Forward by Brad Donovan (vii-viii)
This is an inspiring, entertaining, and beautifully written firsthand account of a newcomer’s journey onto the training floor.
Chapter 1: Introduction (p.1-15)
Explains the difference between a few different styles of kickboxing, provides a brief history on the ancient origins of Muay Thai, and provides a small glossary of translated terms. The introduction continues with a look at the incorporation of Thai boxing into the world of mixed martial arts, before concluding with descriptions of some common protective equipment used in training.
Chapter 2: Strikes and Defenses (p. 15-71)
Details the stances, positions, and footwork needed to build the foundation for striking. Next, all of the basic punches, kicks, knee, and elbow strikes are broken down. The techniques described are an amalgam of Thai boxing, Dutch kickboxing, and western boxing styles.
Following the explanation of each individual strike are breakdowns of defenses to that strike, including evasion and blocking techniques. This section includes descriptions of the clench work and standing grappling that form the Thai boxer’s arsenal.
Chapter 3: Training Drills (p. 71-97)
Begins with descriptions of the basic training equipment and how it is used. Detailed breakdowns of several training exercises and drills follow. Special attention is paid to Thai pad and focus mitt work. Explanations of the techniques required on both sides of the Thai pads and focus mitts are provided, giving the perspective of both the striker and the trainer. Numerous striking combinations, pad drills, and sample workouts are provided for preventing monotony. Training drills are invaluable for developing technique, skill, timing, balance, power, and physical conditioning.
Chapter 4: Advice for the Novice Fighter (p. 97-119)
A few insights are offered regarding in-ring tactics and strategies, behind-the-scenes tips and firsthand anecdotes for the novice fighter who may be stepping into the ring for the first time. This section concludes with a brief look at self-defense utilizing both Thai boxing, grappling, and mixed martial arts influenced techniques.
Chapter 5: Basic Physical Conditioning (p. 119-139)
This chapter begins the basic exercise and physical conditioning section of the book. Several body-weight exercises (requiring little or no equipment) are explained and demonstrated, with basic sample routines provided. These exercises and routines can be valuable as part of a training warm up, active rest between training rounds, post-training conditioning, or as means of maintaining a baseline of fitness during a layoff from training.
Chapter 6: Weight Training Basics (p. 139-147)
A background on the use of weight training as a supplement to Thai boxing and martial arts is provided. While weight training is not a necessity for fighters, it is useful for increasing muscle strength and endurance, anaerobic capacity, and bone density. Weight training principles, theories, and training methods are explained in detail to provide a foundation for effective cross training.
Chapter 7: Weight Training Exercises and Programs (p. 147-183)
This chapter breaks down several basic free-weight training exercises for all the major muscle groups. Exercise breakdowns include the technique description with accompanying photographs and an explanation of which muscles are trained by each exercise. Sample routines and training programs are provided at the end of the chapter, complete with sample exercises, rest times, set, and repetition ranges.
Chapter 8: Aerobic Training (p. 183-187)
Basic cardiovascular conditioning through aerobic exercise is detailed in this section. Descriptions of basic principles and methods of aerobic training, basic running technique, and methods of determining appropriate aerobic intensity follow in order to give a foundation for understanding the mechanics of improving cardiovascular stamina.
Chapter 9: Stretching (p. 187-197)
Descriptions of basic and advanced stretching techniques are provided in this section. Detailed stretches for all the muscle groups are detailed. Stretching is an important component of training and is used to increase flexibility, recover from workouts, and help to prevent muscle, ligament, and tendon injury.
Chapter 10: Goal Setting (p. 197-201)
A builder prepares a construction project with a blueprint. A traveler is prepared with a map. This short chapter provides a few practical ways to plan your training, monitor your progress, and document the results in order to evaluate and modify your routines.
Conclusion (p. 201-202)
Summary and final thoughts.
Additional Resources (p. 203-205)
Links to training equipment manufacturers, sanctioning bodies, gyms, and online Thai boxing resources.