It certainly was his time to shine this past weekend. As we predicted in January, David Delapaz is on his way up in the muay thai fighting world, just recently earning the win and the belt, at the 4th Annual IKF Spring Eastern Muay Thai / Kickboxing Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC.
For Delapaz, it is just the beginning as he prepares for the US Muay Thai Open West National Championships later this month and more events later in the year.
For Rolando Montano, CKC owner, this weekend’s win reminded him what Carlsbad Kickboxing Club was built on.
“When Carlsbad Kickboxing Club first opened, we were built on our kids competition program. Those are our roots,” says Montano. “And as Covid is calming down, and as more youth competition events are being added to the calendar, there has never been a better time to invest in our youth.”
The kids program over the past few months has growth at a significant rate. For some, it is a place to have fun, sweat and get a good workout and learn teamwork. For others, it is the beginning of their path to hopefully earn what Delapaz just brought back to CKC.
The following will be the specific restructuring and refocusing of the program as of now as CKC looks forward to growing it’s youth’s competition future.
This Monday @330 PM we will hold a “TRY OUT”
MONDAY and WEDNESDAY: 3:30-4:15pm (Young athlete development program)
Focusing on competition, furthering muay their techniques, strength and more.
It has been said that one of the most important relationships any fighter will have in their career is the bond they have with their coach. Beyond the technical skills being taught, it is the relationship that is almost just as important as the number of wins earned.
According to Carlsbad Kickboxing Club’s Rolando Montano “The best part of coaching is seeing the potential and helping someone believe in it. I can show them the door, but they need to make the decision to go through it or not.”
Below are just a few days ways to help build a strong relationship between a coach and an athlete.
Communication and Positive Reinforcement: An open line of communication between a coach and a fighter keeps everyone accountable and honest with one another. Doing so will lead to stronger training, personal growth, and athletic progress. When all that is aligned, winning will become a result of those relationships. Positive reinforcement is also an important step in accomplishing that goal. Building up a fighter through encouragement can help them visualize positive outcomes and maintain confidence.
Be Available: Don’t just go through the motions. It is key that a coach makes it clear to the individual they are training that they are available and accessible whenever needed. Especially with younger athletes who are just getting started, they often need advice and might be seeking someone to follow and look up to as a mentor.
Sincerity and Genuine Interest: Don’t just go through the motions. A coach should always show genuine interest in the athlete they are training. It is that sincerity that will run deeper than any win or losses and ultimately, will improve them as a fighter. The challenge though lies in figuring out the balance between rationale, logic, and training in the sport, with empathy and compassion for the individual. Coaches must understand their job isn’t just about physical progress, it’s about setting their young athletes up for success in life.
CKC’s Xavier Barker is very aware of the relationships that develop between him and his students. Since he realizes that many students don’t end up competing, personally, his focus is to foster good moral character, emotional growth, and self-confidence in his students rather than being the best fighter. “You can be the best fighter on the planet, but if you are not a good person to be around, then you lost all of the magic of Martial arts,” he says.
A great coach, he adds, is someone who can instill great values and lessons into the minds and hearts of athletes. “I think the best coaches care beyond the belts and the wins. People will forget most of the techniques I ever show them, but they will never forget how I made them feel.”
Xavier Barker, who will have his 30th birthday this month, was born premature and grew up in rough neighborhoods in Detroit, Michigan. Subject to bullying, he started training martial arts at the age of 7. For Barker, his training gave him a much needed an outlet, not only as a way to defend himself, but a way to express his feelings.
“I initially was drawn to martial arts due to the influence of mass media like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Bruce Lee films,” Barker says. “I have always had a passion for it. It’s been fists and feet my entire life.”
In wasn’t until 2015 that he started formally training in muay thai.
In 2015, Xavier found his home with Carlsbad Kickboxing Club and remains one of the longest-tenured trainers at the gym. He was asked to help with the children’s program due to his background in traditional martial arts and due to his attention to detail with technique.
“I became a coach because I want to give back to the sport and art that has given me so much as a person. I think the best way to achieve that goal is to help guild and influence those who wish to learn the martial arts.”
For Barker, his love of coaching is that feeling he gets when he starts seeing someone level up and progress in their skill level. “Like a video game, it so dope to see one get that next power up and slay the final boss,” he jokes.
Additionally, Barker likes the daily mental challenge that comes with coaching and breaking down the techniques on a more digestible level. “It forces me to adapt and really understand the techniques myself when I must teach another individual.”
As for what the future holds for Barker personally, as of present, he is on his last semester as a kinesiology major at CSUSM. On the fighting front, his goals are to still challenge himself to grow through the adversity that comes with fighting and training.
“In the coming year, I would like to spend some extended time in Thailand to fight, gain more experience in the sport and further my craft. I plan to be active as a fighter for the next five or so years. I want to really push myself in that time frame.”
Afterward, Barker says, he would like to fully commit to his role as a coach and also has plans to return to school at some point to pursue his MBA.
“Ultimately, I want to be able to fully express myself in the ring and display my art to my fullest capabilities until I cannot anymore.”
He currently has 13 fights to his name and would like to get up to at least 50 before hanging up his gloves.
To learn more about Barker as well as learn the stories of other trainers and members of Carlsbad Kickboxing Club, or if you are interested in registering for a free trial class, click here.
Also, stay tuned for more thoughts from Barker on coaching and the unique relationship between a coach and their student.
If you ask any muay thai world champion how they got to where they are today, one of the most common answers you might hear is that they followed their passion. They might say they had that hunger and that thirst for the sport and they were born to fight.
But that is not necessarily the case for all. There are many who compete or dedicate their time fighting for a different reason entirely. Those others might say their success comes from persistence, dedication and hard work. It isn’t necessarily that they lack the passion, but passion isn’t what is their driving force.
Meet Carlsbad Kickboxing Club’s Sean Kallen, currently 19 years of age. He starting training at 13 years old for one simple reason—to get in shape. And he was quite content only casually training with a small class. “I was quite reserved and the idea of fighting really scared me,” he says.
Kallen admits to having bad social anxiety and unlight others who come alive in the ring and feel as though it is their home, Kallen always felt butterflies in his stomach when he pictured anyone watching him fight.
As his training progressed and as he followed CKC owner Rolando Montano from gym to gym, he was getting better and after about a year of training, Montano recognized his potential and encouraged him to give his first fight a try. Try he did at the US Muay Thai Open in Arizona, but he ended up losing due to point deductions.
“I was not a fighter despite what people wanted to believe,” he says. Instead, Kallen was hard working and developed a passion for refining his technique. He was also a fast learner and was able to memorize new combinations and fix his errors in training with relative ease. But he admits he still lacked that “fighting spirit.”
“I was young and inexperienced. I let my emotions dictate my decisions in the ring and it clouded my judgement,” he says. “All I felt was extremely uncomfortable.” But he didn’t stop. Kallen wasn’t upset about the loss and went straight back to the gym to continue training. “I trained day in and day out all summer long until it was time for the IKF World Classic. This time I was prepared, I trained much more seriously and I was in amazing shape.”
But once again, he still didn’t really care about the fight even though it ended with him winning by unanimous decision. His nerves were still there but he was able to block them out this time and his instincts and training took over. “As soon as the bell rang it was just business.”
After that fight, whether due to a lack of passion or the desire to find what did feel natural to him, he took time off to focus on school and pursue other sports. It took an injury while playing lacrosse, weight gain and some admitted mental and physical health issues that led him back to muay thai.
“I lacked motivation to do anything and continued on a downward spiral. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, ‘what happened, how did I let myself go this far’ and I realized I needed to change,” he says.
For Kallen, training and getting in shape again was just what he needed and was a very good distraction from the way he had been feeling. He now has the focus and dedication he was missing. He starts his day by lifting at 5:30 am, heads to work and then trains in both boxing and muay thai classes in the late afternoon. He also ends his day by running up to six miles.
Continuing that routine six days a week, he now has the purpose he was looking for and is feeling healthier. “I’m noticing how my mind is changing,” he says. “I used to complain and procrastinate any responsibility that I had, but now nothing is too difficult for me.”
Whether fighting brought him the attitude adjustment he needed, or gave him a better outlook on how he wants to live his life, there are many reasons a person pursues fighting. For Kallen, the passion may look a little different, but there is no doubt it is there.
Culture is often closely associated with employee satisfaction, increased productivity, creativity and more and a positive culture usually translates to a positive influence on the profitability of a company.
For a boxing gym, all of that rings true, but it is much more than that.
Even if the gym has the best trainers in the world, all the latest and greatest in equipment and more, what separates a good gym from a great gym is the culture that you find there. You should ask the question: Does my gym feel like a second home for me, because it should.
If you are fighting competitively, the relationship you have with your gym is essential to your success and culture is key.
Your gym is the one who is with you in the ring. Your gym are the colors you are wearing. Your gym is the one that has your back. When you are in the ring, it is your gym, your second family you look to when you are finding more strength and motivation to keep going.
Carlsbad Kickboxing Club has made culture its number one priority since the day it opened its doors and promises its members that it will continue to remain its mission.
If you are interested in checking out Carlsbad Kickboxing Gym, are seeing their culture first hand, Click here to try a class for free to see it might just be what you are missing.
David Delapaz grew up in Vista, CA, and has lived there for his entire 15 years of life. While he played football as a kid, he used to watch muay thai fights with his dad and fell in love with the sport at a very young age. “Muay thai was always so much more interesting to me,” he says, when comparing it to other sports or activities.
He began his training at a very young age (around 4 years old). In terms of the number of fights he has done; it is so many at this point, he lost count a while ago.
Delapaz has a great record thus far—completing and winning in tournaments like the 2019 US Muay Thai Open WEST Championships, the USMTO West 2018 in Phoenix and in 2019, the TBA Classic Muay Thai World Expo. In the later, he beat out a very tough Canadian opponent who went on to win the gold medal in last year’s IFMA Muay Thai Official World Championship in Antalya Turkey.
But it isn’t about the win records for Delapaz necessarily—although he says the winning does really excite him. “I just like to fight,” he says. “I like to forget about it and train like I am still trying to prove myself.”
Going into his last tournament, for example, Delapaz was very disciplined—running anywhere from 12 to 15 miles. He says he even trained hard enough to be able to still eat at his favorite restaurant—McDonalds.
While he still sometimes gets a little nervous before a fight, when he gets in the ring, “it feels so natural,” he says. “Overall, it’s just so much fun. If you ever been in a fight there’s a feeling you get inside and you just can’t get it doing anything else.”
I guess we’ll see what the future has to hold for Delapaz, but there is no doubt that it is his time to shine. “I definitely see myself fighting because in all honesty it’s the only thing I know.”
Courtney Tianne Brooks grew up in Southern California—living in the mountains when she was young and then moving to Murrieta, CA, where she lived until December 2019. She attended Murrieta Mesa High school, and, after high school, she took a semester of an uncredited bible college in Kauai, HI.
While Courtney might sound like your average young Southern California girl, who played basketball and ran track in high school (with a focus on the hurdles event), she is far from any typical stereotype. When she was 8 years old, Courtney started Taekwondo, trained for four years, and received her black belt at only 12.
Her mother was the encouragement—having both her and her siblings take taekwondo for the self-defense and discipline aspect that martial arts brings. Courtney even took it one step further and participated in some sparring competition when she was younger.
But when Courtney went back to the sport about a year ago and didn’t get the intensity she was looking for; she didn’t go looking for anything other form of fighting at the time. It was then that she stumbled across the movie “Million Dollar Baby” and got inspired.
It was that inspiration that led her to search kickboxing gyms and in September 2020, she found Carlsbad Kickboxing Club and hasn’t looked back.
“I took a class a couple days later and absolutely loved it,” she says. “It felt like home, I signed up and dove right in and haven’t slowed down!”
As for where she goes from here, Courtney says she would like to start doing competition fights and train to work her way up in the fight world. “I am definitely interested in training in other forms of fighting like ground fighting for example, but my main style and focus will be on muay thai” she says.
Since starting her new martial art focus, she has also found a new love in teaching, especially the kids classes. “I’ve always loved working with kids,” she says. And while right now her main focus is being able to work and train to get herself to a place where she can compete, the idea of teaching full time after she has accomplished what she wants to is definitely something she is interested in.
“I love to share fitness in any way possible, whether teaching kids muay thai or personal training in the gym,” she says. “I am going through my NASM certification to become a personal trainer and to dive further into the world and knowledge of fitness.”
Born and raised in Chandler, AZ, Keith Eckert did not grow up wanting to be a muay thai fighter. While he always loved boxing as a kid (and watched pay-per-view fights with his family) muay thai wasn’t something he discovered until much later in life.
But that’s not to say he wasn’t extremely athletic. He attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he was a division 1 wrestler. He also played other sports as a kid and eventually started adventure racing and running ultramarathons in 2016.
Eckert’s first was a long run was roughly 50 miles up Santiago Peak in Orange County, CA. From there, he ran multiple 100-mile races in the Arizona desert and then transitioned to running 200-mile races. In 2018, for example, he ran BigFoot 200 in Washington, as well as the Moab 240—a 240.3-mile footrace through some of Utah’s most stunning and challenging terrain. Also, this past February, he raced 350 miles on the Iditarod trail of Alaska in temperatures as low as -50. He covered 35 miles a day and finished in 10 days.
