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Tag Archives: Greg Ardon

Natalie Fuz asked us if we could organize a non-Tuesday sparring circle for her and some of her girls, and it seems that this is just what many of those who haven’t been able to come regularly might be interested in. Sunday was the best day, and we asked around for places that might want to host us, and once again Greg came through and said that he would open up the gym for us for a few hours. Much thanks to him.  Natalie says she can bring 3-5 women with her and several others have said that they can come as well.

For those that don’t know Natalie – and only recently have I gotten to know her – she’s a long time female muay thai fighter, coach and Kru, and is formerly of Five Points having just left to start her own gym which is now in the works. In fact just this Summer she fought Julie Kitchen, who is probably now considered the best female muay thai fighter in the world (Germaine de Randamie has retired from muay thai), for the third time.  It will be cool to get in the ring with her, and the chance to mix with other Five Points fighters really seems to embody what the sparring circle is about: bringing the diverse New York women of muay thai together, to broaden the community and open up the opportunity to share sparring experiences and techniques beyond any particular gym.

Natalie said that her ideal times were between 10 and 2, so we were thinking of meeting up at 12:30 at Sweet Science, and maybe in the ring at 1:00. The time is not locked in just yet, so what is the most convenient for you? Feel free to bring friends, and as usual for the circle the cost is free.

Any maybe some of us can head out for a Thai food late brunch afterwards. Any suggestions? Email me at sylvie@earthlink.net or on message me on Facebook.

If you missed it, I’ve been posting parts of an interview I did with Natalie, the first of which is here.

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Yesterday, on my drive down to the sparring circle from my house up in Orange County, my car threatened to drop a wheel, break down, or otherwise leave me and my husband stranded on some stretch of the 60 miles between home and Brooklyn.  After some deliberation, we decided to turn the car around and accept the disppointment of missing the sparring circle, rather than risk the total destruction of the car, upon which we are utterly dependent.

I emailed Greg, called Nicole, and sent a Facebook message to Peelo, asking her to head the group and look out for a few women who had contacted us, saying that they were planning on checking out the circle that day. Lorena, who attended our first meeting but had been unable to spar due to an injury was making her first appearence at the circle for sparring, something which I was hoping to experience.  And  I was especially disappointed that I would not get to meet Hanna, a mutual friend of Peelo’s and my friend Sylvie Charbonneau in Chiang Mai. She has trained in Thailand and has a distinctly Thai style of fighting.

As it turned out, the sparring session went great.  Nicole brought two friends from another group taught by her boyfriend Rich, who have little experience with sparring and not a great deal of contact with other women in these martial sports.  The girls got in the ring after the sparring session and “rolled”, practicing Jiu Jitsu and Lorena jumped in with them! And Hanna was a great addition, demonstrating her powerful and effective clinch, and Peelo said that Hanna and Nicole matched up very well in the ring. 

Photo by Peelo

The women who came to visit were, by and large, very impressed and interested in returning to the group.  Kristine Finn, a triathalete (!) seemed very happy to see the group and, from what I heard from her, Peelo did a great job of heading the group and introducing the visitors the the circle.  Kristine will return in the future for sparring.

Two more visitors were Audrey and Judith, who train in Krav Maga at the Krav Maga Federation.  They watched the circle and wanted to see if their training in KM would translate to sparring with MT fighters.  Audrey tells me that Judith is excited to return and try it out, and Audrey is considering trying it out as well.

In all this was an unique and fun experience for everyone in attendance.  I’m incredibly disappointed that I missed it (and sorry, no pictures!), but very happy that it went so well and that everyone shared such a positive experience.  I’m excited at the possibility of seeing Lorena and Hanna at the circle next week and I have really missed sparring with Peelo.

This is what Nicole R. wrote. I have to say I can’t imagine a better feeling or experience. It’s what the circle is all about:

Some of the girls that train with my boyfriend in staten island on the weekends came down, i asked them to check it out; perhaps give them something to aspire for. i wanted them to see that there are more girls out there that train, and to see some girls who were at higher levels in technique. we rolled after sparring, and lorena jumped in. it was so much fun. hanna was great, she is very strong and has a great clinch, awesome set up for kicks. it was great. we might start rolling after if some girls are up for it too. this was such a fantastic idea, i look forward to tuesdays, its not about competition between girls, its like networking; we share our ideas, and trade techniques. i feel so blessed to be apart of it.

Photo by Peelo

Tonight was the first meeting of the New York Women’s Sparring Circle.  A punctual group (!), we met at Ardon Sweet Science in Brooklyn at 7:00 and began our sparring at 7:30. It was impressive how quickly and easily we could all organize ourselves into pairs and how the rotation of partners occurred without any dictation; just invitations to get in the ring and spar for a couple rounds and then break or pair back off as needed.  So much fun!

We defaulted into 3 minute rounds with a 30 second break in between, so for those feeling a little pressed by the pace, it was a heavy pace.  I think we did great.  And two pair in the ring at a time seemed comfortable and a good use of space.  I’d say that with more girls we might want to utilize the floorspace outside of the ring, but resting and watching was perfect with the numbers we had today.  A great turnout for the first session, including women who for various reasons did not spar today (Deb, Lorena), but were an awesome addition and wonderful presence in the group.  Over and above, Greg Ardon’s presence – calm and cool at the side of the ring – set the tone for serious, safe, and autonomous sparring.  It was exciting to meet those of you who I’ve only interacted with online and very exciting to spar with new people; each person challanged me in a unique way and I was inspired by seeing how everyone seemed to spar differently with each other.

I’m already amped for next week and I’m hoping we can use the rest of this week to discuss what we think was great and we want to be sure to continue, or what we think was not quite right and we want to improve on.  I’m so excited by how well we worked together and took control of the space as a group.

For all those looking into it and thinking about coming, please do. The more the better.  And for everyone there today, thank you so much for coming and I hope to see you all next Tuesday! (Same time, same place.)