When a BJJ Black Belt takes on Muay Thai... Post #2 - Leg Kicks and Patience
Posted on March 01 2023
"I feel my body adjusting to the soreness levels and can actually walk properly the next day after training."
Erika Dawn is a black belt BJJ athlete and coach. Starting in January 2023, she started Muay Thai as a way to challenge herself and to embrace being a newbie again.
Follow along as we share Erika's progress, challenges and triumphs as a Muay Thai white belt...
MONTH #2 OVERVIEW: LEG KICKS & PATIENCE
A lot can change in a few weeks as a newbie!
As Erika explains, "When I first began Muay Thai in January, I felt my body and brain had so much adjusting to do, I felt silly at everything. But during this second month, I have felt my body adjusting to the soreness levels; I can actually walk properly the next day after training." She continues, "Month two I started to settle into the movement patterns a little better, my kicks feel a little less awkward, my breathing is more consistent and my upper body is SLOWLY letting go of the stress."
"Now, I am a Type-A perfectionist so this month I had to remind myself to be patient more often. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are good skills."
From gentle baby steps to the hardest leg kicks, let's jump into Erika's diary notes...
ERIKA'S MUAY THAI DIARIES
February 6th: "Kick Hard!"
Today I got to work with Andrea as my coach! Not going to lie I was a little bit nervous because she has so much more experience than me and even a few fights under her belt for Muay Thai and boxing. But I absolutely love the way she pushed me. We were working on leg kicks that day and I kept kicking her soft. Every time she would teasingly yell at me and say, “If you aren’t kicking hard, you aren’t going to feel the movement correctly… So kick me!” Something I definitely am not used to doing.
Feb 8th: "My Leg was Destroyed"
My poor leg is absolutely destroyed from those Monday leg kicks! Luckily, we were not working leg kicks, but I definitely went into practice a little nervous not wanting anyone to get close to my sore leg. It’s funny how sometimes we can get in our own head and have a preconceived idea of how the class is going to go. I built up a fear thinking I was going to get kicked in the leg today… for nothing. Ended up no leg kicks at all! Today's lesson on and off the training floor was “don’t create stories in your mind, save your energy and stay in the moment.”
Feb 15th: "It's OK to be Slow"
“Nothing worth having comes easy.” That’s what I told myself this morning because today I struggled a bit… the movements felt choppy and awkward. I definitely feel the improvement in my movements over all. But today I had to keep asking my partner to slow down. One punch, one leg kick at a time. Slow down Erika, it’s ok to be slow… it’s ok to not understand. I will with time and consistency."
Feb 20th: "Baby Steps for the Win"
Today was so much fun! Andrea and I had an absolute blast with the combo… It was definitely a difficult one and what I liked was that we broke it down piece by piece. Instead of trying to memorize the whole thing from start to finish we would pick two steps at a time rep it out until we had it, and then add on a few more steps. Baby steps in for the win.
Feb 22nd: "Seeing Growth"
We did six minutes on the jump rope for warm-up, and I must say I successfully dodged smashing my toes! This was already a win, six minutes in. We reviewed a combo from Monday, which I really liked. I was able to have a good exchange of movement with my partner, back-and-forth, because I already understood what we were doing. It is classes like this that I’m grateful for; you really see the growth from my first month of training.
Feb 24th: "Staying Calm"
Stinking southpaw! Thank goodness for coach Yishien. Her patience was endless with me today and I’m so beyond grateful because I’m not sure if I was successful at a single combo from start to finish. We were working numbers six through 11 all southpaw and our entire private lesson I was stumbling and forgetting. Her patience really helped me stay calm with minimal frustrations.
Jumping rope is a go-to warm-up for Muay Thai athletes and Erika began jumping rope from Day 1.
Two months in and she's now jumping for six minutes continuously (yes girl!!).
Erika uses the Venum Thunder Evo Jump Rope, listed below. The full list of her training gear can be found on the first post.
Join us next month to learn how Erika's leg kicks, rope jumping and other Muay Thai skills have progressed...