Eckert was only recently drawn to Carlsbad Kickboxing Club in July of this year because he liked the idea of combing kicks with punches. “After my first training session earlier this year, I was hooked,” he says. “I became even more hooked after participating in the fight night.”
He currently trains 5 to 6 days a week—attending classes and taking private one-on-one training from Joey Siplyak. “As I continue training my goal is to travel around with the team and compete in fights.”
But furthering his muay thai training isn’t the only thing he thinks is worth fighting for. This coming February, he will be heading back to the Iditarod trail in Alaska to race the full 1000 miles on foot. “I need to cover 34 miles a day for 30 straight days to finish in the allotted time.”
His future adventure goals? To expand more into mountaineering and climb the 7 summits. “I have already completed Kilimanjaro and am looking to head to South America to climb Aconcagua towards the end of 2021”
So what’s on your bucket list? If muay thai is on the list, or even helping prep you for any of your other fitness goals, contact Carlsbad Kickboxing Club to learn more.
To visit Keith Eckert’s website to read a bit more and donate to his next adventure visit
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Those famous words were said by Alexander Graham Bell. That quote emphasizes the desirability of retaining a positive outlook on things, and highlights the danger of inaction. In other words, there might be times when plans that you might have had your entire life come crashing down and if you look at that closed door too long, you might miss a (possibly better) open one.
For Carlsbad Kickboxing Club’s own Troy Rallings, that statement couldn’t be more true.
In 2016, Rallings felt on top of the world. He had only 8 days left in his college baseball season at the University of Washington, and had amassed a career year. Leading the country in the three most important categories as a relief pitcher, he was ready to fast track through the minor leagues to the big leagues. Three weeks later, his name was called in the 22nd round by his hometown team, The Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim.
However, at the time, Rallings was consulting with a handful of doctors about surgery and rehab options after his elbow gave out just a short time earlier. “Knowing that I was looking at a 12- to 18-month recovery from the infamous Tommy John Surgery to repair severe ligament damage in my elbow, it was difficult to celebrate my ‘draft day,’” he says. “I had a long road ahead of me.
Four months out of surgery and six months from his initial injury, Rallings began training and throwing with newfound motivation at the top baseball performance facility and sports science lab in the country, Driveline Baseball. After 5 months of rigorous training and well ahead of the recovery timetable, he signed his contract with The Angels and officially became a pro baseball player.
However, only eight weeks into an extended spring training in Arizona, and just two weeks shy of his professional debut, Rallings partially tore his elbow once again and just like that, his baseball career was over.
His entire life’s pursuit up to that point came crashing down, but he did not give up. He started his next chapter and opened that next door. Little did he know it at the time, but his role of “The Closer” in college (the pitcher who comes in at the end of the game to secure the victory) set him up for where he is now.
“Each night, as a closer, I needed to be ready to go into the most high-pressure situations and score the win. And each and every time, I left with the gut-level feeling of ‘this is what I was born to do,’” he says.
Once his baseball door was shut, he turned to fighting and truly believe it is the outlet his soul craves. “I believe I was called to fight.” He wants to become the champion he was born to be. “Whether it is on the field or in the ring, I feel at home deep in my innermost being when I am there.”
The comparability between the two sports, he says, is the mentality. “You have to train and prepare to be in peak physical condition,” he says. But the aspect of having to dig deep into your mind, body, and soul to pull out every bit of courage needed to fight each and every day is what drives him.
The part where you truly find out what a person is made of in the ring is what encourages him to continue.
“You face a lifetime of fear and failures, ultimately leaving with no choice, but to overcome them in battle,” he says. “My career as a professional athlete in baseball was cut short. Lord willing, I have been given another opportunity and am grateful to start my fighting career with a team that is so tight knit and community driven.”
Do names like Wes Shivers, Greg Hardy, Brock Lesnar, Bob Sapp, Marcus Jones, Herschel Walker, Matt Mitrione or Brendan Schaub sound familiar? Whether it was due to their size, speed, power, or agility, those are just a few of the many NFL players who have set their sights on some form of mixed martial arts. After a successful football career, many of those men believed that their athletic ability would translate into MMA conquest and they weren’t wrong. It is a good match in theory and their courage goes to show that it is never too late to make that move and follow their desired path of professional fighting. Meet Carlsbad Kickboxing Club’s own Matthew McRoskey. While not a professional fighter (yet), he certainly has the same courage and drive and is one to watch.
