By Sean Madden
Learning from a Champion
We often hold seminars, bringing in outside talent to teach our students their specialties. On April 30th, Easton Muay Thai had the unique opportunity of hosting four-time World Champion, Ognjen Topic, for a seminar! The turnout was phenomenal, over 60 people were present to hear Topic speak on topics such as ring tactics, technique, and his approach to training and nutrition, which helped him to become a WKA, ISKA, WBC, and Lion Fight Champion.ognjen topic seminar
Ognjen Topic Seminar Content
Ognjen started the seminar with partner drills related to the topics of fakes, feints, and timing. Topic stressed that successful fighters rely on their brains instead of their strength in the ring. The drills that he showed the class were the exact techniques he uses in training and in the ring against accomplished and dangerous opponents. The combinations and techniques he discussed were all designed to fake the opponent and “freeze” them in order for you to follow up with a strong technique. He also demonstrated some very technical clinch work, which is a core element of Muay Thai.
The second portion of the seminar was sparring. Topic wanted students to attempt to incorporate the drills into live rounds with training partners. The students sparred 3 rounds amongst themselves to try the new techniques. After the 3 rounds, Topic geared up and graciously sparred with any willing students for one minute a piece. His technique, timing, distance control, and footwork were incredible! He swept each student at least once, demonstrating his superior technique. He made the sparring portion a very exciting and enjoyable time to watch and participate in. The students who sparred now have the chance to say they sparred with a four-time World Champion!
A Champ’s Lifestyle
Once sparring concluded, Topic transitioned to the next segment of the seminar: Q&A. He invited any and all questions from the students related to his training. Topic detailed his training sessions and daily regiment as an elite fighter. He discussed water intake, nutritional requirements, training philosophies, favorite fights, and in-the-ring philosophies.
One of the most surprising comments came when Topic said he never does any type of body conditioning or core work. This was shocking to hear a world-class fighter say! His reasoning came from the fact that the shots that hurt the most are the ones you don’t see coming, so it’s better to spend time training your eyes to read opponents and predict strikes before they can land. He also talked about his only training being sport-related. No strength and conditioning, no yoga, and no cross-training. Only Muay Thai, seven days per week. He said it is better to do the things in training that you plan on doing in the ring, so he focuses all of his training on hitting pads full power, clinching, sparring, and bag work.
The seminar concluded with the students taking pictures with the Champ. He took his time to meet everyone and take pictures with those who asked. We were honored and privileged to have such a skilled Nak Muay on the mats at Easton! He shared some excellent drills and insights with us that we all look forward to implement into our own training. Thank you OT for the great seminar!