Hello Internet! Thanks for visiting the blog! It's been a LONG time since we chatted last. I wanted to take the time to chat about Dynamite Kickboxing's past, present, and future! Let's jump right in!
For those who don't know me yet, my name is Raul Diaz. I've been studying martial arts for a decade now. I began training in Shidokan Karate, and began cross training in Muay Thai, Boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I love all martial arts, but I felt that striking was my strength, so I decided to focus on that solely. Peace to all of my BJJ brothers and sisters out there!
I got my first teaching job back in 2014 at a boxing gym called Body Shot Boxing Club. I was there for about 6 months, but things didn't work out. Peace to everyone at Body Shot, and thanks for the opportunity! When I left Body Shot, I decided to volunteer at the YMCA. I was working there already, so it was a smooth transition. I taught classes to Teens and Adults, and the programs were booming! I asked the Y if they could pay me for the classes since business was picking up. They said no because I was volunteering haha. Then I asked if the members could pay me directly and I'd pay the Y rent. They said no because it was a conflict of interest. All in all, that was the best thing that could've happened because it was the birth of Dynamite Kickboxing!
So, since things didn't work out in the YMCA, I moved the newly formed Dynamite Kickboxing team to a gym called Reach Fieldhouse. Reach Fieldhouse was a blessing to me at the time because they had a full service gym, tons of space, and they allowed me to become a better coach and businessman. I'm very grateful to them for that. Dynamite Kickboxing called Reach Fieldhouse home for a year and a half!
As great as Reach was, it was time to expand our horizons. We left Reach in July 2016 and launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds needed to open our own studio. Although we didn't wind up hitting our goal, we were able to raise a significant amount of money which helped us be where we are now! (More on that later.) Thanks again to everyone who contributed, we wouldn't be here today without you!
Since we didn't have all of the capital needed to open our own location yet, I wound up getting a day job working for a large fitness club here in Chicago. The experience was great, but Dynamite didn't have a home! I lost all of my students, and I fell into a pit mentally thinking that Dynamite was over and done with. However, I quickly snapped out of that and remembered that I had a team to serve! I had to keep building and trust that if I worked hard that I could make everything happen! I needed to trust in God's timing. When I stopped trying to force things to happen and let God take over, everything fell in place.
In November 2016 I got laid off from my day job. What I thought was a nightmare was truly a blessing in disguise! I was offered a handsome severance package from the employer, and combined it with the GoFundMe campaign to open the gym! What's really crazy is that I signed the contract to move into our space on my birthday week, and the Facebook "On This Day" feature reminded me that it had been 2 years to the date of the first Dynamite Kickboxing class. Talk about timing!
We opened up again in December 2016 after a brief hiatus. We found a place that we were sharing with another company. Everything was going well, but something was off. The space was great for a start up academy, but it wasn't ours. It wasn't our gym. We couldn't decorate the way we wanted to. We couldn't train at all of the times we wanted to . We were limited, kept in a box. So, I decided to change that, and move into a bigger location! The Dynamite Kickboxing family deserves nothing less than the best, and I will do everything in my power to give them the best! That's my word!!!
We moved into a new space. It's bigger than our previous unit, and we have access to the basement as well. In the near future, the basement will be converted into a functional training space with free weights, cardio machines, and more. This wouldn't be possible without the Dynamite Kickboxing family, I'm forever grateful to you all!!!
You read about our past and humble beginnings. You're caught up with everything going on presently. What does the future hold for Dynamite Kickboxing? That's an easy question. More, more, MORE! More kickboxing. More classes. More programs, such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Fitness Boot Camps, etc. More team hangouts. More low kicks. More seminars. More laughter. More calories burned. More goals achieved. And most importantly, MORE POSITIVE VIBES! MORE LOVE! MORE UNITY! More, more, more. I can't wait, can you?
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. I appreciate it. I promise to do a better job at updating this. Have a great day, and I'll see you back in the gym soon!
Hi Internet! Thanks for visiting the Dynamite Kickboxing blog. It's been a while since I've updated it, and I apologize for the delay! Lately I've trained a few students of mine and noticed them not performing to their maximum potential due to poor eating habits before their workout. It inspired me to write up this blog with my favorite recommendation for a pre workout snack to help fuel your body! You can't drive a Ferrari with regular gasoline. It needs quality fuel to perform at the highest level, and so does your body! EAT THE RIGHT FOODS BEFORE YOUR TRAINING!
I know some people feel that they need to skip a meal to cut calories before a workout, but I don't personally recommend it. To go back to the Ferrari example, it's tough to drive one without fuel. Skipping food before a workout can result in low blood sugar, which leads to fatigue, feeling light headed, and feeling weak. If you eat before your workout and fuel up properly, it'll maximize your energy and you'll train harder! Eating junk food doesn't count either. It'll only leave you feeling nauseous, so grab the healthy stuff!
Here is my recommendation of the best snack food you should eat within an hour before your workout:
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich on Wholegrain Bread!
Bananas aren't just for monkeys! Bananas are loaded with potassium, which helps with maintaining muscle and nerve function. The human body doesn't store potassium for a very long time, so a banana before a training session helps keep your nutrient levels high. Wholegrain bread is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. Bananas are full of digestible carbs (aka fuel), and fiber releases carbohydrates into your bloodstream little by little, which keeps your energy levels constant throughout your workout.
Fruits are high in carbohydrates and peanut butter is packed with a healthy dose of protein. However, the protein doesn't break down quickly enough to be used as fuel for your workout. The carbs from the banana break down rapidly, and your body uses the protein later to prevent muscle damage. Eat one (maybe two) of these sandwiches about 30-45 minutes before heading to the gym. Your body will need the protein and the carbs.
If a Peanut Butter/Banana Sandwich isn't your thing, here are a few other tips to keep in mind:
1) Carbohydrates are great, but be mindful of where you're getting them from. Don't eat a candy bar before exercise! I had a student who would eat a Snickers bar before class. It gave this person a sugar rush, but they'd crash halfway through the workout.
2) Don't overeat before you workout! These sandwiches have helped power me through several tough workouts, and have helped several of my students as well. However, this is a pre-workout snack, not a pre-workout meal. Eating too much before training can cause vomiting, sluggishness, indigestion, and nausea.
3) Lastly, stay away from fatty foods before working out. Eating a double cheeseburger isn't the best option before training. Fat leaves your stomach very slowly. Along with overeating, consuming fatty foods before hand can cause sluggishness and nausea. You can also experience stomach cramps.
Thanks again for checking out the blog today! I appreciate you taking the time to do so. If you enjoyed it, please feel free to share it with your friends. I'm out of here for now, see you soon!
PS - Be sure to register for the Eric Haycraft "Dutch Kickboxing" seminar on 2/27/16! Eric is a true pioneer of kickboxing here in America, training with the best of the best in Thailand and Holland! He owns the Real Fighters Gym in Louisville, which is one of the top camps in the country! Do NOT miss this seminar! Click here to register today!
Hi everyone! Welcome back to the Dynamite Kickboxing blog! Today I wanted to discuss using the ring as a weapon when competing. I feel that this is an extremely overlooked part of fighting. Only a select few fighters utilize the ring's full potential, and the one's who don't simply don't understand how to. Let's jump right in!
Using the ring as a weapon needs to be a part of EVERY fighter's gameplan. There are so many uses for it. One is to use the corner of the ring to trap your opponent. If your opponent likes to use their reach and range when fighting, take it away from them by closing the distance and trapping them in a corner. A great example of this was Nieky Holzken against Raymond Daniels :
You can also use the ropes to spring you forward into an attack, as demonstrated by Tommy Hearns against Marvin Hagler :
You can also push your opponent into the ropes and spring them back into one of your attacks! The possibilities are endless!
If you're training somewhere that doesn't have a ring, I highly recommend finding one before a scheduled fight. What you don't want to happen is that you're surprised by the ropes when backing off from an attack. Always be aware of your surroundings!
It may take a few weeks sparring in a ring to get used to it, but it's crucial in order to learn your distance limitations. Also, you want to know how to the ropes and the corner work to both your advantage and your disadvantage.
