Steven Long is an active YOKKAO UK Ranking fighter. He is currently ranked third in the UK. I was luck enough to go training with him to see exactly how his Muay Thai training session looks, first hand.
Steve lives and works in Middlesbrough. He works at a gym called Middlesbrough Fight Academy, which is where I went to go see him today. You might have seen him around the Darlington area training at the Hanuman gym, or at the Kiatphontip gym in Leeds as that is where he does most of his training for his fights. I got chance to go and do an hours Muay Thai training with him while having a good catch up in the process.
Steve has totally immersed himself in what Muay Thai stands for. We got talking about his time over in Thailand and what he had learned out there. He spoke about a lesson that he had got taught during his time in Thailand, something that he said rings true to himself and indeed then, rang true to me too!
“If you fight while you are training in the gym, you will not fight for as long in the ring.” This shone through in his way of teaching. I am quite guilty of being heavy handed while training but this taught me to hold back and be a lot more controlled. I sent him a video of me doing an interclub last week and he took what he saw there and picked it apart. We worked on my footwork, my check, my overall posture while tapping my feet. I was amazed at how much he could fit into the hour!
One thing I love about this sport is that you can easily train with some of the biggest names in the sport, their accessibility is just awe inspiring. All you have to do is reach out to them and they would be more than happy to help you develop your skills. If you train in Muay Thai it's good to spread your wings and get to know other people’s perspective about the sport. I am all about being loyal to your home gym but if it would help you develop and hone your skillset, then it would definitely benefit you to go and see who is out there!
Steve was a fantastic teacher and is a very technical fighter. I would definitely recommend heading over to the Middlesbrough Fight Academy (after getting in touch with him of course!) and going to see what it is you could take from an hour’s session with him.
We happened to turn up to the training session both wearing our ‘YOKKAO Pro Thai Flag’ T-shirt. So I had to capture the moment. You can also now personalise YOKKAO gear to a taste that suits you! Want your name or your initials on it? Your gyms name… You can now have them on your gloves, or your shorts!
If you would like to look at the full range of YOKKAO shorts, you can find them here: yokkao.com/collections/shorts You can also see the extensive full range of YOKKAO gloves that are available in the YOKKAO shop right here: www.yokkao.com/collections/gloves/ The full apparel range of clothing, hoodies etc. can be found here too: www.yokkao.com/collections/apparel I am very much looking forward to his upcoming fight at YOKKAO 15 on the 10th October. You can see his previous fights on YOKKAO 13 here: