Sandy Holt Muay Thai Seminar in Middle Island, New York by Wendell R. Mangibin / April 12, 2005
On Sunday April 10, 2005, double British and European Thai boxing champion Sandy Holt made a trip across the pond to give
a seminar on Muay Thai in Middle Island, New York.
The seminar took place in American Fighting Concepts (AFC) Kickboxing and was hosted
by World Kickboxing Champion Tommy 'Bee' Bottone, owner and head-instructor of AFC. Students of all styles, levels and
ages attended-- most of which were Long Island martial artists looking to include Muay Thai in their training. They
came to the right place: Sandy Holt, founder and president of the UK Muay Thai Association (UKMTA), is a fifth degree Red
and Silver (Kruang-Lruang) which is the equivalent of fifth dan-- the highest grade a Thai Boxer can achieve before
becoming a Gold which is the mark of the Master. Known in several circles as 'McMadman,' Holt greeted each student with
a handshake and a warm smile.
The seminar started with a brief history and introduction to Muay Thai. Holt shared
his experience of Muay Thai in both Thailand and Europe, the effectiveness of having 'eight weapons' in your arsenal, and
the infinite number of combinations you have at your disposal. He proceeded to do warm-up exercises, which was a chance to
show the class his impressive one-thumb press-ups (that's push-ups to us Americans). Holt demonstrated how simple bodyweight
exercises were equally effective, if not more effective, than weightlifting.
Then it was on to training, which consisted of various rudimentary techniques including: stance, clinching, knee and leg attacks,
elbows, punches, and blocking as well as ring strategy. Students learned how to execute each move as well as how to
properly hold a Thai pad, which Holt emphasized was similarly important. Everyone received abundant attention from Holt,
giving corrections when needed. His explanations were detailed, clear and funny. Throughout the seminar, Holt
had a way of displaying a lightening fast deadly attack, but always followed up with a hilarious joke. It was obvious
that the class enjoyed themselves.
After a short cool down session, Holt spoke candidly about his background, being
bullied as a small child in England, how he found Muay Thai and the importance of martial arts with regard to self-confidence.
He also commented on his journeys to Thailand and other parts of the world, his teacher Master Sken and his bit part in an
upcoming Jackie Chan film. In closing, he paid special thanks to Tommy 'Bee' Bottone for offering up his school, his
students and his time. It was a rare opportunity for everyone to work with two champions.
For more information on Sandy Holt visit http://www.thaiboxing.co.uk/
About Tommy 'Bee' Bottone and AFC Kickboxing: Tommy 'Bee' Bottone
himself has taught many mixed martial arts/self defense seminars. He has been inducted in the PKF Hall of fame for Full
Contact Instructor of the Year in 2002, Fighter of the Year in 2003. He was also ranked #1 by Inside Kung Fu Magazine
in 1994 as an amateur Sanhou Champion before turning pro in 1995. He then went on to win many world titles
as a professional kickboxer. His school, located in Middle Island, New York, specializes in kickboxing, boxing, grappling
and sanshou. It has been a host to kickboxing legend Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and UFC champion Oleg 'The Russian Bear'
Taktarov, both friends of Bottone.
If you would like more information on classes and directions to AFC Kickboxing,
contact Tommy Bottone at 631-345-0100 or go to the website at www.ringoffirekickboxing.com.
** The above photographs are the property of Tommy 'Bee' Bottone/AFC Kickboxing and are being used with
his permission. These photos are not for commercial use nor are they to be used on any other website