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      Meet our holistic nutritionist

      Meet our holistic nutritionist

      teamLEGACY.BLOG would like to introduce our Holistic Nutritionist, Michelle Stone.  Michelle will be making sure we stay informed and educated with our food choices as our newest nutrition & liftstyle writer! 

      But first, here's a little bit about her:


      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. 

      For me, fighting is putting in 100% until I get the results I want. It is definitely not easy, and the little voice in my head tries to talk me out of a ton of things, but I have this fire inside to help push me through to achieve what I set out to do. Everyone has it. Whether it is a voice, a feeling, the fear of failing, or exhilaration once you have accomplished a goal. You just need to focus on what drives you. 

      This is what has brought me to love Muay Thai. I was introduced to boxing when Federico asked me to do a class with him in Toronto over two years ago. I had been dating him for less than a month and was terrified to make a fool of myself as I had never put on a pair of boxing gloves before. However, I played many sports and went to the gym often so I figured I might be ok. We walked into a rundown-looking place with a ring in the middle of a tiny gym looking like something right out of Fight Club. Federico wrapped my hands, I slid on the gloves for the first time, and man was I hooked! Every movement, burpee, and jab-cross made me feel alive. It was hard, technical, and exhausting, and I knew this was something I needed in my life. Since then, I have joined Legacy and every day I put on my gloves and strive to become a better fighter in and outside of the ring.  

       

       

       

      My first muay thai class

      My first muay thai class

      It was Tuesday evening and I had just gotten off the bus at the Kitchener Station.  The original TKO Fighting Arts was located on Charles St. West,  just a 10 minute walk east of the station.  I remember my mind racing with uncomfortable thoughts.  Half excited, and half scared. "How will I do?  Are people going to laugh at me?  Was my friend John right and that I am just way over my head on this one?" (If you guys don't remember John, you can read about him HERE).  These thoughts lingered in my mind as I anxiously walked towards the building;  I remained determined to see this day through.  I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?  I arrived at the location some minutes later in front of an old dilapidated greyish white building and thought, “Damn, this is some Rocky S#%* going on here!”  I entered, walked up a flight of stairs and turned left down a corridor towards TKO.  As I arrived at the entrance, there were a bunch of people just mingling by the entrance way.  Awkwardly, I excused my way through the thickened crowd and was greeted by a young man in a grey tank top built around my size.  I assumed he was the man to talk to since he was surrounded by a posse of students all trying to grab his attention. “My name is Bao, I’m here for my trial class.”  I said tentatively.  He replied in a stern voice with a straight face, “I’m Chris, fill this waiver out and change over there.  Class will start in a few minutes and the instructor’s name is Scott.”  He pointed to the change room directly behind me. 

      I got changed and proceeded to the training floor.  This place looked more rundown than in the photos I thought to myself.  I wanted the real deal and I knew after stepping in here that this was it.  As I apprehensively stood there in the middle of the training floor, someone spoke out, “Name is Alvin, looks like your first class.  Grab a rope over there, we are going to start soon.”  I felt a little more relaxed and welcomed as someone actually noticed me!  “Thanks.” I replied, and went to grab a skipping rope.  Some moments later, a gentleman twice my size walked on the floor.  He was wearing some funny looking shorts and towered over the rest. I assumed that he was our trainer Scott.  He directed his attention at us and yelled,  “This ain’t no country club! Start skipping and pick it up!”  I began skipping.

      We skipped for a few rounds and then followed up with calisthenics.  Push ups, squats, burpees, situps, all the usual body weight stuff.  After about 20 minutes of conditioning, we paired up. One partner was instructed to wear pads, and the other to get their boxing gloves on.  Scott taught us a few beginner punching techniques and we would practice these strikes on the pads with our partners.  The entire training session lasted about an hour long and boy was I tired by the end!  I knew at that very moment that this is what I wanted to do.  I signed up on the spot.

      Reflecting back on that day, I realize that most of my anxiety came from the moments leading up to the class.  The class itself wasn’t so bad!  And the feeling I felt after the class was amazing.  In my head, I had made up all these scenarios of possible things that could go wrong...but that was all it was, "made up" scenarios.  Ultimately, it was just me being afraid of negative judgement and criticism.  I was lucky enough that TKO Fighting Arts was very supportive and  welcoming.  The members were all friendly and had made me feel right at home.  Within the first month, I made some amazing friends and couldn’t be happier about my decision to join.  I love muay thai, but it’s truly the community and camaraderie that keeps me coming back.  You’ll never know what you are missing until you put yourself out there to try something new. 

      Don’t be afraid of being afraid.  Be afraid, and do it anyway. 

      Former UFC Champion,  George St. Pierre, said it best:

      "Before every fight, before every hardcore training session, I was afraid.  Afraid to be humiliated, afraid to disappoint my mentor, and afraid to get hurt. I believe I shouldn't be afraid to admit I'm afraid.  Being scared doesn't make you a coward.  You know what? There’s no courage without fear.”

       

      The old "dilapidated" TKO Fighting Arts building, downtown Kitchener ON.  Some time after TKO moved out, the building was over taken by big tech firms like GOOGLE and given a nice little makeover.

