Saenchai Seminar Review. Hosted by Budo Canada Fitness MMA Boxing
Saenchai Seminar: April 28th & 29th. Budo Canada. Toronto, Ontario.
World Champion and living legend Saenchai visited Toronto for the first time to share some of the knowledge that he has accumulated during a legendary career that spans 3 decades. 4 seminars were held over 2 days at Budo Canada, one of the finest martial arts and fitness facilities in the GTA.
There is so much that has been written about Saenchai. For a quick crash course on his life and career, visit his Wiki Page HERE
Saenchai Seminar Notes And Takeaways
I was fortunate to have attended the Sunday morning seminar. Instead of participating in the seminar, I chose to sit back and take notes. Here are some of my observations from watching a legendary martial artist in action.
Move Your Feet
There is saying that goes, “if you can’t dance, you can’t fight.” My sensei once told me that you have to have ‘the jazz’ when it comes to fighting. He taught me to shadowbox along with music from different genres, and with different tempos. At the time I thought he was making me do this for his own entertainment, but later I learned that there is a rhythm within a fight (You might call it a Bloody Ballet). A good fighter knows how to establish a rhythm, lull his opponent into that timing, and then change to a new rhythm to throw them off balance. That same fighter is also trying to time their opponent’s rhythm, and use that knowledge to create opportunities to attack.
Observing Saenchai’s movements, I noticed that he is extremely catlike. He is always on the balls of his feet, and moves at different speeds. He can dart in, attack, and vanish at an angle that is different from the one he entered with. It is a beautiful thing to watch in person. The warmup that Saenchai put the students through focused a lot on shuffling footwork, and pivoting at 90 degrees. The takeaway here is this: move your feet!
Train Both Sides
The very best fighters are those who can throw their weapons with accuracy and efficiency from both sides. They do this by constantly training their weak side. I have met and trained with coaches who have had me spar or shadowbox with specific weapons. Let’s say for example that during a fight you break a bone in your hand or foot, and can’t throw that weapon with power, or at all! If you had trained your other 7 Muaythai weapons, you wouldn’t go to your corner between rounds feeling mentally and morally defeated. You can still win a fight without your most important weapon.
Saenchai’s warmup also included changing stance, and doing the same warmup combination from the opposing stance. This is one part of the formula that helps create a ‘complete fighter.’
‘No Style As Style’
It’s hard to watch Saenchai and say he’s a pure Muaythai stylist. His footwork does not follow what some might call a ‘traditional’ Thai style. He throws kicks that are both Thai style, but also very Tae Kwon Do-esque. His cartwheel kick is something that has been often imitated, but rarely ever duplicated, unless you study Capoeira.
Saenchai comes across as a true martial artist in this sense. Like Bruce Lee, he has accumulated what is most useful to him, and discarded what is useless. In doing so, Saenchai fights ‘outside the box’ of conventional Muaythai wisdom. He is ‘unorthodox’ which makes him all the more dangerous. For this reason, he has enjoyed a long career in the ring due to his ability to avoid taking damage.
The main takeaway from this particular point is that you should never stop being a student of all martial arts. Study the leg dexterity and quickness of TKD, the power swing kick of Muay Thai, the hand speed and footwork of a boxer, etc. The main point is, if you think you’ve got it all figured out, someone like Saenchai will come along and prove you wrong.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
Saenchai is extremely accurate in everything he does. My guess is that he practices perfectly. Putting in volume isn’t always enough. If you’re mentally checked out while throwing 100 kicks in a row on the bag, were all of them really worth it? Remember when Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times”? Well, Saenchai is the guy who has thrown 1 kick 10,000 times. If you want to be as accurate, quick and efficient as Saenchai, you need to put in 30 years of focused work. That’s just how it goes.
Those are a few of the major takeaways for me after attending the Saenchai Seminar. We would love to hear what you thought about them if you attended. Reach out to us on social media, or send your pictures and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
Being a part of this seminar was one of those special moments that you don’t ever forget. I would like to thank Budo Canada & Coach Bojan Kladnjakovic for inviting me, and hosting an amazing weekend with Saenchai.
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