Tuesday morning I had my first training session. I was forewarned from my trip to Koh Samui two years ago where the first session had been brutal. 50% of it accredited to the heat.
We started off with quite a high paced run of maybe 4k, then 3 rounds of shadow boxing. When I had left my apartment at 7:20am I thought that it wasn’t so hot, but once back from the run sweat was running down my whole body.
After the shadow boxing came 3 rounds of pad work with the Thai coaches followed by 3 rounds of bag work. Each round 3 minutes long. Then some conditioning and stretching. Done.
Finally some exercise! And the good thing was, I wasn’t as knackered as on Koh Samui. I’m probably much fitter now training more regularly and training more Muay Thai at home.
At 10am I walked over to Cafe Reverie right next to the gym to have breakfast with the guys from my camp. Really nice airy place with a good selection of shakes, smoothies, more breakfast style dishes like Eggs Benedict and more lunch style Thai dishes with rice or noodles.
The best is that 14 meals are included in my camp package. Winner.
Then chilled in my apartment and had an hours snooze! I never snooze that long.
Afternoon training was at 3pm. Very similar only with 10mins skipping instead of a run. With the heavy Thai ropes still quite exhausting. Then quick food across the road and a taxi to Lumpinee Stadium!
Once more it was all organised for us and we got in as a group with reserved seats. Lumpinee is one of two major and I’d say world famous (the world of Muay Thai that is) stadiums in Bangkok. 9500 people fit in there. It wasn’t a sold out night, but still had great atmosphere.
Fights were 5 rounds of 3 minutes which is long! From the first fight on we could see the difference in skill compared to the Sunday event. This was top notch! Such speed, accuracy and most of all endurance to go at this for 5 rounds. We were all in awe.
Add to that the great atmosphere of a large crowd of punters betting on who would win. They would shout and cheer and you could tell when they had all settled on a favourite yelling “kneeeee” with every knee strike.
It was a long night and we were all pretty knackered after the main fight, leaving shortly after. It was a great night out and even if the reduced price ticket was still like £30 it was more than worth it.
Wednesday morning training felt hard, it was much hotter than the day before. Half of the guys didn’t turn up. But they were in week 3 already when I had only just started.
Got some good rounds on pads getting some valuable advice from Kru Pong about my footwork and posture! I really need to work on being more loose and have a better flow. Amazing how much more crisp, quick and hard your punches and kicks come out when you’re “chilling”. Ha!
Then relaxed in my apartment after breakfast. A snooze of course. Looks like this is going to be my daily routine. I bought a kettle at the supermarket on the corner. The one thing that was missing really. Ah! Tea!
Afternoon training was similar again, but a bit shorter with some clinch sparring at the end. We all got to have a go with one of the coaches which is always awesome as they’re having so much fun teaching us newbies a thing or two.
Bang on 5pm we took a couple of taxis to get us to Asiatique Mall. One of our guys, Serge, had a fight there and we were all gonna go to support him. He said he had had a dozen fights back home in Canada, but never full on (no protection other than gloves) and had never fought in Thailand.
The taxi took forever in heavy traffic. Over an hour for I think 15k.
Asiatique was a huge modern mall, half open air with shops, shops, shops. All very clean and posh for Thailand and a riverfront with fairly expensive restaurants. It only opens later afternoon and I could see how people can spend a whole evening there.
We had to rush our food (and I mean eat as fast as you can) so be at the Muay Thai place for 19:45 so we could get in for free as supporters. Only to be then told we had to wait another 10 minutes. Only then to be asked by a staff member why we’re not going in? We just had to say we’re supporters at the entrance. Duh 😂.
Got in wished Serge all the best, found some seats and bang on 8pm the show started. It was more a cinema with comfy seats on three sides of the ring, dark lighting, a huge stage with digital screen backdrop. The presenter announced everything in a movie trailer voice and commented on what was happening. A bit weird for us, but aimed at tourists who had no idea about Muay Thai it was probably a good experience.
Having just been to Lumpinee the night before, the fights were much less skillful, but also shorter so we didn’t have to wait long for fight number four and for Serge to go for it.
His Iranian opponent was a good match and whilst Serge was the more dominant fighter both landed shots. Serge would’ve won easily on points, if it wasn’t for a spinning elbow knockdown in round 2 and an 8 count. A thing of beauty that one and we were amazed and glad of course that he recovered from it.
His opponent though lost his win after being disqualified for that very elbow as elbows were not allowed in that fight. Phew. Well done Serge!
Straight back home, this time it only took us 30mins, mainly due to our race driver taxi who floored it on the now empty-ish motorway.
A great two days of training and seeing fights. Not missing sightseeing really or going out. I like to just train and chill and catch up on reading some of the many books I’ve not gotten around to touch at all, haha.