Sunday, February 8, 2009

Passing butterfly- and scissorguard with "double-jump"

Here is one of my A-game guardpassing moves, that I use whenever I end up in butterfly- og scissorguard. The idea is to clear the opponents hooks by kicking out while jumping over the guard.

Another way I get into the scissorguard position, which I forgot to tell on the video, is if I try to kneeslide pass and my opponent blocks my hip with his top shin. From there, I adjust my weight a bit go straight into the scissor pass. Hope it makes sense so you can try that out too.

This video was shot in Tiger Muay Thai and MMA gym in Phuket, Thailand. Thanks to Carlos and Andreas for the help :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tiger Muay Thai & MMA in Phuket

After Samui, I flew on to the larger and more developed island Phuket on the west side of Thailand. The hotel I stayed in had tree Muay Thai camps within a few hundred meters, so there was a tough competition on that market there :)

The biggest one was by far the Tiger Muay Thai & MMA camp. It is basically a tourist gym, as I didn't really see any thai people train there other than the coaches. The place itself is HUGE, probably the biggest gym I have ever been in. In a jungle-style area complete with palmtrees and probably lots of animals that could kill you by a blink of an eye, the enourmous camp is placed outdoors with a simple tin roof build over it. About four or five boxing rings, weigh lifting area, matted areas, full size cage, heavybag areas and more are sorrounded by little bungalows, where you can stay at a resonable price (though still a little more expensive than some of the places just down the road). Even tough the facilites were a little worn down, they are absolutely amazing, and it seems like a really good place to train if you want to do nothing but that.

I would estimate that about 100-200 people were training at the same time, every time I was there. Pretty impressive. Lots of thai trainers working pads with people and I spotted quite a few very very skilled athletes there, so I guess there is good sparring as well.

Besides the Muay Thai (which is obviously the main business of the place), they seen pretty serious about building up MMA and BJJ there as well. Ray Elbe is the inhouse instructor, and they are continously improving the facilities for MMA and grappling training there. About 20-30 people were on the mat for each class that was running every morning at 9am and evening at 6pm.

Since they unfortunately were in between instructors for the period I was there (Ray Elbe was back in the states and they were waiting for the Avalan brothers to arrive next week), I was invited to teach some morning grappling classes. I thought that would be a good reason for me to push myself to not sleep too late on my vacation, so I taught the 9-11am classes three days in a row. All the classes were well attended (about 20-25 people) and it was a good mix of mostly beginners with some good blue- and purple belts in between. Over the three classes, I went over some holding topgame, topgame attacks and basic ankle sweeps from bottom guard. It was really cool to train outdoors in the exotic setting, and the heat was not too bad in the morning.

As always, when I walk into a gym anywhere in the world, I meet some cool people that I get along with really well. I would like to thank Andreas Hesselb├Ąck (who has been living in Thailand and training in Tiger for a year and a half now and writing a really cool blog about it) for inviting me to the gym and also to Carlos for helping me out with an instructional video I shot there (will be online shortly).

I was supposed to come back to the gym and train again later during my trip, but I ended up traveling around too much and never made it in time. I really wanted to have had the chance to train with the new instructors coming in, but i guess it will be another time. Tiger was a really cool place and I would definitely recommend anyone interested in Muay Thai and/or MMA to go there. MMA and grappling seems to be gaining territory in Thailand and I can only imagine it will be pretty big there within the next 5-10 years. Perhaps I should move there to open a gym? :D