BROOKS MASON
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Tips About Training, Fighting & Techniques From A
World Champion Hall Of Fame Trainer.

QUESTIONS ASKED TO
MR. MASON

Please keep in mind, names of individuals or dates of their upcoming fights will not be published. Otherwise, their opponents may find out their strategy.

QUESTION:
Sorry, but we lost the question to this response. However, the basic question was about wrapping ones foot for a fight;

Mr. Mason's RESPONSE:
Thanks for the question. The slip-on elastic foot wrap is about all you need. The kind used to support the ankle. If you need additional support then I suggest a few wraps with tape in a herring-bone pattern across the front of the ankle. The main use of such wraps is to keep the small bones in your foot from speading and to protect the tendons on the front of the ankle. Remember that stretching of the ankle is just as important as stretching any other joint. Especially the Achilles tendon at the back of your heel. Thanks for the question . Now go train.Brooks


QUESTION:
Dear Brooks: Thank you for helping me out at the national tournament last weekend. My coach had to take care of some personal problems over the weekend and could not attend. It was a comfort knowing that I had someone with your experience in my corner. Thanks again for the help, Greg Davis

Mr. Mason's RESPONSE:
Greg the pleasure was all mine. I would like to take the time to tell you that your trainer did a very nice job in getting you ready and all I did was serve up water and remind you to go to the bathroom before the fight. Everytime you look at that belt remember the people involved in getting you ready. Please send the coach's name and I would be glad to drop him a line about the fight. You say you are glad you had someone of my experience helping you in the corner. I say I'm glad someone with your ability is not meeting me in dark alleys. Damn good fight .Damn good. Brooks

Greg's RESPONSE back:
Brooks: Thank you very much. The two people most instrumental in geting me ready are Cecil Peoples, my karate instructor and the first person to expose me to real kickboxing; and Clarence Thatch my current coach. Thanks for everything and I look forward to seeing you again, Greg Davis

Mr. Mason's RESPONSE back:
Greg, Clarence Thatch has a lot to be proud of. A quality fighter such as yourself doesn't come along by accident. Attention to basics and the patience to win come from quality training. Few people appreciate the attention to detail and the insistence for perfection that only comes from quality training. My congratulations to Mr.Thatch for an excellent job. Something fighters in the area should be paying attention to. As for the quality of Mr. Peoples job. I would not presume to have the ability to comment on one of the Icons of the Martial Arts in the 20th Century. To study with the likes of Cecil Peoples is to appreciated more than you think. The Martial Arts did not find it's true place in the American way of life easily. Men Like Mr. Peoples forged paths into the main stream of America that we all enjoy today. This very tournament is a tribute to men of this caliber and their dedication to the Art. Brooks


QUESTION:
I have been training Thai-Boxing for nearly 3 years know. I am a 20 year old female and have had a couple of fights. I know this is what I want to do but the problem is with my kicking. When I am just training boxing I am fine. When I start to use the legs, they burn really bad and feel like lead. I try to ignor this but sometimes it seem impossible. I eat the right foods I think and drink plenty of water. Can you advise me on what this could be, do I just need to work them harder. Regards a very keen Thai Boxer.

Mr. Mason's Answers:
Thanks for the question. The burning in your legs is from your body burning fat. As your glycogen, if that's how you spell it, level increases your body will experience this less and less often.Your body will learn to burn fat in conjunction with the energy blocks and become more efficient. The feeling of sluggishness is from the depletion of magnesium and potassium. Sluggishness and the work out blues, that feeling that you just don't want to work out, are simple to cure. Eat a banana before your workout and right after. This will replenish your supply of potassium and allow your body to dissipate heat better. Nuts and leafy vegetables are a good supply of magnesium which benefits your muscles ability to contract. As far as needing to work out harder, you are absolutely right. Push the envelope every time you go to the gym. Brooks


QUESTION:
Hi, I am stuck between a hard plate. I am A fighter in the IKF international rule catagory and I have a fight in Oct. The problem I face is that I train very hard sometimes to much. I feel as if I have no where to go here in Chico ,Ca. As a college student here in Chico I take martial arts clases and fitness classes to stay in shape. But the problem is that it's hard to get any ring generalship in so that i may become a better fight. Due to the lack of a gym or school. Also there are no personnal trainers to work with me in the area as well. I would like to train differently but find it hard because there is no were to go, and training by myself is so boring at times. I feel as if it's for nothing as It's hard to get fights so I can learn. So I may at so time become a champion. What do I dddooo? Thanks P. G.

