A few years ago I practiced Muay Thai at a gym. I was there on and off for about 2.5 years. Due to a move and busy schedule *cough*lack of motivation*cough* I haven't practiced in about 2 years.
Yesterday I went to a new place that is near my home and the instructor there taught me a few things which are contrary to what I was taught before and I think may be a little dangerous.
I should say that both instructors, old and new, are accomplished fighters but I can tell that the old instructor is more traditional in his approach to Muay Thai as an art and the new instructor (on my first impression) approaches it more as a competitive sport.
In the past I was taught to NOT straighten my arm when shadow boxing. I believe this is because it teaches me to control my arm better overall and will prevent injury when I don't land a punch by preventing me from hyper-extending my elbow accidentally. Last night the instructor specifically told me to straighten my elbow when shadow boxing.
Similarly, I was previously taught to NOT straighten my supporting leg at all. Not at any time during any kicks or when guarding. I believe this was for greater balance and injury prevention when taking a strike to the leg. Last night I was instructed to do the opposite for the same reasons: better balance and injury prevention.
Who's right?? To be honest I feel like my original instructor is correct (overall) because the reasoning seems more sound to me. Obviously the instructor I worked with last night knows what he's talking about because, as I said, he is an accomplished fighter.
What should I do? Do I try to erase the habits of the past and conform to the new instruction or something else?
update: I voiced my concern via email (gym owner emailed me to ask about my first impression) and I got a reply that I feel is satisfactory. He explained they teach that way to reach maximum power and that I am free to let my coach know that I will be doing my own thing on these points during practice and that he hopes to see me back.