New Feature: Slo-Mo Geek Out Rambaa Clinch – In Depth Library Discussion
watch the full hour of this study here
listen to the study as a podcast here
This is a new endeavor for Patreon content. The “Slo-Mo Geek Out” title is pending, but right now it’s super accurate because we’ve taken an excerpt from a regular Muay Thai Library session and slowed it down (slo-mo), in order to really see how everything flows out and in, and then Kevin and I do voiceover and “geek out” over how incredible all this movement, technique and continuity is from the best practitioners and teachers in the world. This first episode is an excerpt from a session with Rambaa Somdet M16 – you can see the original session here, where he showed me a lot of clinch throws, twists, and off-balancing moves. Rambaa in slow motion is really a beautiful thing, he’s so fluid and you can see how he sets up a move with weight shifts and then comes out of them with more postures and positions that you might miss if you don’t know what to look at. It just looks “good,” but in slow motion you see exactly how it all comes together. Like a dancer.
Watch the full hour discussion as a patron here.
watch the excerpt above
What’s really interesting to me about this process, of taking a small 5 minute clip and then just pulling it apart for an hour, is how much is being expressed in each technique, which fits into a whole system. This dialogue between me and Kevin, focused on the incredible movements of Rambaa and what he’s teaching, is really a focus on clinching as part of the art, rather than this “move” or that “technique.” They are moves and they are techniques, but they’re in context, so we pause the video to talk about larger clinch concept that aren’t always directly taught, for instance the 6 dimension of clinch movement, or the importance of dramatized style. We also pull from examples of other legends and teachers in the library to compare how they use the same technique but with different attitudes or slight variation. The whole original video, which can be seen in the Muay Thai Library, is Rambaa teaching me all kinds of clinch counters and trips and turns… but Rambaa hated clinching. But he’s incredible – he’s fluent, he never stops or hesitates or even stutters in his movements. It’s like he’s fluent in German, French, Italian and Latin but just doesn’t “like” speaking Latin. But he can totally carry on a conversation, he just likes expressing himself in French. But then as we watch him in slo-mo and talk about clinching in general, in the context of what he’s teaching, it allows us to talk about language itself, or communication as a whole. It’s cool.
One of the things about the Muay Thai Library is that it’s a documentation project, intended to preserve the legacy of techniques and styles of Legends from the Golden Age, as well as the best krus and fighters of Thailand. There’s a sense of urgency to it, as many of these legends will be “aging out” of teaching. Within the next 10 years they might not be able to show their techniques anymore. We put up 2 sessions per month, which is a break-neck pace if you look at what is required to just produce the content. It’s important to just capture it all, as much as I can while the opportunity is there. However, there’s just so much in each of these sessions that it’s hard to take it all in with a single viewing. There are already almost 50 hours in the Library, and you could take apart each and every session for a week, and not be wanting for something to learn. But it’s like, the Encyclopedia is an exhaustive resource, but you have to know what you’re looking for or be methodical about how you work your way through it. So, Kevin and I have been thinking of creative and valuable ways to navigate the very extensive collection, as well as how to pull things out of the sessions and kind of highlight them, so they won’t be lost in the hours and hours of video we are archiving. So, it’s not only a path in, but a pulling out as well.
In this first attempt, we took a 5 minute excerpt from the original video, stretched it in slo-mo to about 18 minutes I think, out for about an hour. The full audio is available, free, as a podcast to anyone who wants to listen to technique and ruminations on clinch and balance. I know a woman who listens to these podcast versions of sessions while she’s working or driving, which gets her brain thinking about technique even outside of the gym. Watch the full video breakdown as a patron supporter here. This is the first time we’ve tried this, so feedback is of course welcome and we hope folks enjoy it – I really enjoyed recording the audio and watching this slowed down version of an absolutely incredible man/fighter/teacher.
Watch the full hour of this breakdown study here
You can train with Rambaa at his gym in Pattaya here.
Some stills from our video discussion, which often focused on Body Postures:
You can listen to the entire in-depth clinch discussion as a free podcast, in my Preserve The Legacy podcast series: