Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. It builds confidence, strength and stamina, according to its faithful followers.
"Muay Thai is the science of eight limbs," says Pete Peterson, co-owner of Roundkick Gym and Muay Thai fighter. "When I say, 'Science of eight limbs', we're using kicks, knees, elbows, punches in a variety of combinations."
Pete appears to know all of them.
"I think there are a lot of good gyms in town. What sets us apart is all of the instructors are certified to teach. We have probably 50 years of experience combined in teaching."
It shows. While our partners strap on the pads, we put on the gloves and soon our Muay Thai martial arts workout begins.
"We're gonna sweat," says Pete.
Technique is as important as power during the three minute intervals of punching and kicking.
"Bring your whole foot forward," Pete explains as we land kicks on the pads held by our partners.
When they're not jabbing, crossing or hooking, our hands are in front of our face for protection. By the end of each interval we are sweating and gasping for air.
Pete says the intervals, combined with the force of hitting the pads, will get you in shape fast.
"The difference in the way we train, everything is on the pads, on pads or on bags and it's all about power, technique and power, so the conditioning is built into the program."
Pete also takes some time to teach us some self-defense techniques. One example drives home the importance of kicking with the stronger, sharper shin bone, versus the foot. He demonstrates on Sonya. A kick with his foot barely causes her to wince. A kick with the shin nearly brings her to her knees.
Pete also shows Erin how to get the upper hand on a would-be assailant, simply by positioning her hands correctly on the back of his head.
This workout is also as fun as it is challenging, because there's nothing like taking out a little aggression, while getting in a great workout!