The 21-year-old, born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, has has lived most of his life in Encinitas, CA. He grew up playing basketball, football, and running track. Football was by far his highest interest of the three.
He started playing tackle in 6th grade and played from then until now. He played for Santa Fe Christian High School as a wide receiver and safety. From there, he was offered to play D1 ball at the University of San Diego where he played safety for one season. Subsequently, he transferred to Azusa Pacific University and played the remainder of his career there.
McRoskey loves football because of the competition, brotherhood, the athleticism required and the contact nature of the sport. “My favorite aspects of the game are the aggressive side it takes to play at a high level and fully experience the sport for what it is,” he says. But the tactical side, too, is one of his other favorite aspects of the sport. “Football is the ultimate chess match and the academics of the sport are very nuanced. It takes an in-tune mind to play with a high IQ.”
Having grown up never shying away from contact or the “in-your-face” nature of any competition he has been in, McRoskey has always enjoyed MMA. “I loved wrestling with my brother growing up or pretend fighting with my friends. I also have grown to love watching professional fights on TV whether that be MMA, boxing, or anything else,” he says.
McRoskey started muay thai in August, thinking it seemed like the quintessential striking art where he could use his athletic tools like length and power as well as his competitive IQ. While still a newbie to the art, he pushes himself to his physical limit and after trains six days a week and practices often at home or with other martial arts.
“Every day and every rep is important for growth,” he says. “I take that growth seriously so I think I’m off to a good start.” He also says that the sport of muay thai also has given him the chance to take athletics farther in life as a career than football could.
For now, McRoskey is on track to receive his BA in English from APU, and will aim to continue to train and work to achieve his goal of fighting professionally in muay thai and possibly dipping into the MMA world. While we can never be sure what the future holds, he is definitely one to watch and has the right mindset and courage it takes to change course.
If you are interested in learning about how you can switch up any sport you might already have mastered and use those skills and athletic ability to learn the art of muay thai or kickboxing, contact Carlsbad Kickboxing Club to learn more.
Whether your boxing gym has all the latest equipment, the most well-trained instructors and all the right classes, none of that matters if the first impression customers receive is less than par. As with meeting new people, first impressions are important when it comes customer interactions.
Meet 20-year-old Mattea Thompson, one of the key faces you will come across at the front desk at Carlsbad Kickboxing Club.
While some might think the front desk is an easy job, Mattea would agree that it is the touchpoint of nearly everything that happens at the Club. “Those personal interactions can say a lot about your gym,” she says.
Mattea grew up playing soccer, but always loved rough housing with her three brothers, which is perhaps what first attracted her to the sport of boxing. Since officially joining the team in the spring in 2019, she has continued practicing the sport and has implemented two muay thai classes per week with some additional personal training with coaches as well.
A true ambassador for the brand, Mattea takes her role seriously. “I want people to feel at home when they are here. Everyone who enters the front door should be treated exceptionally well and feel welcome.”
Her ultimate goal? “To maintain a strong sense of personal responsibility for the well-being of the Club’s members. I want to continue contributing to helping them reach their personal and life goals.”
While she loves meeting new people, it is Mattea’s passion and love for the job that sets Carlsbad Kickboxing Club above other gyms. “Every interaction is meaningful and could result in someone making a choice to turn their life around and accomplish their goals.”
Click here to inquire about joining Carlsbad Kickboxing Club and try a free class today!
We Will Come Out Stronger Because of This
In 2007, Florina Petcu represented USA Muaythai at the IFMA tournament in Bangkok, Thailand. At the time, she had only four fights but the opportunity was available and she wanted it bad. With some amazing teammates who were very supportive, she wanted to represented the US to the best of her ability.
Before the tournament started, her shin was very badly injured. Her first fight was against Turkey and the nerves set in. It wasn’t her best performance, but she won despite the nerves and despite the shin injury.
She was the underdog, but knew she deserved to be there. She gained confidence, won her second fight versus South Africa but by the time she got to her third and final fight against Russia, her shins were in pain and she was told she should pull out of the tournament.
For her, like so many small businesses in this environment, quitting just wasn’t an option. The decision ended up being controversial but she finished the tournament as the silver medalist.
What asked what she learned from it, she said that she was proud of the fight, left everything she had in there, and that things happen for a reason.
