Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Energetic Class Teaches Students About The National Sport of Thailand

When students learned that our teacher Dante was involved in Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand, they asked if he would do a class this term to share his practice of the sport. He said "yes" and several students signed up for the course.

In contrast to so-called "soft" martial arts such as Aikido, Muay Thai is considered a "hard" martial art using force against force. It is referred to as "The Art of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. The sport requires a high level of physical conditioning and skill.

For the class, Dante and his friend, Nate, focus on teaching students how to defend against attacks as well as demonstrate other elements of the sport and its traditions. Most weeks, the class meets at the Big Foot Gym (located a few blocks from school) where Dante and Nate are students of Khun Kru Mike Walrath.

While Dante says the class is likely a "one-time" offering because of the nature of the sport, students have enjoyed learning the structure and discipline it requires -- great lessons for their future lives.

Here is a video taken of a class lead by Nate while Dante was away for a week:

NOTE: Last Sunday, Dante and Nate passed their test to become teachers of Muay Thai. They are now officially Khun Kru teachers of the sport. Congratulations Dante and Nate!

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