Fighter Spotlight: Troy “Trouble” Jones Jr. 2015 IMFA Royal World Cup Champion

Team Academy fighter left for Bangkok Thailand to compete in the IMFA Royal World Cup as part of Team US on August 12th – & he returned a CHAMPION!  After winning the TBA Sanctioning 2015 Class-A title & still being undefeated, he was selected to represent the US in Thailand. To get to the gold medal match Troy defeated 3 fighters from Ivory Coast, Finland, France. In the finals match Troy defeated a very tough fighter from Turkey. Minnesota now has it’s very own Muay Thai kickboxing champion!

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Coach’s Corner: Pad Holding by Coach Andrew Kapel


Coach Andrew on the right delivering a sweet head kick!







Hey Team! It’s officially spring and we have nothing to look forward to but warmer, sunnier weather from here on out! This month’s Coach’s Corner come to you from Coach Andrew Kapel, who is not only a muay thai coach at The Academy, but a fighter on our competition team.

A commonly undervalued skill in the combat arts and an aspect not frequently emphasized, is holding pads.
To be a good pad holder for muay thai, a basic idea is to create a solid impact surface to fully utilize the technique with power and accuracy.

Remember: repetition is the mother of skill! Once singular strikes land sharp and cleanly, the next step is blending them into fluid combinations and incorporate defense. Be patient and be willing to keep it simple.

Personally, I will often spend an entire round focusing on one strike and the details of the move until no detail is unaccounted for. This mentality is what sets the standard for consistency. It is the foundation of Muay Thai.

Holding pads well will give you an unrivaled understanding for what a strike should look and feel like, as well as raise your ability to be proficient on the opposite side when its your turn to hit. Furthermore, being a good padman (or woman) makes you a valued asset to others who are preparing to fight even if you are not training for or interested in fighting yourself. It raises the overall level at our gym.

If you feel like something isn’t connecting correctly, feels disjointed or off, don’t hesitate to ask! A small adjustment could make the difference between having a satisfying and quality session, versus an awkward and frustrating one.

Like everything else, with many hours of practice, you’ll develop your own style and approach to pad holding that is unique to you. And just like sparring, hitting pads or hitting the bag, observing people more skilled than yourself on youtube or in person is an invaluable resource for improvement. – Coach Andrew Kapel