Carlsbad Kickboxing Club also believes that setbacks, like Petcu’s for example, will help you come back stronger and force you to go to places you didn’t think were possible. Carlsbad Kickboxing Club owner Rolando Montano says that while the pandemic certainly presents its challenges, it forced him and his team to navigate the unknown, and the setback will certainly make them stronger.
Whether you are looking to improve your overall health, mental health, learn some new skills, or just want to take your work out to the next level, there are many ways to improve your fitness routine. And after being holed up in your house thanks to COVID-19, there is no better time than now.
No matter what type of workout you do—whether group class or individual work out—you should be sweating, you should be tired, you should do it safely and you should really push yourself to see results.
Here are a few easy ways to punch up your exercise routine to improve your mental health.
MAKE SURE YOUR EXERCISE IS QUALITY:
For those who might have to fit in a gym session in between your work day, you know that quality is key if you want results. You simply cannot just check off the box that you went to the gym.
Carlsbad Kickboxing Club, for example, recently created a new power boxing bag class that combines a 30-minute intense sweat session, with cardio boxing. Not only does it make you feel alive after being cooped up for so long, but it helps you to continue keeping your distance if that is your current safety level. Group classes like this are convenient, fun, high energy, and guaranteed to burn maximum calories.
MAKE IT A ROUTINE, HAVE A PLAN:
The hardest part in starting a work out routine is actually the “getting started” part. But once you do, taking it to the next level is the hard part. That means sticking to it even when busy schedules might get in the way.
The most important part is to ditch the all-or-nothing attitude and realize that you don’t have to force yourself into hating the experience. A little exercise is better than no exercise.
What is most important is to stay motivated, stay consistent, find a workout that is flexible for you and over time, fitness part of your daily routine and the physical (and mental) payoff will come.
Above all, listening to your body, stay motivated and choose fitness exercises that make you feel happy and confident.
If you are interested in learning more about how Carlsbad Kickboxing Club can help you reach your goals, click here for a free trial.
If you have ever been to one of the hosted fight nights at Carlsbad Kickboxing Club, you are well aware that the sport of muay thai in terms of scoring is arguably one of the more complex to judge in global combat sports.
The United States Muay Thai Federation too believes that education is an important role and when members become educated in the sport—with understanding of the sport’s fundamentals, techniques and scoring—the quality of athletes improve.
It is for that reason, especially during our current pandemic restrictions, that the USMF has created a virtual education class that covers the history of muay thai rules, ring procedure and more.
“There are significant differences when evaluating the winner of a fight, that potentially perplexes fans, fighters and coaches who have not been formally educated in Muay thai’s unique judging criteria,” said president of Judge & Referee Commission and executive board member Stephen Strotmeyer. “Whether you are a fighter, coach, or aspire to become an official, a crucial first step is to acquire a basic understanding of scoring.”
This education in scoring is also important for those that want advance their muay thai careers on the world stage. Having a great understanding of International Federation Muay Thai Amateur standards, provides athletes and coaches an upper hand when competing for gold medals around the world, according to the USMF.
Strotmeyer adds that The USMF E-class is an educational endeavor aligned with the International Federation Muaythai Amateur standards in order to develop order to promote and expand the US muay thai community’s knowledge on the intricacies of IFMA scoring and rules. “We delve into those multi-layered attributes and how judges evaluation those when determining the fight’s winner.”
These are unprecedented times, as the impacts of COVID-19 continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Among others, gyms and fitness studios, along with a slew of other retailers, have been forced to shut their doors during the pandemic. The key, though, is to adapt and reinvent.
Carlsbad Kickboxing Club, for example, has done just that and quickly moved to teaching live online classes. “While learning this new normal has certainly not been a smooth process, it is our new normal and we are adapting,” says Carlsbad Kickboxing Club owner Rolando Montano.
What is most important for the Club, Montano adds, is to continue to support its members the way they support the Club.
“We will continue to motivate each other to get through this,” he adds.
Carlsbad Kickboxing Club has taken that motivation and support just one step further and loaned out its equipment free of charge including heavy bags and mitts and pads to those members who have chosen to remain active in these challenging times.
“We are doing our best to adapt to this new reality and it will make us stronger,” Montano continued. “On-demand virtual classes and step by step instructional videos could even remain part of our program moving forward and I truly believe this setback will make us stronger.”
Overall, the COVID-19 certainly have presented challenges unlike any other to the health and wellness industry, but thanks in part to small business owners like Carlsbad Kickboxing Club, who truly care about being connected to their members while not in a physical location, this too shall pass. “We will continue to keep our members, our family, active, motivated and above all, supported.”