Mr. Mason's Answers:
Number 1.
If you are in an area where competent instruction is not available stick to kick boxing above the waist. International rules and Thai deal with leg kicks and it's nearly impossible getting a good handle on that feature without help.
Number 2.
As far as training too much. Bullshit.
Number 3.
Look around the area for a boxing school. If there is no way to get sparring experience without fighting, well once again bite the bullet. The art of fighting is a wonderful experience and I would not deny it to myself regardless of the consequences.
Number 4.
If you are a serious fighter, move to an area that enjoys a large Martial Art community. You only live once. You can be a Doctor later. Brooks


QUESTION:
Hello. One other question. I am getting a heavy bag to practice Muay Thai at home. I ordered a 200lb, 6 foot long bag. But recently someone told me that I want something lighter (like 120 - 150lbs) so that it moves more when I practice on it. I can still exchange the 200lb bag if I need to. I am 6' 2" and weigh 220 pounds. Please help!! Thanks, Dave

Mr. Mason's Answer:
This letter is in response to a question by Dave. I received it a while ago but I spent way too much time actually going through all the products available.

There is one simple answer to all your product needs, RINGSIDE.COM At the Ringside site you can pull up the pictures and descriptions of every piece of equipment you can imagine. To answer a few other questions: I prefer leather for the bag gloves and vinyl for the bags. To start out get a pair of bag gloves, foot protectors and a heavy bag at about 70 lbs. Now let's respond to why Ringside? Take a look at the Ringside Site. They fully participate in the developement of the Martial Arts and Sponsor several events with the IKF. We should stand behind the people who support us with our loyalty in product selection and you will find no better than the products at Ringside.

ALSO...
Ringside has a 150 pound, 72 inch long bag that I use for training. It works perfect. Allowing for hands and feet to be practiced together, with enough weight to provide good resistance. Remember for the legs it's up on the inside and down on the outside.
If you are hanging the bag in the basement , don't bother with the i-beam, hang the bag on the floor joist. Put two 2x6 board between the floor joist and hang the bag from that. Delete the chain and try to find a old car hood spring to hang the bag from. The top of the bag should be at least your own head height as you need to punch up to practise your jabs. Brooks


From Master Mason:

Hello Folks,
Let's talk about the martial arts. Years ago we saw the birth of the arts in the USA and it was beautiful but very seperated. Now we see the arts moving along at the same methodical pace but without the excitment of years ago and still seperated. The martial arts in America need to bond. We need to recognize the fact that the arts have never been better served than in America. We have made inprovements to all the styles and I fervently believe the founders of the arts intended for it to be that way.

American martial artists of all styles need to formulate a plan to excite the public once again. Perhaps the big collection companies could put forth some effort in behalf of all art forms not just the ones they serve. Perhaps that big school in your town could take time out to honor and learn from the guy who teaches in his garage. Perhaps we all need to remember that we serve the art and the art can be served by any style any place under any conditions. Let's get America excited about the arts. We would like to hear your suggestions.


QUESTION:
I am new to fighting and currently in training for my first full contact SanShou tournament in August. The problem is my work schedule is usually in a state of flux so I don't have access to a gym all the time or the money/room for special equipment at home. Can you suggest some training methods I can do out of my home without having to spend money? Thanks, SOC

Mr. Mason's Response:
Not having time to train is another way of saying I do not want to succeed. If you have the desire to be a fighter, then you can make the time or invent the opportunity to learn. The oldest and still most successful at home training techniques are running, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, stretching and shadow boxing or air kicking if you will. If you can afford no other piece of equipment get a heavy bag. Unless you are just playing with the idea of being a fighter, take a look at your life and decide what changes you can or want to make in order to become a fighter. Brooks


QUESTION:
Anyone with an unbiased eye can clearly see that the kickboxing going on in the K-1 tournaments -complete with leg kicking and knees- is ten times more exciting than the old PKA above the waist fighting. Experienced fight fans recognize the incredible skill level of these fights and unexperienced fans enjoy the high number of knock-outs. Instead of taking two steps backwards why not take some time to invest in some new skills and catch up to the level of international fighters who don't hide behind the premise that people aren't interested in seeing leg kicks and knees. Sincerely, Woody Smith--Peninsula Thai Kickboxing

