Ok - Day 4 found me at a new gym, right in town near the Night Market and Kalare Boxig Stadium. Why did I make the switch? A few reasons.
1- I slept about 2 hours last night. I woke at 4:45 and knew I wouldn't get back to sleep and dreaded the 5:45am alarm.
2- Mornings at Hongthong are slow, and it's mostly focused on conditioning as opposed to technique, which I do not prefer.
3- I thought it would be good to check out a new gym to compare, should I come back this way again
I picked Sit Thaharnaek for a few reasons, not of least is their start time of 9:00am! When I finally woke and was feeling ok it was about 7:30 and most gyms are already in full swing by then. It was actually closer to 8:20 when I found this on Muaythailand and saw the start time at 9:00 so I brushed my teeth, double checked my gear bag and took off!
I have been to this area many times as this is where the Night Market is (where I got my sweet shorts last night, pictured right), but navigating the one way streets on my motorbike was a just wee bit of a hassle so I got there right at 9:00. Which, to be honest, doesn't really matter. Everyone here is on Thai Time, which means everything starts/ends 20 minutes later than stated.
So I arrive and I am greeted by Kru Hua's young son, who I think is named Fah Baet. He showed me the lockers and asked me my name, then asked me if I would like some nam rawn (water, hot) to make some coffee, which of course I did! I then talked to another falang named Matt from Philly and we chatted about the gym, what I should expect and how freaking hot it was in there. "IN" being the operative word, as this is one of the few indoor gyms I've seen/heard about here. Kru Hua showed up and got us to do the warm up (skip for 10 minutes, then stretch) then we started the workout.
It was just Matt, me, Fah and I think his sister, who's name escapes me. Fah is 9 years old and his sister is 15. They have over 100 fights between them, but you wouldn't know it to talk to them. They are both very friendly and happy kids, and the sister was very sweet and a bit shy as we spoke as she doesn't speak English well, but she got a good chuckle from my crappy Thai.
Training went like this:
1 Minute Rounds Straight Punches for 10 Minutes - I usually reserve this for finishes in my classes, but when in Thailand ...
We would throw straight 1-2's for 1 minute, speeding up at 40 seconds (20 seconds left, FASTER), 50 seconds and 5. The cadence was probably around 2 punches per second at the start and about 6-7 at the end. Hua had a big yellow stick with him and I know enough to keep my head down and just punch when the trainers say to punch! We would then rest for 1 round which also included 10 situps and 10 pushups. Whatever was left was your rest time (so about 30 seconds). Then we did...
3 x 4 minute rounds on the bag
3 x 4 minute rounds on the pads
And... that was pretty much it. It's up to the fighter to work or not after the main training so other than a few more rounds on the bag that was it. Doesn't seem like a lot but I did get a TONNE out of the Pad rounds. Not only is there a longer break (2 minutes) between to talk and ask questions, Kru Hua showed me a LOT of cool stuff during the rounds and would get me to repeat it a few times to make sure it stuck. I really appreciated this and found it was the one thing lacking at the previous camp.
Checking kicks with opp hand outstretched to prevent follow up Punch
Turning/inside pivot to avoid knee, clinch and knee.
Turn/Trip in clinch.
Clinching Arm bump to throw elbow over top
Round kick to check, no foot down between.
Teep, rope bounce, flying elbow (or punch, many options here!)
There was a few more but those were the ones that were new to me. Kru Hua's English is very, very good and we spoke a bit about my previous training. He asked if I knew Andy from Lanna because we're both from BC, and when I said I did and had trained with him he said that I should come and fight for his gym instead! I told him I had no plans to fight and he said that I should think about it and maybe come back if/when I want to. Pretty flattering coming from #2 ranked Ratchadamnoen fighter!
As we were finishing up I noticed the kids doing their finisher. 100 Situps while their mom hits them in the belly with a focus mitt! While, of course, holding their youngest sibling. It's definitely a family affair at Sit Thaharnaek!
Dan Slobodin -