       

      The guy that greeted me upon my arrival for my first class, Chris (left).  That's me to the right of him.  Chris soon became a great friend and mentor of mine.  16 years later and we still keep in touch.

       

      Scott with his funny looking shorts.

       

       
      The oldschool TKO Fighting Arts crew.  That skinny bald kid standing proud is me.

       

      I would love to hear your story.  Feel free to tell us your first muay thai experience below.

       

       

      What is the best indicator of success

      What is the best indicator of success

      What do you guys think?  Talent?  Intelligence?  Hard Work?  What about passion or discipline?  No doubt these are all important traits that one must possess in order to be accomplished in their respective field,  but there is something else that plays a more significant role in determining whether one will, or will not succeed: MOTIVATION.  Angela Duckworth calls it GRIT, Daniel H Pink calls it DRIVE, you may call it determination or even will power.  Motivation is absolutely essential to your success.

      There are 3 key elements to motivation according to author Daniel H. Pink, who also refers to it as drive:

      #1. Autonomy - the extent to which you are free to self-direct your own life and well being.  In otherwards, being and feeling in control of your own life.

      #2. Mastery - the process of developing and achieving a high level of competency in a challenging skill or subject.  Continuous learning and growing elevates your motivation level.

      #3. Purpose  - to have a deeper reason or sense of direction for your own existence.  These reasons must be intrinsic in nature for long lasting motivation.


      If you have some more time to invest, I suggest giving DRIVE by Daniel H. Pink a read, or listen to it on audiobook.  An excellent book that has made me look at motivation in a different light.  

      Here's a fantastic video summary:


       

       

      Is your inner voice full of...

      Is your inner voice full of...

      What is that little voice in your head telling you?  Often we go about our days so oblivious to our inner voice that if we bring our awareness to it, we may find that sometimes it’s full of crap.  Crap that we have been telling ourselves on the daily and for most of our lives.    All those limiting beliefs, the cynicism, the guilt, the shame, and the lies that get repeated over and over within our subconscious.  It’s time to reprogram how we speak to ourselves and free our minds from the grips of our past.

      Go break those preconceived limits you have placed on yourself.  

      Go make those difficult but right decisions without the guilt and shame.

      Go tell yourself that you are amazing, deserving of love, and that nothing will hold you down.

       

      Creating muay thai combos

      Creating muay thai combos

      Have you ever been asked by your coach to come up with a combo of your choice and stood there drawing a blank? Do you have a heavy bag at home but don’t know what combos to work on?  Or couldn't think of any good combos when holding pads for your partner?

      Here are 3 principles to consider when creating your own combos.


      1. Left to Right

      A good rule to follow is to flow from one side of the body to the other (ie. left strike right strike, left strike, right strike). This also applies to strikes from different weapon groups (mixing punches and knees).

       

      Example #1: Left jab, right cross, left hook, right low kick, left knee, rear elbow

       

      Example #2: Left jab, right cross, left uppercut, right cross

       

       Example #3: Right cross, left hook, right low kick

       

      2. Striking Ranges (refer fig. 1.1 above)

      In muay thai there are four major ranges - Snug (1), Close (2), Medium (3), Long (4). When combining the individual strikes from these groups, do not connect 2 strikes that are 2 or more ranges apart. For example, a strike from Range 1 (snug) can be connected with a strike from Range 2 (close) but not with a strike from Range 3 or 4 (medium and long). The reason for this is simple: if you can make contact with your elbow strike, you are too close to effectively throw a long range weapon like a pushkick! Vice versa, if you are standing afar and throwing pushkicks, and then trying to skip multiple ranges to get on the inside for the elbow strike is extremely dangerous, as a skilled opponent will likely intercept you with a more suitable weapon while you are on your way in.

      There are exceptions to this rule. Feints and setups can make it less risky to skip multiple ranges. Faking a push kick (Range 4-Long) to temporarily distract your opponent while simultaneously jumping in for an elbow strike (Range 1-Close) is an example of a feint tactic. However as a beginner to intermediate practioner, you should stick with the basics during sparring. Here is a great fight between Buakaw and Mike Zambidis to illustrate why one has to be careful when skipping multiple ranges in muay thai.  Zambidis unsuccessfully attempts to "jump" into the close range from the long range with hooks only to be punished repeatedly by swing kicks.  When in close, his punches are nullified by the superior knee strikes and clinch throws.

       

      3. Keeping it Simple

      Don’t get too crazy with the length of your combo! The longer the combination, the more your technique for each individual strike will suffer. What’s more important than volume is the placement (aka accuracy and precision) of these strikes in conjunction with timing as well as choosing the most suitable strike for that specific situation. I suggest 2 to 4 hit combos (no more than 5!), and keeping it to the very basic strikes (refer to the strikes in fig. 1.1 above). 

      Here is a collection of 10 basic combos by Sean Fagen.


      Some of you may now be thinking, “These ideas and concepts are too technical and won’t work in a real fight.” Well my friend, you obviously don't know good muay thai. Go watch some Samart, Rodtang, or Saenchai fights.