If you have ever considered taking your understanding of yoga to the next level then perhaps a yoga retreat or teacher training course is what’s next on the agenda. Yoga has become a very popular way of developing greater body/mind awareness. With a calm and focused mind yogis around the world attest to the wonderful healing qualities of this timeless science of self-improvement.
But to really take your yoga to the next level what is required is deep immersion and continuity of practice. Yet, this can be quite difficult in the modern fast paced lifestyle. So many people have instead chosen to experience a deeper connection to yoga in places like Bali. There are many Bali yoga teacher training courses at Blooming Lotus Yoga school, which you can choose from if the far east is part of your next travel plans. There you will find many experienced and knowledgeable teacher to help you take your practice to the next level.
There are many Ayurvedic herbs that you can use to help you improve the quality of your workout. Of the over 600 important ayurvedic medicines commonly used today it is perhaps ashwagandha that is the most important for the modern athlete.
Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Asia as a means to compliment rigorous workouts, and is now quickly gaining fame in the west as a super herb. Ashwagandha is primarily a herb best suited to men as it directly enhances the male reproductive system. It helps build muscle mass and increases testosterone levels. Its other well know effects include the capacity to calm the nervous system, as it is considered to be an excellent relaxant. It can also be used as a mild aphrodisiac to help stimulate the reproductive system. There are many wonderful benefits that these herbs offer, so why not try it today?! We recommend that you choose the Ayurvedic Herbs offered at Dharmony Herbs as they are organic and support the environment.
I know it’s a bit of a fad topic, but some things are just worth trying out. I have a friend who swears by high-altitude training. It seems incredible popular in the world of professional athletics. But I have one giant problem. I don’t live at super high elevations. Luckily, that’s OK now. I have other options.
High-altitude training simulation is actually not anything new. It’s an old idea that has been used for getting mountain climbers and even pilots used to the thin air they encounter when they leave normal heights and make their way up high. Like me, they all didn’t have easy access to real high-altitude conditions.
To get past this problem they would train with an elevation mask. It’s a mask that they could wear that limits oxygen intake. It gives you the amount of oxygen that you would actually get at high-altitudes. With this kind of mask anyone could train like they were on the top of a high mountain peak or up high in the cockpit of an airliner.
I the past these masks were not always made with athletes in mind. A pilot doesn’t need to slip jabs and a mountain climber can talk slow calculated movements instead of needing to lunge and dodge in the blink of an eye. Former UFC fighter Sean Sherk recognized this and helped make things better for us involved in combat sports. I guess it’s good for other athletes too.
The modern day training mask is lighter and much more comfortable. I have been using it, and after awhile you don’t even realize it’s on, except for the whole lack of oxygen thing. I actually find headgear to be more of an annoyance than today’s elevation training masks as far as comfort is concerned.
I am not sure how effective the whole idea of elevation training is yet, but the mask does what it is supposed to do. I can really tell that I am getting less oxygen, as it’s harder to pull in air and I fatigue much faster than normal. It will take some time for me to feel confident with the training idea, but I am confident with this cool little mask. If you stamina has been an issue in the past like mine has, I would really give it a shot. Worst comes to worst you are out a few bucks. With that being said, if I even improve my stamina by 10%, this thing would have paid for itself and then some.
This is more of a personal style post and I originally planned on making this less about my life and more about the sport we all love, but sometimes they intersect. This is one of those times. It’s also a good reminder about what things we have available to us today that the original Thai boxers didn’t have.
What I am talking about is metatarsal gel pads. What? What does that have to do with Muay Thai and Muay Boran? A lot if you train harder than your body will accept. I had a nagging pain in my left food and I let it go forever until finally I could barely walk. As it turns out, all of the hard barefoot training (on a hard floor) added to the shape of my feet has left me with some problems.
