Product Review: Heavy Knee and Elbow Bag

A little while ago, the folks at Martial Art Supplies sent me their Heavy Knee and Elbow Bag to review. So I took it to my Sanshou class and gave it a test run. I’ll write some more about it here below but first, you can watch the video review to see some of the abuse I put it through. :-)


I started by working on it with my biggest student, taking turns holding the pad for each other. That way I had a better idea of how it reacts to impact, how to hold it, place my hands and elbows, check if the handles don’t move too much, stuff like that. If those things work out against a heavyweight, then the bag will do just fine. And it did. We had no trouble doing any of the techniques we practiced on it.

Next up was some heavy striking. Now the bag is primarily meant to be used with knee and elbow strikes but obviously you can practice more than just those two on it. So I punched and kicked it a bit too to see what happened. [Read more…]

How to train for MMA

Though this post covers how to train for MMA, it is applicable to all combat sports and to a degree for self-defense. So please keep that in mind as you read the rest.

Before we get into that part, take a look at this video. It features Pat Barry and Coach Greg Nelson, who’s style of teaching I like a lot. Coach Nelson starts talking at 7min40:

Before I get started on the meat of this post, here’s how it came about:

In my Sanshou class, I have a bunch of new students. They’ve only been learning the basic curriculum so far, which includes basic punches, kicks, knee strikes, throws and take downs. The other part they’re learning about is how to train. My lesson plan is such that they learn specific ways of training with their partners so they get the most out of it. This is something they’ll need later on, when they join the more advanced students in class and it’s expected of them to know those things. One of those concepts is knowing the difference between training and fighting.

When you start out, this is usually the most difficult part to understand and watch out for. Simply because you lack the framework to distinguish between both of these. But if you mess things up on that front, you learn the wrong things at the wrong time, resulting in errors that cost you later on. And then you have to re-learn all the basics, which is way harder than learning them the first time. So I pay particular attention to certain errors my students make at that stage of their training. One of these errors is going off-script. Here’s what that means: [Read more…]

Ramon Dekkers Pad Training.

Last week we were doing pad training in class and some of my students weren’t getting an important concept. So I showed them a clip of muay Thai legend Ramon Dekkers doing some pad training. Take a look at the clip first and then I’ll explain:

There are several things you can see in this video:

  • Ramon hits hard. He punches, knees, elbows and kicks with plenty of power. You don’t see him holding back.
  • He’s fast. Look at the combo he does at 1min.40, especially the hook punches.
  • He does complex combinations. He’s not just throwing a jab-cross-leg kick like everybody else already does. He makes long combinations that involve all ranges, all weapons, switching leads, stepping forward and back, etc.
  • You never see him off balance. He doesn’t stumble or slip up, he’s in control the entire time.

But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. It’s important, but for now it’s just background information. Here’s the thing: [Read more…]

Yodsanklai Fairtex vs Artur Kyshenko – Rumble of the Kings 2011

Here’s a fight I have been waiting for: Yodsanklai Fairtex vs Artur Kyshenko  at the Rumble of the Kings 2011.

Kyshenko is one of the fighters I like best right now. He’s had an interesting career and did pretty well in K1 at first. Then he had a rough patch but since he’s been training at Mike’s Gym in The Netherlands, he’s started making progress again. So I was curious to see how well he would do against a guy of the caliber of Yodsanklai. Pretty well as it turns out…

Here’s the video of the fight:

Some thoughts:

  • Kyshenko did amazingly well in the first round. He pretty much controlled the distance and launched his combinations at will. Yodsanklai tried to get in a couple shots, including his famous left kick but Artur just used it against him with perfect timing. I’m sure Yod didn’t expect to get so much resistance from Artur.  [Read more…]