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Thread: Muay Thai View of Kata

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    Muay Thai View of Kata

    Unlike muay thai, traditional martial arts spend a lot of time practicing forms and kata.

    Strictly from the standpoint of a muay thai practitioner, how do you view the practice of forms, katas, etc.?

    I will admit that I quite like the absence of forms practice from my muay thai sessions. I like the added time I can devote to developing realtime skills.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    I'd say that with all the shadow boxing we do (at my gym anyway) we're not too far off the same idea as Kata. OK, it's not a set pattern but it's still done by yourself, as slowly as needs be to learn the techniques properly. As you improve you add more advanced techniques.
    I do like the absence of it from Muay Thai, I must admit it's one of the reasons I chose to take up Muay Thai. I'd much rather use the padwork or a heavy bag. I still find myself shadow boxing a lot- to warm up before I train or in the house where I have no room for a bag and just have a mirror.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that time on kata/forms is still time developing "realtime skills". Without the balance, posture etc. that you learn from repeating techniques over and over, you may as well just be swinging wildly.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    I'm a traditional Karate man myself, so I will do my best to keep my answer as unbiased as possible.
    Basics are the foundation of almost any (if not all martial arts.) And as my one instructor once told me you have to practice a technique not a hundred but thousands of times before your body 'knows' the technique to the point where it can perform it automatically to place the technique where it needs to go etc.
    Kata is a practice of basics, repeating them over and over again, starting with basic techniques and then as you get into more advanced katas, obviously more advanced techniques.
    Now, practicing the kata is absolutely no good if you don't use the moves your learning need to be polished either with the heavy bag and with sparring.
    So, katas are great, and they work as practice tools but for more 'practical' training you need to get out there and spar!

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    Sorry my bad, I should have added in my last post that I do spend some time training with a few guys doing Muay Thai a couple times a week!

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    I see kata, and shadowboxing as being close to the same. In my opinion, they would be.... the only importance being if you practice with "aliveness". Of course, back when I practice Kata, I always broke them down into smaller movements, but that would be no different than throwing a combination, depending on the style mentioned.

    If we are talking about the artistic qualities of Kata, then I would say its closely related to Ram Muay of Muay Thai. All in all, I still see the same characteristics of a traditional art in Muay, but thats just me.
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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    shadow boxing is the kata of muay thai it serves the same purpose
    Rampage on what impresses him about Chuck Liddell:
    "His Mohawk. I'm impressed with how he keeps his Mohawk looking like that every time I see him. I'm really impressed with that. I wonder if he cuts it himself, if he has a barber or does he have a stencil thing he puts on his head so he doesn't mess it up? Chuck keeps that Mohawk looking like that all the time."

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    Yeah, it does serve the same purpose. But like my Kru always says, use your mind. Shadowboxing is not a set routine. Beginners in our gym, follow instruction when they first start shadowboxing. Until they get used to the moves and learn how to 'think' for themselves. I used to do forms in Kung Fu. I understand it was to learn the moves, but always in the same sequence. For me, it was not good.

    Shadowboxing just feels a little more natural to me, gets my techniques flowing and mind working. I wonder if it would work, traditional arts doing shadowboxing, instead of kata? Stringing together techniques in combination themselves, no set routine. Any traditional MA'tists come across this?
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change" Charles Darwin, 1809-1882.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    I was watching the Human Weapon MT episode, they wwre at an Police Training facility where they trained some version of MT. And there was some guy, doing kata, demo'ing for the guests.

    What was that?
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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    Shadow boxing is very important in muay thai. However, I don't see forms practice as similar to shadow boxing. For the traditional martial arts like TKD, karate, etc, a shadow boxing-like activity would be the standing facing the mirror, throwing kicking and punching techniques in various unchorographed ways. This is useful.

    Take the traditional long stance used in MA forms where the punch is executed from the side of the hip. This isn't practiced in muay thai because no one really fights like this. If you are being attacked in real life or are in a sporting competition, you will never realistically be in this position.

    A better activity would be to learn proper footwork while parrying punches. I just don't see forms as being as useful as many people claim, IMHO. This has been one of the major reason I chose to study muay thai as a striking art.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    I thought I would have my say on this one. My background is 15 years MT, 3 TKD and 1 year ju jistu. You cant really compare a Kata to shadow boxing. Katas are a set movement and often tell a story this is comparable to MT's Ram Muay. Shadow boxing is more to warm your body up and to keep the mind following with techniques. If you start repeating the same combos when shadow boxing this means you have run out of ideas.

    Just coming back to the Ram Muay. The Ram Muay is an integral part of MT and if you do not practice it then you might as well go and do kick boxing. The Ram Muay serves 4 main purposes: (1) Pay respect to your Master or Instructor, (2) Warm up the Body and Mind, (3) to survey your surroundings (in the old days they wouldn't fight in a nice boxing ring and would often have rocks and holes under the canvas and branches over hanging the ring.) and (4) to find an escape route (villagers used to fight for terrority in the old days and after winning the fight they would have to run away and come back later to claim the land).

    Independent_TKD
    Unlike muay thai, traditional martial arts spend a lot of time practicing forms and kata.
    This is quite an offensive statement to make. You are implying that MT is lacking a fundamental part that makes up a martial art. To make a generalisation that Muay Thai practioneers do not spend a lot of time of practicing the Ram Muay is wrong. When I teach I always begin and finish with a Ram Muay Thai. I have done TKD and when I was there we hardly did any forms, so it really depends on the teacher and not the martial art.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    Unlike muay thai, traditional martial arts spend a lot of time practicing forms and kata.
    From my experiences, this is true. I am sorry you view the statement as offensive, but this is what I have seen.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    From my experiences, this is true. I am sorry you view the statement as offensive, but this is what I have seen.
    Do you practice the Ram Muay?

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    If you mean the pre-fight dance, no I do not practice it. It is not part of our training at the muay thai gym where I practice. And this gym is very good with a great reputation and has produced several very good fighters.

    I'll just end my comments to this thread by saying I think kata and forms are overrated. If you want to learn balance, precision, concentration, accuracy, and technique there are so many more productive ways of doing it. I know I am not going to change anybody's mind. This is just my opinion. I might have some allies in the Jeek Kune Do camp on this one, however.

    Let's agree to disagree. Peace.

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    Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    I do understand where you are coming from. However what I will say if you do not practice the Ram Muay then you are not doing MT. You are doing a variation of Kick Boxing. Muay Thai is an art and if you want to call yourself a MT practioneer then all aspects of MT should be practiced including the Ram Muay. Reputation and good fighters does not mean you can call yourself a MT gym, even though the style may look like MT. It's not unless you do all the aspects associated with MT. I am fed up with people claiming they do MT when they do not do one of the most important aspects of MT, which is the Ram Muay.

    In the old days you would have to pay respect to your Master with regard to the Ram Muay even before you are allowed to train. However MT has become commericialised and people are jumping on the bandwagan and want to claim they are doing MT because it popular. Independent_TKD this is not directed entirely at you. However I have seen so many people claim to do MT when it's just a variation of Kick Boxing.

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    Shrug Re: Muay Thai View of Kata

    Quote Originally Posted by fightstuff View Post
    However what I will say if you do not practice the Ram Muay then you are not doing MT.
    So by your definition ,even some guy who has trained in Thailand, and uses the exact same training methods, techniques and strategies as those taught in Thailand, and competes under full Thai rules, is still someone who doesn't practise MT, simply because he doesn't do the Ruam Muay.

    Sounds very similar to those people who say that Karate without kata, isn't karate.

    Well, each to their own I guess.

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