Did I die in a Muay Thai training 'camp'?
I wanted to do something exciting every month in 2020 so I started my year with a training holiday in January!
The plan was Muay Thai training daily for 4 days and I eventually also managed to sneakily squeeze in a horse ride!
"Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?" —Friedrich Nietzsche
Having trained with KruNoi for awhile previously in Singapore, who is excellent in drilling techniques into an athlete, I decided to visit him in his gym - WINNER MUAY THAI GYM in Pattaya, Thailand.
On the first day we (Jenn and I) turned up excited and I was fresh in the morning after a good night of sleep from the previous exciting day with the horses!
After the greetings and catchup with the coaches, we got down to warming up with jump rope and followed by shadow boxing. I was rusty and I felt like the tinman in wizard of oz trying to salsa.
KruTum and KruNoi were our coaches for the morning and Jenn and I took turns with them. 3mins padwork each and 5 sets. I was going to be here everyday for 4 days so I held back a little I have to admit. "YAT, you're not tired?" KRUNOI asked. "NOPE!" I replied. Nyeh. If I was wearing a heart rate monitor and watched by the trainers like those fancy gyms have these days while training, he would have whooped my ass. What? Dont judge. It was only my first day!
On the second day, as I tracked to the gym alone in the morning on the back of a motorbike taxi, I willed the mango sticky rice from the previous night to make its way to my energy resource for the morning session quickly.
Turned out I was alone in the class so KruNoi up his game and this time he did not even have to ask me! Blimey there was not a dry spot on my tanktop! He made sure I got those elbows and tatmala right and looking at the clock sporadically to remind him it's way past the one hour that I paid for did not deter him from drilling it right in my head till i get it. Gotta love this Coach!!
In between the 2 training sessions I took a 2hour nap and a 1hour massage. Oh what a blissful life!
In the evening session, honestly I did not remember what happened and if not for Jenn taking videos of me, everything would have been a blur. It was really fun though because I trained with someone who was extremely passionate about what he believes in and he did not discriminate between me, a recreational student and a fighter student/athlete.
I tried to remember the techniques but later on a walk along soi6 kind of wiped out all my memories from training.
By the third day, 3 of us turned up for the evening class (Ahim was in Pattaya for work coincidentally) and so we took turns with both the coaches. The atmosphere was a little bit different now that there was more than 1 lost soul in the class. It was louder, more energy, stronger vibes and 3mins sets became longer and longer and despite losing some skin from under my big toe I made it out alive!
KruNoi drilled me on the punches and KruTum drilled me on the kicks as we bounced around for 3mins padwork between us all for what felt like eternity. Oh what fresh hell is this?
I watched some videos of KruTum from his previous fight in 2019 and I cannot believe I was standing in front of a killer kick machine who can take anyone down with 1 kick!
He even made it into the top 10 knockouts on Rebellion Muay Thai compilation. Watch him on No.2 in this video!!!
Never ever ever judge a book by its cover!
On the last day, I dragged myself out of bed and what's left of my toe to the gym. I was welcomed with the sight of the whole family having breakfast. Training resumed shortly. What a beautiful simple lifestyle. I had an uneventful training session alone again and I wished I had stayed longer. I will definitely be back, KruNoi and KruTum!
The lessons I took away:
1. I feel refresh and re-energized by being around other passionate coaches who always push themselves to be better.
2. I feel spiritually alive again by being around fuss-free, simple-minded people who mind their own business and just "get on with it".
(obviously my favourite motto since it appeared in the previous post too)
3. I have to work on my glute medius which is responsible for stabilizing the pelvis when we are on one leg and while abducting (kicking)
4. I may not enter a fight ring, although i enjoy fighting... with myself mostly, however I enjoy learning about my body, its ability and awareness to implement movements, transferring the strength from my training with the kettlebells to throw powerful blows, the endurance to keep up the pace over the course of the training or the conditioning to absorb punishment.
5. Train smart. Eat right. Rest well. KISS. (Keep it simple,silly.) All will be good.
This came to my mind as I conclude this blog and training experience so I will leave you with this excerpt from Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book; Skin in the game: Hidden asymmetries in Daily life -
“What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing.”