About Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. Muay Thai is often referred to as the “Art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated martial arts sports, such as kickboxing or Olympic Tae Kwon Do. Muay Thai training concentrates on developing devastating power and speed from these 8 points of contact, as well as an emphasis on conditioning. Due to its diversity and its proven effectiveness, Muay Thai is great for anyone interested in self-defense, and a must for anyone training in mixed martial arts. Unlike Traditional Martial Arts, Muay Thai does not require a uniform and does not use forms or Kata as a training methodology. It does, however, require the practitioner to bring boxing gloves, a mouth piece and shin guards. Other protective gear such as groin protection and head gear are encouraged.
Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge is very proud to have Mark DeLuca as our Muay Thai coach. Mark has been fighting professionally since 2007 and has amassed an incredible resume in the sport. Mark was ranked #3 in the nation in 2011. He began training in 2001 at the U.S. Muay Thai Academy with Kru Sitha “Ood” Phongphibool. In 2004, Mark began his amateur career under trainers Stephen Strotmeyer and Matee “Dragon Leg” Jedeepitak. He has been certified under the USMTA as a Muay Thai instructor since 2005. Having spent a lot of time training in Thailand, at JittiGym, and England at Bad Company, Mark’s highest achievement was becoming TBA-SA Professional Muay Thai World Champion in 2008. Mark is sought out by many other Muay Thai and MMA fighters and coaches alike in the area for private lessons and sparring sessions.
Our general class structure consists of warming up with shadow boxing and other fitness exercises and progressing into padwork, partner drills, conditioning drills, clinching and finishes up with strength exercises. While repetition is important to develop proper technique, we vary up the regiment through the week to prevent monotony. One day may be less intense with emphasis on technique and the next may be high intensity with rounds of padwork and sparring. Sparring done in the classes will be a way to use the techniques learned and try to implement them into real time situations, not to boost ones ego. Our classes provide a fun environment to learn in, yet disciplined in order to produce results.
Our Youth Program for Muay Thai is designed for children older than 8 years old and younger than 14 years old. More time is spent working on the fundamentals for our kids; basic stance with hands up, how to move with balance, how to defend yourself from getting kicked or punched, etc. We like to incorporate pad work as they become more experienced so they learn how to be an effective pad holder as well. While we do believe in teaching Muay Thai as fundamentally close as possible to how it is taught in Thailand, we aren’t going to be incorporating sparring in our Youth classes to nearly the same degree as in the adults. We are not a day care facility, however, and we do reserve the right to choose whether or not a child is a good fit for the program.
Mark DeLuca is the coach and instructor for all the kids classes as well as the adults, so they will be working with a World Champion right from the start!
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