YouTube's Sensei Seth is first and foremost a karate guy, but he is also a martial arts hobbyist with a passion for learning different sparring styles. Over the last two years, he has been learning Muay Thai with instructor Josh Brackett, who has coached several national Muay Thai champions, and he tracks his progress in a new video.
Looking back over his early training footage, Seth spots some rookie errors, like the fact he was neglecting to account for the risk in higher kicks that left his back exposed.
"I don't think I was necessarily doing bad," he says. "My timing and distancing were pretty good, there were just some things they did that I wasn't quite suited for... My first year heavily revolved around trying to be in my karate stance, and then throw things that come from Muay Thai like leg kicks, elbows, knees, try and sweep people, some of which were successful, but I had a hard time because I was still in a pretty wide stance, which isn't necessarily the best for doing those things." (continued below)
By the end of the first year, Seth had adjusted his base and incorporated some of the newer things he'd learned into his technique, but this led to an unexpected challenge. "It took my until I was almost 13 or 14 months into Muay Thai to really start to want to implement a stylistic change to how I sparred and how I fought," he says. "In that, I felt like I got worse... Sparring-wise I got worse, timing I feel like I got worse, I feel like my kicks aren't as fast and I'm not as strong... As you start to get a better understanding of it, you realise that you're not as good as thought you were!"
However, over that second year, Seth was able to work on his techniques as well as his sparring strategy, learning to be more calm and collected when responding to strikes and having less of a "kneejerk" reaction that would lead to him taking hits. And while his first martial arts love will always be karate, he ends up with a deeper appreciation for the principles of Muay Thai.
"The sparring is far more enjoyable than some of the other kickboxing styles," he says, "and it's much more of a chess match than you would realise."
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