You have to hand it to Brandon William: where others want to specialise in a particular field, this YouTuber is always taking on new adventures and challenges. Previously he’s trained like Cristiano Ronaldo on the football field, taken on the fitness routine of a professional boxer, and even take on a prisoner-style workout. But in his most recent challenge, William spent a month learning all he could about the martial art of Muay Thai, all with the intention of putting those skills into action with a fight against an expert at the end of those 30 days.
William began like most of us – on struggle street. On day one of the challenge, he finds himself getting repeatedly crushed in sparring on the first day by his coach, Jessie Magusen. But while that might be his starting point, things can only go upwards from there as William’s skills noticeably improve with each day of training. Committing to a month of twice-a-day training sessions, in addition to taking regular Muay Thai classes, William soon gets the hang of the martial art form.
His first session sees William learn the basics of blocking, countering and catching kicks, which are critical skills that form the foundation of Muay Thai. “It might sound simple, but I was actually having a hard time with it,” says William. “Figuring out which side my opponent was going to kick from, as well as keeping my balance when I blocked the kick was a struggle…I knew I’d have to work on my technique before trying this out for real, since one bad move and my ribs would be done for.”
Following a week of training sessions guided by Magusen, William begins to notice considerably progress being made, particularly when it comes to staying balanced while sparring. “The technique is feeling more natural,” he admits. “Fortunately, the marital arts training I’ve done in the past has translated over to Muay Thai quite a bit. However, the one thing that hasn’t translated over is a high pain tolerance.”
As well as training with an expert, William also attended the Muay Thai Academy where he spoke to its founder and Muay Thai champion, Kru Put, to learn some helpful pointers. It’s during this time that he invites calisthenics athlete Chris Heria to join him in some sparring.
When William finally makes it to the final 30 days, he then puts everything he has learned into practice by taking on a sparring session with a seasoned professional fighter. As he admits, “I’m not going to lie, I was pretty afraid to do much the first round. I clearly have a long way to go if I ever want to step into an official fight, but one thing’s for sure: I have come a long way since day one.”