Neak Ta Part 1 - Pradal Serey Kickboxing

Today I worked with Kru Sam from Neak Ta, a conveniently located gym near Billings Bridge shopping centre. Sam was my coach today. He's a friendly and knowledgeable coach (more on him later). I took part in a Pradal Serey Kickboxing class.

According to their website: the class includes warm up, bag work, pad work, conditioning and warm-down stretching. In our kickboxing classes we always emphasize proper striking technique and active footwork over brute strength. If you’re a beginner, we will teach you all the basics. If you already have experience, we introduce more complex combinations and encourage sparring which will help find deficits so we can polish your kickboxing technique and strategy.

The trainer:
Kru Sam was born in Serey Sophon, Cambodia and after fleeing the killing fields he ended up in Canada. He is very well versed in the martial art and brings a wealth of knowledge, technique, spirituality and history. Taught in the 80's by grandmasters Kru Veasna Choom, Kru Chay Cheas, and Kru Nimith Nhean an older version of Pradal Serey called Neak Ta Pradal Serey.

Kru Sam, in my opinion, is the reason you should try out Neak Ta Gym. Not only is he knowledgeable but makes you feel welcome in his gym. He will teach you proper technique and you will learn in the process (not only about the technique but the history of a variety of martial arts). His most important personality trait is his listening skill. You see, nowadays people, especially trainers, like to talk, they forget to listen. Not Kru Sam, he'll listen to you and he will make you feel welcome.

The workout:
Kru Sam started me off with a variety of core exercices. I like going to sessions like these and work on my abdominal strength because I tend to not do them in the comfort of my own home.

Afterwards, we did some boxing; working on my jab, cross, hook, uppercut and different combinations. Kru Sam also perfected my kicking skills. Here's another coach from the gym explaining how to perfect your kicks via Youtube.

Lastly, and my favorite, we worked on striking with the knees and elbows. I definitely felt like Tony Jaa for a little while. If you don't know who he is, search him on Youtube, and then ask my wife who Tony Jaa is and wait for her reaction (I made her watch his movies during our first few dates).

Part 2 will be out on Sunday. I will be going back to Neak Ta but this time to learn about his very successful  stunts program S.A.M'S (Simulating Action Movements on Screen). You might even get a video of me jumping on an air bag.