Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Teacher Dan

Last night I taught my first Muay Thai class. Pretty fun.

Due to a messed up series of events that included everything from missed flights to injuries to car failures, there wasn't a teacher available for the beginner class last night. After my strength circuit, the only person there with any type of authority, the kids teacher (who is a serious bada** in his own right), asked me if I could teach the beginners. I was the only person there who was advanced. I said 'sure', why not.

We are starting clenchwork for October, and when I looked at the curriculum, I quickly realized that it was stuff I have gone over many, many times. So we did as we always do - salute the Thai flag, salute the instructor, and start class. I put them through ten rounds or so of different basic clench drills, trying to make it fun and encouraging them along the way - and giving them pointers! I had no idea just from being in the advanced class for a while how much knowledge I have to share. I was pretty proud of myself.

Clenchwork is no party - in fact, it is probably the roughest, most brutal part of Muay Thai since you add knees to the clench later on. It is never fun to have a guy pulling your head down for 45 minutes. In fact, it sucks and you always feel as though you have been hit on the shoulders with a 2 x 4 later on that night. But we have to do it, and we did. I have that 2 x 4 feeling today, as we did clench in the advanced class later on. It seriously sucks when you are partnered up with another person who is good in the clench and you are both trying to work it - it is absolutely exhausting and demanding.

After the clench drills I put 'my' students through the usual allotment of cardio and ab work and that was it. Then we saluted the flag, the instructor, and we were out of there. I received compliments from the students, and the lone staff who was there thanked me profusely for filling in for the missing people. As a joke I might leave a bill for $50 for the owner next time I am at the gym.

It was really fun and educational to be the instructor and I was glad as always to be able to give back to the gym and to Muay Thai.

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