Category Archives: Kickboxing

Never had as Much in the Tank

Our kickboxing coach ran a grading over the weekend.
These are brutal, especially as you climb the ranks towards the coveted black belt.
Gradings involve endless sets of push ups, sometimes totalling in the region of 400, multiple rounds of bag work, skipping, pads and of course all wrapped up with several rounds of sparring.

It aint easy.

One of the attendees cam up to me with an outstretched hand just yesterday and had this to say:
“I’ve never had as much in the tank as I did over the weekend, everything you said about strength, power endurance and stamina were was bang on the button, it’s exactly how I felt. Even after 400 push ups and rounds on the bag, when we did the sparring I was still strong and able to move.
Thanks, the Bootcamp was the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s made an enormouse difference”

I was blown away so I replied, “Thankkyou, not me, It was yourself that turned up 3 mornings a week for a month, it was you who ran the laps and lifted the Kettles, you did the work”
Which is true, I only run the thing, it’s the gys and girls that do the work.

And work they do!

A “Martial Artist” may not need to be strong and fit, but a fighter does. Condidtioning is so often the deciding factor in any arena, you may take a beating for the first round, but if the guys exhausted and you’re still fresh, the tables have suddenly turned in your favour, if you tire first, the beating will continue.
Fighters are without a doubt, the most well rounded athletes, physically and mentally prepared to push through any situation. So often I hear that matial artists just need to run and do push ups, this is wrong, building strength and endurance can level the playing field, or tilt it in your favour.

If you’re interested in taking your strength and conditioning to the next level and burning a bucket load of calories, then drop us a line on
The September Camp has already started but we are taking bookings for Boot Camps starting October 11th and November 15th


“You really like your weights”

This comment was from a Boot Camp participant, he was telling me about some other peoples boot camps and various training methods used by other kickboxing coaches.
Nearly everything he told me about these other peoples methods left me thinking, that’s good, but there’s better.
Many of the coaches out there, particularly in the martial arts world are “old school”. While there certainly has been a resurgence of old school training methods over recent years, particularly with the reintroduction of
the Kettlebell the increase in popularity of strongman style training and of course the crossfit cult.
This doesn’t mean we should blindly follow those that have gone before. Weshould look at what our predecessors have done as well as the new research and in the trenches experience of our peers.

We must “Stand on the shoulders of giants”

Add to that the fact that Wild Geese is better equipped than many other gyms, particularly the older style martial arts centres. This is something we count ourselves very lucky to have achieved.
One thing I have noticed in the older kickboxing generation, many of whom are now coaching, so their ideas and methods are being passed on, is a view that weight training slows you down and bulks you up, that you shouldn’t lift weights for the legs. A view that is not shared by any other athlete in the sporting world. The fastest men on the planet, 100 metre sprinters, are also among the strongest and best built. The other combat sport, wrestling does not share this view point, they spend hours at a time lifting anything and everything, they have speed, strength and agility that is almost unmatched anywhere else.

So why a boxer / kickboxer can’t apply the methods every other sport so successfully uses, I have no idea.
Those participating in the Wild Geese Boot Camp are using these new, old school methods. They are lifting heavy Kettlebells, performing sprints and loaded cardio. We are looking to bring up the weak areas that I have observed in the kickboxing population. These weak areas are also very prevalent in general population.

“A training program that only works on your weaknesses may well be the most beneficial, but most boring, training program you ever use” – T-Nation

Here are the 3 primary areas of focus on the Wild Geese Boot Camp, areas that we hit in different ways throughout the course, but will be significantly improved by the end:

1 – Posterior Chain Strength.
In Simple terms this means all the muscles on the back of the body, in
particular the hamstrings, glutes, lats and spinal erectors. The hamstrings
and glutes are responsible for extending the hip, as in when you come up
from a squat or attempt to jump. You also extend the hip in order to punch
or kick efficiently. The erectors spinea and lats are core muscles that
stabilise the torso and shoulder, allowing for better transfer of power from
the hip into the shoulder.
Which brings us to

2 – Power transfer from lower to upper body.
This is a two pronged task. The first prong is technique, something I will
not touch with you, that is the job of your skills coach (Richie/Ronan). The
second prong is my area, core stability. No amount of sit ups and leg raises
will stabilise and create stiffness through the core like lifting a heavy
weight, especially if it is lifted with a single limb (as in today’s
finishing section). I will be introducing a lift to you lot this week that
will seriously improve this power transfer, which means that you will build
a rock solid core that can efficiently transfer hip drive to shoulder drive.
In other words you’ll go from hitting hard, to hitting like a train.

3 – Power generation under fatigue.
This is key. The ability to still hit hard even when your blowing out your
arse is vital. Skipping and star jumps help, but we are training this skill
specifically. More so on a Wednesday when we combine the running with the
weight lifting. Lifting a weight directly after a run is much more difficult
than doing it fresh (i.e. on Monday), so we are training the body to use a
it’s varying energy systems and helping the nervous system become as
efficient as possible.

You’ll notice, I hope, none of the training revolves around beasting you till you puke. I could do that to you easily, and this is what many trainers and most trainee’s think is expected from a workout, especially a “Boot
Camp” workout.
We are taking a much more considered approach, we are looking to make you stronger, increase endurance, develop power and build tenacity.
We are not looking to create fatigue, we are looking to create the ability to manage and overcome fatigue.
While I do talk about fighters a lot, the camp is open to all. If you’ve neve trained in your life, it may come as a bit of a shock to the system, if you have a training history, hell, it may still come as a shock.
All I ask of you is your commitment, you must be prepared to come into every
session and give it 100%
Your 100% may not be the same as the guy next to you, but that doesn’t matter, all that matters is you give it your all.
If you want to participate in the Boot camp, the next one will commence on the 2nd August. Numbers will be limited, so drop us a line ASAP to confirm a place.

Upcoming Kickboxing Events

We have 2 Fight Nights coming up:
· 2nd May in the Green Isle Hotel.
Wild Geese Kickboxers Chris Boyne and Rory is fighting at this event.
It is being promoted by Norman Kelly of BlackPanthers. On the night there will be 3 international bouts, so it is billed to be a big event.
· 23rd May in the Green Isle Hotel.
Wild Geese Kickboxing Coach and World Champion Ronan MacSweeny and Wild Geese Member Chris Boyne will be fighting at this event.
The event is being run by Fuscos Gym, and the event is called “The Magnificent Seven”, I put a poster up in the changing rooms. Ronan is on the Irish team for this event. This is being billed as a big event. Ireland v Italy.

Perfecting the Side kick

Last Friday I was down at Wild Gees HQ, two of our kickboxing lads were in doing some extra training, and working hard.
There were no classes on, these two had decided to get together and just do some work, these are the kind of students we like and encourage.

However, as they were going through some of their kicks, I noticed they were uncomfortable and not happy with their side kick. It’s a kick that’s not used much in Kickboxing, and really not the most valuable kick in the 2 dimensional arena of the ring.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s merits.

Lets first look at the correct execution of a side kick.

The 2 lads were going wrong by not chambering their kick, while you can get away with this on the front and roundhouse kicks, the side kick really does need to be chambered if you’re going to get any use from it.

To chamber the kick you must first pull the knee in tight to the body, for a right leg kick, bring your right knee across towards your left shoulder.

The tighter you are able to chamber the leg, the greater the power. The foot on the ground will turn completely around during this kick so that as you impact, your heel is pointing towards the target.

Next extend the leg out in a stomping action. To teach absolute beginners I’ll often have them just stamp the floor like a child throwing a tantrum, do the same action out to the side and you have a near perfect side kick.

Ensure you are close enough that you are able to kick through the target, side kicks can be used at a great variety of ranges from long (as in the famous Bruce Lee scene) to right in close.

The kick should recover along the same line as it goes out, the knee returning to a tucked position across the body. There should be no hooking action, it is a straight out and back kick.

Although after you have perfected this basic method, you are free to explore the possible variations.

The last point is to ensure that you push your hip through. The angle formed between the standing leg and the kicking leg ought to be greater than 90 degrees, but not so great that you fall over if you miss!!

The most common errors are:

  • Not chambering
  • Not turning the standing foot
  • Hooking the kick

Now, why isn’t it used much in the ring?

The Side kick is awkward in the 2 dimensional world of sport fighting, you need to turn completely sideways before the kick can be executed, it can be a slow kick, regardless of it’s power, the set up must be spot on.
I personally have great success using it as I step off and change the angle. For example if you slip a right cross by moving to the outside, this opens up an opportunity for you to put a right side kick into your opponents ribs.
It also comes into it’s own if things have gone a little wrong and you find yourself sideways onto your opponent, here a quick side kick with the lead leg can create the time and distance to get your self back into the fight.

On the street where opponents can come at you from all angles, the kick really comes into its own. If your tied up with one opponent, maybe in a clinch scenario, the kick can be used to keep a second opponent away from you.
Even better, it can come a surprise if launched unexpectedly at an opponent who is attempting to blindside you.

With this kick, more so tan others, technique is of paramount importance so diligent practice should take precedence over hard training, at least at the beginning. Up the intensity once the technique has come good, then spend time exploring the myriad of variations and uses for the side kick.


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