You can still support Carlsbad Kickboxing Club from the comfort of your home with Zoom https://us04web.zoom.us/s/795137884?pwd=aXNVaE55dE5NeFJDVlJFamtOdCt5QT09. Email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on INSTAGRAM @carlsbadkickboxingclub for your password.
As we are all following orders to stay home to limit the spread of coronavirus, just because you are shut out of the gym, doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of fitness entirely. Carlsbad Kickboxing Club head coach Xavier Barker, for example, is making sure to eat as healthy as possible, keep sugar intake low, and exercise at home with walks and runs outside. There are also plenty of muay thai boxing drills you can do at home that will not only help you to keep your distance, but will also maintain your sanity and help you stay in shape.
Below are just a few of our favorites.
Cardio: Whether it be running, doing high knees, keep taps, burpees or jumping rope (or even just rotating your wrists in the same motion and hop over an imaginary rope), it is keep to be sure to build up your endurance and get your heart pumping.
Technique Practice: Practice your drills in a realistic way. Put on all those pads and strike accurately and hard. Maybe work in some of those jab, cross, hook, kick combinations you practice in classes, but do it at the correct speed with the correct technique. Pretend your imaginary partner then takes their turn and more around defending yourself. Make this fighting as realistic as you possibly can.
Shadow Boxing: Performed completely by yourself (win), shadow boxing is the perfect opportunity for you to practice all those strikes, defense moves, cardio and more that you have learned at Carlsbad Kickboxing Club. Although it might feel strange if it is your first time, all you have to do is move around in any space you might have—whether it be living room, garage, backyard—and focus on staying balanced and using footwork.
If you have a Heavy Bag: Quarantine or not, hitting a heavy bag will help improve technique, stamina and strength. Start by warming up with movement drills to practice footwork and get the blood flowing. This about drills you practiced in class. Maybe an elbow drill such as out of your fighting stance or while clinching the bag or a speed jab drill. Doing some switch kick to switch knee drills, or a high kick and low power kick drill will also help strengthen what you have. Punching and kicking combinations will help bring it all together. Try moving around the bag when practicing these various techniques.
Overall, anything you can do to help maintain the skills you have already learned to keep your stamina for when we all return will be helpful. But is more important during these strange times is to also maintain a healthy mind. On that front, coach Barker also talked about his own personal strategy.
For his mind, he says he writes in a gratitude journal each morning and evening just jotting a few things down that he is grateful for every day. Coach Barker also is cooking and learning new recipes and also tries to meditate every morning and evening for five to 10 minutes. “Just breathing and sitting still goes a long way.”
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14 year old Joey Siplyak takes on the world in the toughest junior amateur tournament in Bangkok Thailand 2017.
As a whole, Team USA was able to capture 6 medals: 3 gold, 2 bronze , and 1 silver medal. Bekah Irwin (Age 16) of Houston Muay Thai became the first American to win 2 gold medals and earned the Best Female Fighter award!
Joey Siplyak is prepares for an adventure of a lifetime!
After an outstanding performance in the USMTO Arizona Tournament in May 2017, Carlsbad Kickboxing’s very own Joey Siplyak (14 years old) retained 2 championship titles in 2 different weight divisions. Winning title in two different weight divisions was the first time this has happened at the USMTO Arizona Tournament, and it secured him a spot on the USMF Team. As a member of the USMF Team Joey flew out to Bangkok, Thailand in August 2017 to compete as an amateur in the prestigious Muay Thai tournament, IFMA Youth World Championships.
With only two months’ notice to be ready for the IFMA Youth World Championships, Siplyak trained vigorously around the clock for most of the summer to prepare. After arriving in Bangkok, accompanied by his parents and coach Rolando Montano, he began his training with Team USA, hosted by Khonsittha Muay Thai Gym. Team USA consisted of 4 certified USMF coaches and 12 fighters, including Joey.
In order to get a more in-depth perspective on the entire experience, I sat down with Joey and interviewed him.
CKC: You had two months to prepare for IFMA at home. Up until leaving for Thailand, what was your training schedule like?
Joey A: In the two months leading up to the IFMA, I would train Monday through Saturday with Coach Rolando. I would meet him every morning at 8 to go first to the gym to run and workout. We would then take a couple hours break, and would begin our first pad work session at 11 which would consist of 5x 5 minute rounds. Then usually in the later afternoon I would do 5 more 5 minute rounds, followed by either drilling , sparring, or more running. Altogether I was training about 4-5 hours a day while preparing for the IFMA in Thailand.
