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      Having fun with your training and competition

      Having fun with your training and competition

      I was reminded this week by a training partner to remember to have fun with my training and competition.  Whether it's muay thai or brazilian jiu-jitsu,  the pressure to perform as well as the high expectations you set for yourself can really take away the enjoyment in training and competition. 

      Do you want to continue your sport for the long haul? Into your 40s, 50s, 60s?  It sounds cliche but if you do, you must learn to EMBRACE THE JOURNEY.  And the journey will be full of highs and lows, wins and losses; the journey can be an emotional rollercoaster ride at times! There will be days you don’t want to go to the gym, and days where you do go only to leave feeling discouraged and frustrated with your progress or lack thereof. The trick is to understand that these feelings are normal and are all part of the process.  We all go through it so learn to sit with the uncomfortable. 

      Don’t fight it!  

      As a general rule for myself, I try not to let my successes or failures get to my head.  Does that mean I don’t feel happy when I win, or sad when I lose?  Of course not.  I feel all of those emotions.  I just try to put them into perspective by turning my attention to my long term goals.  If you focus on your long term goals; 5,10,15 and even 20 years down the road, then these little milestones, good or bad, will easily be accepted for what they are...just small stepping stones of a larger, and more purposeful journey.

      And it’s all about the journey. 

       

       

      How martial arts can help with anger

      How martial arts can help with anger

      It is a common story. Someone having experienced something traumatic and doesn’t know how to process the experience develops extreme behaviours. Think movies like Karate Kid, Never Back Down, or Warrior. Dealing with poverty, bullying, and loss completely overshadows their behaviour leading them to make some questionable choices. Then through a series of synchronistic events they find themselves faced with learning a martial art, and through that art they transform their pain into something beneficial. 

      What does this have to do with anger? 

      Let me first set the stage by stating for the record that I’m not a psychologist. And the information shared here comes from my own healing practice, working with spiritual mentors and studying human behaviour over a long period of time.

      Anger. Anger gets a bad rep because if untended can be very destructive. Think war, aggression, violence. 

      Yet emotions are neither bad nor good, they simply provide information. On the positive side, anger inspires action by telling you what’s not working for you. It tells you who/what is overstepping your boundaries. It asks you to take your responsibility back. It allows you to choose again. 

      From an energetic perspective, anger has an upward motion; it needs to leave your body. Anger literally NEEDS movement to leave the body.

      I have personally spent a lot of time working on emotional wellbeing and for so many years I thought emotional intelligence was the ability to “control” emotions. What I have learned is that control doesn’t put the energy anywhere useful. The problem is when you don’t process it, or ignore it, then they tend to control you instead. 

      The scenario is that you are angry; you realize a boundary has been crossed and you want to set it right, but you have no control over the outcome of the situation. The outcome is in the hands of someone else, the deed is done, the betrayal has happened. How do you respond? For the most part I believe we hope we don’t let anger drive our response (especially when we are dealing with family, friends, or colleagues). Then where does that anger go, where do we put it?   On the mat.

      Every time you step on the mat, or in that ring, you can intentionally decide to transform that energy into something beneficial. Drawing on the explosive energy in training will not only leave you feeling lighter, but it will allow you to communicate boundaries with an even head when you need to. 

      Maybe you do this already. Then this level of awareness and intentionality can really bring more depth to your practice. You can literally declare that the anger and energy you release can be transformed into new, useful energy. 

      While you might not have control over a situation or another person, you ALWAYS own your-self. 

      Who knows, you might find that you find more strength and passion with your practice when you bring awareness to how you are feeling beforehand. 

      Please remind yourself of the real message of anger: that of dis-empowerment. It’s never truly about the other. It’s about not acting (or not knowing how to act or even not being capable to act) on your actual needs and desires. 

      It is no wonder then that martial arts movies really appeal to people and it is a story that resonates. There is a real sense of freedom when you not only process your emotions but learn to use them to help you achieve your goals.

      “Any anger that is not coming out, flowing freely, will turn into sadism, power drive, stammering, and other means of torturing.” – Bruce Lee

       

       

       

      Samantha Mogulko 

      When not spending time with my family, you’ll find me on the Muay Thai or Yoga mat, or with my nose in a book. While my day is spent in corporate retail, I am a certified Reiki practitioner and tarot card reader. Life is about the mind, body, and spirit and I spend time strengthening that connection.

       

       

      Keeping up with your nutrition & health while traveling

      Keeping up with your nutrition & health while traveling

      After almost a year and a half of lockdowns and stay at home orders, things are starting to open up and we are finally able to travel again! For the last month and a half, Federico and I have been in Sicily, Italy, visiting his family in the main city of Palermo and staying on the island of Pantelleria. Whether you are planning an overnight stay, or spending time abroad, there is often a change in your normal routine that makes it harder to maintain healthy habits. Being in a country where I am a guest for dinner most evenings and there is a pasticceria (pastry shop) at every corner, I have been struggling to maintain my typical fitness and nutrition routine. However, I want to share a few tricks that I have found to keep what are the most important health components for me.

