Category Archives: MMA

How to use Martial Arts to beat depression

Thank you so much to [High Risk] Bipolar Cat  as she will be featuring me on her blog. Also, thank you for taking the time to read it.

You may be asking yourself: what does beating people up have to do with depression?

This is a good question. But before we get to the solution, please let me explain my situation.

I was born in Jamaica and live there until I was about 7 years old.

My family moved around quite a bit when was young, but we settled in South Florida as I entered middle school.

I cannot say, for certain, if this influenced my  anger and depression, but it does explain why I keep people at a distance.

I was taught, in my Jamaican culture that a man is supposed to be “tough”.

I soon learned that you had to be even tougher growing up as a black boy in the United States.

I confused this “tough guy” mentality with anger. So, instead of dealing with my emotions, I are suppressed them until they finally exploded.

During my outbursts, I “saw red” as they would say. It is hard to describe that “feeling” in words.

It was like you have tunnel vision to the thing that triggered you and nothing else matters.

Subsequent to these outbursts, I would fall into days of depression.

I think many of us have negative thoughts sometimes, something along the lines of “nobody likes me” or “I make everyone around me miserable.”

These thoughts overwhelm you, and it feels like you are sinking into a deep, inescapable hole.

It seems impossible to get out of the hole. Everyone seems far away. You get the feeling that nothing or nobody can help.

Quite often, I would turn to alcohol as a way to relieve the feelings. However,  alcohol only made things worse.

The alcohol would increase the frequency of my outbursts.

For 28 years of my life, I lived with this anger.

At the request of my girlfriend, now my wife of 7 years, I spoke with a psychologist.  he informed me that anger is a form of depression that I finally understood what was happening to me.

What an eye opener!

We also came to the conclusion that the only thing that consistently helped me with my depression was and still is martial arts.

Martial arts allowed me me to vent my frustrations in a positive way.

As long as I followed the rules in the gym, I could punch and kick as much and as hard as wanted.

I give thanks to my instructors, who guided me on my martial arts journey.

I went on to train and compete in several Muay Thai and MMA fights under the Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy.  I also competed in several Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions.

I believe that these fights helped me live a healthier lifestyle and focus on a particular goal (i.e. winning the fight).

Martial arts has given me the strength and perseverance to meet any challenge and overcome any obstacle. It has indeed made me a stronger person.

Martial arts also gives you a community of like-minded people that have the same goals.

The people you meet in the gym can become your family and support system.

If you find the right martial arts school, you know you can always go back, and your family will be there to support you.

I am now a coach and Muay Thai instructor.

My main goal is to spread the positive impact that martial arts can have on people’s lives.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this blog.

If you are curious about how martial arts can help you, please continue to follow my blog at fightingiseasy.wordpress.com.

Brand New Muay Thai class

I am excited to announce I am teaching a brand new Muay Thai class on a Thursday nights at 830 pm at the Woodside Boxing Academy located at 41-25 58th St.
Woodside, NY, 11377.
We will be training on Thursday nights at 830 pm.

The class is for all ages and levels.
If you are in New York, stop by and give it a try!

Technique of the Month_Elbows

Muay Thai is known as the “Art of 8 Limbs”.
It is known as the “Art of 8 Limbs” because we use our 8 limbs (i.e. arms , legs, knees and Elbows) as weapons to attack our opponent.
Today, I will break down the Muay Thai slashing elbow or “Sok ti” in the Thai language.
The slashing elbow is a short range weapon.
By short range, I mean we have to be close to our opponent to utilize it.
For a better picture think:
Using an axe (short range).
vs
Swinging a baseball bat (long range).
Throwing elbows can be dangerous and maybe for good reason.
Elbows are meant to draw blood or strike precisely to cause instantaneous knockouts!
In a professional Muay Thai fight, elbows can end a fight in an instant. That is what makes them so exciting.
Quick note:
In practice, we do not spar with elbows until after years of practice. Once a student is considered “advanced”, elbows can be used in practice. Even then, we usually use elbow pads for protection.
So, back to the slashing elbow.
The slashing elbow is executed quickly and efficiently.
While being on the receiving end may not be all smiles, throwing them can be fun.
You can ask any of my students that have done padwork with me.
Here is the breakdown of the the video shown above.
1. I make sure I am at the right distance to throw the elbow.
2. I bring my elbow up by my ear.
3. I chop it down to the pad and bring my hand back to my head.
There you have it.
That is all I have for now on the Muay Thai elbow.