Mr. Mason's Response:
First let me point out that I am not biased. I love all forms of Martial Arts and truly believe they can be a turning point for America.Let's take a look at the condition of Martial Sports. Boxing is loved through-out the world but the big money is there because the American people love it. Thai Boxing has been embraced by Canada, Australia, France, Russia and a dozen other large countries but the fact remains that the best fighter in the world dosen't make the money of a decent 10 round boxer. Why is that? What exactly are we trying to do here? We want to increase the earning potential of the World's Martial Artist so we can attract a larger base of amateurs and therefore a larger cadre of quality fighters. We are not talking about the quality of the art. Thai boxing is one of the finest arts in the world "BUT" it's not called American kickboxing for nothing and the American people are who you need to please in order to enhance the financial viability of the Martial Arts as a professional. Brooks


QUESTION:
Hello! I am a beginning kickboxer and am just starting the training process. Any advice as to how to make my punches and kicks stronger? What kind of a weekly training schedule should I keep? How often should I hit the bags? I'd appreciate anything you can tell me! I'm very excited!

Mr. Mason's Response:
You are indeed entering an exciting time of your life. Nothing quite matches the thrill of a Martial Art. As far as training goes, start with the basics run , push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and stretching and more stretching and of course the bad boy of them all , the heavy bag. The heavy bag can be used everyday just like any piece of equipment but you have to regulate what you are doing. Any trainer knows that the muscle groups need rest to regenerate and take advantage of the workouts. this doesn't mean you don't work the bag or even the same muscle groups but you do it with a different intensity for each group on it's given day. Example: one day you work legs heavy and the next day your hands but you still work everything every day. Quality training comes from concerned quality trainers. Anytime you go to the gym take advantage of what the trainer or teachers have to offer. They didn'tget a gym by not knowing their stuff. Any help and encouragement is an asset and the best place to find that help is in your local school or gym. Brooks


From Master Mason:

Boys and girls I cannot believe you folks don't have more questions. I seems as though to me that I have a few dozen Blackbelts out there who may have a question or two. What is the first thing I taught you folks? Question it all! Kickboxing could not be at a more exciting time. Thrilling news for me. Kirk Podany has been kind enough to ask me to train him for his upcoming bout. There is always something special about world title bouts. I intend to keep a daily log on the training along with problems and solutions we come up with. Steve and I are about ready to start the Kickboxing Bible and we are really looking forward to hearing what you need from the book. Ringside has facilities in Kansas that assure a professional tape that the Kickboxing community will treasure for sometime to come. Once again there folks, questions, questions. The harder the better. About anything to do with the martial arts or martial arts member. And talking about old guys can someone find out what John Prevatt in Florida is doing. I trained him for his first fight and he hit so hard they wanted to check his gloves for something inside. A question for you folks. Who did John fight and in what kind of ring? From Omaha, Nebraska Thanks , Brooks


QUESTION:
Hi Brooks, my first Q is, I have been out of Thai Boxing for about 1½ now and have just been boxing off and on during that time, D.C. was my coach and I now train with D. S. (my best friend) but the Question is, is there any way to condition your chins faster? I'm going to hopefully start again in Nov. My only fear is I think my chins are a little "soft" can you help? Also, D.C. has moved out of state and D.S. and I might have a problem getting as many fights as we would like, is there anyway you can help with that? Thanks for your time. BR.

Mr. Mason's Response:
Your shins , like any other body part become tough with use. You don't need to go to any elaborate measures to toughen just kicking the heavy bag and Thai shields will do. What is hard to toughen is your spirit. The ability to ignore the pain when need be and go on. Pounding the bags and shields will toughen your shins, the ferocity of your work out will harden your resolve. Contact Steve Fossum about getting fights . He's in touch with several promoters. Thanks Brooks


QUESTION:
I am interest in learning self defense, physical discipline and fitness, and enjoy the sport of boxing. I live in an area that does not have an authentic kickboxing association or training center (unless you know of one in Des Moines, IA?) What would be a good first step to learn? Cardio Kickboxing? Martial Arts, such as tae kwon do or karate? Boxing? What is your advice? Thanks, KS

Mr. Mason's Response:
Although I have my own preferences, I 'm not sure I should be picking one art over another but here are some basic rules. 1. Pick a school that is very physical, lots of sweat. 2. Chose a school with an open door policy, anyone can watch. 3. Check out the equipment. 4. Do they seem motivated. 5. Do they do alot of kicking. 6. I will check out the area and see if I can find a school that Mr. Fossum can recommend. Thanks Brooks


