What You Don't Know About...Kickboxing


Written by Kieron Monks
14 Thursday 14th May 2009

Get your train on...

For the title fight I trained harder than ever - eight mile runs every day of the week with two hours of Thai boxing in the evening. In between there would be shadow boxing, pad work and aerobic exercise like skipping. I get tuned in to this way of living for six weeks before a fight, going to bed early thinking about the carbs you'll eat before the 6.40 run.

It really isolates you from everyone else. You're disconnected from everything but what's in front of you. But when you've kept your focus for six weeks, you know you can run right through the other guy.

Fighting Chris Shephard

Remember your brain...

You need to control your emotions or the adrenaline takes over and you can't perform. I emphasise that but I don't tell my students how. They need to find their own way. You have to be aware of fighting's effect on you, how it makes you aggressive - not only to your opponent but to anyone around you. If someone catches your eye on the street it's hard to look away. But that's a waste and once you're fighting professionally you shouldn't need to prove yourself anywhere else. But you do need insight into your own psychology. Mike Tyson and Frank Bruno used self-hypnosis, which I've tried but the tapes tend to be recorded by southern Americans who I end up laughing at.

Sluggers beat gym fighters...

Gym fighters have perfect techniques and all the skills you need. But something happens when they go in the ring and it all comes apart. Sluggers are the opposite, they feed of that atmosphere and it gives them the ability to beat a more talented fighter. Presence is often more important than technique. Ricardo Mayorga is a good example.

Don't get hung up on history...

With martial arts there's a strange perception that the older something is the better it is. One of my students was telling me about a 6,000 year old technique. For me, it's unhealthy to worry about wearing pyjamas and learning mythological moves that no one can remember how to apply.

It wouldn't be a bad thing to forget the historical aspect. A godless, value-less generation Y is good news for me because it means people need to defend themselves. It means I get more students learning modern, practical skills, instead of wanting instructors that claim to be able to make a sword catch fire.

Become a cage fighter it pays better...

Thailand remains the mecca for kickboxing because it's so ingrained in the culture. Here kickboxers are paid very little. Cage fighters get more money because it's more marketable. Casual fans will go to see someone fighting in the cage. I like it, as long as the promoters emphasise the skill of the fighter rather than the freak show element. Generally there is a trend to get the biggest, scariest looking thug and throw him in with the second biggest, scariest looking thug and see who comes out upright.

Nick with belt and instructors Simon Wells and Nick Kelly

If you wish to contact Nick or sign up to his classes, click here.



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