This is worthwhile blogging – our first BKJ Kickboxing grading at our full time martial arts centre just recently. Over the years we have been cross training Karate students in Kickboxing because of our passion in other martial arts but difficult to do in a regular class environment where Karate is the main focus. Finally, we were able to kick off separate Kickboxing classes under the auspices of Kyoshi Richard Norton. It is almost 4 months now and we were impressed with the results of our students who just walked off the street to sign up for Kickboxing not that long ago. Kickboxing today is much more user friendly, inviting and safer than it ever has been.
I remember, in the early '90's, training Thai Kickboxing, at the Everly St boxing gym in Redfern working out with World Champion Alex Tui and the legendary trainer, Kru (Master) Sakaad Pethyindee for 2 years. Sakaad was infamous and a legend in Thai Boxing (with over 320 professional fights and 10 world titles to his name). If you were game enough to walk down that street and didn't get mugged or attacked (let alone in police uniform), you were going to do alright except for the hard punishment you had to endure in class. Luckily for me, my car was never stolen or ever damaged because I was regarded as a 'brother'.
It was difficult learning from a Thai coach. Little communication, no manners, no promises – just hard training. I would come home sometimes at 2am because to be part of the group, we had to hang out and drink Japanese Sake (crazy). But that is what it took those days if you wanted to train with the best at the time. At the end, I was rewarded an Instructor’s certificate from Kru Sakaad and Alex Tui. Sakaad has long gone back to Thailand but Alex is still at the gym and now training his own people.
It is just so nice to be able to do this all over again but now with our own students.