I couldn’t pinpoint the main problem, but after I couldn’t walk for a couple of days, I headed to the doc. He informed me that my metatarsal pads, the soft area at the ball of your feet, aren’t very padded at all and that if I don’t take care of that area (like, avoid putting a lot of pressure on that area of my foot, especially if I am barefoot on a hard surface…oops), that there’s a good chance I will damage my feet. That makes things like kicking a bit difficult.
The good news is that I can rest my foot and then be a bit more careful in the future. He suggested I wear some metatarsal gel pads (or non-gel if I don’t like them) during the day when I am not training, and that may be enough protection to give my feet some time to take a little abuse in training.
So what is the point of all of this? Take care of your body. You can’t train if you can’t walk. You can’t train if your body and mind are not working as one. Training is important, but your body should always come first. I guess this goes for other sports as well, but since I have always though of training )other than hard sparring) as fairly safe, I never though I would get this type of stress injury. If I can, you can. So remember, there’s good pain (sore muscles after a workout) and there is bad pain (I can’t walk because of my foot). Pay attention to your body, and your body will take care of you.
Today most people interested in Thai martial arts train in Muay Thai and not Muay Boran. We have so many advantages over the founders of our discipline, that it’s almost unfair. From competitions that have a set of rules which allow us to focus on specific skills to modern day equipment, we have it easy compared to those that birthed Thai boxing.
Sports science has come a long way. If you have never seen the extent of what today’s top athletes use technology and information, you should do a little research. It’s mind blowing. Even amateur athletes have so much more available to us now than our ancestors did.
One example of this is today’s heavy bags. Muay Thai has its own type of heavy bag. There are also many other styles of heavy bags available. Because of where I live, I can’t use a traditional style Muay Thai bag, but because of modern day technology and engineering, that’s fine. I have other options. I don’t have anywhere to hang a bag, so I instead use a freestanding bag. I love it, and I’m not sure I would switch to a hanging bag even if I could. If you are looking for a really good free standing heavy bag, then I highly recommend the Wavemaster XXL.
Another example of what we now know is how to properly control a diet. While an overabundance of processed unhealthy foods were not a problem many years ago, weight control and muscle building were also not nearly as perfect as they are today. Modern training technology has allowed us to better and more easily attain a peak physical condition. That is something any Muay Boran warrior would have loved.
I guess my point in all of this is, we have modern day equipment and technology. It would be stupid to ignore it, even when trying to learn traditional martial arts of the past. We don’t have to train exactly like they did, as long as we train the same style and techniques.
Muay Boran is a weaponless ancient martial art. The term means “ancient boxing”. Muay Boran is a traditional martial art born in Thailand. It reflects a time period before rules and systems were created for competitive fighting. When a warrior was weaponless they had to kill or significantly injure an enemy quickly and efficiently. They would attack very ferociously, but they would also attack their enemy very strategically.
Muay Boran and its predecessor Muay Thai is called the “science of eight limbs.” Boxing uses one the fighters’ two hands. Other martial arts focus mainly on using fighters’ hands and feet, giving them four weapons. But the Thai system added knees and elbows giving the Muay Boran fighter eight dangerous weapons.
Muay Boran’s technique focuses on destroying an enemy with strong and preferably mortal strikes. The aim is to neutralize or kill an enemy using all eight weapons (hands, elbows, knees, feet) and to do all of this as quickly as possible. Each strike must cause as much damage as possible and no movement should be wasted. The unusual use of knees and elbows makes Muay Boran and Muay Thai is as beautiful as it is lethal.
Though Muay Boran has ancient roots, in recent times the martial arts of Thailand have become extremely popular. One reason is due to its use in western action movies. Another is the previously mentioned role Muay Thai has played in the growing sport of MMA.
Muay Thai is the modern version of traditional Thailand martial arts. Muay Boran was very brutal and dangerous, and it was easy to both cause and receive serious injuries while training and using it. To protect the practitioners rules were created and a new martial art, Muay Thai, was formed from the base that was Muay Boran. Regardelss, today’s Muay Thai fighters are still learning the ancient arts Muay Boran that were developed by in Thailand many years ago.