QUESTION:
I have only been a kickboxer for 1 year (and somehow am left-handed when I box. My instructor said that he wanted me to learn the right-handed stance (at least at first) but this confuses my poor brain. When I do a "1" my right-hand wants to be "1". Do you have any tips? KF

Mr. Mason's Response:
Train to fight from both sides, Your background training or the training you do when a fight is not too close should be from both sides equally. Make yourself do it. The ability to fight from both sides is a weapon everyone should have but few work on. The more you train right handed the better your left handed work is and so on. Never limit yourself to the idea that you have to be conventional.


QUESTION:
Is there a good kickboxing video, preferably, that shows the different moves (like the jab kick, front kick) and how to do them properly? My kickboxing instructor says I box like Rocky (from the chest) and I don't keep my hands up all the time. Do you know anything that would help? Some people have said for me to tap my head with my gloves? Anyway, thanks for all your help. KF

Mr. Mason's Response:
Concentration is the key in training. Think about keeping your hands up. Look for help in a good trainer who can watch you during your work outs and will constantly remind you to keep them up. Remember think only of what you want to do right, not about what you are doing wrong. Answering these questions I see an adherence to a way of training that can stifle up and coming athletes. Expect your fighters or yourself to be able to do anything. The ability to fight from both sides, I don't mean all the time but as it serves you, should be a staple in your training. The intensity of the training should reflect your desire to improve. Steve Fossum and I in conjunction with Ringside are working hard on a book and video package that will help give direction and answers to your training problems. Please be patient, we are drawing on the experience of some of the best fighters in the world as well as their trainers to bring you a product you can use to enhance your fighting ability or to assist in your training. Thanks for the Question and Thanks for listening to me, Brooks


QUESTION:
I have recently switched shifts at work and I'm unable to go to my regular kickboxing classes. I have a fight coming up in Aug and want to make sure I'm ready. How do I go about training on my own. My record is 1-1 and I'm 29 years old. I want to make a good run at this but I know my time is short. I'm also interested in training for leg kick events and would like to incorporate some type of running into my training. I hate to run but know it's a must. How do I ease into it? Any help would be great and appreciated. Thank you. KR.

QUESTION:
Mr Mason, I have a Gym and we have only been at it for about a year and we are eager to get better at this game of movement and power. I am eager to teach my fighters the best way there is. What do you suggest for reflex and speed training? I had 7 pro fights 5-2-0 w/3 ko's destroyed my knee and now am trying to get the sport going in my area. I am 46 years old and try to teach by example but it is getting tougher all the time to be able to show them what I want them to do, I use the "TAKE OUT THE WASTED MOVEMENT THEORY OF TEACHING". What do you suggest for training ideas? I would appreciate any help you can give me.Thank you. BB.


QUESTION:
Hi Mr. Mason: Thank you for making yourself available to all of us who can greatly benefit from your experiences. I am getting ready for a fight in a few months, (I've only had 4 fights) and in my fights I find myself going backwards too much and trying to counter most of the fight. it has worked out ok for me so far, but it was not effective on 2 occasions. I know as I fight better people it will not be a successful way to fight. I need to know what drills I can do to keep myself fighting forward and putting on the pressure. I also train on my own 3 days a week, any suggestions on good drills for training solo? With my sincere thanks, GD

Mr. Mason's Response:
Finding yourself backing up all the time during a fight can mean one of two things, either you are one hell of a counterpuncher or you have trouble getting off with authority. Allowing someone to get off with a series is inviting disaster. You have to [1] Make yourself initiate the action with a hard shots that slow the desire to counter. [2] Punch through your opponents series. [3] Fight your plan, ergo listen to your trainer. When he yells get off, make yourself throw the kick or punch. He's there for a reason. The second part of your question is little a tough. Training on your own is hard at best but shows a true American Kickboxer spirit. Concentrate on your strength, focus and speed. These items can be worked on a heavy bag with concentration. Drive yourself to the limits of your endurance but not this close to the fight. I suppose the best advice with only a few weeks left before a fight is concentrate on what you know and try to improve your wind and stamina through running and bag workouts. Keep in mind for example, that a fight only 2 weeks away is no time to be straining a muscle but it is also no time to be taking it easy. Thank you for the letter, Brooks


