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By Chanel Wayne. November 7, 2011 - 6:23 pm
Every Tuesday and Thursday the Waikiki Community Center hosts a Muay Thai Kick Boxing class. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. members of the community practice their punches, kicks, elbows, knees and feet thrusts.
In mixed martial arts across the world Muay Thai is synonymous with “the art of 8 limbs” or “the science of 8 limbs” because you use two fists, two elbows, two knees, and two feet. So it is a full body work out.
Head instructor Andre Washington has trained in American and Thai Kick boxing for over 15 years. He is a former body builder who stumbled upon a Muay Thai practice session and fell in love.
“I think everyone should learn Muay Thai,” he said.
Each student has his or her own reason for wanting to learn kick boxing. Connie Saunders, a Honolulu resident, said, “My upper body had never been so tight. When I stopped coming, I lost it all and rushed back to the class.”
Camille Bob, a junior at HPU, takes the sport very seriously. “I want to win the belt in the 155 weight class by this May,” he said.
For the more serious fighters like Camille, Andre said: “Conditioning is most important without it you will gas out in the ring.”
Washington commends his assistant Anthony Murakami on his skills as a conditioning coach, and his ability to recognize when a fighter is ready to compete.
Murakami trained under Washington for 3 years before he became an assistant.
“Unfortunately I’ve been told I am a better mentor than fighter,” said Murakami who also holds a brown belt in karate.
The oldest student who has ever trained with Washington and Murakami was a 60-year-old woman.
Andre and Anthony believe the only limitations students have are those they place on themselves.
“People are impatient, they assume they can get it in one day,” said Murakami.
Washington compares it to riding a bike: “You fall off and get back up to keep trying.”
He encourages everyone to come in and at least make an attempt. The course is open to all. The cost is $50 a month with no start up fee and the first session is free.
Call Andre directly at 808-389-2155 or visit www.teamislandthunder808.com. The community center is at 310 Paoakalani Avenue.
For more information on the center and other courses held there visit www.waikikicommunitycenter.org.