Thanks for checking out the blog! Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!
Hello everyone! Thanks for taking the time to visit the Dynamite Kickboxing blog once again! The next topic I'd like to discuss is how setting goals is critical to becoming a better fighter, no matter what discipline you choose to practice.
I personally have training goals that I strive to achieve to improve my own abilities. I break them down into short term (daily/weekly), mid term (monthly), and long term (yearly) goals. Your goals should be specific, and it's crucial to have various themes.
To share a personal example, I recently spent one week focusing on improving my defensive posture. On a Monday, I practiced keeping my chin down while shadowboxing. On Tuesday, I focused on keeping my elbows tucked in to protect my midsection. On Wednesday, I concentrated on keeping my hands up to protect my face. By keeping my weekly goals in mind during my daily training, I noticed a substantial improvement at the end of the week. You will too if you apply this to your routine.
The same applies to my mid and long term goals. If you happen to be struggling with a technique, a great mid term goal would be to master it by the end of the month. One of my recent mid term goals was mastering the liver hook. I drilled it over and over and over on the heavy bag, making sure that I had the proper angle, speed, and power. Having that goal established in my mind made it much easier to focus on the technique during my training.
Lastly, more difficult techniques (such as advanced counters) should be given a year to master. One of my personal long term training goals for 2015 is to master hand trapping among others. By keeping your goals in mind every time you step in the gym, you will make the weakest parts of your game the strongest at the end of the year.
EVERY FIGHTER, no matter how talented, has something he needs to work on. If you're unsure which areas of your game need development, simply ask your coach or spar with an opponent who is better than you. The answer is never far away.
Whenever you hit the gym, training should be your singular focus. Remember your goals, focus on what you need to achieve those goals, and you'll be a champ before you know it.
Thanks for reading the blog! If you enjoyed it, please share it on your social media. I'd truly appreciate it. See you in class soon, and I hope to see you at Reach Fieldhouse on 7/25 for the Duane Ludwig BANG Muay Thai seminar! The details are on the home page. Stay tuned for the next post!
Hi everyone! Check out this awesome video of Germaine Yeap (renowned Muay Thai champion) pretending to be a nerd at a Malaysian gym. The owner of the gym asked her to come in and prank their new trainers. She asked the trainers to spar with her, and after taunting her a bit, the real Yeap came out to play, and let's just say she embarrased them totally.
Never judge a book by it's cover! Enjoy the video, have a great day!
Hi everyone! Welcome back to the Dynamite Kickboxing Blog! I wanted to talk about studying film to step your game up.
Aside from going to the gym and learning techniques hands on, I find it extremely useful to study old fight films to learn new tricks and implement them in my game. There are TONS of fights available online right now. Simply jump on YouTube and type anyone's name in and you'll be able to find a great fight to watch.
Not only do I watch for good tricks and techniques to implement, I also watch for errors that fighters make. That way, whenever I see an opponent of mine make the same mistake, I know how to capitalize on it. Keep your eyes open and notice every detail, both good and bad. Watch fights for entertainment purposes, but also to learn!
Attached to the blog below is one of the greatest kickboxing fights ever to me, Nieky Holzken vs Joseph Valtellini. This fight took place at Glory 13 in Tokyo Japan in the Welterweight Contender Tournament Finals. Notice the tight stances (chins down, hands up), the way both men are firing heavy shots in the pocket, Holzken's Broken Rhythm boxing combos, Valtellini's HEAVY combos ending with leg kicks, etc. It's very high level kickboxing.
Enjoy the fight, and stay tuned for more blog content in the near future!
Happy Saturday everyone! I wanted to share this awesome highlight featuring Professor Duane "BANG" Ludwig! Duane Ludwig is the 2002 K1 Max World Champion, MMA Coach of the Year, Record Holder for the fastest knockout in UFC history, and mega ninja extraordinare.
Enjoy the highlight, check the technique, and I'll see everyone in class this Wednesday April 22nd! 7pm! Reach Fieldhouse!
To quote Professor Ludwig....OSS!!!