QUESTION:
Were you with Wilson when Philip Wong promoted his fight in Bangkok? What happened in that fight? Thanks

Mr. Mason's Response:
Thanks for the Question, Philip Wong doesn't ring a bell but if it is the fight I'm thinking about, I missed it . I preceded the fight party by a few days and took my wife and son to Lake Tahoe. We were snowed in and I couldn't make the flight. The fight went against Wilson because of the leg kicking ability of his opponent. Don suffered the leg kicks but couldn't get on track. Don was not ready for the ferocity of the thai. Don would never let it happen again. The outcome of the fight lay squarely on my shoulders. Thank you, Brooks


QUESTION:
I have a couple of questions for you. [1] How much training is required for a fighter to transition between boxing, full contact fighter and thai/boxing? I myself have fought as a boxer, full contact fighter and I've been training in Muay Thai for about a year. I ask this not just as a fighter, but as a trainer as well. I hope to become proficient enough so that I can become a great trainer as yourself. [2] Do you feel that by cross training, competing will be an advantage [e.g.] If I have more experience doing Tae Kwon Do and boxing than Thai Boxing, would it make more sense to modify my way of fighting instead of trying to fight just like a Thai Boxer against a more experienced Thai Boxer? I am thinking that it is best to learn new styles to become comfortable and familiar with new ways of doing things, but working out with different trainers, some feel that their way of doing things are better than another. [3] How do you work with fighter who are new to you, but have good experience? Thanks in advance, RT

Mr. Mason's Response:
Dear RT,
Thanks for the questions. #1 The successful multi-field fighter [ie. boxer, kickboxer, thai ] has to assemble his arsenal one step at a time. [A] Footwork- The footwork and ring generalship you learned as a boxer carries over into all the martial fields. The ability to stay balanced and work the ring through strategic movement enhances any fighter regardless of style. [B] the kickboxing you've learned is also applicable to thai. Thai is a very different art but never discount the quality of American Kickboxing. The flow from hands to feet and vice versa adds immeasurably to your Thai success. [C] Thai is a very different art, where success is heavily affected by the quality of your style and technique. Inside work, upper torso control and leg kicks are the main stays of thai but the ability to get there depends on your long range ability and determination. How Much Training Is Required? ALL YOU CAN GET! {2} Cross training and competing in any field enhances your thai ability. The more time you spend under stress making decisions the better your fighting game will be. Thai requires concentration and planning like all fighting styles and you can't bring enough to the table when it comes time to serve it up. As for some trainers thinking their way is better than others. For them they are right. Every trainer needs to feel in his or her heart that they are doing the best they can for their fighters. Great trainers are constantly looking to upgrade their training abilities and keep their ego's out of the equation. [3] Anytime a fighter new or old comes to me for help, I am grateful. Fighters allow us to ply our art. Work new fighters into your system in a strong positive manner. Capitalize on what they are already capable of but work your system. I'M IN AWE OF WHAT TODAY'S FIGHTERS CAN DO BUT I NEVER FORGET IT IS MY JOB TO ASK FOR MORE.Thank You , Brooks.


As the questions come in, Mr. Mason would like to say "Thank You" to all of you in the great sport of Kickboxing with a personal note.

My name is Brooks Mason and I love the fight game. Despite Mr. Fossum's glowing accounts of my accolades, I learned the same way he did. I was fortunate to have met the Wilson brothers [Don and Jimmy] early in life. I learned as much from Don Wilson as he ever did from me. It was a time of learning as you go. We called upon every resource you can imagine to develope a training regiment that would turn out consistent Champions. Being a *Mensan I cannot help but be fascinated by the intricate details surrounding the fight game and the logical patterns that emerge as you build your fighters systematically. Please trust that I will research each question to insure you the best information. Once again, on a format we never even imagined, I would like to thank Don for taking me on as a trainer and changing my life. Steve Fossum, a name we will remember in American Kickboxing for sometime to come, has invited me to do this column and to him, I offer my deepest appreciation and assurance that I will offer the best training advice I possibly can. So bring on the questions boys and girls, we are here to help. This is Brooks Mason in the Midwest of the USA. "The Heartland of American Thai Boxing."


(*) A little help from the IKF...Did you wonder, like many do, what a Mensan is? Smarter than you think...For an example...Click HERE to find out...


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