      DRINK WATER. Whether you are on a plane or traveling by car, it is easy to forget to hydrate. I brought my own water bottle and refill it constantly. I also drink a litre of water first thing in the morning to ensure that I am getting a good amount for the day.

      PACK SNACKS. I bought a box of protein bars (Cliff Builders Bars are my favourite) and prepackaged protein shakes to throw in my suitcase in case I can’t find something to eat at the airport, or we are going on a day trip. Prepackaged dried fruit, mixed nuts, and whole grain pretzels, or crackers are handy snacks to have and instant oatmeal can be easily made for breakfasts. I also brought my BCAA powder to add to my water during a workout and electrolyte tablets to replenish my minerals and add flavour to my water.

      ASK FOR A ROOM WITH A FRIDGE IF POSSIBLE. We are lucky to be staying with family and have somewhere to store the food we pick up at the local market. Having fresh fruits, veggies, yogurt, cheese, etc. readily available will allow you to make healthy choices and you can also save a bit of money by not eating out for each meal too!

      PLAN IN ADVANCE. While staying in Palermo the first few weeks we knew we would be eating out a lot so we were careful to make good choices at restaurants such as splitting a pizza and ordering a salad on the side. We also looked at the menu beforehand to find dishes we liked and that contained lean protein and veggies. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen like we are here in Pantelleria, you can stock your fridge and pantry with whole grain pasta, rice, local fruits and veggies and can cook most of your own meals.

      EXERCISE. When on vacation make sure to get your steps in when you are sightseeing. Staying in the center of the area you are visiting allows you to walk to most places and saves you money on transit. Here there is lots for us to do and we are taking advantage of the beautiful trails through the mountains, swimming in the sea and we have squeezed in a few workouts as well. Federico actually bought a heavy bag and gloves to use here, but a bodyweight workout with squats, pushups and lunges can easily be done wherever you are staying. I have even stopped at a playground to do pull ups and box jumps!

      Finally, enjoy yourself! We have been under so much stress with the pandemic that it is nice to get away and indulge a little. The gelato here is amazing and I have made it my goal to try as many flavours as I can. I know that when I get back home, the club is waiting for me and I will get back to being more diligent about what I am eating.

       Workout on the go!  That's how we roll in Italy!
       
      A 2 hour hike to Favara Grande.

       

      In Italy everyone orders their own pizza! And it’s 6 euro! 

       

      A beautiful day for an unexpected spiaggia tour with Federico! We went from place to place for a quick swim. Campobello, Gadir, and Arco dell’elephante

       

      Cooked my first meal in Italy!

       

       

        

      Michelle Stone

      I am a lot of things. I am a woman, a school teacher, a registered nutritionist, a fitness enthusiast, a partner, a daughter, a writer, a friend, a chef... But most of all I am a fighter. Yes, I train at Legacy Fight Club, but what I mean by “a fighter” is not just in the literal sense of the word which is “to contend in battle or physical combat”, or, “to engage in boxing”. It is to constantly put forth effort and determination in everything I do. So when I say I have been a fighter all my life, it is true.  You can reach me at Michellestone2424@gmail.com for any questions or advice on Nutrition and Lifestyle.

       

       

       

      How to get coach to find you a muay thai fight

      How to get coach to find you a muay thai fight

      As a coach and owner of 2 gyms, I often get approached by students telling me that they are interested in fighting.  Our gym has over 100 members. Let's be honest, not every member will get an opportunity to compete and represent their club.  There is a lot of time and resources that goes into preparing someone for battle and it’s just not feasible nor practical to have the entire club fighting.  Extra pad rounds with coaches,  putting together your workout plan, finding cornermen (2 person) to accompany you for the day of the fight, prospecting for an opponent, organizing and planning for the event, and other behind the scenes work are some examples of extra duties required by the club to prepare for you to compete.

      “Being skillful isn’t enough.”  

      At our club we don’t just look at skill to determine who makes the cut.  Likewise, you could be the hardest working Joe out there but if your skill doesn’t measure up, then keep training.

      So how does a club determine who gets to be on the fight roster?  I can tell you how Legacy decides.


      How to Join the Legacy Fight Team (in no particular order)

      1. Work ethic
      Training hard and pushing yourself each class.

      2. Attendance
      You must be attending classes regularly (minimum 3 classes a week while also doing fight related training at home or elsewhere for a total of 5 training sessions a week).

      3. Time in as part of the team
      If you just joined our club, understand that it may take some time for all of us to get to know each other before we can work together.

      4. Drive and passion for the sport
      Are you fighting for the right reasons? To get girls, to beat up on people, or to show off on social media that you are a fighter aren’t good reasons. We want fighters who love the sport.

      5. Skill
      You don’t necessarily have to have the highest skill at the club, but you must prove that you understand the fundamentals, can bring home the victory, and can protect yourself in that ring. Only through hard sparring can you show this.

      6. Attitude and character
      Douches, arrogant, and egotistical people are not representing our club. Luckily for Legacy, we don’t have this problem as we don’t draw in those types of people anyways.

       

      7. Ability to listen, learn, and follow direction
      Self explanatory.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      When you first join,  it’s perfectly fine to let the coach  know that you are interested in competing.  You can go a step further and ask how the club determines who gets to fight and what the requirements are.  Just understand that competing and representing your club is a privilege, NOT A RIGHT.  You get chosen based on set criterias and unfortunately, not everyone will get chosen.  There is usually already a waitlist of students patiently waiting for their turn, so if you are a newcomer interested you will have to be patient.  

      So you got chosen to join the fight team?  Well, with great power comes great responsibilities.  This is what teamLEGACY expects from our fighters:


      Specific Requirements and Expectations for our Fighters


      1. Go to the advanced classes at least twice a week for 3 months before your scheduled fight.  One of those classes has to be the sparring classes (currently on Tuesdays).

      2. Train hard - don’t skimp out on hard work, challenge yourself by sparring with tough partners, give 100%, 100% of the time.

      3. Be a good teammate and contribute to the club in some ways.  What value do you add to the team or club?

      4. We expect that shortly after your fight, you are back on the floor helping your teammates prepare for theirs through sparring and padwork.  Long extended breaks after receiving your fight is unacceptable.  If this happens then you can expect that we will not be finding you another fight.

      5. You are also training and doing your homework outside the club times.  Road work, cross training at other gyms, working solo on the heavy bag at home, studying fight videos etc.

      Do you have what it takes? 

      Drink before you are thirsty

      Drink before you are thirsty

      Are you drinking enough water? If you answered no, you are not alone as more than half of North Americans are not getting the amount of water they need in a day. If you suffer from headaches, constipation, tiredness, muscle cramps, dull, dry skin, or if your urine is a dark yellow colour, this is a sign that you are not drinking enough. 

      Water is pretty boring. It is colourless and tasteless with no caloric value, but it is the most important element of your diet because it is involved in every function in the body. 

      The average recommendation for water per day is 2 litres for women and 3 litres for men. This number will change depending on the climate and if you are exercising. Right now I am on an island in Sicily for the summer (I know, poor me right?!) and the temperature here is above 30 degrees celsius every day so I am trying to focus on drinking more to replace what I have lost in sweat. I do this by having one litre of lemon water as soon as I wake up and bring a water bottle with me wherever I go. We have also put up a heavy bag here and when we workout, I make sure that I am drinking an additional litre of fluid after we finish exercising.

      When training you need to be in an optimal state of hydration for both your endurance and performance. During exercise, you lose electrolytes which are made up of sodium and potassium. Sodium maintains the fluid in our body, keeping it hydrated while helping muscles to relax. Potassium has a similar function and also aids in the storage of carbohydrates to fuel the muscles. If you sweat a lot during a workout, or train for long periods of time, it is a good idea to add electrolytes to your drink (plus they make your water taste so good!). Sport drinks are what people gravitate to because they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes needed for hydration and energy, but I find that they have a lot of unnecessary ingredients and colouring. Instead, I like electrolyte tablets (I am using them in Italy right now). You can get them at any health food store and most grocery stores and you can throw them in your gym bag to use whenever you need them. Nuun hydration is a great brand and has a variety of flavours as well as specific tablets for sports, immune support, and some with added caffeine. My favourite is Strawberry Lemonade.

      Another great drink is coconut water. It is a natural source of electrolytes and what many Muay Thai fighters drink in Thailand because of the extremely hot temperatures. You can also make your own sport drink by using a few simple ingredients.

       

      Toss some electrolyte tablets in your gym bag and use whenever.

       

       

       
      Coconut water is popular among muay thai fighters to restore electrolytes.

      Maple-Lemon Electrolyte Water Recipe

       

      Ingredients:

      Instructions:

      Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir until the salt is dissolved.

      If you want to up your hydration and improve your performance try the following recommendations:

      • ensure you are well hydrated before you exercise - this means drinking water throughout the day
      • replace 80% of the sweat lost during exercise 
      • drink fluids that have electrolytes if exercise is high intensity, more than 1.5 hours, or in hot a hot climate
      • drink at least ½  a litre immediately after exercise
      • add fruit juice, electrolytes, or BCAA’s to make your water taste good and to add carbohydrates, sodium and potassium
      • continue to drink fluid after exercise until at least 1 litre is consumed

      The most important thing to remember is to drink before you feel thirsty and ensure that most of what you drink in a day is water.

       

        

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Michelle Stone

      I am a lot of things. I am a woman, a school teacher, a registered nutritionist, a fitness enthusiast, a partner, a daughter, a writer, a friend, a chef... But most of all I am a fighter. Yes, I train at Legacy Fight Club, but what I mean by “a fighter” is not just in the literal sense of the word which is “to contend in battle or physical combat”, or, “to engage in boxing”. It is to constantly put forth effort and determination in everything I do. So when I say I have been a fighter all my life, it is true.  You can reach me at Michellestone2424@gmail.com for any questions or advice ot Nutrition and Lifestyle.