I'm pretty much an open book"
A few things that were discussed were:
The difference between Muay Thai vs Kickboxing - Kevin spoke how they are so similar in some ways but they are also like night and day. The scoring and the rules of Muay Thai make it a lot different. And how if you don't have good "Boxing" you can't really become a good Kickboxer.
Sprints vs jogging. "Jogging will help you get your gas tank bigger, but sprints will fill it up faster" Cool way of putting it.
Of course that one question always comes up - "How do you get your shins to the point where they don't hurt?". He said the same thing Coban said when he was asked "Kick a lot of things till your shins hurt a little. But no so much you can't kick anything the next day." He also said that if you don't keep up on it they will get re-sensitized. Something I can attest to, unfortunately.
Some of the other things I remember from the Q&A
Dan Slobodin -