CKC: Wow! That is heavy training! Do you get to enjoy any of your summer vacation? Joey A. Yeah it was pretty heavy. CKC: How did you feel about spending almost all your summer in the gym? It didn’t bother me at all to spend my summer in the gym! Muay Thai is my passion and I love training and also teaching the sport. Anytime I am preparing for a fight, it’s very easy for me to put everything else on the side and focus on training. I just know I want to be a Muay Thai world champion, and I am willing to put the work in to get there without a second thought. Muay Thai is my life and I want to work every day to be the best fighter and coach I can be.
CKC: What was training at Khonsittha Muay Thai Gym with Team USA like? Can you give me a brief idea of what your training days looked like up until the first day of the tournament? Joey: A: Training there was so sick and I loved every minute of it, but it was also really tough as well. The training definitely felt more tough than back at home, and I think that was largely to the hot humid weather which I am not used to training in. And along with the weather, the heavy training schedule and pressure of representing Team USA in an international competition added to the overall difficulty for me. I could tell that everyone in the US Team training there meant business. Being around that kind of energy was very motivating for me as there is no better feeling than being around people who share the same passion for the sport, and are as determined as you are.
A typical training day at Khonsittha Muay Thai Gym would start with a 7 am run, followed by 12 minutes of jump rope, shadow boxing, 4 rounds of bag work, 4 rounds of pad work, and then abdominal/core work. We would have a few hours break and then start the afternoon training session at 3:30 pm. The structure of the evening was very similar, except instead of a run to start out we would do some advanced drilling that included clinch work and sparring.
CKC: Again… wow! That’s a lot of physical work, but also a fun and amazing experience. So, as far as the competition itself, from my understanding you lost your first match to decision which unfortunately knocked you out of the tournament. How did you feel about your fight over all? Joey: I didn’t fight well and I know I could have done better. I had a really tough opponent, I couldn’t find my groove and I felt out of range with everything I was throwing, but that is not an excuse. I guess I felt like I got my groove a bit in the 3rd round, and I knew I was down two rounds already, so I was determined to try to knockout my opponent in the 3rd round. I almost did too! All know is that I was losing but I was not out of the fight, and I kept fighting until the final bell. It was a learning experience for sure as loses tend to make you a better fighter, and I know how I can do better next time.
CKC: That’s quite a mature way to think. How did you feel about the tournament as whole? Joey A: It was an awesome experience! I learned a lot about myself, not only from my fight but watching the other fights. Being around so many people my age from all over the world, all competing in the same sport was such an amazing experience. It’s crazy to see the high level of competition that there is out there. So many of these kids are so much better than most professional fighters I know! I really can’t wait to go back and experience this again!
CKC: So that leads me to my final question. Although you didn’t do as good as you had hoped, will you try to compete in this tournament again? And if so, what will you do differently? How will you prepare? Joey A: Absolutely! I want to go back as many times as I can, and of course my goal is to win that gold medal! Like I said ealier about my fight, I was disappointed for sure in my performance, but don’t count me out as I will come back stronger! I know now what I need to do to prepare for this level of competition, and I will train harder and smarter for the next IFMA Competition in 2018. I plan on competing in all the big tournaments and fights in the USA in order to secure my spot again in the next IFMA Youth Muay Thai Championship.
After speaking with Joey about his experience at the tournament I wanted to grab a brief outside perspective from Coach Rolando.
CKC: Coach, how did you feel about the tournament overall? What were your thoughts on Joey’s experience there and what are your thoughts for the future?
Rolando A: It was a beautiful experience. It was a beautiful thing to see youth from all over the world participate in Muay Thai at the highest level on an Olympic-type stage! I love this sport so much, and it made me feel excited for the future of the sport to see so much talent. I do hope to see Muay Thai recognized as an official Olympic sport soon. By going with Joey to this tournament I gained a better understanding of the level of competition of youth around the world, and it is very impressive. I am proud of Joey for all the hard work and the heart he showed in his fight, and I know how we can adjust and improve our training regimen so that Joey can have an even better chance of achieving his goal to win a gold medal next year. As a coach and trainer I am motivated to improve personally, but also to improve all of our competitors at Carlsbad Kickboxing Club .
As a whole, Team USA was able to capture 6 medals: 3 gold, 2 bronze , and 1 silver medal. Bekah Irwin (Age 16) of Houston Muay Thai became the first American to win 2 gold medals and earned the Best Female Fighter award! Amazing job TEAM USA and amazing job to our own Joey Siplyak!