• Youngstown Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes


    Muay Thai Kickboxing is largely considered the most effective striking art on the planet. Known for its powerful striking and clinching techniques, Muay Thai is commonly referred to as "the art of eight limbs." Unlike the boxer who only utilizes his hands to fight with, or even the Karate expert who uses both his hands and feet, the Muay Thai practitioner delivers powerful strikes using his hands, elbows, knees and legs.

    Over the last 10-15 years Muay Thai has become extremely popular in the United States. The reason for this is largely because of the art's success inside the UFC's famous octagon. Time and time again audiences have had the opportunity to witness the supremacy of Muay Thai Kickboxing against other striking arts. Practitioners of Muay Thai have proven that when pitted up against various Martial Arts styles their striking discipline is the one to come out on top...most of the time :)

    Now, is Muay Thai Kickboxing a perfect striking art? In my opinion it's not. If I were to critique it I would say that improvements can be made in these three areas...1.) footwork/movement , 2.) boxing, and 3.) more creative and diverse striking attacks. Wait. Why am I telling you this? Shouldn't I be selling you on Muay Thai Kickboxing if that's what we teach at my academy? No, because I want to share what my Kickboxing instructors and I have been working on for the past 15 years.

    Let me make something perfectly clear to you - the striking system we teach at my academy has not been solely derived from Muay Thai. We've taken what we feel are the strongest elements of Muay Thai (the clinching, knee, elbow and kicking techniques) and incorporated them into our Kickboxing system and have taken from other disciplines to improve the areas that we felt were lacking (footwork/movement , boxing, and more creative and diverse striking attacks).

    If you read my bio you'll know that I grew up doing Korean Tae Kwon Do. I competed in different parts of the country and was a national champion in point fighting. I'm telling you this because there were two major things that I acquired during my years as a point fighter...footwork/movement and creative and diverse striking. In point fighting you have to have incredible footwork. You have to have the ability to get in and out of range quickly and evade your opponent's attack. If you ever watch the UFC check out Lyoto Machida. He is a master at getting in and out of range and avoiding his opponent's attack. You won't see that in a Muay Thai fight. What you'll see are two fighters standing in front of each other exchanging blows. That may work when you get to wear big 16oz gloves to protect most of your body, but that style of fighting is not as efficient when you're wearing 4oz gloves in an MMA fight or no gloves in a self-defense situation. In a MMA fight or street fight you want to have impeccable footwork. You want to have the ability to quickly get in and out of range, evade your opponent's strikes and utilize the use of angles both offensively and defensively.

    The second thing I took from my years of training in Tae Kwon Do is the ability to create and be diverse in my striking attack. Until recently fighters in the UFC had a very basic and predictable striking game. It's only been in the last few years that certain fighters have broken the mold and become more creative and diverse in their striking attack. A few years ago you never saw anybody throw a spinning hook kick, but now you see fighters not only throwing spinning hook kicks, but tornado kicks, flying knees, double jump kicks, cartwheel kicks and more. Most people thought that these types of techniques would never work in a real fight, but we're not only seeing that they work, we're seeing that they work at the highest level of fighting. The reason for this is simple. Imagine there was a football team and all that team ever did were the same five plays. It wouldn't matter how good those five plays were because the other team would have enough sense to properly prepare for those five plays. Well, the same rings true for fighting. If all you ever do is perform the same set of techniques each and every fight your opponent is going to easily be able to prepare for that. But imagine having a striking arsenal that is so diverse and unpredictable that no one could prepare for it - that's our goal when we train you.

    The last thing we really made big strides to improve upon is the boxing technique associated with Muay Thai. Almost 20 years ago I met professional boxer Joe Lantz. Lantz has been training in boxing since his youth. He is a two time Golden Gloves Champion and has worked with some of the best boxing coaches in the world. One of them being Naum Kravetskiy, a Russian National coach. The amount of experience and technical expertise Lantz has gained throughout his years as a professional boxer has proven to be extremely beneficial to us. He was able to take the boxing technique in our striking system and improve upon it exponentially. The other striking component that Lantz really played a contributing factor to is our footwork and use of angles. If you ever watch high level strikers in the UFC, guys like Dominick Cruz or T.J. Dillashaw, you'll see how someone with incredible footwork and the use of angles can dominate a fight. As a student at my academy, you will have the opportunity to learn these same techniques plus an entire striking system that was created to make you as dangerous on the feet as possible. All you have to do is give it a shot.

    Do you have Kickboxing classes for beginners?

    Yes, we do.

    How are the Kickboxing classes structured?

    A lot of schools make a mistake and just throw everyone together. That may be the most convenient and cost efficient method, but it's the least effective and productive. At Next Level Martial Arts we divide students into one of three groups; novice students are in one group, beginners are in another group, and intermediate and advanced level students are in another group. Each group has their own instructor that is responsible for teaching them a curriculum that matches their skill level. A beginner never has to worry about feeling incompetent or unable to perform a certain set of techniques because they will be learning techniques that are suitable for their skill level.

    Is there sparring in this class?

    Yes, but not for beginner students. Our main priority is to protect our students and provide an environment and class structure that they can learn and grow in. Before a student can spar at our academy they must learn how to properly block kicks and punches. Our instructors spend a lot of time with our students at the beginning stages of their development working on a lot of techniques and reactive drills to prepare them, so that when they do spar , they can do so in a constructive and beneficial manner.

    What is a typical Kickboxing class like?

    The first 10 minutes of class is devoted to warm-up. After the warm-up is complete students will be divided into their appropriate groups. Their instructors will then teach and guide them through a lesson that focuses on a particular aspect of striking. One day you may focus on countering the jab. Another day you may focus your efforts on how to strike from the clinch or how to set up head kicks. It just all depends on what the instructors are focusing on for that particular week. This portion of class usually lasts about 30 minutes. The last 20 minutes of class is generally devoted to reactive drilling or, light sparring.

    How do I know if Kickboxing is right for me?

    You'll never know until you come in and try. Do you have an interest in it? Does it seem like it would be something fun or beneficial to learn? Than come take a few classes. Right now you can sign up for our trial offer - two weeks for free. All you need to do is click the link at the top of the page and fill out your information to get started. Your first class will be an introductory lesson where we'll begin to teach you the basic, fundamental principles of striking. If you have any questions prior to signing up for the trial please contact us by calling 330-550-4324 or emailing us at james@YoungstownMartialArts.com. I hope to hear from you soon!


    James Terlecki