To be a great striker you must have the ability to speak eight different languages — Thai is only one of them.
This was one of Alex Palma’s closing sentiments that seemed to particularly resonate with the 28 students scattered across the mat at ETC Denver on July 12th. Kru Palma had just wrapped up a two-day Muay Thai seminar that addressed the Thai style of striking on Saturday and wrapped up with a focus on Dutch kickboxing on Sunday. While the purpose of the clinic was placed primarily on the highly technical physical movements that go into throwing a proper punch or kick, Kru Palma made it a priority to provide a history lesson on martial arts that explained the origins of the sport outside of its native country of Thailand.
“Dutch kickboxing was created through the practice of Western Boxing being integrated into full-contact Karate. It wasn’t until Japanese Karate practitioners began training in Thailand and adopting elements of Muay Thai that Dutch kickboxing came to the forefront of combat sports in Europe.”
The backstory was appreciated by all, and the insight seemed to clarify a number of questions several students had as to the main differences between Muay Thai and kickboxing. Kru Palma went on touch on a number of other topics including the three stances of Muay Thai (the weighted back-stance, the bladed stance and the squared stance), the application of different kicks to control the range of an opponent and how to utilize footwork to set up effective combinations.
Arguably one of the finest striking coaches in the US today, Kru Palma’s resume is as impressive as they come. After wrapping up a six-year stint as the head striking coach at Blackhouse Team Nogueira–a facility that houses the likes of former UFC champions Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva and the Nogueira brothers along with perennial contenders such as Mark Munoz and Andre Galvao–Palma went on to open Blue Ocean Muay Thai in San Diego. Since its inception, Palma has produced a litany of successful athletes along with his star pupils Adrian Morilla, Marvin Madariaga and current Lion Fight world champion, Tiffany Van Soest. While this is only the second striking seminar Easton TC has hosted, it seems clear that after the popularity of Palma’s wisdom and coaching ability that another Muay Thai workshop is just around the corner.