If you are interested in learning more about my programs, please check out my webstore.
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5 Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

Hey, quick reminder my “Knockout Nutrition Plan” is available in my online store.

Do you remember those New Year’s Resolutions you made earlier this year?

Hopefully you are still on track. It is understandable if you slip up with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now Valentine’s Day.  Those New Year’s resolutions seem to decrease in priority.

Unhealthy meals and candy might be winning out over the healthy foods you committed to earlier this year.

But, don’t give up!

I have put together 5 Healthy tips  to keep you motivated and headed towards your goals.  Enjoy!

  1.  Drink plenty of water!
    • Water will not only keep you hydrated, which is good for the body in general. It makes you feel full throughout the day.
  2. Get 6-8 hours of sleep.
    •  Sleep keeps your mind and body working as efficiently as possible. It helps with metabolism and helps heal your body.
  3.   Prep your meals and eat small meals throughout the day.
    • Eating (lots of) small meals boosts your metabolism and leaves you feeling satisfied rather than stuffed.
  4. Get 30 minutes of exercise per day.
    • Even 30 minutes of physical activity per day will help with weight-loss and boost your energy levels.
  5. Try smoothies for a snack or pre-workout boost!
    – This is for that quick energy boost before a workout.

If you need some help getting going, don’t forget Nutrition packages are available at my Online Store.

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That’s it for now. Remember to keep fighting for what you believe in.

Technique of the Month Muay Thai Jab

It is with great pleasure to present you with the first technique breakdown in our “Technique of the Month” series.

I will share as much of my martial arts knowledge as I can without straying off topic, as I can go on and on for days about this subject.

This will give some insight into the technical aspect of martial arts to the uninformed, beginner or advanced martial artist.
I am sure that the advanced martial artist will appreciate the technical breakdown of the techniques.

So, let’s begin, shall we.

The first technique we will cover will be the Muay Thai Jab.

There are several types of jabs in boxing, Muay Thai and other forms of martial arts.

For example, in boxing, these can include the “basic jab”, the “step jab”, the “power jab”, the “counter jab” the “up jab” along with several others. These jabs can be used for offense and defense.

In Muay Thai, we focus on a long range jab. This is the technique we will cover today.

Now, the Muay Thai jab, in itself, is a very simple, but effective weapon. The motion itself is literally straightforward. Take a look at the video clip of me demonstrating the jab.

The fist travels in a linear fashion from my temple to a fully extended position and return It to the start position. There are some other subtleties, but that is it really.

The difference between the basic jab and the Muay Thai jab is the slight extension at the shoulder. This extension allows the jab to travel farther than the normal length of my arm.

The Muay Thai jab can be quite deceptive and I often catch people off guard in sparring and it has helped in some of my fights.

In a Pro boxing match, you will often hear the commentator mention that the boxer with the better jab will end up winning the fight. And it is usually true. But, let’s get back on topic

Another reason this jab is utilized by Muay Thai practitioners is that keeps heavy punchers at bay, so to speak.

Let’s say I am fighting a person that throws big punches in “bunches”. I can utilize one or two quick jabs to create distance or snap their head back and throw off their rhythm.

The Muay Thai jab also allows you to keep enough distance between you and your opponent to throw those heavy kicks that are so effective in Muay Thai.

In Muay Thai fights, big kicks mean big points on the scorecards. Plus, no one likes getting kicked. Lol.

That is all I have for now on the Muay Thai Jab. If you are interested in learning more about my programs, please check out my Website.

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That’s it for now. Remember to keep fighting for what you believe in.

ALI-My Tribute

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay on January 17th, 1942 and died June 3rd, 2016. He was 74.

