I am in my very first Muay Thai class for 12 minutes at Hit House in New York City when Instructor Raquel Harris orders everyone to hit her bag with a butt, the Muay Thai Money Shot. You turn your body and spin on the ball of your feet and hit your opponent with a club. Thanks to my footballing background, my kick is connected with a solid bang, but I'm out of whack.
Harris asks for more kicks, and the entire 12-passenger class kicks, then sits back and then does an Instagram boomerang again. I quickly learn the challenge of Muay Thai: Can you combine strength, balance and flexibility while using your leg muscles, the largest in the body?
I try it. Harris tells me to imagine my legs are baseball bats ̵
Kicking for Better Control
Kickboxing for fitness isn & # 39; s new (remember TaeBo?), but with the rise of the UFC, it's mainstream again: hit House is part of a squad of new spots like Throwdown NYC and iLoveKickboxing that are popularizing mixed-martial arts training, and some 6.7 million people have used cardio kickboxing to box more than 1, according to a new report. 5 million.
It helps that there is a mental aspect. "For many patients, I recommend using this aggressiveness," says Drew Ramsey, MD, a mental health psychiatrist and mental health counselor. But to do the bag is a person who hate you, is not the cure the option, he says. Instead, set up the enemy emotionally and specifically: "The bag is your pain, your fear, your fear."
Hit House, opened last year, appeals to newcomers. Tyler Scott, a 36-year-old amateur Muay Thai fighter, is the brain behind the club. He trained in Jujitsu and Muay Thai and fought in the Bronx subway. By 2011, he had set a 5-1 record. He hung it up to start Hit House.
Although he admits that his CV can not compete with that of UFC coaches the elite, but he wanted to do something different. "There are high-profile battle halls everywhere," he says. "My wife and I wanted to create a Muay Thai course for beginners focused on punch work and pocket work."