Well, after returning to Japan on 11 October, I finally got back on the mats to train. Last night was my first class at Japan Muay Thai Center in Yokohama.
It is a short walk from JR Yokohama Station and has good facilities including an actual competition-size ring and a bunch of heavy bags.
They train amateur and pro Muay Thai fighters, as well as running the classes for beginners.
I am planning to go Mondays and Wednesdays from 7pm to 9:45. The classes include warm-up/cardio, an hour of basics (mostly shadow boxing and pad work) and an hour of technique including boxing and kicking and light sparring practice with pads.
The good news is that the people are good, the coaches are knowledgeable, and the other people are very friendly. It is a Japanese atmosphere with the politeness and respect that entails. They are very accepting of non-Japanese, especially if you can comunicate (no problem for me).
The workout is OK, and even though it was my first class, we got straight into the material. They let me fight southpaw, so I can fight right leg forward like we do in Panantukan.
I signed up for a year and will keep reporting on what I do there.
The bad news: I SAY AGAIN -
FRIENDS IN KALI MAJAPAHIT, RECOGNIZE HOW LUCKY YOU ARE.
Two hours plus of Muay Thai training is about the workout equivalent of a single hour of Panantukan class. Within the first lesson, it was clear that I was at least the equal or better than any of the other students, and probably on par with some of the amateurs; despite being among the worst in KM at Panantukan. The curriculum is basic, which is fine, but there is not the carefully structured curriculum or innovative drills we use. Their pad work is amatuerish and oversimplified and the range of tactics even among the amateurs is, well...amateur. Simply, the teaching not wll thought out. It is a club, not a school.
Kali Majapahit and Panantukan offers such a rich learning experience. The difference was clear to me after a few minutes on the mat. Our school and our classes have so much more intensity and pack so much more into the lesson and the training. It reminded me how lucky we are. It should remind you, too.
I will keep training in Muay Thai so I can workout and keep fit, and meanwhile I will dream at night of a KM school in Japan where we can share the very best in martial arts.
Help me make my dream come true.