Ali was arguably, the greatest heavyweight champion of all time. The day of his passing was a very sad day for boxing, fight fans and anyone who knew his work.

Ali was known for his magnificent boxing, eccentric style and insurmountable trash talk. He often boasted about being the “Greatest”and that he could “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” A quote well known around the world today.

It is hard to contest his words with an impressive record of impressive record of 56-5-0 with 31 KOs.

Legendary fights such as “Thrilla in Manila vs Joe Frazier and “Rumble in the Jungle” vs George Foreman have helped put him in legendary status.

That being said, Ali’s contribution was not limited to inside the ring. He was a philanthropist, social activist and civil rights leader. He stuck to his convictions, which is a quality I hugely admire.

Ali served a 3 year jail sentence for “draft-dodging” and was stripped of his heavyweight titles. Through all this, he maintained his right as a conscientious objector. He fought for his right to NOT fight in a war he deemed was not his.

After his retirement, Ali contributed his life to his church and charitable organizations.

As both a fighter and coach, I continue to admire his work. There is so much more that Ali has done, so I apologize if I missed anything in this blog.

Thank you Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali.

A General Misconception About Fighting Part II

brucelee for misconception blogAllow me to lead into this blog with this awesome quote from Bruce Lee. I thought it quite fitting, plus Bruce is the MAN!
So, if you have not read “A General Misconception about Fighting Part 1”, what are you waiting for? It will be worth the read.
If you are not so inclined, here is a recap.
  • There is a big misconception out there that fighting is just two guys beating each other to a pulp.
  • For some people, myself included,  fighting involves training and competing in martial arts such as Muay Thai, mixed martial arts (MMA), Kung Fu, BJJ, boxing….the list goes on.
You see, fighters have a passion for what they do. It is similar to a painter or an artist. The ring is our canvas, the mat is our drawing board. And the competition…
Well, the competition is a fighter’s outlet. It is our self-expression.
My belief is that fighting, in the right form, keeps a person physically and mentally healthy. It allows them to be in harmony with themselves and those around them.
I know this to be true because I have experienced the change myself.
Through the art of fighting, I have experienced many positive changes in my life. Fighting has taught me that no matter how hard things get or how much pain you’re in, never give up; keep pushing forward. You can control your own destiny.
Fighting has pushed me in ways I would have never imagined.  It has taken me to my limits and beyond, both mentally and physically.
I believe fighting can have a positive impact on people’s lives. It is the reason I continue to spread my message.
But how did this idea come about anyway?
The idea came during a time that I was fighting through some of my own demons. I was at a low point and close to giving up.
But then it hit me as I was bummed and sitting on the train on my commute home from work:. “Life is Hard. Fighting is Easy.” So simple, so true.
Sometimes, inspiration comes to you at your lowest points. I now realize that the mind works best when put in tough situations.
But, why is Fighting Easy?
Fighting is Easy is a bold statement,   I know.  But let’s take a look at LIFE.
Life poses many challenges.  Poor health, poverty, taxes, jobs, traffic, people (getting on your nerves…).  The list goes on. Many of these things we can’t control.
They are irritating, infuriating, they drive people to alcohol, drugs, overeating and violence, which I consider different from fighting.
On a side note, most fighters avoid these vices because he (or she) knows it will not help towards their ultimate goal.
 
Now, Fighting, as I see it, is something that you can control. When you face off with your opponent, all those life troubles fade away.
You know all you have to do is fight. That’s it. It’s simple. You control what happens (in the ring) and it ends in victory or defeat.
My last point, before I wrap this up, is that people fight everyday without even realizing it.
When you see a political debate on TV, it is nothing more than a fight with words. In business, there is a continuous fight to stay ahead of the competition.
People fight depression, disease and other physical and mental illnesses.
In history, the people who have fought the hardest for what they believe are the people we respect the most. Martin Luther King. Jr., comes to mind.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. So, then let me end with this.
If you are dedicated to what you believe in, you will fight for it and this fight becomes easy. In the end, we are all Fighters. End.