Monday, August 29, 2011

Second day at new locale

Got to the gym and had my mind blown. There was about 5 other falang training in line with Karim and another off to the side stretching (Thai kid champion is in the ring with his brother). Apparently word got out about training and most of another TEFL school showed up. Now the gym is pretty cramped and space has become very precious (I was afraid about this). 

Anyhoo, one of the other falang has also been training with Ajarn Somboon so today I was free of participating with the beginner stuff and allowed to make my own plan pretty much. This was a good and a bad thing, for while I knew basically what it is I should be doing and was able to stay fairly motivated throughout I was kind of caught off guard and my training became a bit scattered. 

Basically I stretched and since there was no room on the 'crete I moved into the ring and did some walking warmups and shadowboxing. Did a bit of footwork drills with one of my friends who started last class and then when he went to do more of what Karim was teaching went off do skip some rope. I'd been practicing at home so I did a lot better than before, but I still messed up a lot and couldn't go nearly a full round (barely a full minute) before collapsing and was still slamming my toes with the tough plastic tubing of the rope every now and again. 

Did some more shadow boxing for a bit, got bored and did a set of situps (25) before moving on to the heavy bag which I worked on and off for the better part of half an hour (mostly off) and became a little discouraged by my lack of focus at this point (I know, "JUST FIND YOUR FOCUS" right?). Lazed around a bit and ended up doing another set of situps (these killed as I hadn't been keeping up with them while I was sick). 

After a while John (the other Somboon, umm vet?) and I did some much needed blocking drills. Kind of like French randori in Judo I would attack and he would defend. We were both rusty and are shit boxers so I would basically through jabs and crosses and he would block and move and then we would switch. After a round or so (can't see the clock and have no perception of time, thanks weed) we go on to teep practice. 

We didn't see any shinpads and both our virgin legs weren't up for round kick blocking practice (shin to shin OUCH) without them so left that for another day. 

The class ended with a group stretch (first time stretching has been really focused on or commented on I think, gotta go back and read this blog to check) and then peaced.

Overall I know what I did right and wrong and know how I can improve my training for tomorrow. It's nice taking a bit of responsability for it, though I really miss Karim's constant presence and focus on me and REALLY miss mitwork and sparring, but oh well. 

Next class this Thursday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Beginnings

LISTEN UP, BITCHEZ! I'M BACK IN ACTION!!! That's right, you heard me, this fat burning, muscle building, hairy piece of sexy is back in the saddle, on track to take the next championship belt! ...Well... maybe not, but I AM back in training at my new, and totally awesome location and I can't express in words how good it feels. 

Now, update: New gym is moved from Ajarn Somboon's place on Chon Kasem Road to a new gym on Wat Pho Soi 4, near the Wat Pho Temple. Why I'm writing that will make sense later on. I am still with my friend and trainer Karim, who got this place by agreeing to train the gym owner's kids (up and coming and former champions) while he healed up from a broken leg from a bad scooter accident. This means there are a few actual examples of true muay thai roaming and training while we are there, which is cool.

The "we" stands for me and two (maybe three) other teachers from my school who've all signed up to train (I'm no longer the only farang looking guy in the room). This is good and bad in that now I have buddies of my own level to work up with, and bad in that I am a few weeks past them in training and even though I've been out of the game for a while I'm still farther up than the "guard, move forward, move backward" shit that they're just learning.

However, since we joined the new gym as a group and because Karim really can't afford to have three different skills levels all training under him at the same time (the beginner, novice and champion) I get to rework the basics with all of them. 

I'm not too angry about this simply because I do need to rework the basics and get my stamina (what little I had) back for the real training to come.

The gym itself is a lot smaller than Somboon's. It has 4 pretty beat up looking bags, a smallish concrete floor section, one situp bench, a ring, and two sets of tires. One hanging fro the ceiling, presumably for elbow practice, and one on the floor for footwork drills or whatever (excited to see it, never used something like that before). It's a little cramped, but the feel is good.

We worked the basics: guard, movement, walking drills. That was the whole night, and I was getting a little bored, but somewhere towards the end I heard something wicked cool (and unique), monks. The local temple (a pretty big one) was chanting, and the haunting echo of their prayers carried faintly into the gym adding a sort of added meaning to the mindless drills were were carrying out (oh, and 100 situps) and reminded me again of why I love Thailand.

That's all for now except my new schedule is Monday and Thursday with possible Saturdays where I go in on my own to work on shit.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


So, it's been a bit (you should see my other blog)... for which I apologize but it's mainly due to my not having trained in at least a week or two, and only one other time since before my last post so I have a bit of a situational update for the readers:

My trainer Karim is looking for a new camp to train me at. The hours at Ajarn Somboon's place are terrible as I'm only now training on Sundays for a few hours (this has wrecked the few strength and cardio gains I've made since starting, even with a 5 day a week run/situp/traditional-Thai-version-of-hackiesack-volleyball routine).

I haven't trained because Karim and I are always busy on the weekend and really don't feel like doing much training when we should be with our girls on a beach somewhere, y'know? I mean, it is fucking Thailand after all.

I've had two sessions since my last post on the weekends and they went down pretty much as drilling what I know and some sparring. My technique is turning to shit with the odd hours I'm having and my stamina is even worse. I told Karim about my personal scheme and he approves but also noted that I'm "Still weak" with a worried frown.

We've been sick to boot so since those sessions I haven't done any running (though I might try a run tomorrow as I've signed up for a 10k at the end of next month on Koh Samui) which is bad. Hopefully we'll be fully recovered with a new gym by next week and back into the swing of things. When I trained 3 times a week I really felt a steady progression from absolute n00b to novice in technique, even if my strength and stamina still lagged far behind.

I hope for any lingering readers (I can't imagine any after this hiatus) will take this as a sign of hope and continue reading and helping me out as I try to keep this lifestyle that I've chosen (and had to struggle to keep).