4 Steps To A Body Of
Steel With Thai BoxingFrom
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Long before there
were treadmills, way before the Stairmaster was invented, prior to the opening
of any trendy gym facilities, there was the grueling sport of Thai Boxing.
In the '60s and '70s, the rage was Karate. By the '80s and early '90s,
TaeKwon-Do was the next best thing. Fitness enthusiasts know the trend soon
turned to the art of Kickboxing.
Well, as famous boxing announcer
Michael Buffer, might ask in his booming baritone, "Ladies and gentlemen... are
you ready to rumble... and are you ready to get into great shape while you do
If so, then you are ready for the
re-emergence of the centuries-old martial art of Muaythai or Thai Boxing, the
national sport of Thailand.
If youre imagining Rocky
chasing chickens around the Buddhist kingdom of Thailand, youre a bit off
the beaten track. Picture instead a competition where ritual, spirituality and
religion play major roles. Picture too a place where bouts are serenaded by the
rhythmic sounds of the Thai oboe, cymbals and drum.
Now imagine barefoot fighters
flailing away without protective headgear and using their entire body because
just about anything goes -- kneeing, elbowing, punching and kicking!
Barring a knockout, the heated action is non-stop over five 3-minute rounds.
Aside from catching the arbitrary
Bruce Lee flick on a lazy Sunday afternoon, most of us havent had much
exposure to the beautiful and deadly martial arts... and definitely not to Thai
Boxing. But the sport has been slowly making a name for itself throughout the
Western world over the last few years.
The Lugsitnarong Thai Boxing Gym in
New York City has become a hot spot for enthusiasts. Owned and operated by
39-year-old Kru (a Thai term that means teacher) Phil Nurse, the boxing
school has grown to 9 instructors and more than 500 clients.
Phil, a well-known Thai boxer, has
been renting space in a Manhattan World Gym for the past 7 years. However, the
current boom in Thai Boxing has necessitated plans for a larger stand-alone
facility by year's end.
Why such interest in a mysterious
Asian art? One look at Phil's physique should answer that question.
Pupils range in age from 7 to 92.
Some students seek self-defense basics; others come seeking the fitness
benefits from this highly aerobic activity. Phil says the intense training -- a
combination of aerobic and toning exercises -- will jumpstart the metabolism of
even the most sluggish dieter.
"Youre not building size so you
wont get much bigger," the 150-pound superman tells eDiets for this
fitness exclusive. "You may get a little heavier because muscle weighs more
than fat. The exercises are all lightweight because you are using only your
body weight to lift around. Your muscles get toned but you dont get
If you choose to try Thai Boxing, be
prepared to become addicted to the sport.
"For some people, its their
dream to fight, to win, to be a champion," Phil explains. "Maybe their dream is
only to fight once. I know what the feeling is to win. I know what its
like to feel like youre the best. Thats their dream and I can get
them there. I believe anyone can compete if they want to. I tell them, 'if you
believe in me, I believe in you!'"
EDITOR'S NOTE: The "flash"
graphics accompanying this article represent a few of the simple yet effective
exercises that can turn your flab into taut muscles... if you stick with the
Thai Boxing workout plan.
Phil is far from just a poster boy for a trendy new
workout. Hes a world-class athlete -- and a darn good one at that. The champion
Thai boxer has fine-tuned the skills closely linked the sport: fitness,
strength, coordination, flexibility, posture, awareness and self-confidence. He
currently holds THREE title belts: European Light Welterweight Champion,
British Superlight Welterweight Champion and British All-Styles Superlight
The British-born teacher admits his
interest in becoming a fighter was spurred while watching slam-bang martial
arts movies as a child. Phil can still remember running home crying after
getting in one fight... and having his father send him back to the fray! It
wasnt long before he realized he liked to fight. Phil was 18 when he
found his calling.
"I started training to fight," he
recalls. "Then I started getting around, traveling to Hong Kong, Italy, Rome,
Sweden... I wanted more things. I wanted to be a champion. I wanted to win."
Three title belts later, its obvious he's attained his
goals! Phil has a new goal: to share his wisdom and make champions out of his
trainees. Although his training process is rigorous it hardly compares to the
regimen practiced in Thailand. There it's not unusual for fighters to sweat,
grunt and punch as many as seven hours a day, six days a week!
Phil promises clients will notice
fast results. The main areas of improvement include quicker reaction time,
improved coordination and heightened awareness. And don't forget the improved
physical fitness aspect.
Phil notes, "Theres a test I
tell people about. You might be out having a drink or a meal and someone bangs
the table. A bottle falls over. There probably would have been a time where you
watched that bottle fall. But as you have been training, your reactions get
faster and when that bottle falls, youll find yourself going to catch
it... and you will. You become more aware of your reactions and a lot more
As Thai Boxing becomes more popular throughout the
U.S., Phil says its important to find instructors who truly teach the
discipline of the original sport. While some martial arts take years to learn,
let alone master, you can grasp the concepts of Thai Boxing in as little as
Ok, so you're ready to give it a
whirl but when you look in the Yellow Pages under "Thai" all you find are a few
local restaurants. What to do? Well, for starters, don't fret -- Phil is ready
to bring his time-tested training techniques to you!
He warns that unlike other workouts,
the intensity level increases, not decreases, as you get further into his
workout. Students do five "rounds" of four different exercises. Each succeeding
round gets more difficult as you continue to push yourself. Phil encourages
readers to adapt the regimen to their fitness level (so you may want to start
out with three rounds).
Jump rope in
place for three minutes. Do 8 pushups, then move on to 8 sit-ups. Immediately
follow up with 8 squats.
Jump rope for
three minutes. Do 10 pushups. Move on to 10 sit-ups. Follow through with 10
Jump rope for
three minutes. Do 12 pushups. Move on to 12 sit-ups. Follow through with 12
As your strength and stamina improve,
increase your repetitions to 10, 20 and 30 or hike the number of rounds.
For more information about Phil and
the Lugsitnarong Thai Boxing Gym,