Monday, July 30, 2012

Me Hitting the Thai Pads...

This is part of my most recent recent Muay Thai rank test with Raja Muay Thai here in Greenville, SC.

In this video you see me doing a 3 minute Thai Pad round. My goal is to earn 60 Thai round kicks and 40 knees. I'm not allowed punch or throw. My feeder, however, is allowed to punch, kick, knee and throw.

This 3 minute Thai pad round comes at the end of a 3 hour test, btw....

Train Hard,
Josh Skinner


  1. Hi Josh-
    I have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind. Is Raja Muay Thai still affiliated with Universal Tactics or are they separate entitities. Do they both teach Muay Thai or different philosophies? And lastly, what did you think of training at Donjitsu Do? I'm looking at different schools in the upstate area and thought I would pick your brain a little. Thanks for your time.

    1. Tony,

      First, thanks for the questions.

      Raja Muay Thai and Universal Tactics had a split late last summer and the two schools are no longer affiliated.

      Paul (Universal Tactics) and Harun (Raja MT) are both good friends - even today. However, they both have very different business philosophies and to two mutually decided to part ways.

      Both schools teach Muay Thai. Paul is Thai and has family that still lives in Thailand, so Muay Thai/Muay Boran makes up the core of what he teaches. Additionally, Paul is in the military and has had significant exposure to military H2H training, as well as Jujitsu and Wing Chun. Universal Tactics is a self defense focused system that combines aspects of all those styles (though, like I said, Muay Thai is still the core of what he teaches). At this time, I'm not sure what his affiliation is with Ajarn Chai's Thai Boxing Association.

      Harun Raja teaches Muay Thai, Wing Chun, and Kali. He also has experience in Western Boxing, Sambo, and Capoeira. Currently, I'm only training in Muay Thai with Raja. However, I can tell you Harun does a very good job focusing on both the sport and self defense aspects of Muay Thai. There is usually a lot of conditioning and technique work associated with each class - so, you'll get a really good workout and improve skill at the same time. Raja Muay Thai is, as of this time, the only Thai Boxing Association affiliated school in SC (of which I am aware).

      Raja's Wing Chun is of the Francis Fong lineage and has recently been including aspects of MMA - which is a unique combination, but it demonstrates the willingness to adapt and learn from other methodologies.

      As for the Kali, I've never watched a class so I don't know much about it.

      I think very highly of Donjitsu Do. I started training under Don Ogle when I was 9 or 10 years old. Back then his focus was primarily on Tae Kwon Do. Not long after I started (or about the same time) the early UFC tournaments were taking place and people were beginning to see the various strengths and weaknesses of various styles. It was at this time that Don began exploring other arts and teaching his students the things he was learning.

      By the time I was late middle school or early high school Don had fully changed the methods of his school. He had incorporated Small Circle Jujitsu, Kenpo, Aikijujtisu, and even concepts from Ninjitsu. It was at this time he changed the name of what he taught (and his school) to Donjitsu Do. Back then, most of the regular students I trained with were either Law Enforcement or Security (in fact, after I graduated high school, it was Sensei Ogle who helped me get my first Security job).

      Donjitsu Do is probably one of the most unique martial arts schools in the state.

      It combines multiple traditional martial art styles into an art that is useful for both self defense and personal/spiritual development. The concept of "Budo" is focused on heavily at the Donjitsu Do Dojo - everything you'll be taught will relate back to Budo in some way.

      Also, the Dojo itself is beautiful. It was modeled after a Japanese temple and he does a lot of Japanese style landscaping around the outside. It's especially impressive when you consider that he pretty much built it himself, by hand.

      So, my advice for you is to try out each school. Last I checked, the Donjitsu Do Dojo offers something like 2 weeks free upfront to see how you like it. I'm not 100% sure about Universal Tactics but I know Paul, at least, offers a free trial class. Raja Muay Thai offers a free trial class to test the waters. I'm typically there Tuesday and Thursday nights as well as Saturday afternoon. So, please stop by and say, "Hi!" :)

      Thanks again for the questions.

    2. Hi Josh-
      Wow, thanks for the in-depth reply! It's really helped narrow down my options. I've somehow wrangled a week off from the L.E. agency I'm with (THAT took some work!) and am planning on taking a class from both UT and Raja to compare the two. I've been viewing both websites to try to compare the different business philosophies you mentioned but other than Raja having more kids classes and UT being more into the Muay Boran/Krabi Krabong direction I can't seem to be able to tell too much of a difference instruction-wise. If you could expand on that it might be helpful. I'm just trying to figure out which school would be best for an older guy who likes the connection to an older art/history but who may have to use what I learn in the school at my job! It doesn't happen as often as when I worked at the jail but the occasion does sometimes arise. Thanks again,
      P.S. great job in Atlanta!

    3. Tony,

      I think it's fairly accurate to say that Paul mixes more of the Muay Boran/Krabi with his Muay Thai. But I feel like both Paul and Harun do a great job teaching about the history of Muay Thai and how it has evolved from from Krabi Krabong to Muay Boran to Muay Thai, and how Muay Thai has continued to evolve to deal with Western Boxing and grapplers.

      I'd like to talk with you about this more in depth, but I don't think this is the best place to discuss it. Please reach out to me via email:

      Or you can add me on FB: